Specialist Leaders of Education

Led by Rachel Brindley at St Clement Danes School, we have a wealth of expertise to offer. Request one of our highly experienced practitioners or accredited Specialist Leaders of Education to support the improvement of a department, provide curriculum and teaching and learning focus and enhance student outcomes in your school.

Our SLEs, who come from a range of backgrounds across the Alliance, are listed below. Click on our SLEs’ names for a flavour of the work they do and the impact they have had.

We are delighted to announce that Astra, Cygnus and Herts & Bucks TSA have been successful in securing both funding and accreditation to deliver the SLE core training in the South East region.  

We will be offering this training for newly designated Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs), or those SLEs who have not previously been provided with the accredited training by the NCTL. This one day 'core' training, plus two twilights, will enable participating SLEs to achieve accredited status, recognised by both the NCTL and the Teaching Schools Council.  SLEs who do not attend this training will not be formally accredited.
Training will be facilitated by experienced, practicing SLEs within the following Teaching Schools:  Astra Alliance; Cygnus; Herts and Bucks TSA.
The next training day will take place on Thursday 15th June 2017, and will be held at St Clement Danes School in Chorleywood.

Rosi Jordon: Behaviour & Discipline

I have been in education for over 30 years, firstly in a busy comprehensive school in Harrow where I was quickly promoted to Head of English. In 1994 I joined Chessbrook, an outstanding Education Support Centre in Watford, running the English department. Although I am still very much involved in the management of the English department, over many years I have developed and honed my skills within behaviour management and inclusion. I know that behaviour management is a skill and therefore, like any other skill, it can be learnt. All it takes is practice, feedback and self-belief.

As Deputy Headteacher at Chessbrook since 2010, I am responsible for the Centre’s Extended Roll provision, which is an umbrella term for a range of interventions that are offered to secondary schools. The interventions provided include outreach, Thinking Matters ™, Reflect and Relaunch (R&R), Chessbrook Targeted Support (CTS), Shared Programmes and Chessbrook Provision (CESC). The delivery of these valuable provisions and the impact they have on students, enables them to make academic, emotional and behavioural progress. Through my work and the expertise I have developed, I believe I am able to make a highly positive difference to students, to teachers and to futures.

I have extensive professional links with local and national agencies (e.g governmental, health and charity) and act as a bridge between those agencies and the education sector. My areas of expertise include:

  • Teacher training (NQT, teachers, middle and senior leaders) 
  • Strategic planning and problem solving 
  • Co-ordinating and sharing effective practice 
  • People management 
  • Resilience 
  • Attachment theory

My most recent SLE deployments include working in two mainstream secondary schools and one UTC to support Behaviour for Learning through staff and student discussions and observations.

  • In one of the mainstream schools work was done to develop a whole school Behaviour for Learning policy 
  • In the UTC staff were given support to develop their own programme of CPD to improve their practice  
  • One secondary school has successfully implemented a Behaviour for Learning policy and their school data indicates that incidents of poor behaviour have reduced. There has also been a significant reduction in the number of their fixed term exclusions (50%) 
  • This secondary school’s most recent Ofsted report in 2015 noted this improvement and graded their behaviour as ‘Good’

Gemma Absalom: English

I am currently in my tenth year of teaching, having studied and trained in the Midlands. I moved back to Hertfordshire in 2006 and currently teach at Parmiter’s School. I hold a 2:1 degree in English and Performing Arts and a PGCE. I also have a Masters degree in Education, specifically focused upon Leading Teaching and Learning, which I completed in 2010 through the University of Cambridge. I have been department management for six years, co-ordinating both KS3 and KS4.

In my role leading KS4 English, I guide a large team of experienced, highly-qualified teachers. We share the goal of wanting our pupils to achieve the highest grades of which they are capable and I see it as my job to facilitate this. Whether it be through my rigorous data-tracking system or my continued evaluation of course structure, I am always looking for ways to improve practice. Our outstanding results reflect this focus and I am excited by the prospect of sharing my experience. I believe it is a professional duty to be as well-informed as possible about forthcoming curriculum changes and have experience teaching a variety of examination boards at KS4 and KS5. I have introduced Entry Level Certificates for our less able students as well as developing the option of single GCSE English which we run alongside the double qualification.

