Caldicott Through the Generations

25 September 2020

 

In our new monthly series Caldicott Through the Generations we interview father and son Caldicotians about their memories and experiences at Caldicott. We look at the education and opportunities that Caldicott provides, along with the evolution of the school over the years. First up are Dev Kumar (1981-1987) and Hari Kumar (2016 - present), both proud and committed members of Wood House. 

Hari is currently in 5th Form (Year 7) and after leaving Caldicott Dev went on to Eton, and then studied Medicine at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals. He qualified in 1998 and practised as an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist / Fertility Specialist for a number of years before retraining as a lawyer. He worked for a City law firm before leaving to join the Pharmaceutical Industry as a lawyer and now works for EUSA Pharma, a UK headquartered global biopharmaceutical company that produces drugs for cancer and rare diseases. They are currently working on a number of clinical trials to treat severe respiratory complications associated with COVID-19. 


Dev Kumar  

What memories do you have of your time at Caldicott? 

I have great memories of my time at Caldicott. The hallowed Top Field and main cricket square and spending any spare time with friends hoofing a rugby ball around the grounds or playing French cricket. If I have remembered this correctly, the tuck shop was open on a Wednesday with a queue of boys snaking through the changing rooms waiting for their dib dabs and cola bottles and then the anticipation of finding out if your House (Wood in my case) had won the House competition – bragging rights and burgers! I also remember very fondly the summer fete and coming back as an old boy to visit my brother.  

Is there a particular teacher you remember from your time at Caldicott and why? 

CJM – Mr Masterman. We both started Caldicott in 1981 and CJM didn’t look too dissimilar then! He had an infectious smile and warmth that made him hugely popular with the boys. He was very much Caldicott’s own Mr Chips. He was also very supportive during my Caldicott years, even on the (very) rare occasion I may have been culpable of a minor indiscretion! CJM was a big influence in my education.

What do feel has changed most about Caldicott since you were a pupil?

Inevitably the School has embraced modern technology to keep pace with a rapidly evolving external environment. Robotics and coding were certainly not taught in my day! I’m also really pleased to see that the School has focused on boys’ mental wellbeing and resilience. Whilst the School didn’t own Spens Field during my time much of the look and feel of the School has remained the same. From what I hear from Hari, the school food has definitely improved. I do remember Lancashire Hotpot and Tapioca being particular staples in my day.

Why did you choose Caldicott for your son?

The balance of a forward thinking and progressive education whilst retaining traditional prep school experience and values. I’ve always been impressed, whenever I visit Caldicott, with the impeccable manners that the boys display. The boys also seem to be incredibly well grounded and have a sense of wanting to contribute to the wider community outside of Caldicott which is very pleasing to see. From a very personal perspective, there is also something quite reassuring about knowing what your son will be doing, where he is and that he will also benefit from a great prep school experience. 

 

Hari Kumar

What does it mean to you to know that your father was also a Caldicotian?

It makes me feel proud to know that my father was at Caldicott and that I will be playing on the same pitches that he played on and I’m walking through the same corridors and rooms that he did. It’s great to share those experiences together.

Wha​t is your favourite thing about Caldicott? 

I love History and Cricket and spending time with my friends. I have loved my time at Caldicott and I am really enjoying boarding as I have a great dorm. There are too many things that I enjoy to pick just one!

You have been a member of our Charity Committee for two years. What initiatives have you led?    

Last year I encouraged boys in the school to bring in donations for the Brett Foundation, a charity that supports homeless people in Slough. I had previously done some volunteer work with them and because it was approaching winter, I knew they desperately needed hats, scarfs, jackets, and gloves. The Caldicott community’s response was amazing and we were able to make a very big donation.  

Dev and Hari Kumar - Caldicotians Through the Ages

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