Hear from our teachers
Ms McCall, KS3 Science Coordinator and Head of House at Ark William Parker, explains how the school really cares about its students, teachers and community.
Hastings born and bred, she started at the school as a trainee teacher in 2011. Ark William Parker cares deeply about its staff and pupils, and it has positive links with the local community.
“I like Ark William Parker because I have such a strong connection to Hastings. I was taught by people who work at the school now. I enjoy working here because I’m feeding into the community. When I see the kids and teachers in the street, I know I’m helping them.”
Ark William Parker is an improving school that has a strong history and a bright future. Its focus is on achieving the best possible outcomes for its pupils. Great teachers make great schools, which is why training, development and progression are built into the fabric of the staff body.
CPD is important. There are staff training days on Wednesdays, regular appraisals, supervision with line managers, and coaching.
“The coaching system really helps you to reflect on your practice. Last year I was coached by a Head of Year, and now I’m coaching someone else. It helps you to identify what could help you most in your teaching. You’re then given feedback, along with action steps to help you improve.”
As part of the Ark family, teachers at William Parker can also take advantage of Hub days and train with other teachers across our network.
Teachers who wish to gain further professional qualifications – such as the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) – are given extensive support. The school has a four-period day rather than five, meaning that teachers can tackle subjects in more depth.
Ms McCall adds: “That does help my work life planning, because 20 lessons instead of 25 really helps.”
Ark William Parker has a rigorous behaviour policy and standards are high. It is applied consistently throughout the school, and pupils are taught that behaviour can be both positive and negative. There is an on-call system for the senior leadership team to support teachers dealing with serious problems.
“The children are always given a chance to correct their behaviour before the situation progresses, but anything that stops other students from learning isn’t acceptable.”
There’s a caring environment at Ark William Parker. Every Christmas there is a cream tea for staff, as well as an informal reception at the end of each term. Teachers are rewarded for good performance.
“We get postcards from the Principal that say ‘You’re a star’. They’re very gratefully received and we all try to help each other out.”
The school is also understanding when it comes to work-life balance, and social and family commitments are considered. If a member of staff needs extra support, they are encouraged to ask for it.
Ms McCall says she would recommend teaching at Ark William Parker: “Hastings is a small town and we do a lot to promote what we do. There’s a lot happening locally, and William Parker is a school that really cares about its teachers and its students.”