I am a native speaker of English currently living in London. I will be relocating to Warszawa and I am looking for a teaching job in Warszawa.
I passionately believe that every student, no matter what their background, their previous experiences of education or their ability, is able to achieve excellence and that it is our job, as educators, to enable them to fulfil their potential. My excellent track record of enabling students in schools in challenging circumstances to achieve excellence is testimony to my ability to apply these convictions in practice.
Having graduated in 2011 from the University of Edinburgh with an MA with Honours in English Language and English Literature (2:1), I was selected by Teach First, to complete the Teach First Leadership Development programme in 2012. Teach First is a charity dedicated to addressing educational disadvantage by encouraging top graduates into the profession by offering them a prestigious, paid route into teaching. The trainee teachers are then placed into schools in challenging circumstances for two years to master their craft. This teacher trainee course is supplemented with attendance at well-respected universities, and lectures and seminars from some of the country’s top experts in the world of education, and, in my case, English. As part of the Teach First Leadership Development I gained a PGCE from Warwick University graded as Outstanding. In addition, I attended a significant number of continual professional development sessions (henceforth CPD) specifically tailored to develop my leadership skills. In 2014 I completed my Masters qualification at Warwick University, reading Educational Leadership (Teach First).
I am currently Director of Teaching and Learning (English Specialist) as well as being a teacher of English at a Teach First school in south east London. This vibrant school has high levels of EAL (English as an Additional Language), FSM/PP (Free School Meals/Pupil Premium) and SEN (Special Educational Needs) students. Last year the school won four national awards for the progress and attainment of its students. In addition, the school’s English language results were the best in the borough at 91% A*-C. Previously, I worked at another Teach First school in Worcester, near Birmingham. The percentage of PP, SEN and disable students was also well above average. A significant proportion of the cohort came from families with a legacy of unemployment. In 2013 the school was recognised as being in the top 108 schools nationally in terms of Pupil Premium progress; the top 20% of schools nationally, based on the improvement in the percentage of pupils achieving 5+ A*-C grades including English and mathematics; and in the top 20% nationally for outstanding progress. I am very proud to have been part of these stories of outstanding success.
I have had significant leadership experience both at my current school and at my previous Teach First placement school. I am currently Director and Teaching and Learning. The aim of my role is to improve the quality of teaching and learning across the school. In this role I lead on coaching: this has involved setting up and running the whole school peer coaching programme. I also lead on marking and feedback and have delivered many training sessions on this topic as well as supported individual members of staff to improve this area of their practice. Throughout my time at both schools I have been heavily involved in staff training, delivering whole school, departmental level and NQT sessions, inspiring staff to make use of the most effective pedagogical strategies within their own classrooms. As part of this role I have run, with a member of the Senior Leadership Team, the school’s Teach Meets CPD sessions. I have also been a Better Together coach supporting a colleagues to transition from Satisfactory to Good according to Ofsted criteria. In addition to this, I have mentored middle leaders and NQTs and trainee teachers supporting them to develop the necessary skills required to excel in their roles. Furthermore, I am a trained NPQML (National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership) facilitator.
At my Teach First placement school in 2013 I took on a Teaching and Learning Responsibility for Outstanding Progress with English Teaching. My core responsibilities included ensuring the outstanding progress of higher ability students through the use of data tracking and analysis; making comparisons between each half term’s results and national trends; and developing outstanding leadership within the classroom across the English team. In addition to this, I set up and run the A-level English Literature course, leading one other member of staff, liaising with examination boards and devising and resourcing schemes of work. Rather excitingly, I was invited to be filmed by Teach First as an exemplar for Teach First trainees. As a result, Teach First selected this footage to be used as a case study for their Spotlight programme which will be used to train their future participants. This footage was shown at the Spotlight Celebration Event.
Last year I was deployed to teach top set Year 11 at my current school, taking them over from a member of staff who had left at the end of the previous academic year. The attainment upon entry of Year 11 was leaving them at significant risk of massively underachieving. However, through our continual hard work, team work and growth mind-set 60% of students attained an A or A* in English Language (IGCSE), with no one achieving below a C grade.
My Year 11 class this year also performed exceptionally well: 90% attained A*-B in English Language and 86% attained A*-B in English Language. I surpassed my targets with this class by approximately 15%.
In my training year (2012) I was observed by an Ofsted inspector teaching Year 9 set 5, a group with low levels of literacy and significant behavioural barriers. I was graded Outstanding and subsequently discussed in the Ofsted report. I was again observed by Ofsted in 2014, this time teaching a Year 12 English Literature lesson, and was again graded as Outstanding. At my placement school, my Year 11 class achieved the school’s record-breaking grades in GCSE English Language and English Literature. 68% of the students made 4 to 6 levels of progress in both English Language and Literature; this is significantly above national averages. Many of these students choose English Literature as an A level course. In August 2013, out of my AS class of 12, 5 attained A’s, 5 B’s and 2 C’s.
My time in both schools has given me significant experience teaching the texts of the English cannon as well as more modern classics. This is in addition to the considerable work I have done teaching young people to read, analyse and write their own texts. As such, I would relish the opportunity of working in any of the above areas.
In 2006-07 I worked as a Project Trust volunteer Teacher of English at a rural high school in northern South Africa, living with a local family. The enormous challenges faced by students at that school convinced me of the incredible power of education for transforming people’s lives and ignited within me a powerful passion to bring about this transformation in the lives of young people. At this school in South Africa, English was not the home language of the students, yet it was the language of instruction. This challenge taught me the importance of meeting the needs of individual students and devising strategies to do so.
I am moving to Warsaw around the end of March 2017 and I very much hope to continue making an impact in the world of education, this time in Poland.