Environmental and Sustainable Education Coordinator at Comberton Village College
Patrick Gordon has been working at The Cam Academy Trust for seven years, bringing a wealth of knowledge to his current role following over two decades of national and international teaching experiences.
Patrick wears several hats at Comberton Village College (CVC), including being the Duke of Edinburgh Award Manager and a Maths Teacher, but his primary role focuses on developing and implementing sustainable education solutions.
This has included writing eco-lessons into the curriculum and forming a regional Sustainable Schools Network across Cambridgeshire. The regional network is made up of six schools, three schools from within the Trust - Comberton Village College, Cambourne Village College, and Melbourn Village College and three schools from outside of the Trust – Sawston Village College, Cottenham, and Bassingbourn.
In addition to his already impressive resume, he is also currently completing a MSc in Sustainability.
Where were you working before joining The Cam Academy Trust?
“I have always worked in education. I started my career teaching in Northampton before then teaching largely internationally for eight years. My international experience started with a gap year in Brazil, which sparked my enthusiasm for travelling and learning about other countries and cultures. I have worked in a variety of countries including Eritrea, Ghana, Australia, and Tanzania.
Maths is a universal language, with curriculums across the world being very similar. However, the different styles of teaching I have encountered have provided me with additional skills I would not have learned if I had just taught locally. For example, my experiences have enabled me to be 100% adaptable to whatever is thrown at me - I can go into the classroom with just a board pen and know I can teach a good lesson.”
What do you find useful or positive about being part of Cam Academy Trust?
“I really appreciate the support and responses from management – especially with the development and creation of the eco-curriculum. The eco-curriculum is something that I fit in around my Maths teaching, and although I have now finished developing it, I am always looking for more opportunities to expand sustainability into other subjects. The curriculum adds up to over 20 lessons that are delivered across Key Stage 3, where I am further supported by my fellow teachers who deliver some of the lessons.
The Trust have also put sustainability education on their Trust plan, and the ability to spread good ideas like this across the Trust is a great thing. We are still looking at ways that sustainable education can be practically rolled out Trust-wide, but I’m confident we will be able to do this successfully.
I also regularly speak to my colleagues from across the Trust involved in other eco teams, which is another great network to share ideas through.”
How has working for Cam Academy Trust provided you with opportunities (including training or CPD) or links you might otherwise have not made?
“A previous governor of the Trust now works at University College London and is running a climate change and sustainability education centre. This connection has led to CVC becoming one of their 10 pilot schools, and everyone being involved in research. Being part of this pilot has also allowed me to contribute to webinars discussing sustainability in schools.
My wider networking has led to my involvement in some very exciting things – including being a panel member, alongside members of the UN, at this year’s BETT ‘Making ‘sustainability real in schools’ event.
Being part of the Trust has also provided me with opportunities to work internationally. I was able to revisit Tanzania as part of Melbourn Village College’s World Challenge trip, where we did some charity work, climbed a mountain, as well as going on safari. I was also involved in hosting a virtual mock COP26 in 2021 with 3 schools in Banglasdesh and 3 schools in England, which was amazing.”
What’s your favourite thing about the role?
“I really enjoy working with students, especially seeing their enthusiasm for what I am teaching them.
Also, being able to provide students with opportunities and watch them flourish and be astounding, is very aspirational.”
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