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  • St Andrew's

Interview with OSA Tom Bucknell

After leaving St Andrew’s, Tom went to Pangbourne College and then followed his passion for travel, the outdoors and skiing. He ventured off to Canada where he worked as a ski instructor, did a stint as a jackaroo in the Australian outback and continued onto New Zealand for a winter in Queenstown. Next he pursued his love of food, training at Ballymaloe in Ireland before working as a private chef across Europe. This led to his first business venture, Marketchef, selling homemade conserves, sauces, ready meals, and cakes at local markets, with ingredients also bought from the markets. Then, in 2007 he set up a business which has now transformed and grown into an international events company providing creative temporary structures at incredible venues around the UK and Europe. These are Stunning Tents and The Sail Tent Company.

Which house were you in at St Andrew’s?


School number


Sum up your time at St Andrew’s in one sentence.

Fantastic from start to finish, making life-long friends on the way, I am now loving seeing Rosie on a similar journey, just feels funny being the parent!

Favourite school meal?

Fish, chips with baked beans followed by bird seed with custard!

Who was your most inspirational teacher or subject at St Andrew’s, and why?

The teachers at St Andrews were what made it such an exceptional place to be, Design Tech with the legend that is Mr Outram was my fav. But one lady, Mrs Nut, was particularly special to me, as she had a heart of gold and the patience of a saint to help me understand my dyslexia and focus on my strengths in order to give me confidence in the classroom.

What was your favourite game in Progressive Games?

Oh yes, that was always such a fun day! I loved moving around the school to do all the activities but for me anything using my hands to make things or solve puzzles was right up my street.

What is the most important lesson that you learned at St Andrew’s?

Be yourself, be kind and have fun! (+ Don’t get caught)

Did you have a favourite rest activity?

If I wasn’t climbing the trees and exploring in the woods.

Finally, what piece of advice would you give your 13-year-old self?

Always believe in yourself and own your decisions; have the confidence to take your own path and follow your passions; embrace every opportunity and experience that comes your way.

Quick fire questions:

- Monkey base or Jungle Gym? Monkey Base

- Rugby, Football or Cricket? Rugby

- Choir or The Ball Wall? The Ball Wall

- COMS, GOMS, or BOMS? BOMS, I was very good at those!

- Day boy or boarding? Day boy

- Dolman or Detention? Detention

See the OSA Page to find out about upcoming events and staying in touch


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