Meet The Head: Simon Burbury Of Marlborough College, Malaysia

Boarding School Head Shares His Top Tips For Parents!

Simon Burbury Marlborough College Malaysia

If, like us, you’re fascinated with the idea of what makes a school successful and what makes a great Headteacher, then you’ll love our interview with Simon Burbury, head of Marlborough College Malaysia on Iskandar Puteri, which is just 45 minutes away from Singapore!

If you’re interested in finding out more about this excellent institution, why not book a tour?

In this insightful Q+A, Simon talks about his Yorkshire upbringing, what he loves about Singapore and dispenses advice on finding the perfect school for your child…

  • Simon Prep Pupils Marlborough College

    About the Head

    Do you have a nickname?
    Not one that I am willing to share!

    Where were you born and where did you grow up?
    I was born in Halifax, a small market town in Yorkshire, England, but grew up in Lancaster, a medieval city in the Northwest of England, under the shadow of the imposing Lancaster Castle, and next to the picturesque river Lune.

    Where do you live in the city and why do you love it there?

    We live in the Master’s Lodge, which is next to the main grass square (called ‘court’) at the heart of the school’s beautiful campus in Iskandar Puteri. We love it here because we are surrounded by open, well-manicured, green expanses and parks, but have such easy access to the city life of Singapore and Johor Bahru.

    Iskandar Puteri is an exciting place to be with new restaurants and entertainment venues opening all the time – there is so much to explore. It is also a great place for families and our children love the huge range of activities they can get involved with, from go-karting and high ropes courses to modern cinemas and incredible sports facilities, which are all within easy reach.

    What's in your lunchbox?
    A tuna sandwich and fruit, but you will always find a little chocolate – my kryptonite!

  • Head’s Background

    What or who inspired you to become a Headmaster?
    My background is in music and the performing arts. The creativity, dedication, communication skills, emotional intelligence, leadership and team work instilled in me through my involvement in music served me well in my career. I can’t really say that I've been inspired by something or someone to become a Headmaster, but it's these skills and attributes that helped me progress from musician to teacher to Headmaster.

    The atmosphere, buzz and constant hive of activity that is indicative of a successful boarding school is something on which my family and I thrive. Helping children overcome challenges and encouraging them to step out of their comfort zone, watching them experience success on the sports field, the stage, and in the classroom, and being there to celebrate their successes is all extremely gratifying and a huge motivating factor for me. I've always said that working in a successful and busy boarding school is more of a lifestyle choice than a job, and that's exactly how I feel about Marlborough College Malaysia.

    Describe your school in 5 words or less!
    Friendly, inspiring, nurturing, fun and green.

    What's your favorite thing on your desk and why?
    A clay cactus and caterpillar. They are my son and daughter’s first attempt at pottery – and they simply make me smile.

    What are your three favorite children's books?
    The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle), The Gruffalo (Julia Donaldson) and, for the older child (and parent), you can’t beat the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.

  • Words Of Wisdom

    What is the best way for parents to be involved in their children’s education?
    Spend time with them, read with them, take interest in their day, talk to them about their homework, limit their ‘passive’ screen time and ensure they get plenty of sleep.

    Any tips for parents when applying for schools?
    Visit the school when it's in session, and look closely at the children. Are they happy? Are they engaged in something meaningful? Are they having fun? Is the teacher interacting with the children? Ask yourself whether or not you would be happy, relaxed and comfortable if your child was among them. Children have to be excited about going to school. It should be something they look forward to. If the environment is right, the learning will be much more fruitful.

    What's the best advice a teacher or Head ever gave you?
    Don’t go to bed until you are fully prepared and planned for the next day.

Where To Find It:​

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