I became a part of #TeamBarnwell in September 2016, with a responsibility for teaching History, along with a leadership role as 2nd in the Humanities faculty. Throughout my first year at Barnwell, there were several CPD opportunities available that enabled me to develop not only as a practitioner, but also as a leader within Barnwell school. This included a New Staff Induction programme, which I found was invaluable as a new teacher joining the school and led me to meeting a number of different staff across the school. Tailored CPD included Joint Practice Development (JPD) twilight sessions after school, which developed, and continues to develop my own practice. The GO (good to outstanding programme) enabled me to listen, debate and share ideas on what outstanding teaching practice looks like, as well as sharing resources across the school community. Lastly, I became part of our school coaching programme, which ultimately resulted in me fostering a different approach to my leadership style within my faculty and gave me the skills I needed for my future role.
Due to the number of CPD opportunities available to me when I joined Barnwell, I have developed my professional role further over the past two years, becoming Teaching and Learning Lead in September 2017 and then Assistant Headteacher for Teaching, Learning and Assessment in September 2018. Throughout this journey, I have felt extremely well supported by all staff across the school, and firmly believe that I would not have gained the experience or expertise needed for the role, if it were not for the school’s culture of promoting teaching and learning, as well as the excellent CPD opportunities that were made available to me. Becoming Assistant Headteacher has not reduced my desire for learning more about how I can develop as a practitioner, and I am currently part of a team running the Teacher Lead Development Programme (TLDW) within the school. Through this programme, I have adopted several new learning ideas and strategies from a wide range of teaching staff, who have different levels of experience in the teaching profession. A real testament the Barnwell ethos that learning and developing as a practitioner is constantly evolving, and everyone, at every level, can be responsible for this process.
Working at Barnwell over the last three years has been a wonderful experience, not only professionally, but also personally for me. I have never felt so well supported or valued in the positions I have held, something that I think is so important for moving people forward in their careers. There is a real emphasis that we should all be learning from each other to develop our teaching practice which has resulted in me really feeling like a member of #TeamBarnwell.
After a career mostly in upper Key Stage 2 and gaining experience in Key Stage 3, I wanted to bring my understanding of the challenges of the Year 6 to Year 7 transition to the secondary school environment and support the children whose final year at primary school had been disrupted by the Covid pandemic. Beginning my role as a Key Stage 3 English teacher and Form Tutor at Barnwell in September 2021, the standout characteristic of the school is its dedication to inclusivity, ensuring all needs are met, and everyone’s potential is realised.
I have aimed to provide engaging ‘real-life’ learning throughout my career so that young people can be given a voice, and their work acknowledged beyond the classroom and into their communities. Within the classroom, Barnwell provides flexibility and support to tailor teaching and learning styles and offer opportunities within the wider community for both staff and students’ self-development. The school encourages everyone to become involved in extra-curricular activities including sports, well-being, fundraising, and residential trips; all aimed at fostering positive relationships.
Staff place a high value on the transferable skills gained at primary level, and this unique blend of experiences throughout the team provides a culture of mutual learning and respect. Despite only being in my second term at Barnwell, I greatly feel my skills embedded through primary education, and my understanding of working with children with SEN have improved and benefitted the students I teach. I am looking forward to developing my training within this area further as I progress through my time here.
As soon as you walk through the door, the welcoming community feel at Barnwell is infectious, creating a great atmosphere to work in. I am really pleased that I can be a part of #TeamBarnwell.
I am Harriet Field. I teach Physical Education and English at Barnwell School. I trained at The University of Chichester in P.E. and Sports Coaching; it was here that I secured my love of teaching. I teach so that I can make a difference to pupils’ lives and help them to see what they can achieve, all whilst having fun.
I chose Barnwell to complete my NQT year because they offered me the opportunity to teach two subjects. I felt this was important in my NQT year as it allows me to see the students in different environments. Another factor which swayed me to Barnwell was the two-campus system which allows growth and targeted learning. However, there is still a “Team Barnwell” feel across both campuses in students and staff.
Throughout my NQT year I was provided with excellent support, advice and guidance to see what kind of teacher I wanted to become. Whilst being at Barnwell I have found that I aspire to create inspiring, creative and engaging lessons which the students will remember. Barnwell’s goal is to educate the whole child and inspire pupils through the varying curriculum to achieve their best, this is something which I strongly support making Barnwell such a great place to work.
Since being at Barnwell I have been offered many opportunities to progress my own learning and teaching. I am currently enrolled on to the TLDW programme, which allows educators to research a specific topic which benefits their own teaching and the students. The TLDW is run by teachers within Barnwell so is specifically targeted at improving education within the school. I am hoping that this opportunity will lead me to complete my masters at Cambridge University, whilst still teaching.
I have been on a few of the many trips which Barnwell runs, Paris, PGL and Harry Potter Studios being a selection. These trips help support the students learning but more importantly also help us as teachers to create positive relationships with the students and helps support the “Team Barnwell” effect.
I feel this is why Barnwell is so special; they offer students opportunities that they wouldn’t get elsewhere. These opportunities help with both their education and building a trustworthy and safe learning space which helps them discover who they are and what they want to become.
I can’t see myself wanting to move from such a warm and inviting school anytime soon!
I chose Barnwell based on the career progression opportunities and the positive feedback received from staff. I had applied for a Geography Teacher position, however at interview, I was overwhelmed to have been offered the position of Head of Geography. Having newly settled into a career in teaching, this was a great opportunity which I couldn’t decline; it felt great knowing they believed in me. The opportunities continued; soon after accepting this role, I was offered the opportunity to do the National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML). I hadn’t even started my job and already I was inundated with opportunities – good vibes!
Working at Barnwell has been a continuous learning journey, as Head of Department, I’m constantly learning and growing. This has been helped with the support received from my work colleagues. It was evident within my first week of starting here, that #TeamBarnwell are a family. The communal staff room has been a great contributor in creating a positive working environment as well as events such as the Staff Conference, which embed the unity within #TeamBarnwell. Every day, everyone is friendly and always willing to help.
There are lots of opportunities to get involved with wider professional responsibilities, the Year 7 PGL trip being one of them. This is a residential trip helping Year 7’s transition into secondary school life, however, I felt this also helped me transition into Barnwell life by working with colleagues who I’d not liaised with prior to this trip. I’ve enjoyed getting involved, having recently moved into Middle Leadership at Barnwell, I feel I’ve made a positive contribution to the learning community. I feel valued and appreciated with the continuous positivity in weekly staff nominations and secret buddy gifts left anonymously in staff pigeon holes. These small kind gestures mean a lot when working in a career that is fast paced and often forgotten.
My future ambition at Barnwell is to join the Senior Leadership Team. In addition to leading a flawless department, I’d like to combine my love of travelling and teaching by running frequent field trips and offering trips abroad, deliver the Duke of Edinburgh Award and get Barnwell accredited status to deliver Youth Programmes.
My learning journey at Barnwell continues…