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News > Queen's College News > Staff Spotlight: India D'Arcy

Staff Spotlight: India D'Arcy

We caught up with India D'Arcy, our Acting Deputy Head - Pastoral, to hear her thoughts on all things Queen's and music!


How long have you been at Queen’s? 

7 years. Quite long! 


What have your roles been during that time? 

When I first joined, I was a music teacher. In my second year I was appointed Class 3 Year Tutor. Then I was appointed Head of Transition. The February we went into Covid, in 2020, I was appointed Director of the School. In October 2023, I was appointed Acting Deputy Head Pastoral. I have also been a house co-ordinator for Austen since my second year here. I think that’s it. It has changed a lot! 


How have you found the transition to Deputy Head Pastoral? 

I’ve really enjoyed it; it's been really lovely to get to know pupils across all the year groups other than just in the School. It’s been interesting to see some of the more strategic overview of the College. I feel like you're making a real impact on pupils' lives and their experience of school. It's also nice when pupils come forward for help - every day is different. I get to speak to lots of different pupils all the time. Very busy, but it’s lots of fun. 


What’s been the highlight of your time at Queen’s? and the lowlight? 

I think definitely trips; I go on lots of trips. I've been to places such as Barbados, Italy, Belgium, and Amsterdam. I like when we are out of the school building. For me, concerts and music tours as well. One highlight was when brass ensemble played in Brussels Cathedral a couple years ago, that was amazing. And we have things like Come & Sing.  

And a lowlight... gosh trying to think back over 7 years! I find it hard when I get to know a pupil very well and get to see them every day, but then they leave. I find that always a bit sad.  


Why did you decide to become a teacher? Was there anything else you wanted to do? 

I decided I wanted to be a teacher when I was 4! I used to set my sister homework, she’s 3 years younger than me. When I was studying, I knew I wanted to be a history or music teacher. Then I did my degree. I was desperate to get out of uni and get into a teaching job straight away. 


How did you decide between Music and History?  

I did lots of music growing up, extracurricular music from about the age of 7. So that was quite a big pull for me, I love history but luckily my subject is quite interlinked with history, so I teach history of music, which links really nicely. So, I felt like I could do both if I went the music route. 

I think the only other two things I ever considered were: being a freelance musician, so being a brass or trombone player, and I was once offered to take over my instructor’s Taekwondo club as I do taekwondo and got to quite a high level. I was world champion for a little while, I trained like 6 days a week! My instructor left and moved to Thailand, offering me his club, to run it as a full-time job. But I decided I wanted to be a teacher full-time instead.  


How has Queen’s changed during your time here? 

I think we’re really innovative, and the sense of kindness and community has really shone through. We’re very unique. We’ve really honed in on what we are, and what makes us different from other schools. I think it's a very happy place, when I bring people in, like my own family to see events, they always say as soon as you step in the door, you can see that everyone's in a very happy place. So, I feel like that has really grown since I joined. It was always there, but now it's really strong. 


How has the music department changed? 

When I joined initially, we had lots of singers and pianists. Now we have a real mix of all the instrumental groups: woodwind, brass, string, percussion, singing, keyboard, organ, almost everything. I think our offering of what people can access is much bigger, for example, we have our first orchestra and choir tour this summer, we’ve had 2 brass tours, we put on more events. In general, more than half the pupils have music lessons. When I joined it wasn't as big, now it’s huge! So that’s really nice. 


Any exciting events and happenings coming up? 

We’ve got the orchestra and choir tour to the Netherlands in July. Brass ensemble and dance company are going to St. Lucia in October, which is going to be amazing. 


And finally, what type of music do you listen to? 

Depends what mood I'm in. If I'm feeling really happy, I would put on a big band, jazz, swing style. If I need to do some work, I would put something more 20th century music like Gustav Mahler or Bernstein. Probably those two.  


Thank you so much for talking to us, Miss D’Arcy! 

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