Sean Houghton, the Trust’s newly appointed Director of Geography, combines teaching, mentoring and school support in his new role, which will drive up outcomes and build cohesiveness in the subject across our secondary schools.
Sean, who has just been awarded his NPQSL qualification and SLE designation, will use his previous experience and professional links to effect change where and when needed. He said: ‘The key aim of the role is building my relationship with Heads of departments and geography teachers across the Trust and also facilitating working together, sharing resources, knowledge and best practice.
‘We have a network meeting with Heads of Geography where we discuss curriculum, assessments and other issues, such as how to improve GCSE and A Level uptake in geography. We had a Trust subject training day and I am trying to organise conference days for high ability geography students to focus on aspects of the GCSE course. All of the schools have got different needs and so it is a case of assessing what those are and working to support them. It’s an autonomous role and I want to facilitate a series of activities to get results.’
Sean’s background is in environmental education and he was an instructor in outdoor sports: ‘ I was working with challenging students who had been excluded from mainstream education so it seemed natural to go into education. My first job was at Brooke Weston Academy eight or nine years ago.’
Sean was promoted to Head of Geography and worked in other settings, but he has returned to the Trust schools and currently teaches core and intervention classes at our Kettering and Corby schools alongside his Directorship work.
‘The main part of the role is supporting people and raising outcomes. Geography has a track record of very few people going into it as specialists so it is about supporting the non-specialist teachers as well as those schools who have struggled to recruit. I am really positive about the role and working with colleagues across the Trust. Any workplace should be a family and support each other and this role is an ideal opportunity to do that.’