Within a school there are a number of different areas staff can specialise in. Below are some examples of what it is like to work in various roles within the school.
Emily Codling - Headteacher
Being a Headteacher involves an understanding of every aspect of school life. Often, if you work in a school which is part of a Trust, you are also involved in the monitoring and Quality Assurance of other schools’ provisions as well. You need to understand Teaching and Learning to be credible in front of others and be a fantastic classroom practitioner yourself. Lead by example in this respect. In the past two years I have maintained a high-profile role within the Trust; led standards audits across all phase schools and reported to CEO/Board of Trustees; contributed to Headteacher’s Forums. Operated as DSL. Created whole-school SEFs and an innovative SIPs. A Headteacher has to be confident of both internal and external accountability when reporting directly to LGB on school KPIs. Demonstrate astute curriculum-led financial planning which achieves the best outcomes for students. You need to be able to forge strong and effective teams within a school with distributed leadership. You must run a rigorous appraisal system which holds your staff to account and dovetail this closely with CPD. Create a broad, balanced, inclusive and aspirational curriculum appropriate to changing cohort needs and prepare students for their next stage. You need to be able to share the school’s vision by placing the school at the heart of it’s community: fund-raising, volunteer programmes, opening facilities to local residents / groups. A Headteacher should be outward facing and link with borough programmes, hubs and collegiate. Recruiting both students into Year 7 and staff to fill job vacancies is key. Overseeing the building along with the site team and maintaining contracts for the smooth running of the physical environment. Achieving regular validation from external consultants that the school’s provision is strong. Ultimately, a Headteacher is accountable for the continuous improvement in the quality of teaching and learning and student outcomes. A Headteacher must ensure equality of opportunity for all and that an inclusive and thorough holistic curriculum is provided.
In terms of training, accredited courses have been helpful, valued and informative. Personally, in the past four years, I have achieved my Masters and my NPQH. Previous to this I was part of the Fast Track teaching programme that gave me an insight to whole school leadership early on into my career. To be a Headteacher, I would strongly recommend that you experience a wide variety of roles – even if it’s just for a few terms: pastoral, academic and whole school. Volunteer your time freely to work across different teams and projects – you will always learn on the job most effectively this way. Also, become an examiner in your subject early on. It is fantastic curriculum training.
Steven Muzio - Deputy Headteacher (Curriculum & Assessment)
In the simplest terms you are working with staff to decide what students are going to be learning when and deciding how and when you will be assessing students to check the progress they are making within the intended curriculum. There are lots of external influences over what dictates the curriculum a school wishes to follow. External pressures such as the DfE, Ofsted, league tables, unions, national advisory bodies and local community issues all influence the intended curriculum of a school. Staff will also have their own ideas of what is right for their subject areas and their own thoughts on education as a whole and the purpose of education. It is the role of the Curriculum & Assessment lead to take all these factors into consideration and create a clear vision for all and make sure all feel part of the vision.
Ofsted give three broad categories of curriculum;
- Knowledge-rich: In knowledge-rich schools, the leaders see the curriculum as the mastery of a body of subject-specific knowledge defined by the school. Skills are generally considered to be an outcome of the curriculum, not its purpose. They emphasise big ideas and invaluable knowledge they want their pupils to acquire.
- Knowledge engaged: In knowledge-engaged schools, knowledge is seen as underpinning and enabling the application of skills, although the latter are often taught alongside knowledge, and school leaders express a desire for both to be developed. Leaders and teachers in these schools do not perceive a tension between knowledge and skills, and instead see them as intertwined.
- Skills-led: In these schools, the curriculum is designed around skills, learning behaviours and ‘generic knowledge’. Leaders place an emphasis on developing the skills that pupils will need for future learning, often referring to resilience, a growth mind-set and perseverance.
EPHS follows a knowledge-engaged approach. Students develop knowledge and are expected to engage with this body of knowledge they have acquired, in doing so they are applying skills they have developed.
