I am often asked what the schools in London are like; generally, the preconception is that the schools are tough and that it’s going to be a challenging experience. In a recent trip to the UK, I was lucky enough to visit some of the schools that we work within London. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and observations.
My first stop was to a primary school that we work within Putney, North-West London. My Dad was born and raised in Putney, so this visit had a slightly sentimental feel. However, I don’t feel I’m biased when saying it’s a great area. One of its benefits is the easy access to the beautiful nearby parks which seems to have drawn a large community of Aussies and Kiwis here.
The school was multi-cultural and the Principal (or should I say Headteacher) admitted that yes, there were challenging students in the school. However, having taught in Australia himself, his view is that children are children all over the world and he couldn’t see many differences between the two countries. “Teaching in inner-city Melbourne”, he says, “is pretty much the same as teaching in London”. He was quick to tell me that he was open to conducting Skype interviews for any Aussie teacher that was heading to the UK to work. From my meeting with him, and speaking to other Headteachers, I have learnt that many London schools are open to this, which is great to know if you’re keen to secure a contract position prior to arriving in the UK. Perhaps it’s the Aussie enthusiasm and vigour? Whatever the case, it’s safe to say Aussie teachers are highly sought after and respected in the UK.
Next, I was bound for four different schools in Tower Hamlets, North East London. Being able to see The Shard as you wander around the streets in Tower Hamlets gives you an enormous buzz and makes you realize just how close to the CBD you are. The area is vibrant, alive and distinctly multi-cultural. What struck me the most about visiting the schools in this area was the warm and welcoming nature of the school communities.
In London, each location or “borough” is distinctly different with a unique blend of cultural influences and history. One thing is for sure, by working in these schools you will connect and engage with different cultures and swiftly become a part of the community.
London classrooms have a high proportion of students with Special Needs students and as with any class of diverse learners, you will be required to exercise your behavior management skills. However, it is genuinely meaningful and rewarding work. One of the best things about working with anzuk in London is that the 200 plus schools we work with covers the full spectrum; they range from challenging/underperforming state/government schools to leading, high-achieving Independent/Private schools and academies who have gained outstanding Ofsted results. There really is a school to suit everyone.
Our UK office has a specialised SEN division so if this is an interest of yours, let us know. We recently entered a partnership with Makaton. Makaton is a unique language programme that uses symbols, signs, and speech to enable improved communication. Our partnership provides our educators with access to resources meaning you could learn basic signs in your own time. In addition, our educators will get discounted membership to the charity and Makaton training sessions, including one day courses that will be run in the UK.
We can’t wait to help you with your London adventure. If you are interested in making the move to the UK, click here for more information and to get in touch!