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Get to know: John Underdown

We’d like to extend a warm welcome to John, who joins us as the Curriculum Lead for Maths in the Cambridge School. John is one smart cookie, who gained a 1st Class Degree in Astrophysics & Physics, a Master’s in Fluid Dynamics, and a PhD in Physics, before getting his PGCE from the University of Cambridge. John joins us after 15 years’ experience in alternative provisions, ranging from residential schools to hospitals.



When asked what his favourite thing is about In Toto Ed, John answered “Definitely the young people. Oh, and the staff. Definitely the staff and the young people.” We concur, John! Our people – teachers, support staff and learners – are absolutely what make us special.


Since he started teaching with us in September, John has been working hard to get to know all our young people and learn about the differing needs and support involved. He’s also been (trying to) get to grips with the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, and how many tractors there are on the roads around rural Cambridge!


Outside of In Toto Ed, John is a self-described nerd, enjoying sci-fi books and films, playing the guitar, and computer games. He also loves weightlifting and mountain biking, which he has been doing since his school days in the Buckinghamshire countryside.


His advice to his 16-year-old self would be “It’s ok to have goals, but it’s also ok to take opportunities.” Life doesn’t always take you where you planned, which fits in wonderfully with John’s favourite quote “Curiouser and curiouser...”, which is from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.


We’re thrilled to have you on the team John, and we hope you continue to inspire our students to enjoy Maths for many years to come.

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