Chris Waugh

Résumé and Professional Portfolio


DOWNLOAD a printable summary of this résumé

In the following pages you will see all the evidence you will need to verify that the strong terms in which I describe myself are no hyperbole. You will also discover that my drive for personal excellence spans the breadth of the personal, physical, academic and professional. On meeting me in person what I hope you’ll discover is my enduring enthusiasm and authenticity. I really am a man who lives life with verve.


I am passionate about teaching and learning. I have a very strong belief in the powerful influence a good teacher can have on the human development of a teenager. I teach from a standpoint of honesty, determination, collaboration, self-respect and self-reflexivity. I am determined to act as a strong role model, and fundamentally believe in the necessity that I demonstrate in my own actions what I expect from others.

It is essential in the 21st Century that educators are able to deftly navigate the path between the richness of our past and the panoply of possibilities for the future. In the classroom I teach with respect for our establishment, yet present challenges to students to explore the relationship between what they are learning now and their own future – and consider the implications of this.

For many years my email signature has been appended with an exhortation written by Katherine Mansfield to “do the hardest thing”. My travel to London has been an embodiment of this, and as Mansfield did before me, I have gained tremendously both personally and professionally from pitting myself against the rigours of British society. In this time I have discovered my pride in being a New Zealander; I have proven that my educational ideas, incubated in New Zealand, have agency on the world stage and ultimately I have come to the conclusion that it is my country of origin to which I want to contribute my energy and passion. It is time for me to return home.

“Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.



A documentary, aired in January 2017 on Al Jazeera English, about my work at the London Nautical School

Employment History

LNS Logo Small

The London Nautical School


Head of Department for English

April 2013 – December 2016

The London Nautical School is a passionate and idiosyncratic boys’ foundation school situated on the South Bank of the Thames in the heart of London. As such it represents all that is wonderful about London.   Not only does it have a rich history (The Nautical was set up as a response to the sinking of the Titanic and resides in a unique old building in Stamford Street) but it also embraces the diverse, multi-cultural modernity of Europe’s largest city.


In the first three years of my tenure in the role of Head of Department for English, our key performance indicator, the Year 11 GCSE English results, progressed from a previous total of 58% A*-C in 2012 to 88% A*-C in 2016. In achieving this we took no short-cuts, and it was achieved in the context of unprecedented turbulence in the parameters of the national English exam specifications. To provide some context, the National average pass rate for boys in these same examinations is currently 53% A*-C.


The department runs on a model that encourages a high degree of professional autonomy to the teaching team. As a result of the national recognition our You Choose class selection programme and Unlock Achievement badge-based assessment scheme has received, we attract the highest calibre of teachers. Everything we have achieved has started with the engagement and empowerment of the team, the results of which I feel immensely proud.


In my work as HOD of English at the London Nautical School I’ve had the opportunity to put my philosophies of education to test. I believe students thrive in environments where they feel they have agency. I consider the classroom to be the ‘real world’ and as such a venue for the most important work we can imagine a teenager can engage in. We focus a lot on ‘the now’ in our work at the Nautical School. Students should be offered meaningful choices in their learning and have to live with the consequences of these choices. Finally, and importantly, the students should encounter the toughest possible challenges in their everyday learning – and they should be supported to conquer these challenges – with no short-cuts.

As a school with a high proportion of students who come from backgrounds of disadvantage, and as a boys’ school, the students are nationally classified amongst the lowest performing groups in English. The fact that our boys achieve well above national averages on every measure, and that there’s no achievement gap between various groups in the cohort, is the most significant testament to the impact of our innovative ways of working. These are outlined in much greater detail in the innovation section of this résumé.

Teacher of English, Drama and Enrichment

September 2010 – April 2013

In my role as a classroom teacher of English, Drama and Enrichment I worked with 8 different groups from Year 7 to Year 13.

Even at the beginning of what has been a significant chapter in my career as a teacher, The London Nautical School facilitated my engagement in a range of exciting areas of innovation and creative practice. These included: Working with the BFI and a group of students to create films submitted to the Cinematheque Francaise international project, and piloting the scheme of online journalling for students in the classroom called Edutronic has gone on to receive international recognition.

Due to my active collaborative practice, students in my classes consistently outperformed their cohort in attainment and always enjoyed their learning. My lessons were consistently judged to be outstanding by both internal and external observers.

  • 2013 GCSE Pass Rate 63% 63%
  • 2014 GCSE Pass Rate 75% 75%
  • 2015 GCSE Pass Rate 85% 85%
  • 2016 GCSE Pass Rate 93% 93%
  • National Average for Boys 53% 53%


How our unique department works

Presented at the Northern Rocks conference in Leeds in June 2015, this session provided an exposition of how we work as a department in pursuit of student agency and excellence in outcomes.

Online Journal

Chris Website

Read my professional journal to explore the underpinnings of my educational philosophies and practice.



For the past 5 years I have had the privilege of delivering an international film making programme run in association with the British Film Institute and the French film archive, the Cinémathèque Française.