I strongly believe that all students should leave school able to communicate confidently, both on paper and in person. Through completion of my MEd, I have proven my ability to engage and motivate pupils in and beyond my own subject specialism. Coaching girls to become more active participants in their learning has caused me to reflect upon and improve my own teaching practice and I have shared these experiences with my colleagues. I am experienced at giving presentations to colleagues and parents: examples include INSET, annual Curriculum Evenings and HertsCam network events where I shared my research with teachers from other schools. Along with being responsible for the performance management of colleagues, I have mentored several trainee teachers through the various pathways to QTS. This requires a sensitive approach, particularly when the teacher is facing challenges such as coping with the marking load or establishing behaviour policies. I am there to support their training by giving structured feedback and acting as a role model.

Teaching and leading a core subject that is being constantly reviewed at a national level means that I have to be adaptable. I have a methodical, analytical approach to any task I undertake yet I can think creatively to work through new situations and challenges. These are skills that I would like to share with other English departments.

Outside of education, I love spending time with my young family, especially if it involves being out in the countryside. I enjoy horse-riding, swimming and, of course, reading.

Amanda Quinton: Science

I have been a Science teacher for over 22 years and still wake up each morning looking forward to going to school! I have a Physics degree from Bristol University and a PGCE from Oxford University. During my career, I have had the great privilege to hold a variety of roles including Key Stage 4 Science co-ordinator, subject co-ordinator, cross-curriculum co-ordinator, pastoral mentor, ITT mentor, and I was nationally accredited as an Excellent Teacher prior to my accreditation as a Specialist Leader of Education. 
As well as being an experienced Science teacher, I am also involved in whole school Teaching and Learning initiatives, ITT, CPD, STEM club, and many projects such as my ‘Girls into Physics’ initiative which provides  a sequence of activities aimed at addressing the national shortage of girls from mixed comprehensive schools who take A level Physics. 

My particular areas of expertise and interest are: 

  • Coaching  
  • Engaging students in Science through hands on, active learning experiences 
  • High quality mentoring of NQTs and ITT students 
  • Excellent behaviour management for improved learning 
  • Creative response to problem solving 
  • Commitment to the job in hand and the resolve to see it through to a successful outcome

I am motivated to use every tool available to support and inspire the least able student to the most able leader. I would welcome any opportunity to work with middle management leaders in other schools to promote learning, improve systems, share good practice, support change, and strive for excellence together through collaboration and partnership.

Rachel Brindley: ITT / CPD 

I have been an English teacher for 24 years and in that time have taught the full ability range at GCSE, AS and A2, and supported students with their EPQs. As an AST, I worked closely with the University of Hertfordshire on their English Studies Programme, considered ‘Outstanding’ at the time and, at the same time, held the position of Head of English within a Faculty also considered Ofsted ‘Outstanding’. More recently, I have worked in consultancy and held the position of Vice Principal at an all-through academy which had experienced very challenging circumstances and is now very clearly on an upward trajectory in terms of both attainment and profile. I am currently a Specialist Leader of Education for ITT and CPD at St Clement Danes School with specific responsibility for School to School Support and SLE deployment across the Herts and Bucks Teaching School, and all aspects of ITT within St Clement Danes School. 

Beyond my first degree in English Literature, my qualifications include a Masters in Educational Leadership and Management and the NPQH.  I am also trained as a Challenge Partner Reviewer. 

My particular areas of expertise and interest are: 

  • Leadership and management 
  • Partnership work, and the co-ordination and sharing of good practice 
  • High quality teaching and learning 
  • Planning, implementing and monitoring support and mentoring programmes for staff new to the profession or aspirant members of staff 
  • Forensic data analysis leading to sharp and purposeful intervention which has a direct impact on student outcomes 
  • Effective behaviour management for learning 

Most recent SLE deployment includes supporting and building capacity within the English Faculty of a UTC. Specific support involved: audit of current teaching and learning practice and student attainment; student level data analysis; sharply honed, personally-delivered intervention; modelling of moderation procedures and the composition of tailored Schemes of Work, plus a number of challenging conversations regarding expectation. Summer examination series 2016 saw an increase of 12% on 2015 English GCSE A* - C performance and 68.2% of students (a 28.2% improvement on 2015) made or exceeded 3 levels of progress in English, in line with the national average of 68.5%.  At 55%, students’ combined performance in English and Maths GCSE A* - C, was a 17.5% increase on 2015 performance and 15% above the floor standard of 40%. 