It is important to distinguish between the subject based curriculum and the whole school curriculum. The whole school curriculum will define the ethos and vision for the school and governs strategic planning for curriculum design. For example, one of the key principles of whole school curriculum is ‘equality for all’ and ‘enrichment for all’. One of the ways this is enacted in our curriculum design is by the provision of the extended school day, enabling all students to have equal and fair access to resources and support to complete independent learning and participate in enrichment activities. The subject based curriculum focuses on the knowledge students are acquiring at each stage of their educational journey through the school.
As well as consulting with all stakeholders and providing a clear vision the curriculum and assessment lead also has to put together the curriculum model. Key questions here are;
- How does the school approach setting/streaming?
- What subjects can/should be grouped together?
- How much time does each subject get?
- What are the class sizes in each subject area?
- Which teachers should teach which classes?
Once the model is put together the timetable can then be created.
Going hand in hand with curriculum modelling is the need to prepare a curriculum integrated financial plan (CIFP). The curriculum and assessment lead has to work closely with the Business Manager and the Headteacher to ensure the curriculum is affordable and works out how many teachers need to be recruited in order to deliver the curriculum successfully. The CIFP produces key performance indicators that need to be benchmarked nationally and with other schools from a similar context. You are looking to benchmark the following;
- Average class sizes
- Pupil:Teacher ratio (PTR)
- Average cost of a lesson
- Average salary
- Contact ratio (how much time teachers are directed to be in a classroom compared to completing other responsibilities)
When working with staff on planning their subject based curriculum different approaches can be taken. As a school we put the trust in the subject specialist teachers we have employed to create an effective sequenced curriculum. Staff are then asked to create their own assessments to check the understanding of the intended curriculum. Some schools purchase pre-made schemes but as a school we feel this can diminish the creativity in the planning and delivery of the curriculum. Getting staff to develop their own subject curriculum gives staff more ownership over their subject areas.
When approaching assessment, this should be done once the curriculum has been decided. Assessment shouldn’t drive the curriculum, although it will have some influence as the starting point for curriculum design often begin by looking at what specifications subjects would like to follow in Key Stage 4 or Key Stage 5.
The latest advice from the DfE and Ofsted is that data collection from summative assessments should not be overly burdening and should be no more than 2 or 3 times a year. Each assessment should have a purpose and the decisions have to be made on what data to report to what stakeholders from each assessment. There are a number of audiences to consider;
- Pastoral leaders and subject leaders
- School governance / Trust
Going alongside assessment is working with the teaching staff in the school to make sure the school is prepared for examinations. This involves working with exam boards to get approval to be an examination centre and ensuring the school has procedures and polices in place as required by the Joint Council for Qualification (JCQ). Students then need to be entered for each qualification and there is lots of work that happens behind the scenes in SIMS to ensure they are registered correctly and students receive their results on results day in August.
A key part of the role is also to ensure fluency and progression between key stages. Students need to be prepared for Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5 and beyond. One of the biggest tasks over the past 18 months has been to establish a Key Stage 3 into Key Stage 4 progression programme, which is challenging when you do not have an existing Key Stage 4. The school is always keen to ensure they provide a wide opportunity within the curriculum, whilst ensuring it can demonstrate high P8 and A8 outcomes. However, as a school you have to be conscious of running classes that are not financially viable. You also have to look at the resources that are available to ensure the courses can be run successfully. There are also issues around qualifications that are seen as too similar so the school only receives the credit for one of the two possible subjects.
Staff might be interested in training in the following areas;
- Curriculum modelling
- Planning for a Key Stage 4 Curriculum
- Examinations (although I am still learning about this myself)
- Holistic curriculum design
- Assessment scheduling
- Use of data and how to use SIMS effective
As a starting point I would strongly recommend this book https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/bloomsbury-cpd-library-secondary-curriculum-and-assessment-design-9781472928504/. It provides a good overview of some of the key literature associated with curriculum and assessment design and provides some helpful activities to complete along the way. For anyone looking to develop into senior leadership I would recommend a strong grounding in both pastoral and academic (curriculum/assessment/teaching & learning). It is important to know how all aspects of a school function. I have worked on both sides and although I have more of a passion for curriculum & assessment it is important I know how the proposals for moving forward I make support or impact on the pastoral side of the school. I also spent a few years as a school governor which helped give a greater insight into the day to day running of a school. It is also important to stay updated with the current trends in education and consider how this might impact upon the school. I have subscriptions to various news outlets and get notifications on any articles that might be of interest. I also try to attend conferences run by organisations such as ASCL to stay updated with current legislation.
