Being Back At The Grove


As an Old Grovian (that’s me, holding the ball in the picture), I have fond memories of being dropped off at Brontё House School in the late 1980s, usually greeted by either Mr Watson or Mr Garner, two men who, over the years I have realised, held the same values The Grove still holds today.  I left The Grove in the 5th form (Year 11) and studied Hotel and Hospitality Management at college.  After being self-employed through my 20s and 30s I found myself needing a job to work around school life.  I was offered the Grove’s Cafe Supervisor role in September 2021, which fit perfectly around my other business (Release the Hounds).

I have since been promoted to Retail Supervisor and oversee the day to day running of the new Cabin catering facility, as well as the Sixth Form Cafe, Woody’s. I order supplies, prepare the food and serve the students. We offer hot and cold drinks, paninis, pasties, sausage rolls, sweets, crisps and bakery goods. My favourites are definitely the flapjack and the toffee bun!

It was a little strange working in my old school to start with – but now I love seeing the students enjoying their day. All the Year 12 and 13 students are great. We have a good relationship and have a joke together now and again. In fact, my favourite part of the job is seeing the students flourish and grow in the two years that I get to be part of their journey. I occasionally see my own boys, who may even be bothered to wave back at me now and then! They were lucky enough to start Brontё in Reception and are now flourishing at The Grove in Years 9 and 10.

Since I was a student at The Grove, the swimming pool and the theatre have been built – both of which are fantastic additions to the school. But the dining room and the Headmaster’s corridor are still the same. It is a little strange that Mr Lockwood and Mr Cadman, who were both a couple of years above me at school, are now Head and Deputy Head!

The most important thing that The Grove taught me is: Respect. If you show someone respect, you generally get it back. Old Grovians may not all become doctors, lawyers, pilots etc. but one thing I have learned from keeping in touch with my old school friends, is that they have all become the best they can possibly be in their chosen field.

Both my boys have thrown themselves into all the opportunities available at The Grove, whether in the classroom, on the sports field or in the theatre, “giving something a go” is all that matters.  As I see Thomas and James becoming well rounded, polite and respectful young men, I can see The Grove still stands by the same values it did 35 years ago.


David Howcroft – Retail Supervisor and Old Grovian