Current work focuses upon building sustainability for the current Year 10 and 11 cohorts at the UTC, and due diligence and action planning for a support package focused upon improving sixth form practice at a Buckinghamshire School. 

Yvonne Kennedy: MFL 

For the last fifteen years, I have worked in the secondary sector during which time I have taught MFL across all key stages. Prior to my appointment as a Specialist Leader of Education, I was an AST, and I am currently responsible for KS3 MFL at Queens’ School and have a particular interest in primary transition.  For this reason I have been Lead Teacher for a local Strategic Learning Network (SLN) for MFL for over five years: the impact on the participating schools is that they have a better understanding of the pedagogical issues at each key stage across the primary and secondary sectors and have begun to review and rework their Schemes of Learning in order to promote continuity across stage.  Through the SLN, I have also led on the creation of an annual inter-school French Mini-Olympics and bridging projects between primary and secondary schools. I have recently briefed a consortium of primary headteachers on the implications of the new Programme of Study for Languages for KS2 and the new OFSTED Supplementary Subject Specific Guidance for MFL.

My particular areas of expertise and interest are: 

  • Primary transition 
  • Robust planning for progression across stage and age 
  • The provision of high quality CPD for staff both experienced and new to the profession 
  • Coaching 
  • The creation of published resources for Oxford University Press  
  • Creative, relevant and engaging delivery of Modern Foreign Languages leading to student engagement and successful outcomes

As a system leader, I have been involved in designing and delivering training to NQTs, experienced teachers and Heads of Department for Hertfordshire since 2010.  I have a particular interest in teaching French phonics and regularly deliver training to staff in primary schools across Hertfordshire. I have also been a key contributor to, and trainer for, the ‘Herts Talking Classrooms’ project which was a direct response to Ofsted’s call for pupils to be able to use language creatively and express themselves spontaneously.

Andrew Perkins: Maths 

My qualifications include a BSc(Hons) and PGCE from Leicester University and an MSc from Surrey University. I have experience in the roles of a HOD and as an accredited Excellent Teacher, and I spent many years working in Teacher Education.  

As a Specialist Leader of Education for Mathematics, I continue to both teach Mathematics and develop creative and engaging teaching and learning strategies within my own school while also supporting the teaching of high quality Mathematics in other schools. I am trained as a facilitator of the OTP and ITP programmes and, in collaboration with a SLE colleague, have led the Herts and Bucks Teaching School Alliance delivery of these programmes over the course of the past academic year. 

My particular areas of expertise and interest are: 

  • High quality mentoring of NQTs and ITT students 
  • The provision and delivery of high quality CPD for staff, both experienced and relatively new to the profession 
  • The ability to work closely and sensitively with colleagues in order to ensure anticipated and excellent outcomes for all 
  • Partnership work and the co-ordination and sharing of good practice 
  • High quality, creative teaching and learning 

I had the opportunity to gain a broader perspective on education through teaching abroad for a number of years and more recently have engaged with a number of schools across Hertfordshire and wider afield through the provision of a support package aimed at improving the quality of teaching and learning in Mathematics across secondary key stages. A recent highlight of my career as a SLE was the opportunity to visit China to explore the teaching methodologies used within their education system. 

Jane Phillips: Music, Teaching & Learning 

I hold a GRSM (Hons) degree from the Royal College of Music and a MA in Music Education from the Institute of Education.  Before entering the teaching profession, I performed as a solo classical guitarist across the United Kingdom and Europe, having turned professional as a teenager.

I have now been teaching for fifteen years and, prior to teaching at Queens’ School, I taught at The London Oratory School and Freemen’s City of London School. I currently hold the positions of Head of Performing Arts and Professional Mentor for ITT and NQT Training. As Head of Department I have a strong track record of improving student progress at all key stages and have consistently delivered excellent examination results which are well above the national average. During my tenure I have significantly developed the Performing Arts extra-curricular provision and this is now considered one of the strengths of Queens’ School.

I have gained extensive experience of liaising with a variety of ITT providers and have developed a model of effective working practice in the setting up of School Direct.  I have lectured on high quality behaviour management at the Institute of Education as well as sitting on the King’s College, London, PGCE Management Committee.  I have also, as a whole school focus, sought to embed coaching systems at Queens’ School and encouraged, within the staff body, the use of strategies designed to raise the attainment of identified SEND students.