Karen Moorey - Deputy Headteacher (Pastoral)
In my role it is essential to work closely with the Headteacher and the wider leadership team. My role is to straddle the different areas of school life and keep the headteacher updated. My role involves building relationships and teams within the school to deliver the pastoral package while enhancing the academics side of a student’s educational journey. My role is pivotal in linking school, students, parents and the wider community that supports each other, is inclusive and contributes to establishing the core values and ethos of our school.
The DHT: Pastoral is focused on developing the whole child. That is, ensuring the needs of a child development are met, PIES (Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Social). At EPHS, our curriculum, enrichment programmes, school culture and Career Schedules are streamlined to achieve this. They allow all students to access higher level experiences equally. Our entitlement is planned and delivered for our students to experience the same as all children regardless of wealth, or status.
My role will contribute to management decisions on all aspects of policy, development and the organisation by playing a significant role in the preparation, implementation and monitoring of the school’s vision through the development plan.
Executing everyday tasks, such as monitoring registers, ongoing behaviour issues and safeguarding concerns, but also wider responsibilities of working parties in Bromley borough and external meetings linking with multi agencies to develop support packages for our most vulnerable students. At times, this can be a difficult challenge and one that is carried mentally and emotionally for a long time. This is not a role for the faint hearted.
The DHT Pastoral role needs to be familiar with sims and how it works. Sims is the platform which informs the DfE of student numbers and calculates the school funding through our census returns. Knowing the rules around adding and removing students and the law behind attendance, exclusions, home educating and SEN are all essential aspects of this role.
Liaising with Governors for aspects of policy and procedure relating to the areas of my specific responsibility and developing links with the LEAs that surround our school and developing connections with neighbouring schools is an important aspect.
This role is not exclusive to the Pastoral side of school. It is still important to carry out lesson observations, supporting other teachers’ development, mentoring staff and students and sharing best practice.
One aspect that both scares me and enthuses me is to assume responsibility for the management of the school in the absence of the Headteacher.
In terms of training to achieve this position, I think you must experience as many roles as possible. The Pastoral role is vast. I started life as a classroom teacher and form tutor and took my tutor groups from Year 7 to Year 13. I built on the trade by becoming a Head of Department followed by a Year Leader.
I developed onto leading a Post 16 and developing transition programmes from Year 11 into Year 12 and transition from Year 13 to university. I understand the UCAS process and personal statement writing. I then changed direction and became interested in careers and the benefit of work-related learning and digressed further into the ‘Every Child Matters’ agenda. I worked on whole school projects and implemented changes cross the school. I mentored staff and supported hers through their careers.
I achieved my MA.Ed. in Leadership and Management in 2013 and transferred to Primary School as an interim Head of School to cover a maternity leave. I have therefore experienced life as a headteacher but also understand the learning of children from aged 4 years to Year 6 and the Primary transition stage.
I would have been the teacher who was always there and would always volunteer. I loved being a part of any project and being able to enrich the lives of the students I worked with is the best part of being a teacher. If I can help, support and nurture one child every year to the point their lives change, then I am happy. There is no end and no start to this role.
Tom Golding - Assistant Headteacher (Teaching, Learning & Innovation)
Teaching and Learning is at the heart of a school- It’s the primary purpose of every teacher. Teaching is what we signed up to this profession for. That feeling you get when a student understands a concept or achieves well in an exam is priceless. The easiest way to summarise my job, is to try and work with all teachers to ensure that all students have these ‘Eureka’ moments on a regular basis.
