I remember my first month in the school as if it were yesterday, they were preparing for OFSTED. I thought as an NQT that wouldn't really affect me too much so I carried on doing the best job I knew how. To be honest they were to busy preparing for the old style week long inspection to even mentor me, which as you can imagine lead to an interesting "talk" with an inspector....
So in walked OFSTED, I kept going on as normal - I had planned my toilet roll solar system lesson and I was going to do it! (It is quite a simple lesson - I will put up the lesson plan later...)
But all went as planned, students enjoyed the lesson and had fun, they learnt, they behaved.... and me, well I made it into the report as an innovative NQT.
To some, I joined the "dark side" and went over to the private sector where I became an assistant housemistress and Science Master. (Hey that's the way this place worked!) I got to do more things than I could ever imagine a school teacher needed too. Chapel, tennis, lacrosse, hockey, ice-skating, theater, musicals, fire prevention, life saving, cookery, sewing, screen printing, camping, D of E, teaching and so the list goes on...
They were some of the most enjoyable years of my teaching career, I met people I would never have been privileged to meet had I not worked there.
I had great exam results, taught great students and helped to send them off into the world as young men. I set up new courses and developed new extra curricular programmes. I ran my own team and never did I once regret working in a private school.
I had the pleasure of an HMI visit while teaching here, it was very different to OFSTED as not only was our teaching under scrutiny but also the boarding houses and entire pastoral provision. We passed again with flying colours - although this time I am glad to say I didn't get "seen" :-)
I made the decision to move back into the State sector, so as to be able to now give something back, having spent 8 years in the private sector I felt it was time to use my experience to help less privileged students and to help them move on into the world with the best results behind them.
I didn't move too far away, as my friends and support network are something I value and I wanted to keep them close.
I joined a local ex-secondary modern Victorian built school, very different from where I had been - but I felt "needed" by the students and that they really valued that I had their best interests at heart. Together I worked with my students to achieve some amazing results, waving 6th formers off to uni to do Science degrees.
I was given a projector when I joined this school, to help introduce the dept to ICT, I still remember the size of the safe and the safe key that I had to have so I could safely store it. It was really nice to be part of something new and as part of it I worked as part of a team developing resources for the new OCR 21st century Science course to be used in local schools.
It still "tickles" me today when I find my resources from this time still being used and brought back to my current school via local science advisors...
A new build, again not to far from my local support network and fiance.
I moved on to be Assistant Head of Science and since then I have held many roles as internal opportunities and promotions came up. I was very lucky to be here at the beginning, setting up courses and resources from scratch, designing my own labs :-) A teacher's dream.
I have taught KS3, GCSE, A-level and IB here, with each of these changes and developments I have been able to take a blank canvas and change it into something new, to mould it to fit the course. So the new changes in KS3,4 & 5 don't worry me - when your school is as young a my current one - you are used to change and being adaptable.
This last year has been a tough one - my mentor, headteacher and close friend all left to take up amazing opportunities - I miss them all. A new Headteacher means a period of change and adapting again (not my main comfort zone but I'm working with it...)
At the same time the rewards have been amazing - I am an AST and SLE, I co-run/design the in-house CPD programme, I am a Science consultant on the National STEM database. I am the ITT professional tutor and the school's coaching trainer and senior coach... None of which would have been possible without the continued support of my old Headteacher and new Headteacher alike.