Film Club BFI

London Nautical Students presenting their short film at a local festival at the British Film Institute

This is a film learning programme like no other. Groups of students from all over Europe, South America and even Cuba engage in a year-long study of film making. Each year a specific element of film “vocabulary” is set by the film critic Alain Bergala. Mr Bergala determines the curriculum for the programme and his chosen element forms the theoretical focus for the year’s work. The students then pursue a rigorous process of viewing clips of films that demonstrate the techniques in question, performing short filmed exercises to explore these techniques in practice, and reflecting on their own and each others work.

The club has frequently travelled to Paris and Edinburgh to present their films as part of international festivals in each city. You can investigate their work more via their dedicated website.


As a nautical school, we run an extensive sailing programme, including the Wednesday afternoon and Saturday sailing club. I provide on-water safety support for the club and as part of this have current safety boat and VHF radio certification.


This group of students and teachers is responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring the equalities objectives for the school. We have worked with the board of governors to develop the school’s long-term equalities objectives; we have delivered equalities CPD training to teachers; we run regular campaigns within the school, and consult with teachers on curriculum choices. We are also the only secondary school group to have participated in the 2015 and 2016 London Pride march.


Every week an intrepid group of students and teachers head out to the South Bank where I utilise all the public spaces and street furniture (and some of my knowledge from my previous life in the fitness industry) to run team fitness challenges.


A weekly club where a group of students work towards the creation of an entry into a borough-wide dance competition, Step Into Dance.

Leigh Academy Logo

The Leigh Technology Academy


Teacher of English

January – July 2010

The Leigh Technology Academy, in Dartford, Kent, is a secondary school judged “Outstanding” by Ofsted in October 2009. It is a school infused with enormous vigour for innovation and the whole facility was literally engineered around modern principles of large-class, integrated learning in a technology-rich environment.

As a teacher I worked as part of a collaborative team with classes from Year 7 to Year 11. I was responsible for the English learning for two classes at Year 10 and Year 11 who were preparing for their GCSE assessment in both Language and Literature.

The experience of working at The Leigh has been a tremendous introduction to education in the UK. The similarities between it and the system in New Zealand far outweigh the minor differences, thus I found it easy to ‘hit the ground running’ in both the teaching and learning, and the wider school environment.

In the time since commencing work at the Leigh, some of the initiatives I have taken include; the implementation of an ability grouped intensive reading programme with the 60 Year 7 students, the running of a targeted GCSE revision programme and the training and support of colleagues new to the profession in the successful running of open-plan learning environments.


ProActive Health and Fitness


Group Fitness Instructor

April 2008 – December 2009

After a hiatus of a couple of years after moving to Wanaka I re-started my work as an instructor of BodyAttack and RPM. I derived great pleasure from teaching these group fitness classes to people from the town – many of whose kids I also taught at school.


Mt Aspiring College Logo

Mount Aspiring College


Head of Department: English and Drama.

January 2005 – January 2010

I could not have been more engaged in the role of teacher and academic leader than I was at Mount Aspiring College – and I could not have gained more from the experience.

Tucked in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, this school is privileged to have one of the most stunning natural environments at its doorstep. Inspired by this, we created a department that re-energised the teaching and learning of English for the 21st century.

As a review of the class web pages of the time will reveal, we turned everything on its head and placed the learner, and their curiousity, at the centre of our programmes. Entire courses were developed around themes such as “Future Dystopia” or “Teenage Anti-Hero” and the students chose the context and style within which they learned. The results in terms of both achievement and student engagement spoke for themselves – and this work formed the template on which my widely-recognised practice at the London Nautical School was founded.

The freedom of relative isolation and innovative attitude allowed us to explore some vital ways of integrating the learning from a range of curriculum areas. We embraced this autonomy and produced learning programmes that were influenced by industries such as journalism, online publishing and theatre.

In English, the traditional texts were thoroughly examined, but the insights gained by the students were taken to new dimensions.



As a passionate sportsperson in my own right, it is natural that I managed and assisted to coach the students in this area. Our focus was on participation, but when students achieved competitive success there was an undeniable sense of achievement. Here’s some evidence


As the Head of Drama I was dedicated to developing this learning area in the school. When I took the position in 2005 there were 11 people in the senior programmes, and in 2009 the students in these elective Drama courses numbered 67 . Inevitably this involved extensive out-of-class involvements, including supporting and directing student entries into the Sheila Winn Shakespeare competitions, assisting with the Stage Challenge and many public performances held in the local town hall.


I was the chair of a group of teachers from Mount Aspiring College who were developing innovative ideas about how we could tackle learning as a school in the 21st century.


I was part of a group of teachers who supported the Year 9 outdoors camp every year. The camps involved experiences such as canyoning, abseiling, kayaking and multi-day tramping.


As part of a student support programme I ran a ‘bootcamp’ that encouraged young boys to get out of the confines of the school grounds and engaged in hard, fun, physical activity – to notably positive effect.


The debating team that teachers in the English Department worked hard to develop made the semi-finals of the hotly contested Debating Competitions in 2008. Two students were selected for the regional development team.

 Cahsmere Logo

Cashmere High School


Teacher of English

July 2003 – January 2005

I strive for excellence as a teacher. The results of this were apparent in the responses from students, the measurable development in their learning, and the evaluation of my peers.

