Welcome to Mr Mark Roberts – English Teacher and Director of Research at Carrickfergus Grammar School
I am absolutely thrilled to join Carrickfergus Grammar School as a teacher of English and Director of Research – the latter being the first role of its kind in Northern Ireland. The school has ambitious plans and shares my passion for ensuring all students aspire for academic excellence.
In my previous role as Assistant Principal at a large comprehensive school in Devon I led on CPD and teacher training, with a specific focus on using educational research to improve teaching and learning.
Previously, I worked as Head of English at a boys-only comprehensive in inner-city Manchester. This experience prompted an enduring fascination with boys’ academic underperformance, culminating in the release of my best-selling book Boys Don’t Try? Rethinking Masculinity in Schools (co-authored with Matt Pinkett), which was published by Routledge in April 2019. It was featured in The Guardian, The Irish Times and gained a 5-star review from Schools Week.
My follow-up book on how schools can tackle gender attainment gaps, The Boy Question, will be published in June. Offering practical advice to help classroom teachers teach boys effectively, it is based on decades of research, as well as my own anecdotal experiences.
I also contribute to other education publications, including writing a regular column for TES (Times Educational Supplement), on subjects including pedagogy, behaviour, leadership and educational research.
First and foremost, however, I am a classroom teacher. Nothing still gives me greater joy than standing in front of a room of young people, teaching them Shakespeare and creative writing, poetry and rhetoric. For years I felt frustrated about the lack of a decent revision guide to show students how to revise for English, rather than just telling them what to revise, like all the other guides do. This led to the release, in June 2020, of You Can’t Revise for GCSE English! Yes You Can and Mark Roberts Shows You How, another best-seller, published by Collins. As an English literature obsessive, I’ve also written introductions to the Collins classroom classics version of Romeo and Juliet, and Frankenstein.
When we are once more in school, I very much forward to returning to the classroom and getting to know the students and parents of Carrickfergus Grammar. I look forward to finding out more about the local community. And, most of all, I look forward to doing all I can to help every young person strive for future success.