Why I Work For Staploe Education Trust
Adam Roberts – Soham Village College
I joined SVC as an NQT in the Technology department and have now been here for over 5 years. I was initially struck by how approachable and friendly the staff were, which included all the members of SLT. I think that it’s great that most of SLT turn up to play football on a Friday once the children have gone home. It is these little things that makes Soham feel so friendly. One of my favourite things about the school is how well the staff work for each other to ensure that the students have the best possible experience. Throughout my time here I have always felt that there are people to talk to and who are there to support me. This might be a line manager, head of faculty or even the headteacher. I’ve always been supported and encouraged to develop. Through CPD I have been given the opportunity to work with colleagues in other departments and schools through lesson study, shadowing experiences, deep coaching, ‘Teachmeets’ and through a leadership program run in collaboration with the partnership schools. The staff at Soham are skilled in nurturing talent and encouraging it to prosper. For aspirational staff there are always opportunities to progress and pursue new challenges through a new role or experience. I feel very lucky in what opportunities I have personally had. In my second year I was encouraged to go on a leadership course, which gave me the skills and confidence to become a Head of House. The following year I was appointed Head of KS3 Design & Technology. Although I didn’t get a Head of Year role the leadership team realised that I wanted some whole school responsibility. They created a role to allow me to develop my career, while staying at a school I love to work in. This year I have just started a new role as part of the extended leadership team. I honestly think I couldn’t have picked a better place to start my career as an NQT or indeed a better place to develop it.
Michelle Mountford – Kennett Primary School
I joined the Staploe Trust in September 2012 as a newly qualified EYFS class teacher. I was instantly inspired by the enthusiasm of the leadership in making a real difference to the children of our school and felt that I wanted to be a part of this vision. I have not looked back. During my time at Kennett I have already gained experience in many areas of school life and most importantly the areas where I excel have been appreciated and put to best use, hence, with my passion for literacy and drama I was actively involved (almost immediately) in drama clubs and now also work as part of a curriculum team being the Literacy coordinator for our small school. My professional development has been taken seriously where the Trust financially supported my endeavours to gain the Masters in Education from the University of Cambridge. This is something I feel I might not have done without the support from our Trust so I am most grateful. I feel I am constantly evolving within my role and working for the Trust means I get to be part of a growing and shared teaching community which is incredibly reassuring and exciting.
Inge Tucker – Trust SENCo
I started teaching the Year 2/3 on a part time basis at Kennett Primary School in September 2002. Kennett was very small with only three mixed age classes. Eventually I started working full time in Year 3/4 when an eco-building was added with a standalone reception class. The school established The Staploe Education Trust with Soham Village College in 2012 and soon after I became the SENCo for Kennett and the newly built primary The Shade. As The Shade grew generating increasing SENCo responsibilities, my teaching commitments diminished until I was, to my pleasant surprise, offered the full time SENCo position within the trust based at Soham Village College. I now work as The KS3 SENCo alongside a new KS4 SENCo, who is undertaking the training. Being the SENCo for both primaries and the secondary within our trust, gives me a real insight into what happens post primary and I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to dedicate myself to the role of SENCo. Likewise, I am able to work closely with the feeder primaries and prepare good transition processes. The time at Kennett was a very interesting and varied period. I progressed through to the upper pay scales as I chose to take on more responsibilities and became part of the Senior Leadership Team alongside being a staff rep on the Governing body. I was also fortunate to take on the role as KS1 moderator for Cambridgeshire County Council. A role which gave me great insight into the processes at other schools and therefore benefitted both our primary schools immensely. There really has been no limit to the opportunities which have presented themselves to me. I have been blessed to take be able to take full advantage of them and hope to continue to do so in the future. Within Kennett Primary School and subsequently within The Staploe Education Trust, there has always been a focus on development and progression and I for one has benefitted from this.
Josh Blunt – Soham Village College Head of Year 7
I joined Soham Village College in September 2013 having completed my PGCE at the University of Cambridge. Having lived in Cambridgeshire, I was confident in applying to work here as I knew the school had an excellent reputation. I applied for a position as teacher of Geography, with ambitions to progress quickly towards a management position. I am now the head of the class of 2021 and am thoroughly enjoying this pastoral role and all the challenges that comes with it. For a large school, Soham Village College has a sense of close community amongst both staff and students which makes working here such an enjoyable experience. I feel supported and valued here, and enjoy working alongside a team of energetic and enthusiastic staff.
Katie Hardwick – Soham Village College
My first experience of Soham Village College was as a teaching assistant and it was this that cemented the idea of teaching into my mind. I completed the PGCE course at Cambridge University and was lucky enough to get a teaching position back here at SVC when I qualified. Some people say that you should only stay at a school for 4 years and then head to pastures new for more challenges but I disagree. I feel that as long as you have available the opportunities to progress and are still feeling challenged then why leave?
I’ve had opportunities from the outset and they still continue! In my NQT year I became co-ordinator of the DofE scheme and the school put me through all of the training to be able to do this. I am now a qualified assessor. Towards the end of my second year I became Head of KS3 Science and in my third year I became an ITE mentor working with the PGCE students from Cambridge University. This relationship that I’ve built with the university has now lead to me actually being involved in the interviews for potential PGCE students. This is a fantastic development opportunity for me that the school fully supports.
A scary time for a female teacher who wants to progress is taking time away for maternity leave and the thought of missing out on progression opportunities! SVC supported me fully when I wanted to go part time to four days and equally as much when my son was a little bit older and I decided I wanted to come back full time. I have always felt valued and the hard work that I do is recognised and this didn’t change when I was part time.
I now have a whole school role of LAC Progress Leader which I do alongside all of my other responsibilities. It’s great to have that link with all parts of the school and it’s allowing me to increase my pastoral experience to accompany my wealth of curriculum experience. I am very excited for my future here!