Assistant Headteacher at Melbourn Village College
Euan Willder has been working at The Cam Academy Trust for more than 13 years. Having originally started at Comberton Village College as a Physics Teacher, Euan has advanced his career through opportunities across the Trust and its schools.
Now an Assistant Principal at Melbourn Village College, Euan has shared how he’s found working for the Trust throughout his time here.
What is your background in education?
“I started my career as a Teach First trainee at a school in Liverpool. After completing my Newly Qualified Teacher status there in 2010, I had been looking to move to the Cambridge area and saw an advert for a physics teaching role at Comberton Village College. I was fortunate to get the role and joined not long after the school converted to an Academy.”
How has working for CAT provided you with opportunities (including training or CPD) or links you might otherwise not have made?
“CAT has been very supportive in terms of offering me a range of career development opportunities and experience. For example, the Trust supported me in pursuing my Master’s in education, where I was able to connect with a research group and benefit from advice and challenge in my research area.
“Throughout the 10 years I worked at Comberton, I was also allowed to take on various roles and responsibilities within the science department and take up a seven-month secondment at St Peter's School (another Trust school located in Huntingdon), to work in their science department for four days a week. I found this to be extremely developmental to my teaching career as it allowed me to grow and gain new skills in a different environment.
"When I took on my Senior Leadership Team role at Melbourn, this was completely different to any of the positions I’d previously held at the Trust. However, through the career opportunities CAT had previously presented me with, it never felt like I was starting from scratch as I knew the context of the school, was familiar with some of the staff and had significant links to the other CAT secondary schools. This ensured I had access to a wide network, could draw support from the Trust schools and always felt like I’m learning!”
What’s your favourite thing about the role?
“My favourite thing about my current role as Assistant Principal at Melbourn Village College is the wide variety of tasks I get to be involved with. For example, I am now overseeing teaching and learning which involves getting to sit in on lots of lessons and reflecting with colleagues on best practices. Although I still thoroughly enjoy teaching in the classroom, it is great to see and hear other fantastic teachers collaborate and develop their practice so we can offer the best possible education for our pupils.
“Equally, I’ve also learned a lot from overseeing attendance and our approach to mental health and wellbeing - having been very curriculum based in previous roles, this has been particularly interesting to me. I’m also currently involved in working with the Heads of Science across the other Trust schools to ensure best practices and resources can be shared and utilised. It’s great to connect with these people who I have worked with for several years and who are highly capable leaders.”
What do you find useful or positive about being part of CAT?
“I really like that CAT is culturally a supportive network of great practitioners. Schools have a lot of autonomy in terms of how they identify themselves and how they operate, but it has been great to tap into a wide range of support and opportunities offered by being part of a Trust.
“When staff from different schools meet termly and on our annual Trust training day every April, everyone is always really positive and pleased about collaborating, sharing practices and reflecting together. I know that activities such as the joint CPD courses, joint department reviews and events such as CAT STEM challenge have really strengthened the schools and built a fantastic network.”