My particular areas of expertise and interest are:

  • Planning, implementing and monitoring in-school training and support programmes for staff new to the profession  
  • Coaching 
  • High quality mentoring of NQTs and ITT students 
  • Partnership work leading to the sharing of good practice 
  • Excellent behaviour management for improved learning 
  • The development of strategies to raise the attainment of SEND students 
  • The development of high quality extra curriculum provision within the Performing Arts, leading to increased uptake and engagement 

Ann Ralph: Special Educational Needs (SEND) 

I have been a teacher for 20 years and, in that time, have taught the full ability range at Key Stage 3, GCSE, AS and A level.  I have taught Mathematics, ICT, Computing, Business Studies and Business and Communication Systems.  In addition to my teaching responsibilities, I am Director of Learning Support at Royal Masonic School, managing provision across Years 7 to 13, with a team of 18 learning support teachers. Over 150 students are receiving additional support, whether individually or in small groups and 90 are eligible for access arrangements in examinations.  I have worked with students who have a range of specific learning difficulties including dyslexia, dyspraxia, dycalculia, ADD/ADHD, APD, ASD, working memory, processing issues, anxiety, mental health issues and sight and hearing impairment. 

I have carried out a range of duties in my career including responsibility for KS3 ICT in a boys’ grammar school, Assessment Coordinator, Head of Information Support Systems (MIS) as well as Director of Learning Support, a position I have held for 14 years.  I maintain my professional development in SEND in order to fully understand and support the students with learning differences and I am currently researching APD and ASD.  This enables me to support and inform the staff as well as the parents and students. 

My particular areas of expertise and interest are: 

  • Planning learning support provision across the school 
  • Managing a team of professionals, including creating their timetables 
  • The importance of record keeping and evidence 
  • Provision of access arrangements and assessments 
  • Managing communications relating to learning support around the school, with parents and external agencies 
  • Providing training for staff as a whole, by department or individually 
  • Screening students and analysing data to identify needs as early as possible, for an individual student and whole school data analysis 
  • Promotion of the Learning Support department so it has become an integral part of the school 
  • Promotion of quality first teaching by helping staff understand the different needs in the classroom and providing a toolkit of strategies 
  • Identifying difficulties and underperformance in a student and planning strategies to support 
  • Encouraging the sharing of good practice, either with staff relating to a learning difficulty or supporting a specific student or with pupils sharing successful techniques

I have worked with a number of schools, providing training for newly appointed SENCOs and have set up meetings to provide the opportunity to discuss best practise.   

Priya Kara: Geography 

My name is Priya Kara and I have been teaching Geography for over 8 years at all key stages and ability levels. During this time, I have held the position of Curriculum Leader for Geography for over 5 years.  Working in this leadership role has allowed me to develop and collaborate with other middle leaders, to make a valuable contribution to teaching and learning and to develop new curriculum changes. In recognition of the quality of leadership of the Geography Department, I was appointed to the role of Head of Humanities in 2013 for two years with the specific brief of addressing under-performance. Here I have had the opportunity to develop leadership capacity in others. I have been able to mentor and support my former deputy in Geography and the newly appointed Head of History. Key actions include the effective monitoring of student progress and implementing targeted intervention sessions, as well as maintaining high quality teaching and learning within the department. This has been in line with action plans that are aligned to the long-term school improvement plans.  

Success in these areas has enticed me to work on whole school projects. I have led a series of CPD programmes to develop new teaching and learning skills to raise the quality of teaching throughout all key stages. Middle leaders have adopted many of these skills, including new strategies for marking and giving effective feedback for students’ work to ensure that they can make progress. As part of this, I have also assisted other middle leaders in refining policy on whole school assessment and marking criteria, and worked directly with the Assistant Headteacher responsible for literacy to develop a new school policy and approach that has now been adopted throughout the school.  

As well as previously mentoring PGCE students and NQTs, as part of my new role this year, I am also leading and supporting new teachers and recently introduced a coaching programme for student teachers. I will also be leading CPD sessions at HE level for new teachers to the profession.

