Mrs N McNaught -Futures
I found my passion for teaching creativity and innovation after graduating from a BSc(hons) in Product Design and PGCE in Design Technology at age 22. I then quickly rose through the ranks within a DT department ending up managing a large department that taught six different DT GCSEs.
I have always loved learning about cultures, visiting countries and wanting to understand different walks of life. That led my husband and I, along with our 4 month old baby to move to Oman in the Middle East. I took a break from teaching while our children were very young and at the same time I found my passion for working and leading voluntary initiatives within the community. This led to me being Chair of Muscat Mums, a PTA member and being an active committee member of Omani’s Junior Rugby Club.
Having never worked in industry, I wanted to see what this was like. So I took a job in graphic design and marketing, where my own design skills quickly improved as well as my knowledge of the how the design industry worked. I did not know what I wanted to do in the future, so I decided to undertake an MBA, knowing that would help a career in industry or back in education.
Although I enjoyed a lot of the marketing industry, I really missed the school atmosphere, working with teenagers and of course the holidays. Due to my careers as a DT teacher and a graphic designer in Oman, I ended up being able to combine them by pioneering the first DT department in a predominately Omani school. This led to a number of schools following suit, with which I networked, giving help and advice. This also gained interest from the Omani government, whom I was in discussions with on how they could put DT into the government schools in Oman. I was promoted to Deputy Head where I oversaw many aspects of school life and started multiple new initiatives as I took a key role in facilitated how the school operated during the pandemic.
After nearly 11 years in Oman, I have learnt what it is like to be a minority, to have to sell the value of my subject to a community new to it and to push the ambitions of students in a patriarchal society. As I move back to the UK, I feel that these skills are exactly what I need in this exciting time at St Andrew’s, as it becomes a mixed gender school, to help build up and develop both STEM and ‘futures’.