A new wave of NQTs
Beginning a Career and Inspiring Futures at Leeds East Academy
We were delighted to welcome 14 Newly Qualified Teachers into Leeds East Academy at the beginning of September. Now we are thrilled to report their excellent progress over Half Term 1.
Our priority this half term has certainly been to ensure that our NQTs, in addition to all new staff, feel supported and welcomed into the Academy. We feel that they have made a very promising start in their teaching careers here and they have all worked tirelessly to familiarise themselves fully with our policies and procedures and to get to know their new classes.
The school is proud of the NQT provision we offer and we aim to fully support and guide our new colleagues towards becoming the outstanding practitioners we know that they are capable of being. Our NQTs engage with weekly meetings with their subject mentors to celebrate successes and identify areas for development. During this meeting, there is always a discussion around the use of their ‘10%’ time – this is an allocation of 10% of their timetable which is to be used to directly impact and improve practice and can include activities such as observing outstanding members of staff with a focus on a particular area or cohort of students or taking the time to research a specific pedagogical subject so as to feedback to faculties.
NQTs attend a weekly CPD session which addresses targets outlined in Subject Mentor Meeting Minutes. So far this bespoke CPD programme has included workshops on the topics of effective use of our Positive Behaviour policy, how to ensure that we can evidence quantity and quality of work in exercise books, fostering positive relationships within the classroom, pace in lessons and preparing our students for exam success. These workshops have all been well received and the impact has been evident in the learning walks which followed.
Here is what two members of our NQT cohort want to share about their experience so far at Leeds East Academy:
Mr Glover – Citizenship & Humanities
“During my first half term as an NQT here at Leeds East, I can only be thankful that the level of support I anticipated has been more than met. The daily visits from supportive senior staff has really made an impact with my practice and my settling in within the school. I feel this open door policy has really made the difference, I already feel like a respected member of the team and can only say it is this school I have noticed this at. The instant feedback as well from experienced staff is really useful, even if I have to pause briefly and make a note! It has really made me feel like this year will be more than achievable, I actually feel like I can develop beyond what I thought I could here.
Beyond this, the more structured NQT support has also been more than expected. A weekly meeting with school leaders, a one to one with a member of staff trained to support me as an NQT in addition to the focused departmental meetings and line management one to one meetings has really ensured I have any queries dealt with, usually instantly! To begin listing what I feel I have made progress in would include every aspect of my teaching, however I feel my biggest achievement has been the feedback I have had around building relationships. As a teacher of Humanities ( Citizenship) I see many different groups, mostly only seen once per week and I already feel I have formed good, positive relationships with my classes which has really helped the progress of some students as behaviour hasn't been an issue!
I’m really looking forward to becoming a good and then outstanding teacher, I could not think that this was possible at other schools at this point! I left a career to start teaching and I absolutely love my job here at Leeds East and clearly know it was the best decision.”
Miss Lala – Mathematics
“The prospect of being an NQT at a school I had not worked at before was very daunting. However, Leeds East Academy has provided me with a brilliant first half term. Through learning walks and drop-ins, I am able to receive regular feedback to improve my practice. It is always encouraging to receive feedback from experienced members of SLT, as well as my assigned mentor, as they are all excellent practitioners.
Through regular training sessions, we have been kept up to date with policies, and advised on any difficulties we may be having collectively. Training sessions are particularly valuable for NQTs and new staff as we are able to gain clarification on anything we are unsure of, and encourage each other by sharing our experiences so far.
In addition, the working environment at LEA welcomes us to ask questions, or for help, whenever we may need it. Whilst help is readily available, policies such as the positive behaviour system mean that there is a strong school-wide culture for learning in LEA's foundations. Students are eager to learn, and all appreciate the learning environment that LEA now provides.
Personally, I have really enjoyed the responsibilities of my own classes, regardless of ability, and have learned how to plan high quality lessons quickly and efficiently.
I am very much looking forward to the start of the new half term, now that I have established myself within Leeds East Academy.”
Ms Widnall adds: "As Professional Mentor for this wonderfully bright, engaged and hard-working team of individuals, I can only add how proud I am to be able to work with such a team at such an exciting stage of their career and wish them, along with all staff, a very well-deserved half term break."