Some recent SLE deployments include leading ‘Teachmeets’ for curriculum leaders related to the new Geography curriculum; supporting staff in their professional development, and advising upon the marking of controlled assessments. Beyond school hours I also facilitate work relating to volunteering and teaching abroad. I have actively taught and trained teachers in an underprivileged school and I am continue to assist others in South East Asia.

Chris Powell: ITT / CPD 

I have been a Geography teacher for 10 years and I have been involved in leading ITT provision at Parmiter’s School for 4 years. During my 10 years in teaching I have also been a Head of Year for seven years and an acting Head of Department. 

My main role involves the organisation of training for School Direct trainees and NQTs for schools within the Herts & Bucks TSA. This includes: 

  • Developing twilight INSET sessions for trainees and NQTs 
  • Running 4 full day INSET at Hunton Park for trainees and NQTs 
  • Observing and feeding back to trainee teachers across the TSA 
  • Developing training and support for school direct and NQT mentors 
  • Leading a collaborative working group with Professional Mentors across the TSA 
  • Working closely with the University of Hertfordshire 

By aiming to provide good quality training and support for trainees within the TSA I hope to continually improve our recruitment and retention of good and outstanding teachers. 

Catherine Netscher: Maths 

I have been a teacher of Mathematics for 7 years and in that time have taught the full ability range at GCSE, AS and A2. I have worked in a number of schools including a large comprehensive secondary school and a Church of England secondary school, both in North London. I am currently teaching at Watford Grammar School for Boys with specific responsibility for the academic progress of Year 12 students in Mathematics and the delivery of the new A Level for Mathematics which is to be first taught in September 2017. Given that we consistently have some 300 boys studying Mathematics in Years 12 and 13, this is quite an undertaking. I am also Professional Mentor for School Direct trainees at the school and am responsible for the quality and consistency of their initial teacher training, working closely with the University of Hertfordshire. We currently have 5 School Direct trainees for whom I am responsible, across a range of subjects.

Prior to becoming a teacher, I was a Change Management Consultant, working on large, global change projects across various industries, mainly in the areas of finance and systems. I am also a qualified accountant.  

My particular areas of educational expertise and interest are:

  • Planning, implementing and reviewing the curriculum, particularly for GCSE and A level Maths 
  • Stretch and challenge for all students 
  • Coordinating and sharing good practice

A SLE for just a year, my most recent extended deployment involved supporting a newly appointed Headteacher of a primary school to improve the Mathematics teaching and learning of their most able Year 6 students. This was achieved through collaboration with the Mathematics specialist teacher at the school to ensure the students were stretched in line with the new mastery requirements for Mathematics.  The most recent Ofsted report for the school – a movement from RI to Good – specifically comments on the improvements seen in the level of challenge provided to the school’s most able students; the initiative was also viewed very favourably by parents and children alike.  
Prior to this, I worked on school to school support with a local large comprehensive school to develop their A level Mathematics teaching for first teaching in 2014-15. I supported the Head of Department and the A level Mathematics teacher to develop a Scheme of Work, to develop resources and to moderate A level work. I also observed and coached the A level Mathematics teacher, supporting his delivery of the curriculum. The success of this venture continued from AS to A2 teaching, and the school continue to be able to deliver a thriving and popular A level Mathematics course, with improving results.

Adam Baker: Computer Science 

After gaining a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science, I became a Computer Science teacher over 12 years ago. In that time have taught the full ability range at GCSE, AS and A2, and supported students with their EPQs. I am currently Leader of ICT and Computer Science at Parmiter’s School with further responsibility for diversity and equality.  

Since 2012, I have been in charge of the strategic development of whole-school ICT creating a long-term development plan for the improvement of the ICT infrastructure.  I also have leadership responsibilities for the member of staff in charge of our school e-learning platform and help to develop strategies and deliver training to all staff on this.  

I enjoy finding innovative, student-centred ways to teach Computer Science.  I completed my MA in ICT in Education at King’s College London in 2012 and have used the skills and knowledge I learned through this to manage ICT and digital innovations and initiatives, such as a ‘bring your own devices’ policy.  

I have been fortunate enough to be able to share good practice with colleagues at Parmiter’s and further afield, through various INSET opportunities and exhibitions. I was delighted to present twice at the Innovation Education Technologies Exhibition in Manchester, where I shared our success with the ‘bring your own devices’ initiative and my thoughts on the upcoming changes to the Computer Science curriculum.

