I joined Westminster Academy over a year ago and have been amazed at what a brilliant place it is to work. Staff are exceptionally welcoming and supportive and students are lively, conscientious and motivated. You will immediately feel part of the WA community! The school fully supported my development as a teacher through weekly CPD and inset training. Training and inset sessions are run both by external specialists and also internally, by members of academy staff, which has promoted cohesion and collaboration. These sessions have helped develop my subject pedagogy and have allowed me to become a more informed, well-rounded teacher.
Beyond the classroom, I have now been given extra responsibility as I am Head of KS3 Humanities. Furthermore, I have led Duke of Edinburgh groups and have organised and attended various school trips, ranging from history museums to GCSE workshops, to even interviewing Angelina Jolie at CBBC Newsround!
J Coller, Humanities Teacher
Assistant Vice Principal
I've been at Westminster Academy for six years, having joined as a Teach First participant in the English Department. I had a fantastic mentor, so I always felt well supported and like I was part of a great team in English.
Since then, I've been given lots of opportunities to develop, and the Academy is great at encouraging staff to take on leadership roles and providing CPD. In my NQT year I was given the opportunity to lead on SMSC and PSHE across the school, and from there I moved to the Sixth Form. I joined the Senior Leadership Team in 2014, and since then have really enjoyed getting involved in lots of different parts of the Academy. I currently look after Key Stage Five and IAG, and I line manage English and Enterprise. I'm about to take on Teaching and Learning as well, and I'm really excited about this chance to work with lots of different staff across different departments.
P Farmbrough, Assistant Vice Principal
Director of Learning, English
I have been teaching at Westminster Academy since September 2011. I joined as a graduate on the Teach First programme, and was very well supported during my training here by an excellent mentor, a very supportive staff body and a well-structured CPD training programme, which covered all aspects of teaching and learning. When I found aspects of my training year difficult, there was always someone to turn to. My colleagues' advice and support was invaluable and helped me progress a great deal.
Through Teach First, and with the support of the school, I then undertook a Masters qualification at the IOE, focusing on educational leadership. This helped me progress even further, both in terms of my teaching and developing as a leader. I also took part in the Teaching Leaders programme, again supported by the school. This helped me a great deal in terms of understanding my strengths and areas for development.
I'm now Head of English and I help mentor and support teachers as they are developing their craft, whilst realising that I am still learning too! Teaching is a career where one never stops learning and developing, and I embrace reflection, openness and honesty.
As we embark upon the new curriculum changes in English, I feel both proud to work with such a great team of people - students and staff alike - and I'm excited for what lies ahead.
D Boam, Director of Learning, English
Teacher of English
Having worked at Westminster Academy in a variety of roles, with varying degrees of responsibility since spring 2013, I have been lucky enough witness a great deal of positive change.
It is these changes and pace that make Westminster Academy such a fantastic school in regards to teaching practice and professional development.
The one constant has been the spark and dynamism of our pupils who are not only our motivation but our greatest strength at Westminster Academy.
We are lucky enough to welcome students from all around the world along with those born and brought up in the Borough of Westminster, our neighbouring boroughs and throughout London.
As our outstanding school is situated in one of the most deprived London boroughs this does bring challenges and at times barriers; many of our students come from disadvantaged backgrounds and trying personal circumstances. Supporting them in their strive not only for educational success, but also personal development and independence is hugely rewarding and fulfilling for all teachers and support staff.This is achieved because the Academy has high expectations for their students, underpinned by strict policies regarding respectful and responsible behaviour.
For instance, many of the students we teach are classified as EAL, meaning their first language is not English, having migrated to the UK often in challenging circumstances. With our support and their determination they manage to engage and progress steadily through the curriculum, and reach high qualifications gaining a strong sense of self belief.
L Cooper, Teacher of English