Cygnus TSA is the delivery partner of Quantum Scholars, appointed to provide the Acclimatisation and CPD aspects of the Department for Education’s International Teacher Recruitment Programme. The programme supports state-funded secondary schools and academies throughout the country to recruit international teachers. The training Cygnus provides enables these teachers to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the English education system and the latest pedagogy to give them every opportunity to have a positive impact and enjoy the experience.
Please contact us on QSAdmin@CygnusTSA.co.uk if you would like further information.
Daniel Diggs is an American physics teacher who is part of the International Teacher Recruitment Programme. Daniel is teaching Physics at Wycombe High School. He has written the following report on his experience of the programme and teaching in England.
Before coming to England, I spent three years in Poquoson, Virginia teaching Physics, Astronomy, Earth Science, and Introduction to Computer Programming. I always wanted to work overseas and fell in love with England following a visit in 2017. I applied to teach in the UK on the Quantum Scholars Programme and was matched with Wycombe High School. The initial week-long Acclimatisation Event in August with all the other overseas teachers was very helpful and the CPD Days held in London further developed my physics skills to keep me at the top of my game.
Teaching in England has been a very different experience. I work in a girls’ grammar school and that has been a large part of the adjustment. Instead of seeing the same students daily or on an A-B schedule, I see my students three or four times a fortnight. There is much less time to get to know them and none of the time I was used to, where students were working through things or spending time reviewing for tests. In England every lesson is packed from beginning to end. The students at my school have a much better understanding than their American counterparts of what education means for their future. I frequently forget how young they are, as they take a very mature view of their learning. There has been a fair bit of adjustment between the US and UK physics curriculum. Chemistry topics in physics, calling these -> () brackets, and saying “al-lu-min-ium” have all been little adjustments that I’ve had to keep making every day. The broad strokes are the same, but little things that I would expect to teach, or that I would expect the students to know, make me have to pay extra attention to everything I do.
I would definitely recommend the Quantum Scholars Programme to other overseas teachers. I can’t imagine trying to do this on your own. The greatest benefit has been that I can reach out to the Quantum Scholars Admin Team with any questions or concerns. Being part of the programme has given me a network of other overseas teachers who can be relied on for support which has been really comforting when I am 7,000km from home. Potential recruits should be aware that it takes some time to adjust, I think it was December before I really felt like I had a true handle on the system.
Jeremy Crocker, Head of Physics at Wycombe High is very impressed with Daniel, he said: “Daniel is brilliant. He has brought new and innovative ideas to the department. He is a breath of fresh air”.
Other members of Daniel’s team commented about the benefits of having an overseas teacher in the department:
“A different educational experience and background means that Daniel questions the British education system and this is refreshing; he also acknowledges what our system does well and that’s an external validation. They do some things differently in the US and I am hoping that we can learn from them in the UK.”
“Wycombe High School’s vision is "Look Beyond” and I feel that the students seeing teachers from other countries and cultures really broadens their horizons. They get the chance to see that humanity and education are global and that there really is only one human race.”