Interview with Mr Alfonso Iannone

At the beginning of this term, we welcomed our new Assistant Head (Learning & Teaching) and Head of English, Mr Alfonso Iannone. Mr Iannone has an impressive background in teaching across the independent sector in Scotland for 16 years. He is joined in Scarborough by his wife and young daughter.

We took some time to speak with Mr Iannone to find out more about his career to date, and his plans for the future.

Q: Can you share a bit about your career journey so far?

I was born and raised in Edinburgh; a proud Italian-Scot. I completed both my undergraduate degree and PGDE at the Universtity of Edinburgh. My first teaching post was at George Watson’s College, where I spent nine years, holding various roles including English teacher, pastoral Head of Tier, and Second in the English Department. It was during this time that I was introduced to the IB programme, which opened up new avenues for me in the field of education.

From there, I moved to St Leonards School in St Andrews to take on the role of Head of English. The school’s goal of becoming only the second UK school to be accredited as an IB continuum school, offering all four of the IB programmes (Primary Years, Middle Years, Diploma Programme and Career-related) was a major draw. I love the inclusive and outward-looking IB ethos and it was great to see this ingrained in students from the beginning of their educational journey. During my time at St Leonards, I took the English department through the Middle Years programme implementation and verification process, Diploma programme course review and was Acting Diploma/Career-related Programme Co-ordinator for a period, which was my first step into a senior leadership role.

Q: So, what has brought you to Scarborough from Scotland?

Part of the draw of Scarborough College was that it also has a strong IB ethos. And of course, the opportunity to take on a permanent senior leadership role was very appealing. The College has an incredibly friendly and community-driven atmosphere, and my family and I have received such a warm welcome from staff, students and parents alike – even those who are struggling to pronounce my name! The location in Scarborough was also attractive, being equidistant between my wife’s side of the family down south and mine in Edinburgh.

We did not know a lot about Scarborough initially, but after some research and preliminary visits, we have really grown fond of it and its people. Since I accepted the role, it’s amazing the amount of people who have contacted me to share their childhood memories of treasured holidays in the town and how lovely Yorkshire is overall.

Q: What is your vision for learning and teaching at Scarborough College?

I think that I have arrived at a really exciting time for the College. There are lots of plans already in motion for taking the school forward, and I am looking forward to sharing my views and the benefit of my experiences.

Overall, my vision is centred around creating a happy, healthy, and high-performing teaching culture and learning environment. I want to ensure that we continue to support all students to the best of our abilities, to provide a curriculum that caters to diverse interests and abilities, and position Scarborough College as a standout institution in the educational landscape.

Longer term, I would like to further embed the IB learner profile across the school, developing our students into inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who move on from Scarborough prepared for the challenges of the modern world and a lifelong love of learning. More immediately, my goal is to support the well-being and professional development of our academic staff by implementing a robust professional development process, encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration, and creating co-curricular opportunities that support the learning environment.

Q: What are you most looking forward to over the next year?

Initially I have a dual role, so life will be very busy. As Head of the English Department, I look forward to building a strong offering in terms of the study of quality literary works and non-literary texts, ensuring our curriculum is fit for purpose at all levels, and reinvigorating colleagues and students alike with a genuine passion for language and literature. In my Assistant Head role, I am excited about the opportunities to contribute to the school’s growth and success at a whole-school level, as one of its cultural architects. Ultimately, my goal as Assistant Head (Teaching & Learning) is to make sure that staff believe they are the most valuable asset in the school, which will enable them to provide an exceptional educational experience for all our students.



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