Noctua Teaching School Alliance

Meet Our SLE Team

Daniel Beech

SLE for ICT, Design and Technology and Assessment

Background

I trained in Leeds and have worked at Tranmere since joining as an NQT. During my time here, I have worked in the 3/4 and 5/6 phases and am currently subject leader for Computing. For the last 2 years I have held a TLR for ICT and Network management in school and am also responsible for the school website.

Over the last few years, I have developed and delivered a range of CPD both within my own school and as a guest at events in other settings covering a variety of subject areas. This has culminated in my becoming an accredited SLE trainer and being responsible for the training of SLEs within the Noctua Teaching School Alliance. A further aspect of my role is the oversight of SLE deployment for Noctua. My main expertise is the application of technology in education. This is not limited to use of technology within the classroom but includes all uses of technology by staff to fulfil wider professional responsibilities, for example, assessment.

One of my major recent projects has been taking the lead, along with our Assessment Coordinator, on implementing ClassTrack as an assessment system within our school - particularly looking after the technical side of the deployment and training staff with a focus on sharing best practice to all staff members. Now that this is in place across school, my involvement has switched to demonstrating this system to visiting headteachers and helping fine tune the system to ensure we are getting the best value for money.

Alongside my work with Noctua, I have also become an accredited Lead Practitioner with the Schools, Students and Teachers Network (SSAT). Through my involvement with their 'Smarter Spaces' project - a joint undertaking with Dulux - I have had the opportunity to be involved in all stages of the design and delivery of a new ICT suite within our school. As part of this project, and 2 others run by the MathsHubs and the SSAT, I have been involved with research in education looking at the impact of changes made in a variety of areas.

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Ben Sutton

SLE for Teaching and Learning, Behaviour and English

Background

I have been in position as Assistant-Head at Tranmere Park for almost 2 years now, having previously worked at Grange Farm Primary School, both as Acting Deputy-Head and as a Year 6 teacher for 6 years. Prior to that, I spent 3 years working at a school in Oxfordshire.

I have a personal interest in leadership philosophy and teaching and learning, specifically research and developments that can make improvements in my own classroom practice and that will affect the learning and progress of the children in my class. I spend a lot of time engaging with contemporary ideas and practice online, and by following the work of prominent educationalists.

I have supported teaching staff and support staff in a number of schools, as well as mentored NQTs and RQTs in my own school.

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Sarah Alderson

SLE for Early Years

Background

I am an experienced EYFS Leader, Assistant Head and EYFS SLE, working in a larger than average Primary School.

I have twenty years of experience working as a class teacher.  During this time I have also led on Arts and Design throughout school, projects linked to the creative curriculum and graduate teacher training in EYFS, The Arts and Phonics.  

My experiences enable me to provide strategic support to ensure the principles of effective Early Years practice are successfully embedded.  This includes completing EYFS audits, developing action plans linked to data; successfully interpreting data, reviewing school trends and National and local comparisons, using this information to inform short and long term actions. 

With twenty years class teacher experience, my role can be practical, supporting the development of everyday provision and practice, focused clearly on raising standards.  

I have considerable experience working with changing teams of staff in EYFS, building capacity amongst all staff, developing provision inside and outdoors and developing strong links with parents and carers in order to improve outcomes for children.  I have a passion for learning outdoors, having developed outdoor classrooms across EYFS in locations which often pose some challenging features.

I plan and deliver EYFS training to graduate teachers, NQTs and teachers working in schools in Leeds and Bradford.  I am a trained coach and appraiser throughout school.  These roles combined with experience as a tutor and mentor for graduate teachers and trainer to qualified teachers, enable me to work with teachers at different points in their career, identifying and putting into action personalised targets and training.   I thoroughly enjoy the challenges that go with supporting others and equally the rewards that go with working collaboratively and being highly reflective. 

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Andy Patrick

SLE for Early Years

Background

Having had the opportunity to work in a large, outstanding, mixed Nursery / Reception unit for the past five years, I have been immersed within a culture of reflection and challenge, working within a team that is determined to deliver the very best practice. As part of my role, I have supported a wide range of students including: work experience, child care students and PGCE students.

My pedagogy is fundamentally Regio inspired and focussed on following the interests of children. I am a huge advocate of promoting creativity within the EY curriculum and passionate about facilitating child directed project work.

Through my teaching approach I try to engender an inviting, collaborative exchange of ideas via a democratic approach between myself and my students. Where possible, I position myself as a sounding board; recycling their ideas, providing time and resources for them to explore new concepts and revisit familiar ones.

