Leadership Training Participant
Whilst working as part of the Multi-Academy Trust many opportunities have become available to me professionally. One of the most significant was the chance to complete my National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL). Throughout this training, I was able to network with other professionals within the Trust and really refine my leadership skills. I was given opportunities to reflect on my practice and this had an extremely positive impact on my work back at school. I have always been passionate about enhancing the prospects of the children within my care but the course allowed me to channel this in a way that would improve the progress and attainment of the children at a whole school level. I learnt to be systematic and rigorous in my approach as well as ensuring I engaged the staff and children. All of the skills I gained through the NPQSL sessions were transferable into my everyday practice and I still refer to them to this day. In January 2018 I was promoted to Assistant Head Teacher.
The MAT has also been instrumental in the introduction of initiatives that we as a school would not have been able to implement on our own. One of these, Accelerated Reader, has helped us to see a significant increase in the progress and attainment across the school. By being part of the MAT we could continue to work alongside other schools in the Trust and support each other when introducing new initiatives.
In July 2018 Reculver CEP School was visited by Ofsted once more and was deemed to be Outstanding in all areas. The end of Key Stage SATs results was above 90% in Reading, Writing and Mathematics; the highest the school has ever seen. This was also a 40% increase since the introduction of the new National Curriculum in 2014. The support that we received from Aquila throughout our journey has been considerable. We, as a school, have been able to make the decisions that work best for the children in our care and along the way have been encouraged and supported by Aquila. I feel that the opportunities I have been given since working within the Trust have significantly contributed to my professional development and my progression as a leader. I am looking forward to what the future holds as I am confident that the leadership team and Aquila will enable me to further develop in my career.
Improvement Champion / Coach
Being part of a group of schools has always helped us to develop our practice. By working closely through tasks such as moderations and with Trust training we have been able to identify ways in which we can learn from each other. The introduction of Peer to Peer Reviews and my role as an Improvement Champion has been an excellent chance to formalise the opportunities to learn from each other.
Being an Improvement Champion is a great opportunity for active collaboration between schools within Aquila. The role is key in facilitating critical thinking by asking challenging questions and also providing a structure for development led ideas. I feel that the training prepared me well for leading the workshop and it was a real privilege to have the opportunity to work with a colleague from another of our schools to devise the session. The process hands ownership to the reviewed school to be both reflective and forward thinking, with significant challenge that makes the process authentic. My role both as an Improvement Champion and also in coaching and peer development and enhanced my sense of being part of the Aquila team which is incredibly rewarding.
Chair of Governors
The Governing Body has been well supported by the Trust through the Head of Governance and Estates. Nick Morgan has assisted us in the review of the effectiveness of our Governing Body, in helping us map out our new terms of reference to improve our effectiveness, in the recruitment and induction of new Governors. The Trust has introduced and financed the use of Governorhub which has revolutionised the way we communicate and conduct our meetings. Nick has negotiated a Trust-wide training package for Governors which meets our needs. The Trust facilitates teleconferencing and networking opportunities for Trust Chairs which enables the sharing of good practice. Most importantly for the Chairs, Nick is available through email and phone to offer support and guidance whenever requested.