Brook Court

Meet the House Master: Justin Slade

Before joining Dean Close, Justin worked in the independent Sixth Form College sector in London. Realising he wanted to work more individually and holistically with young people rather than just ‘being a teacher’, Dean Close provided the perfect opportunity and Justin became Housemaster of Brook Court after completing his first year teaching.

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                                             House motto: in varietate concordia  (United in Diversity)

What's it like in Brook Court?

The motto of Brook Court House is ‘in varietate concordia’ - ‘united in diversity’. And, as someone who has called Brook Court a second home for some years, these words certainly ring true. Far from pressuring different personalities into a single mass product, individuality is cherished and allowed to develop as scholars move up through the senior school. Indeed, one of the best things about Brook Court is the sheer scale of diverse talent that is on display. Musicians and technicians, actors and artists, sportsmen and scholars all rub shoulders together in the cosy and frenetic atmosphere of the house common areas. The wide range of interests that Brook Court scholars seek out does not stop them from joining together in a communal spirit however. Indeed, Brook Court’s impressive performances in inter-house competitions (from playing football to public speaking), with its unique record of winning the highly contested ‘House Shout’ singing competition speaks for itself. Regular House evenings, ranging from films to football, accompanied by plentiful quantities of pizza, also cement the firm friendships that form both within years and between them. Indeed, it is not often that the apparent paradox of unity and diversity is met with such success. However, don’t take our word for it, come and see for yourselves.


What do you enjoy most about being a Housemaster?

I relish the challenge of helping young people understand themselves by discovering who they are and how they operate with other people. To me, the social education a pupil receives in a boarding house is as important as the academic education they receive in the classroom.

What do you enjoy most about Brook Court?

The best part about life in House is watching the boys learn to support their peers and accept others for who they are, rather than who they would like to be, and the countless kindnesses that result from this on an everyday level. This reflects our house motto – United in Diversity - though creating and sustaining unity is a mission, and not always plain sailing!

What do you feel is the most critical attribute to being a Housemaster?

To be willing to keep pushing towards the destination, however rough the seas – making time for interactions and conversations with the boys, even when they are difficult ones.

Other hats / passions?

Term time is always frenetically busy and the most valuable time is to be spent with my own family – having increasingly deep conversations with my teenage daughter, or feeding my son’s insatiable desire to become the world’s youngest volcanologist! My wife and I have recently joined a local community choir that gives us something to look forward to on a Monday evening. In the holidays, we can most often be found at our house in ‘Dordogneshire’ in France!

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