My role is split into multiple smaller rolls that all revolve around the quality of teaching. These include:
Tracking of teaching and learning
Identifying staff strengths and areas for development
CPD designing and implementing
New staff inductions
Technology ideas within the classroom
Writing whole school policies
Reporting to Headteacher/Governors
Tracking of teaching and learning
Having the time to walk around the school and pop in to see teachers doing what they do best is the best part of my job! I absolutely love going in and seeing how other teachers inspire their students. When doing this though, it is a perfect opportunity to see what strengths staff have regarding their teaching pedagogy, as well as identify areas for development. This is done in 3 ways; lesson observation forms, learning walk forms and quality assurance. When this information is carried out, it is not just for feedback to that member of staff. Information is then collated which can then be used to tailor CPD to a select group, or to the whole school if identified as an area of development.
Identifying staff strengths and areas for development
The ability of all staff to have different areas of strength is the dream situation. This allows staff to take leadership roles by teaching other teachers which not only improves the overall quality of teaching and learning in the school, but also improve staff collaboration and communication which leads to a better functioning teacher body.
CPD design and implementing
From the above two roles, I then need to ensure that all staff are constantly developing their teaching pedagogy. The challenge for this is being able to provide CPD that can progress teachers in the first year, through to the highly experienced. In order to do this, I have taken a concept that many other schools have also adopted, which is the creation of multiple pathways based on experience. This allows for new staff to learn new concepts through their teacher training, and more experienced staff to attend advanced courses such as NPQML/SL or the SSAT Lead Practitioners course.
New staff inductions
With any new staff member, a full induction needs to happen. This includes providing all statutory safeguarding and acceptable use of ICT policies, to providing information on the day to day running of the school such as timings of the day, useful contact numbers, id cards, a map of the school and of course, their timetable!
All trainee staff have a subject mentor which organise the day to day support, but as a school, there must be a senior mentor which oversea the quality of training that is provided for the staff member, as well as liaise with the awarding teaching body regarding the progress of the staff member.
Technology ideas within the classroom
Technology can be used to further improve teaching and learning. This year alone, we have apple tv, interactive whiteboards and visualisers in all classrooms, all staff have an Ipad and we use multiple platforms such as Hegarty Maths, Sam Learning and Seneca. As part of my roll, I look into new technologies and software to see if they would improve the quality of teaching and learning or reduce teacher workload. The newest addition at Eden Park is the use of Markmate to reduce teacher marking time.
Writing whole school policies
Being responsible for teaching and learning means setting out the school priorities for this and therefore, writing the policies for all staff and leaders. These need to be updated annually and are constantly reviewed to work better for the school. Policies once written, need to be approved by the headteacher before being approved by governors.
The appraisal is designed to celebrate teacher strengths and identify further areas for their development. It is a reflective process designed to provide clarity on what aspects can be developed in their teaching, but also provide some structure into how this will be done. Appraisals are reviewed termly and are to be conducted with the line leader. It is then my role to collate these and review them all to ensure they have been filled out correctly and that staff who are not on track to pass, have a plan in place to help.
Staff might find the following training useful:
- Shadow role- I would be happy to assist in this
- SSAT lead practitioner’s accreditation
- Visit the BETT technology fair at the London Excel (January)
- Visit other schools to see their teaching and learning team
- Become a mentor for a trainee teacher
Staff may find the following podcasts up to date research in teaching and learning pedagogy:
- Education research reading room
- @teacher toolkit
- TES- The education podcast
- The cult of pedagogy
- The talking teachers
- Evidence based educatio
Kate Bayman - SEND Coordinator
The role of SEND and consequently, the role of the SENCo has gone through a significant change in recent years. SEND Provisions are absolutely at the forefront of Teaching and Learning now, and are deeply embedded in the new OFSTED Criteria. As such, the role of SENCo has changed dramatically. It is highly encouraged that the School SENCo is on the Senior Leadership Team, as they are responsible for this whole school provision and staff training/monitoring. I am on the Senior Leadership Team at EPHS and this gives me a great opportunity to stress the importance of SEND provision at a whole school level, and liaise with other senior leaders. Due to this level of role, it is advisable that you have had experience of a number of levels of leadership to help you fully prepare for the role. As well as my teaching roles, I have been Head of Department, Interventions Manager for KS4 (Foundation Subjects), Progress and Achievement Manager (Whole School) and Director of Achievement/Head of KS5. Each and every role taught me a new skill set which have all supported me in my current role as SENCo. I have also completed a Masters Degree which again supported me with the training for SENCo. (See information about the National Award for SEND Coordinator below).