I have worked in a range of schools including secondary schools in Nottingham - both inner city and county schools with over nearly 2000 students.  I have become a School Based Subject Tutor for the University of Hertfordshire, helping to train our next generation for Computer Science Teachers. I have also worked as a moderator for GCSE ICT in the past. 

My particular areas of expertise and interest are: 

  • Leadership and management of students and teaching and non-teaching staff  
  • Curriculum management and planning including tracking of departmental and whole school assessment and data analysis  
  • Policy making e.g. whole school ICT and behaviour policies  
  • Coaching and mentoring trainee and new teachers as well as line management of other curriculum areas  
  • Whole school communication  
  • Coordinating and sharing good practice  
  • Project management and staff appraisals  
  • Multiple budget management and forecasting  
  • Motivation and empowerment of staff by leading by example 
  • Identifying under performance and planning interventions

In my SLE deployment I have been offering support to newly appointed subject leaders to help to raise standards across the subject of Computer Science. I have also supported an experienced Head of Department in improving standards of Controlled Assessment and improving students’ motivation during these tasks. Recent work focused upon helping Heads of Department implement the new Computer Science curriculum across all the Key Stages while ensuring rigorous assessment of progress and intervention. The above examples of support have had a direct impact upon students’ motivation and results within the respective departments.

I am an ambitious and driven Computer Science teacher and SLE with a passion for innovation, teaching and learning, professional development and equality in education I am on a mission to make a real difference to people’s lives.

Robert May: Science 

I have been a qualified teacher for twenty years. During this time, I have held a wide range of positions from day-to-day and long term supply in Inner London to becoming a permanent Teacher of Science, an Assistant Head of Year, Head of Department and, finally, Head of Faculty. I spent 13 years at an outstanding inner London comprehensive school in Brent and am currently six years into my current post, Head of the Science, in a high achieving girls’ grammar school. My experience has provided me with considerable insight in terms of teaching Science to a diverse range of students and managing the requirements for leading on a range of qualifications. 

My particular areas of interest and expertise are: 

  • High quality delivery of the Science curriculum especially Chemistry 
  • Leadership and Management 
  • Coaching

My most recent SLE work involved working with a Head of Faculty with the aim of improving staff retention. This involved me working directly with an individual member of staff. Through close reflection and analysis, I sought to build their confidence by identifying existing good practice while also setting agreed targets for improvement. 

Katherine Briggs: Geography 

I have been a Geography teacher for the last 11 years and, for the last 8 years, have held the role of Head of Department within an ‘Outstanding’ school whose specialism is Humanities. Prior to this I worked in a grammar school where I held responsibilities for PSHE and Gifted and Talented provision.  For the last 5 years I have also been Deputy Director of the Sixth Form. I have led my department through the Geographical Association’s ‘Centre of Excellence’ status and have achieved other whole school accreditations.  I am currently the ‘Challenge the Gap’ facilitator for a cluster of schools and an accredited Specialist Leader of Education.

I have mentored other departments, coached NQTs, helped to develop a curriculum for primary schools and delivered INSET training for secondary schools in the effective management and delivery of field trips and learning outside the classroom. I use GIS computing in the classroom, and attainment and tracking systems to increase exam performance. I have worked with the University of Hertfordshire to develop a curriculum choice for other Geography departments and have developed lessons based around this.  I have been filmed teaching a class and this was used as a training tool for others.

I am currently looking forward to my first deployment as a Specialist Leader in Education.

Jenny Edwards: CPD Planning & Delivery 

I have been a Physical Education teacher for 14 years and in that time have taught the full ability range at GCSE, AS and A2, and BTEC. I have contributed to a wide range of successful extra-curricular clubs, teams and groups in a variety of physical activities ranging from football to dance.

I have worked in three very different comprehensive schools and have undertaken a number of roles in my subject area including Assistant Head of Faculty and School Sports Co-ordinator. I have been an A level examiner and a BTEC moderator within PE and have also held whole school positions as Head of House and Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator. I have provided mentoring for NQTs and students embarking on ITT – all of whom have been adjudged ‘Outstanding’ at the end of their training / induction years - and, more recently, I have been recognised as an approved Teacher Mentor by the University of Hertfordshire.

