Miss R. is a textiles teacher at Ark Burlington Danes. She finished her training year in 2015, and is qualified in post-compulsory education. She applied for her role because it offered the opportunity to specialise in her subject.

Miss R. says: “They’ve got great teachers here who know their specialisms, and who have lots of industry experience. We take the pupils on a lot of trips, for example to the Victoria & Albert Museum, to inspire them and to start new projects.

“Art and Design at the school works on a rotation basis, so you get a new class of 20 students every 6-7 weeks. It’s good because you get to know everyone in the whole year group. “

Ark Burlington Danes is steeped in 300 years of history. The school wants every pupil – regardless of their background – to have access to an outstanding education. To make this happen, its teachers are offered the best training and support at every stage of their career.

Miss R. says: “There’s staff training every Monday. I’m new to the profession so I like to go. I started working towards the Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) in January, which means I’ll be a fully qualified teacher. That’s a really good investment from Ark Burlington Danes in my first year.

“We also have Hub days and lots of inset days, as well as Twilight training after school. I love all the training – I’m new so I like to soak everything in.”

Teachers at Ark Burlington Danes receive regular coaching and share best practice with each other. All teachers are encouraged to go into other classes on “Learning Walks” to observe their colleagues’ teaching techniques and styles.

Miss R. adds: “You can really take a slice from another subject and apply it. This breaks down barriers and you can have a walk around and see what’s happening.

“I feel really lucky I’ve had so much support from my Head of Department and the school’s senior leadership team. Everyone has been helpful. You do feel like you’re part of a family and everyone’s on the same side.”

Ark Burlington Danes fosters a caring environment and there is a real sense of community. There is a ‘Teacher of the Week’ ceremony, regular staff social clubs and events, and a Christmas party. The senior leadership team is keen to celebrate the success of its staff.

Miss R. says: “The girls in the PE department run a women’s fitness club once a week which makes you feel good afterwards. We all go down the pub on a Friday too – everyone tries to look after each other.”

The school also runs an anonymous ‘Buddy’ scheme where staff are encouraged to perform random small acts of kindness for a colleague.

Miss R. says Ark Burlington Danes has a strong community of support: “Small things happen every day – everyone is so friendly. People still ask me how I’m settling in and make me cups of tea – I feel valued.”