The role is fast-paced and extremely varied, you are responsible for the progress and achievement of all students with SEND in the school. You need to be able to work with data, train staff, advise/question heads of department, lead a team of learning mentors, have knowledge of all SEND areas, devise all provisions and support for students on the SEND register, manage Year 7 transition for students with SEND, organise access arrangements for exams, liaise with parents, social workers, educational psychologists, educational colleagues who work for the borough, other colleagues in different schools and even lawyers in some cases. (To name but a few of the areas of duty)
To be a SENCo you now need to train and complete the National Award for SEND Co-ordination. This is a fantastic course and was thoroughly fascinating to complete. It is a mixture of essay writing (MA Level) and practical projects. It is however a Post Graduate Qualification (equivalent to the PGCE) so it is a lot of work but utterly worth it. This course has to be completed within 3 years of being in this role. You can either complete it remotely while working, or attending University classes.
I am now completing the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leaders. This is also a fantastic course and where as the NASENCo course was specific to the role of the SENCo, this course fills in the gaps and trains you to be an excellent Senior Leader in all senses.
The role of SENCo is challenging but exciting. Your teaching time is vastly reduced but the work you now do is incredibly varied and stimulating. It is an excellent role if you have been teaching for some time and want a fresh, new challenge. You work with a huge range of people and every day feels as though you are doing something extremely valuable when you know you are working with and for possibly, the most vulnerable children in the school.
Justice Asafo-Adjei - Director for Behaviour, Attitudes and Inclusion
The Director of Behaviour, Attitude and Inclusion role is an exciting but crucial role in ensuring our students achieve to the best of their ability. To fully understand how the school community works to achieve this, it is essential that you understand the workings of our behaviour policy.
In summary, the role includes the following:
- Behaviour – Lead pastoral teams to implement innovative strategies to promote excellent behaviour. In addition, use relevant tools to monitor and analyse data to provide effective whole school and personalised interventions. Hence ensure all students exhibit excellent behaviour always.
- Attendance – Lead pastoral teams to implement a vigorous tracking, rewards and intervention system to ensure attendance and punctuality are maintained to the highest of standards.
- Parent/Community – To ensure the school maintains a positive communication channel with parents and the school community, in addition to providing educational/training opportunities to support them in ensuring our students have a healthy home life.
- Work with the Teaching and Learning team to establish an effective learning environment to facilitate optimised learning by all students.
- Rewards – Work with the pastoral teams in using innovative rewards to motivate students to fulfil their full potential.
- SLT – To regularly present analytical information to members of the Senior Leadership Team to celebrate strengths and areas for development.
- Staff – Ensure all staff are expert behaviour management practitioners through effective behaviour management training and support.
- Be the front face to the community in terms of communication.
- Prepare and review whole school SEF and SIP termly.
- Support the transition of new students (FAP, in-year transfers).
Rachel Smith - Director of Humanities and Independent Learning
This is role that I had my heart set as soon as I became a teacher. It is an incredibly varied role and covers so many aspects of school life.
Firstly, I love that you lead by example in this role. At all times you are demonstrating best practice in Teaching and Learning to the staff in your department. You are the person they looks to for ideas and inspiration, guidance and also you are that shoulder that they need to lean on at time.
The curriculum is yours to design! As a subject specialist this is such an exciting opportunity. I love humanities and I ask myself on a daily basis ‘how can I develop this love of learning in our students?’ I have critically assessed the National Curriculum and made decisions regarding which content I should stick to and which should I change. These decisions are based on who our students are and what will be best for them to progress in this subject. You then have a blank canvas for building your curriculum, all based around the concepts of intention, implementation and impact.
