“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.

These are:

  • 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’1
  • We all have something to teach others and, so an NQT 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 Evelyn Grace Academy is written and informed by current and proven (not faddish) research, as well as the experience of our own teachers.

Tim Dainty, Principal


Why work at Evelyn Grace Academy?

Ark Evelyn Grace Academy opened in 2008 and moved into its award-winning building on Shakespeare Road in 2010. Evelyn Grace Academy was judged as good by Ofsted in 2017, and now we are striving to be outstanding in every category. Whether you are moving into higher education or starting a career, we want to make sure that every student that leaves our school has been well prepared both academically and socially. We exist to transform the life chances of our students.

Training and development at Ark Evelyn Grace Academy

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.

Support at Ark Evelyn Grace Academy

We understand the importance of our staff's wellbeing and offer a variety of social activities from yoga sessions to netball matches to reflexology. We acknowledge our staff's hard work and award a "Hero of the Week", to recognise the dedication and commitment of the team.

Students at Ark Evelyn Grace Academy

At Evelyn Grace we have high expectations of all our students and are committed to empowering them to achieve excellence and reach their full potential. Students at Evelyn Grace Academy enjoy coming to school and are proud to act as ambassadors in the local community. The Principal praises this positive attitude by reading out letters from local people who have been impressed by our students' behaviour, outlook and mutual respect for each other.

At Evelyn Grace we have a very clear behaviour management system across the school to allow our staff to concentrate on what they do best: teaching.

More training days

In order to deliver the best training and network events, we offer twice as many training days as standard.

Hub days

Three times a year, people working in specific roles or subject areas get together to share best practice and deepen their subject knowledge with peers from across the Ark network.

Ark online training

Our online, cloud-based learning platform supports your development - delivering exciting content straight to you, from exemplary teaching video clips to best practice resources.

Bespoke training

We develop and deliver our own weekly training sessions which are focused on helping our staff master culture routines, planning and pedagogy.

Network opportunities

You’ll work with colleagues from different subjects, schools and cities, and have the chance to take on network-wide responsibilities such as leading programmes or training.

Interested in teaching at Evelyn Grace Academy or finding out more? Get in touch or browse our list of vacancies.

Train to teach in this school

Are you interested in training to become a teacher at Evelyn Grace Academy? Find out more at arkteachertraining.org.

Be Inspired

Watch this inspiring video on how : Every Lesson Shapes a Life