I am a reflective practitioner with strength in communication and making learning visible. My behaviour management is centred around restorative practice, high expectation and a determination to ensure all children have access to whatever they need in order to make progress.
I am an advocate of age appropriate risk and consider it an important and respectful facet of EY education. To this end I regularly take my students to explore woodland environments and support the independent use of real tools in woodwork and cooking.
As a member of the schools ICT team, I thoroughly enjoy working with technology to extend learning and to share our work with parents via various different communication platforms.

This year I have taken on the role of maths lead within EY with a specific focus on implementing a new mastery approach with the Nursery and Reception children. This is in line with our whole school approach.

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Katie Lamb

SLE for KS1 Phase Leader/ Restorative Practice Leader/ Y2 Teacher/ Inclusion Team

Background

I work at Carr Manor Primary School in North Leeds, and have done so for over 14 years.

I first started at the school as an NQT in Year 2; a very daunting but exciting first year, as I had been trained as a KS2 practitioner and had very little experience of KS1. This year was a fast-paced, steep learning curve of a year, which set the tone for the next 14 years at the school.

In my second year I was asked to lead History and within a couple more years I taught Year 1 and was Phase Leader for KS1. Again, this was all new to me and I had to learn quickly, with support from colleagues and from attending amazing courses.

My next move was to lead Literacy, initially as part of a team of a small team. This was a fantastic opportunity, which enabled me to work more strategically across the whole school. I led Literacy for over 7 years, with a particular interest and specialism in phonics and ‘Talk for Writing’. During my time as Literacy Leader, I worked across the city to support other schools to develop their Literacy curriculum, implement ‘Talk for Writing’ or a systematic Phonics Curriculum. I also led several Literacy based lectures at Leeds University and Leeds Metropolitan University, as well as delivering numerous ‘Theory into Practice’ days for trainee teachers.

These experiences outside of my own setting resulted in me taking a keen interest in mentoring and coaching teachers. I successfully completed the ‘Outstanding Facilitators Programme’ and the ‘Improving Teacher Programme’, and I use my learning from these programmes in everything that I do.

For the past 4 years I have led Restorative Practice in school and this is the area where my true passion now lies. This role has again given me numerous opportunities to work in schools across the city, with both Leeds universities and with trainee teachers. I have also supported schools across the country to implement a Restorative Practice approach in their schools and have led sessions for professionals from France, Sweden and America.

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Paula Allaway

SLE for Maths

Background

I currently work at Scholes (Elmet) Primary School, part of Sphere Federation, where I am a very enthusiastic Y1/2 teacher, maths leader and key stage 1 phase leader. I have extensive experience of teaching across the full primary age range, mostly in mixed age classes.

My key area of expertise is in maths. For a number of years, I have been involved in sharing good practice within the schools in which I work, as well as with teachers and leaders in other schools. I am an NCETM Primary Maths Mastery Specialist teacher, working closely with the White Rose Maths Hub, and an NCETM accredited PD Lead. I have a clear understanding of the principles of teaching maths for mastery and have deep subject knowledge of primary maths. The mastery programme was inspirational and I am passionate about disseminating mastery pedagogy and practices to other leaders. As well as working with colleagues in my own school, I have also worked with colleagues across several Leeds schools, supporting teaching, planning and assessment in order to effectively support children in developing a deep and sustainable understanding of maths. This has involved a variety of approaches including team teaching, modelling, coaching and mentoring.

I have successfully delivered a number of CDP sessions to large groups of colleagues within our federation, and more recently in other schools, inspiring and enthusing colleagues to implement new approaches to teaching maths. CPD sessions have included developing conceptual understanding and fluency in multiplication, bar modelling as a problem solving tool, and progression in fractions, including part-whole relationships, ordering and calculating.

I am excited to support effective practice and provision that secure long-term impact for the children we teach.

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Angelique O'Garo

SLE for English

Background

I began teaching in 2003 and since then I have worked in a variety of schools across Leeds where I have gained experience in a range of different contexts. I am currently LKS2 Phase Leader (teaching in Year 4) and Literacy Leader at Carr Manor Primary but prior to this, I led UKS2, taught in Y6 and was the ICT Leader. For the last four years, I have been leading whole school Literacy and it is a role that I really enjoy. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to promote standards linked to our school improvement priorities, support teachers with planning and monitor teaching and learning, whilst taking great satisfaction in helping children to develop their enthusiasm for learning. I aim is to always promote positive working relationships within my team and ensure that all members of staff are effectively supported.

