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Matt Fawcett placement at Foster + Partners

Matt Fawcett is a teacher from Stocksbridge High School with a strong background in engineering. He embarked on a Teachers in Residence Placement at Foster + Partners, a prominent architectural and design firm. This case study delves into his experiences, the insights he gained and the potential impact this then had on his teaching practices and students’ development.


Matt is an educator with a diverse skill set, teaching both hospitality and catering as well as engineering at his school. Seeking to enhance his subject knowledge and understanding of specialist areas, he applied for the Teachers in Residence Placement at Foster + Partners.

Placement Experience

During the four-day placement, Matt had the opportunity to explore various departments within the organisation. He was impressed by the scope and breadth of the firm’s work, discovering the diverse areas of expertise beyond just architectural design. From materials science research to industrial design and visualisation, he gained insights into how these fields are integrated into the company’s projects.

Cross-Curricular Learning

One significant aspect that struck Matt during his placement was the requirement for cross-curricular learning. The experience highlighted the importance of incorporating content from different contexts into the educational process, something he had been working on in his school to enhance learning outcomes but which was highlighted.

Professional Development

The placement provided Matt with an opportunity to develop his subject knowledge, particularly in the areas of materials science and industrial design. He also utilised his evenings to visit high-profile restaurants and hotels, creating valuable links with prestigious businesses for the hospitality side of his teaching practice. This experience not only enriched his teaching roles but also inspired him to encourage student aspirations.

Impact on Teaching and Students

Matt’s placement at Foster + Partners expanded his perspective on career options related to architecture and design. He realised that several job opportunities exist in the field that his students might not be aware of. He plans to incorporate these insights into his teaching to guide his students better on potential career paths, including game design and UX/UI design, which are emerging fields with great demand.

Sharing Best Practices

Matt appreciated the collaborative aspect of the Teachers in Residence program. He found it valuable to share experiences with other teachers and discover how they integrated their placements into their own teaching settings.

Future Collaboration

The placement at Foster + Partners had a profound impact on Matt’s understanding of the sector and its potential to influence his students’ learning and career choices. He expressed interest in continuing collaboration with the company, exploring ways to incorporate real-world projects into his classroom activities and promoting cohesive education-industry partnerships.

The program not only enriched Matt’s professional development but also strengthened the relationship between the education sector and the industry, fostering future collaboration and mutual benefits.

Hosting a Teachers in Residence also allowed Foster + Partners to make a meaningful contribution to education, inspire future generations, and build lasting connections with educators, thereby fostering a mutually beneficial relationship between the architectural firm and the education sector.