I am the Coaching Lead at St Clement Danes School and have developed a coaching culture at the school by leading whole school INSET and training in coaching skills. I have worked with the Senior Leadership Team and with a colleague from the ‘Outstanding’ Roundwood School in Harpenden, and liaised with external coaching experts to provide opportunities for interested staff to receive coaching. I facilitate the Outstanding and Improving Teacher Programmes within the TSA and have contributed to a number of internal INSET sessions.

My particular areas of expertise and interest are:

  • Coaching  
  • High quality mentoring of NQTs and ITT students 
  • Excellent behaviour management for improved learning 
  • Theoretical teaching of GCSE PE 
  • Effective transition between KS2 and KS3 Physical Education 

Projected work for 2016 to 2017 includes support for the implementation of a coaching programme at a ‘Good’ school in North London.

Amriss Assaye: Science 

I have been working as Head of Physics for the past 10 years. As subject leader I have provided leadership and direction for Physics and ensured that it is managed and led to meet the aims and objectives of the faculty within which I work. For many years I have played a pivotal role in the development of departmental policy and practice in order to secure exceptional standards of teaching and learning. While leading the Physics department, the number of A level learners has more than doubled and students produce some of the school’s best results, securing places at prestigious universities.

Managing staff and dealing with their difficulties effectively, and ensuring that teachers are aware of the requirements of current and imminent Physics exams and updates have been a key part of my responsibility. New teachers or trainees have been appropriately supported and effectively inducted in the requirements of the Physics core programs. I have also supported a number of trainee teachers / teachers in planning Physics lessons in order to develop further their expertise in planning, preparation and assessment over the years. The rationale for each of the teaching methods they intend to use is discussed. The impact of this work has been highlighted within students’ achievements, namely through AfL, regular assessments, monitoring of progress and external examination results.

As subject leader of Physics, I have prepared and produced a significant number of Schemes of Learning - accompanied by lesson plans - ranging from KS3 to KS5. I have always been willing to share ideas and resources with colleagues in my current school and they have been encouraged to spend time reflecting on new practices.

I have always believed in the efficacy of active learning techniques and ensure that these are embedded in my lessons. I am particularly interested in ‘Stretch and Challenge’ and have produced two ‘Stretch and Challenge’ booklets designed to support gifted A Level Physics students.

At present I am preparing the Physics Subject Specialist Training course (TSST) which I anticipate leading throughout the academic year. This subject enhancement course has been launched and approved by the Institute of Physics as a booster course for non-specialist Physics Science teachers within the Herts and Bucks Teaching School Alliance.

Andrew Jones: RE

I am currently an Assistant Headteacher for CPD but also have experience of being a Head of Department and Lead Practitioner for whole school teaching and learning. As a Lead Practitioner for Teaching and Learning, I had responsibility for:

  • ensuring 60% of observed lessons within the school were ‘graded 1’
  • devising personalised improvement programmes for teaching staff
  • coaching and mentoring middle leaders and newly qualified teachers
  • overseeing the school centred initial teacher training programme
  • writing, editing and updating learning and teaching blogs for staff and parents
  • training staff internally and presenting ideas at teaching conferences externally

As Head of Department for RS and Sociology, my department’s successes included:

  • the Year 11 GCSE RS results rising from 47% A*-C to 74% and then 100% over my first two years
  • in 2014, our large, mixed-ability GCSE cohort attained 95% A*-C, which comprised 90% A*-B and 57% A*-A. In 2015, we entered over 200 mixed ability students and attained 85% A*-C
  • being regularly ‘significant +’ on both the A*- C and A*- A measures on the DfE’s Raise Online performance assessment
  • the RS department offering no A level to being the third biggest choice at KS5


  • in 2015 and 2016 our Sociology A Level students all attained or exceeded their target grades

I can advise on curriculum design and engagement in RS and Sociology as well as effective engagement measures in both subjects. I am also the author of Teaching Sociology Successfully (Routledge: 2017) and have written for the Guardian newspaper.

  • 22/06/17 Congratulations to all 20 of our NPQML participants this year, so much hard work paid off with some fantastic presentations yesterday. Read more
  • 22/06/17 You support our SLP so much we had to return the favour! So lovely to see so many happy students getting involved in Science :) Read more
  • 15/06/17 Not to be missed - great networking event at the end of a busy year! Read more
  • 15/06/17 Great day! Many thanks to Helen, Science Oxford, Oxford Brookes,Bucks Learning Trust, and Read more