Leadership has enabled me to develop the strong communication, interpersonal and organisational skills I need to fulfil my roles with success and reinforce the school’s ethos, standards and policies. I have developed action plans to raise standards through identifying and prioritising areas for development. I have undertaken regular monitoring of teaching and learning, moderation and work scrutiny, pupil interviews, learning walks, pupil progress meetings and data analysis, confidently leading many aspects of CPD within school.

I have good knowledge and understanding of the curriculum expectations and I have taken part in high quality moderation with other schools. I developed a series of staff meetings focused on understanding the key components of reading and worked with staff to redevelop teaching strategies which have had a positive impact on learning across school. I implemented the systematic teaching of reading using whole class and guided group approaches and supported staff to develop their year group curriculum with a focus on using quality texts. I regularly work with colleagues to develop our reading culture and build a reading community across school. In addition to this, I collaborate with colleagues to develop our writing curriculum and support teachers to make meaningful, embedded links with grammar. I am currently working with other members of staff to develop and refine our approach to writing and our understanding of the assessment criteria.

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Angharad Jones

SLE for Science, Music

Background

I studied science at Birmingham University as my first degree, and have also worked in laboratories at both Birmingham University and St James’ Hospital, Leeds, so I have industry experience in scientific fields. Prior to going into primary teaching I also worked at Newcastle University (2008-2010) in Science Outreach, liaising and working with teachers from both primary and secondary schools in the North East region and also from around the country, running workshops and events to support science teaching in their schools.

Since moving into primary education, I have taught across all key stages and year groups, from EYFS to Year 6 and in 2015 undertook a secondment to a local school as Phase Leader.

I have been Science Curriculum Lead Teacher for 5 years, English Leader for one and am currently Music Curriculum Lead teacher. As Science Lead, working closely with all teaching staff in school, I achieved the Silver Primary Science Quality Mark for Tranmere Park Primary School. It was a challenging but beneficial path and has aided the staff team to evaluate, strengthen and celebrate science provision throughout school. Following this, at the inaugural Leeds Primary Science Conference, I presented about PSQM in one of the workshop sessions and subsequently supported a number of Science Subject Leaders around Leeds.

I have worked with the ‘Leading Innovation in Primary Science’ course at the National Science Learning Centre in York. I led a group of primary science leaders from around the country, looking at best practice in science, sharing ideas, successes and looking at the practicalities of taking it back into their own schools.

I am currently leading the Groove Generation Project, a multi-school project in the Guiseley area, with the aim of bringing rich inclusive musical opportunities to primary school children. I manage three music practitioners who run the sessions at three hub schools in the local area.

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Amy Brealey

SLE for Early Years

Background

I trained as a teacher in 2007 and have since worked at Shakespeare Primary School, Leeds, where I am now in the role of Assistant Head Teacher and Early Years Leader. I have excellent knowledge of the EYFS, having taught in both Nursery and Reception classes and more recently have had the responsibility of planning, recruiting, setting up and running a two year old school Nursery. I understand the key principles in providing children with quality early learning experiences through indoor provision, outdoor learning and collaboration with parents.

I have vast experience in developing large staff teams with varying knowledge and expertise. I currently appraise a large team of practitioners, including setting personal development targets, carrying out observations and providing tailored training sessions. I have experience in coaching colleagues in becoming leaders themselves by taking on additional teaching and learning responsibilities within the school. I find collaborative work highly rewarding; I have discovered that through the development of others, I find new ways in which to improve my own leadership.

As well as staff development, leading a phase has allowed me to develop my own reflective practice and become solution-focused in rapidly identifying areas for improvement. I am knowledgeable in writing clear and concise action plans that are focused on raising standards through achievable methods. In addition to this, I am fully experienced in the monitoring of development plans collaboratively with other leaders in order to meet success criteria and develop targeted areas.

I am passionate about providing all children, no matter their personal circumstances, in having the best start through high quality early education. This includes knowledge of how to best utilise Pupil Premium funding and the Free Early Education Entitlement to diminish the difference in outcomes for vulnerable children. I have a personal interest in the importance of early talk and currently work with other senior leaders in developing oracy across the school. As well as my role in Early Years, I also have experience in curriculum development and currently coordinate a team of subject leaders to have whole school impact in raising achievement through the Arts.

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Liz Willis

SLE for Early Years

Background

I have been a teacher in the Early Years since 1989. I am now Deputy Head at Allerton CE Primary, leading and teaching in the Foundation Stage. We were one of the first schools in Leeds to set up a 2 Year Old Nursery and we have a thriving 3 Year old Nursery and 60 Reception children. I am also an Early Years moderator for the local authority.

