I’ve been working at OSA since July 2019. I retrained in 2018/2019 with the Oxfordshire SCITT based at Cherwell School, and OSA was my second placement. Before that, we had visited the school as part of our SCITT training. I loved the energy and enthusiasm that the pupils at Spires have for the learning, especially science, and this is what drew me to the school when they advertised for a science teacher. I also had an excellent mentor who helped me develop as a teacher in my training year. The year as NQT has been busy but fun and I’ve been given a range of responsibility including A-level biology (Y12s) which has given me the opportunity to share my love of the subject with an amazing group of scientists.
I have been a part of Oxford Community School, Oxford School and now Oxford Spires Academy. I attended Oxford Community School from Year 7-11 and stayed on for sixth form when we became Oxford Spires Academy. I loved everything the academy brought and took up many extra-curricular responsibilities which enlightened me on how much I would like to work in a school setting. I went to Northampton University to study History and in my last week of exams I noticed the role of ‘House Support Manager’ for Tolkien House on the OSA website. I applied and had an interview with my previous Headteacher and old teachers and then within a matter of weeks I became their colleague. I absolutely loved the role of House Support Manager and after two years of doing the role, I wanted to progress further. I applied for SCITT training with my main placement as Oxford Spires and trained to be a History teacher in 2017. In my Newly Qualified Teaching year there was an opportunity to become a Deputy Head of House for Bannister. After taking on the role as a House Support Manager and then training to be a teacher I realised how much I loved both sides of the job and thought this would be a great opportunity to eventually become a Head of House. In December 2019 the Head of Bannister position for Bannister became available and after a tough but enlightening day of interviews, I was successful and now doing a role I have thrived to do for a long time.
Oxford Spires Academy was my first placement for my PGCE internship. I had a warm feeling about the school from the time I first met my professional tutor. The staff are very welcoming throughout the school. I had a fantastic mentor who supported me throughout the duration of my placement, and so did all the teachers in the department and school. I could not have asked for a better school as my first placement. Every single staff has in one way, or other contributed towards my development as a teacher.
I initially worked as an SEN TA across all departments but then became a maths specialist TA and then HLTA. During my time as an HLTA I began taking small group interventions and mentioned to colleagues that I would like to train as a teacher one day, the only thing that was holding me back was a lack of a degree. With the support of colleagues in the Maths Department I enrolled at the Open University to study Psychology. I was lucky to have the support to do this over 6 years while still working as an HLTA 4 days a week. School was also kind and understanding about giving me time off to study and sit my final exams at the end of the course. I finished my final exams in June 2019 and started my SCITT in July 2019, again members of the department supported me at every step of the way, whether it was answering my questions about teaching and learning or reading through my personal statement and helping me prep for the QTS tests. I couldn’t have done it without them, and I looking forward to being able to pass on that support to other trainees
During my PGCE and SCITT year I was lucky enough to be placed at Oxford Spires Academy, here I learnt so much from an experienced PE team who provided me with a vast wealth of knowledge throughout my time within the school. They also made me feel a massive part of the school, getting me involved with everything extra-curricular as well as staff events. For me, the best part of Oxford Spires Academy was the people within it, both students and teachers within the school are welcoming and it was very easy to build positive relationships, this is what drove me to want to be a part of the school and eventually work here at the school.
Having trained at Spires I was very excited when the opportunity came up to return. The school has an incredible community where staff work with each other between departments to support the school and each other. No department is an island here which means that CPD opportunities are further enriched when able to discuss new ideas with staff from other areas of the school. The students are friendly, enthusiastic and are a pleasure to teach on a daily basis.