[Download a copy of a classroom evaluation, performed by the principal of Cashmere High School.]


Christchurch Boys’ High School


Teacher of English.

May 2003 – July 2003

The opportunity to work at Christchurch Boys’ came after my final term at the New Zealand Graduate School of Education, during which I spent 7 weeks on teaching practice there.

I was privileged to take over some of the school’s extension English classes at years 9 and 12. It was a great compliment to be entrusted with these students for a term, and I took every opportunity to develop my understanding of the special conditions that support learning development in high ability students.



Les Mills World of Fitness


Group Fitness Manager

June 1999 – September 2001

As Group Fitness Manager of Les Mills Christchurch, I was responsible to the General Manager for all financial planning and control within my department, personnel (recruitment, employment, training and performance management), internal marketing, rostering, membership satisfaction and facility management.

Group Fitness Instructor.

1996 – 2005

I taught a number of fitness classes at the local Les Mills gym. I like it so much that I had to push myself to place it in the ‘work experience’ part of this resume.

I’m a fully certified instructor of the Les Mills programmes BodyAttack, RPM and Bodycircuit. I’m an experienced National instructor trainer and I regularly present classes and training sessions at South Island training workshops.

Canterbury Student Broadcasting Ltd


[A typical rdu staff meeting scene]

General Manager

1993 – 1998

As General Manager of Canterbury Student Broadcasting Limited, I was responsible to the board of directors for all financial planning and control, personnel (employment, training and performance management), strategic planning, innovation and day to day operations of its radio station and other media.

CSBL operated the radio station “rdu”, the Christchurch member of “”; the NZ Student Radio Network, of which I was the chair; “Volume Magazine”, a free Christchurch community and culture publication and the “alternate” website.

[DOWNLOAD a copy of my written reference from the Board of Directors]

Picture 1

Radio 1, 91FM


Full-time News Editor

July 1992 – October 1993

As News Editor I was responsible for the running and monitoring of all news broadcasts. I was directly responsible for the 60 volunteers who worked in my area.

Alongside the tasks of my specific job I was part of the Radio One Management Collective and responsible for: the planning (strategic and budgetary-including grant applications), appointment of staff, relationship with our employer O.U.S.A., internal communication, the maintenance of our equal opportunity policies, and the daily and long-term success of the station.


January-June 1992

Tasks: Various, including: sound engineering, copy-writing, interviewing/announcing, record shelver…



Tasks: News-reading, announcing, Ski-report co-ordinator, trainee engineer.


To support the more formal part of my résumé, here are some interesting fragments that may help add some dimension to the cold hard facts of my work history.

References and Evaluations

References and Evaluations

The London Nautical School, Waterloo, London. SE1 9NA. Phone +44 020 7928 6801:

Mount Aspiring College, Wanaka, New Zealand. Phone +64 3 443 9901:

Cashmere High School, Christchurch, New Zealand


New Zealand Graduate School of Education


Graduated: June 2003.

University of Otago


Matriculated: 1989 – Graduated: 1992.

  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Major: English (including: first-year papers in Classics, Philosophy and Economics; Drama at second-year level)

Otago Boys’ High School


1984 – 1988

  • Bursary: A Pass
  • Awards: 1988 Blue for Drama.


This is a chronological list of the data shows from a sample of the conference presentations I’ve made while in the UK. From the Sunday Times Festival of Education to the SSAT National Conference and to everyone in between, great interest has been shown in the work we do.


National Association for the Teaching of English – Professional Journal: “Teaching English”

Download Article 1: “Why I’m out in the classroom
Article 2: “Stick a Badge on it”

“Doing Text”

DOWNLOAD: A chapter in this book concentrating on “Online Texts”

Film and Video Evidence

The following videos feature some highlights from my work in and out of the classroom. Featured are: A collage of students presenting on their reading projects; A student performing a Shakespearian soliloquy; Me presenting a motivational talk at an assembly; A presentation by me to teachers on being out; The Mount Aspiring College 2009 Multisport team; Me teaching Romeo and Juliet in the classroom; London Nautical School 2016 Equalities group pride march.


Check out Edutronic TV, an archive of many of the best films and videos I’ve made of my students’ work.



It’s undeniable that, after my enthusiastic, non-coercive classroom practice, one of my main strengths is innovation in education. Here are some samples of original ideas that I’ve brought to fruition in recent years.

Unlock Achievement


Perhaps my proudest innovation of all, this badge-based standards-linked achievement system for secondary English has revolutionised the way we work in the classroom.

Student Journals


Every student I teach runs their own online journal where they publish, update, edit and comment upon their written work.

You Choose


Every year, students have the opportunity to select their own class. Their English teachers create exciting new programmes at every level, each of which follows a specific line of enquiry.



As a sample of my research-based teaching and learning processes, this programme of learning teaches grammar-focussed writing in the context of dystopian fiction.

Email me

13 + 13 =


Visit my professional twitter stream to see what’s happening right now in the world of Edutronic.

Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.

Katherine Mansfield

New Zealand Author