"School leaders must never forget: nothing is more important than your people”
- Paul Bambrick-Santoyo
“When we come to believe that our schools should be providing a culture that creates and sustains a community of student and adult learning – that this is the trellis of our profession – then we will organise our schools, classrooms, and learning experiences differently.
Show me a school where instructional leaders constantly examine the school’s culture and work to transform it into one hospitable to sustained human learning and I’ll show you students who do just fine on those standardised tests.”
- Roland S Barth, ‘The Culture Builder’, Educational Leadership (2002)
Message from the Principal
Great schools have to grow students and staff. If we want pupils to learn, we have to ensure that our teachers are nurtured and their craft developed. We must look after and create the necessary conditions for our teachers to grow so that they can help pupils learn.
It is part of our DNA that we learn best when we learn together.
Consistency of practice and agreement over shared values and mission is achievable by working, planning, training and teaching together. It might begin with a whole staff and training session, where messages are shared, however, unless this is followed up with observation, feedback and practice, these elements of a teachers’ craft will never become embedded and automatic.
There are a number of guiding principles when thinking about how to create a community of learners and these underpin all our staff development.
- We learn best when we learn together
- We all learn from our mistakes and should model this to our pupils
- We must see teaching as a craft that one can always get better at, as ‘one lifetime is never enough to master it’
- We all have something to teach others and, so an ECT can learn from a Vice Principal and vice versa.
- We develop our craft best through observation, feedback and deliberate practice
At Evelyn Grace, we agree with Willingham when he argues that teaching and Learning is not a science because it does not simply seek to describe the world in which we live. The point of education is to change the world and enable pupils to grow, learn, and do more. It is better to understand teaching as a craft, as it involves special skills which can be best developed through observation of master craftsmen, planning, and, of course, learning by doing.
However, this does not mean that science cannot help teachers improve their practice. Indeed, if cognitive science uncovers how memory works, teachers should take note and ensure that the lessons learned inform best practice. Similarly, if researchers can identify which teaching techniques have the greatest impact, we would be foolish not to allow this to inform our craft.
Given all of this, we are keen to ensure that the pedagogy at Ark Evelyn Grace is written and informed by current and proven (not faddish) research, as well as the experience of our own teachers.
- Tim Dainty, Principal
Striving for excellence
Evelyn Grace Academy was judged as Good by Ofsted in 2017, and now we are striving to be Outstanding in every category.
We strive towards this objective of education to change the world and enable pupils to grow, learn, and do more. Teaching is a craft with special skills, and we endeavour to develop these at all times.
We learn best when we learn together.
Training and development opportunities
In order to deliver the best training and network events, we offer twice as many training days as standard. You will receive high levels of support from the school with a strong focus on staff development. Our training doesn’t stop once you reach a certain level or learn a certain skill – we’ll support you throughout your whole career, from starting out as a trainee to running your own school.
Be part of a network
Joining our school means becoming part of a network of education experts who are all united by the same purpose: a commitment to making a difference where it matters most.
You will have the opportunity to come together with your peers locally, nationally, and sometimes even internationally, to share resources, learning, and good practice. You'll also be supported to focus on what you do best. We offer support beyond the classroom; from prioritising strong behaviour management strategies to giving you access to our award-winning data management platform.
Have an impact far beyond your own school
If you want to be part of the effort to advance and improve education, join Ark. From creating and working with new curricula and teaching techniques, to collaborating with other schools and partners to share what works, we’re always aiming for system change. Through Ark Ventures, we incubate, launch and scale initiatives, such as Mathematics Mastery, English Mastery, Institute for Teaching and Ambition School Leadership, which address some of the most intractable issues in education and society – in the UK and around the world.