The Spotlight shines on our bookish, big-hearted, bashful and totally brilliant Ms Julia Farley, Teacher of English & Assistant House Mistress in St Denys.

Ms Farley (formally known as D-D) joined Warminster School in 2001 as a Housemistress and co-founded the Old Vicarage junior boarding house. Although she left to move to Suffolk in 2009, she returned three years later and enjoyed a number of roles at the School, from teaching to admin, before she finally realised her dream and made it into the English Department in September 2019.

In her youth, her Norland training took her to London, working with the rich and famous until the realisation that she was a country mouse at heart drew her back to her native Staffordshire. There, she ran the Nursery department at a traditional Prep School. Education has always been her calling and she nurtured a desire to teach whilst supporting her family, raising her two boys and achieving a first class honours degree in English Language and Literature.

How long have you worked at Warminster?

I first joined the staff at Warminster in 2001, as a twenty something newlywed. However, a break in service may mean that the coveted Old Verlucian scarf, given for long service, will always elude me.

What’s the best thing about your role?

All day long I get to do what I love – sharing great literature and exciting young people (hopefully) with the power of the English Language.

Describe a typical day?

No such thing – thankfully!

What do you think makes Warminster a special place to live and learn?

Warminster is home to me in every sense of the word. The hyperbole surrounding the outstanding sense of community here is all justified but I would also have to remark upon the endless opportunities the School presents for pupils and staff. I have been so lucky with all the exciting challenges I have enjoyed here, from helping on ski trips to learning to teach (I’ve even been seen in a games kit on the Prep School Sports tour) and I look forward to expanding my horizons further.    

What would surprise us about you?

I’m incredibly shy.

What other Warminster role would you like to try for a day and why?

I think of myself as being very lucky in the variety of roles I have enjoyed at Warminster, which have given me a real insight into the dynamics of the School. You never know, maybe I’ll get to infiltrate the maintenance/grounds department one day: spending time being creative outdoors.

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

I did sciences for A level with the intention of going into engineering and I'm not ashamed to say I got it wrong: I am no scientist and engineering was not for me. Although, it took me a while, I am living proof that you can make mistakes, start again and achieve what's really right for you.

What did your school reports say about you?

Julia is a charming young lady but not in her element in Physics – they got the second bit right (sorry Mr Moxham!)

Your note/advice to teenage self?

Don’t worry!

Your mantra/motto or favourite quote?

I’m of the Winston Churchill persuasion: never, ever give up (just ask for lots of extensions) or words to that effect.

Hidden ambitions still to achieve?


Most treasured possession?

A few years ago I would have had no difficulty in thinking of some little treasure but I now hold with the conviction that it is people who matter – my friends and family. Those I love are by far the most valuable things in my life and outshine any object I could ever possess.

Biggest bugbear?

Dishonesty – all human relationships are founded on trust.

Favourite musician/group?

My children are of the age where they have editorial control of the playlists at home. I love to sing along to a wide variety tracks and artists but I never know who they are. The boys roll their eyes every time I say “Ooh I like this one, what is it?”

Guilty pleasure?

A bubble bath, a large glass of wine and a good book!

Signature dish if you were on MasterChef?

I tend to be motherly by nature and get a sense of satisfying fulfilment when I'm cooking for people. I love a warm kitchen filled with the smell of baking and sticky little fingers and often get requests for my chocolate brownies. Sadly, I don't get time to bake as much as I used to so I have quite a back log of orders to fulfil!

Favourite TV programme?

Television is a real treat in our house and I’m a fickle thing, loving whatever I’m watching at the time. I binged on ‘Killing Eve’ and ‘Fleabag’ over holidays: brilliant – such great writing!

Last book you read?

I’m reading ‘Enduring Love’ at the moment, given to me by a friend. I love books that teach us a little more about ourselves.

Last movie watched?

‘Yesterday’ – sometimes all you need is a simple feel good film to put things into perspective.

Which actor would play you in a movie about your life?

Grace Kelly in my dreams; reality suggests Renee Zellweger in her earlier, larger than life Bridget Jones incarnation.  

Favourite tipple?

Mmmm, the choice…

Favorite place/city in the world and why?

I love experiencing new things and I am hopeful that I may yet have to discover my all-time favourite place. However, the English countryside on a balmy summer’s day is going to take some beating.

Twitter or Facebook?

What’s that?