Building schemes of learning and resourcing lessons is a big part of this role. You get the chance to build in various different teaching techniques and challenge yourself by taking risks and including new concepts and strategies that you may have recently read about in teaching literature. With every lesson you plan you have to ask yourself- what do I want the students to know? How will I make this happen? How will I know this has been successful?
Within my curriculum design I also spend a lot of time considering ‘cultural capital.’ Within humanities it is essential to build in trips and fieldwork opportunities to give our students the full experience of these subjects. We also deepen their cultural capital with extra curricular activities within the department.
As a Director of Faculty you are responsible to building assessments for the students. These happen at the end of each term. This assesses the knowledge and skills developed over the last terms and prepares our students for GCSE assessment structures. Once completed, you need to make sense of the data. This is where you are hoping to see all of your students making expected progress. If they are not- this is when you start discussions with the teachers to figure out why specific students are no making expected progress and begin to put measures in place to address this. You are also analysing your data to hopefully see that the outcomes for your PPG and SEND students are in line with the class averages.
In this role you are not just managing the students in your classroom, you are managing a team of teachers. These teachers may be at all different stages in their careers- some may still be training, some may have years of experience, some may have other responsibilities from within the school and some may even be on the senior leadership team. I meet with my team formally on a bi-weekly basis- but have daily informal catch ups with them. I conduct learning walks to see the quality of their teaching and learning- feedback is always positive and constructive. I complete book audits to ensure their books are marked in line with the school marking policy. I put support in place for members of my team when it is needed and offer guidance. At times you just need to be there for a friendly scant, advice and reassurance. I am always looking for CPD opportunities for my team, as staff development and progression is something that is really valued and celebrated in our school.
As a Director of Faculty, I rarely spend any one day just within our department. You collaborate and work with staff across the whole school. I work closely with the pastoral team regarding any behaviour concerns from within humanities lessons. I work closely with the other Heads of Faculty regarding cross curricular links and collaborative learning. I work closely with the Teaching and
Learning team to develop new strategies and ideas to use within the classroom. I also meet on a biweekly basis with a member of the senior leadership team who line manages my faculty.
The are many great CPD opportunities that can help to prepare you for this role or even help to develop you once you are in this role. I am currently doing the SSAT Lead Practitioner Accreditation. This is a great opportunity to develop professional skills and expertise whilst helping to embed and extended teaching and learning within my school that positively impacts on learners.
Being a Director of Faculty means you are involved in all aspects of school life. I love being in the classroom and teaching, I enjoy mentoring and managing my team of teachers and it is great to work with others outside of my faculty across the school.
Dave Humber - Director of Personal Development
The role of Director for Personal Development is a relatively unique but rewarding position to have at EPHS; the aim of the school for every child to be the best that they can be is truly encompassed by this role.
As Director for Personal Development, you overlook the school’s Enrichment programme, ensuring every child has the opportunity to develop their skills away from the academic means always provided by schools, while improving confidence and abilities in more creative ways, such as the Arts Award, Sports Leadership Award and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. At the beginning of each term, after collecting the students’ preferred choice of Enrichment options, you assign each student to an option, in which a member of staff runs that session with the ultimate aim of gaining the child an award. Towards the end of each term, you contact the members of staff to find out how students are getting on and whether they have achieved the award.
As well as this, the Directorship means that you work within a team, alongside the members of staff that lead Aspirations, Student Leadership and the Most Able, to further stretch and challenge our young adults to create better versions of themselves and give the students aims and motivation to continue to improve for their ideal career, if they have one at this point in time.
There is no determined path or previous qualifications required to carry out the role, however you do need to have a passion for developing our young adults, and any previous experience in this does help! Before taking up the role of Director I helped run the Duke of Edinburgh’s programme at my previous school for 3 years, with over 300 young people taking part, which allowed me to want to make students better versions of themselves away from the classroom.
As previously stated, the role is extremely rewarding as you help demonstrate that not all experience and memories from school need to be academic, all while giving the students a skillset and qualifications that make our students stand out from the rest.