Orangery Education was officially incorporated as a limited company in December 2008, though activites had been ongoing for a number of years prior to then. The status as a lmited company opened up new possibilities in terms of potential customers as well as sub-contractors and part-time staff, all of whom have been instrumental in seeing the business grow. From its roots as a provider of school-based CPD, Orangery Education today provides a wide range of products and services to a diverse client base both inside and outside the education sector.
Following a first degree in German and Music at Nottingham University, and a PGCE in German and French at Cambridge, Steve's first teaching post was in a newly-designated Specialist Language College in County Durham, where he quickly developed an interest in the use of ICT to support teaching and learning in Modern Foreign Languages. This led to a training role in the school and across the local authority, and eventually to a post as Head of ICT at another school in the area. Returning to MFL teaching, Steve took a part-time teaching post in a further school while serving as Regional Trainer and Regional Subject Adviser for MFL in the North-East, and at the same time developed relationships with a variety of national and international training organisations who were eventually to become the first clients of the newly-formed Orangery Education Limited. Steve left teaching in 2007 as these other commitments grew, however it was always his intention to return to the classroom from time to time and at the request of the Local Authority he took on an interim full-time position as Subject Leader for MFL at a Sunderland school from September to December 2011. This was a unique opportunity to try out the ideas and techniques which he has picked up over the past four years and to refresh classroom practice. Steve continues to teach in a leading secondary school on a part-time basis alongside training and consultancy commitments.
This is one question we get asked fairly regularly and the answer is simple - the office is based in a building known as The Orangery. Built in 2004 to a hexagonal design (as reflected in our logo) it is tucked away adjacent to a village primary school in County Durham. Although hardly on the same scale as its Versailles namesake, it is cool in the summer and warm in the winter and is equipped with all the technology necessary for all of the company's operations, making it an ideal venue for one-to-one training sessions and small meetings.