I am passionate about making a difference for young children and enjoy sharing my experiences with other teachers so that together we can plan and deliver the best possible provision for the children in our care.

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Maria Rushbrooke

SLE for English

Background

I've trained in York and worked as Year 2 teacher there for a year before moving over to Moortown Primary where I've taught in Year 2, 5 and, now, 6.

Coming from a degree in Ocean Sciences, I have a passion for Science and believe it's an essential subject for primary school education. Delivering lessons in scientific enquiry enables so much learning that reaches so far beyond subject knowledge, it really is quite amazing. Being STEM support leader has given me the opportunity to lead professional development meetings on best practice in Science teaching and play a key role in trying to raise the profile of Science across the school.

I've taught across key stage one and two and, through my own love of reading, have worked on how to teach reading to all ages alongside developing reading provision in the school. We now have a fully functioning library which, not only invokes that love of reading we all want the children to have, but also provides a range of texts for our children to experience. As part of my role as assessment support leader, I've delivered training in teaching reading, library skills, teaching spelling and exploring the transition away from the 'Guided Reading' model.

Mentoring both Schools Direct students and NQTs has required me to manage delivering critical feedback, close subject gaps and foster an individual's creativity all while ensuring the quality of the children's learning isn't negatively affected. I particularly enjoy working with trainee and newly qualified teachers as I can foster their own ideas alongside passing on my expertise and experience. I have also supported school to school, working with individuals on their English and Maths planning and then joint monitoring of the impact of this teaching on the children's learning.

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Helen Drew

SLE for Phonics

Background

I have been teaching for 14 years and I have had experience of teaching in a variety of schools, in a variety of areas across Leeds. I started my teaching career in a school in Dewsbury. During this time I taught in foundation stage, key stage one and I also spent a term teaching in a resourced provision unit where children had both learning and behavioural difficulties. This gave me valuable experience that I have implemented across my teaching career. From there I moved to be a phase leader of a school in south Leeds, where I lead a foundation unit for four years, teaching in both nursery and reception, before moving to be a key phase leader in KS1 in a year one class for a further two years. During my time as a foundation stage leader, I worked alongside an early years consultant to deliver training across Leeds on effective foundation stage practise. This experience resulted in me taking a keen interest in supporting and mentoring teachers.

I now teach at Shakespeare Primary school, which is an inner city school in Leeds and I have been teaching there for nearly 3 years. I am the assistant head teacher and I teach in year 2. I lead KS1 and phonics and I am the pupil premium and EAL champion in school.

During my teaching career, I have developed a passion for teaching reading, phonics and writing. I have developed my knowledge of phonics through my years of teaching from nursery through to year two, which has supported me to have a thorough knowledge and understanding of phonics across school. My extensive knowledge of phonics allows me to support teachers across school to quickly identify and address gaps. Over the past 3 years I have shared good practise with staff in my own school and others. This has been through staff meetings, modelling of lessons and sharing good practise to ensure the best possible phonics teaching across school. I am constantly learning and updating my own knowledge of phonics to ensure that I provide the best possible teaching and learning experiences for children in phonics.

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Joy Johnston

SLE for English and the Visual Arts

Background

Initially an Early Years practitioner, I took the hooks and the experiences into Key Stage 1 and then Key Stage 2. Over the past twenty-two years, I have therefore taught in Reception, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 5 and Year 6. I am the English and Arts lead at Allerton CE Primary where my current role brings in all this experience as I deliver an 'Arts and English' fortnight, with every class (Y6-Nursery) throughout the academic year. This involves team teaching with the class teacher and accumulates with a parent celebration on the final Friday afternoon. Running alongside the experience is dance and drama; the overarching goal is to 'unlock the mystery of learning for the children we are concerned about' (Creative Learning without limits p:85) so that barriers are removed and confidence gained. It is intense, relational and visual for all involved. As the fortnight develops, the art studio is transformed to reflect and celebrate the learning. A 'workshop feel' on the Friday celebration allows the children to share the skills they have grappled with and achieved.

Helping children to make the connections and the links in the theme/story/moment in history to their world today, as well as pupils owning their learning is what drives the 'Arts and English' fortnight and my practice. The aim is to immerse our young people in the subject matter, so that by the end of their learning journey, they have greater passion, empathy, understanding, knowledge and appreciation. This happens through creating the space, bringing in the necessary props and ensuring that the planning purposefully weaves together the English, Arts and other curriculum areas to be explored, experienced and referred to. The planning is fluid as reflections with pupils and colleagues from that day will determine the course for the next. However, there is always rigour. Through high challenge and high support the young people are expected to engage fully in the curriculum. It is often those pupils who 'achieve' in the 3R's that find themselves outside their comfort zones; the others appreciate the practical drenching, visual prompts and creativity. However, belief breeds confidence. Over the fortnight, you can tangibly feel their mind-sets shift from that of 'I can't to that of I can!' Increased co-operation and collaboration, communication and perseverance are the learning attributes that are often voiced when reflecting on their learning over the two weeks.

