Rory Barclay

1. How many years have you worked for the BSF and where?

I have been working in the group for five years so far; four years at The British School of Tashkent (BST) in Uzbekistan and one year at The King's School Manila (KSM) in the Philippines. 

2. Why did you choose to work for the BSF?

I was attracted by the chance to train as a teacher and work overseas, in a variety of interesting locations.

3. What positions, and for how many years, have you had at the school(s)?

I was working as a Teaching Assistant (TA) for one year before completing my PGCE in Tashkent the following year whilst being TA Coordinator. I was Year Group Leader and Reading Coordinator for a year. I then became a Key Stage Leader and am now working as Curriculum Coordinator at KSM. 

4. What do you love about your current role?

My current role gives me a very in-depth knowledge of the Primary curriculum. With this, I am able to analyse how the Primary school is running. I enjoy coming up with solutions based on the data that we create.

5. What do you love about the area/country?

Uzbekistan had amazing history and real adventure. The Philippines has wonderful people and great holiday spots within it.

6. What do you like most about teaching internationally?

The variety of people you work with and live with is great. The children and parents are all from very diverse backgrounds and you can learn a lot. Being abroad is a challenge and you learn a lot about yourself too. 

7. What strengths/skills helped you get to where you are today?

I am a problem solver and have been able to improve my ability to turn school data into practical ideas to improve quality. I am adaptable and have used new techniques to engage children from different backgrounds in class, for example some cultures read time differently and knowing this and adapting to this makes a difference.

8. Which of your childhood teachers stood out and why?

My Year 4 teacher told lots of stories and got me into poetry. I have kept that enthusiasm for words and lyrics. He was fun and engaging all the time. 

9. What are your most treasured teaching resources?

Having moved year groups a few times I have made many. However I feel the best resources are the Teaching Assistants and good home-school connections. 

10. What is the most memorable lesson you have taught?

I told the children the school was selling the playground so the local businesses could have a carpark. They had to write a letter to the Headteacher persuading him not to sell. Their letters were from the heart and it was the best writing they had ever produced. 

11. What do you like to do outside of work? Do you have any hobbies?

I play guitar and I am also a level 2 rugby referee and referee national games for the Philippine Rugby Union.