I am also a Fellow in my second year on an Ambition School Leadership program. Their sound bite is what I believe: Every child. Every school. Same opportunity.

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David Owen

SLE for English, Maths and Assessment

Background

I lead English, Humanities and Assessment at Moortown Primary, and currently teach Y4. Prior to this, I led Maths and Assessment, as well as teaching Y5 and Y6 for several years. My role involves developing teaching and learning across our federation of schools, leading CPD on a variety of subjects and developing assessments.

Having spent a few years in other industries, I realised that teaching was for me while doing some work experience in a primary school because I love helping children learn. Those moments when you can see the penny drop are the reason I got into teaching. I feel lucky to have such a varied and interesting job with all its challenges and characters.

I’m a bit of a self-professed data geek and love a good spreadsheet, having designed assessment tracking systems that are used over a number of schools now. I enjoy researching new approaches and monitoring their effectiveness both in my class and across the school, choosing the most effective to become common practice. Recent projects have involved developing reading, rolling out a mastery approach in maths and implementing a new approach to the way we assess.

For a number of years now, I’ve supported teachers and support staff across different schools to develop their practice in Maths, English and Assessment. I’ve mentored students and NQTs across our teaching school alliance and have a passion for sharing best practice – we can all learn so much from each other.

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Paul Wilks

SLE for KS1

Background

I work at Moortown Primary School, part of the Sphere Federation, where I am the STEM leader and Year 2 teacher. In my time at Moortown, I’ve gained experience working across both key stages and have a broad experience of leading change across a school.

As curriculum leader at Moortown Primary School, I’ve been responsible for implementing new curriculum planning and assessment procedures for Science and the foundation subjects. This involved creating a set of age-related expectations for all year groups in all subjects for teachers to use as the starting point for planning and the criteria for assessments. This policy was developed over time, requiring strong vision, constant communication, collaboration and an ability to reflect and adapt.

As a subject leader for a number of years, I’ve been responsible for developing teaching and learning in a variety of subjects by writing clear and realistic action plans, leading CPD, modelling best practice and conducting monitoring to evaluate impact. I really enjoy the cyclical nature of school improvement.

Having been mentored and supported by great teachers early in my career, I really enjoy developing teaching across our federation as well as mentoring NQTs and student teachers. This year, I’ve also been jointly responsible for leading Noctua’s NQT programme, drawing on the experience, skills and strengths of teachers and leaders from across the teaching to school to demonstrate best practice in a range of curriculum areas.

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Myfanwy Howarth

SLE for Maths and Equalities Coordinator

Background

I have been a teacher for 15 years and a member of the Leadership Team since I was appointed at Pudsey Bolton Royd Primary 11 years ago. I have taught in every year group in KS2 and I am currently a Year 6 class teacher. My move from Year 3 to Year 6 gave me a fantastic opportunity to truly understand the progression that takes place across the Key Stage.

I have had various leadership roles at Pudsey Bolton Royd including responsibility for Maths, Curriculum Enhancement and Equalities. These roles have given me many opportunities for driving school improvement and raising standards across the whole school. This has been achieved through researching best practice, action planning and supporting colleagues. I have written many action plans which have formed part of our School Development Plans. These plans were rigorously monitored and evaluated to ensure that they had a positive impact on school standards. I thoroughly research and trial new initiatives and teaching approaches before delivering INSET to my colleagues and offering any additional support and reassurance that may be required.

I am passionate about the teaching and learning of Maths and do all I can to develop the teaching of maths across school. I have worked with members of staff to develop their teaching practice, delivered many whole school INSET sessions and have run whole school maths initiatives such as Mathletics. I have guided the school through major curriculum changes as well as developing and implementing new assessment procedures. Central to my teaching philosophy in Maths is the importance I place on the use of practical maths equipment to support and develop understanding as part of a concrete, practical and abstract approach to maths. I promote a positive mindset about maths across the school.

I enjoy teaching writing and have been trained in Talk for Writing. I use engaging texts with a broad vocabulary, linked to experiences as a basis for writing. Seeing reluctant writers achieve success and grow in confidence is always a highlight of my job!

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