We’re into the swing of the new school year now – the summer holidays seem like a long time ago! – and the new faces of our Year 7 students are already familiar as they approach their lessons with confidence and enthusiasm. But our Year 7s aren’t the only new faces at Churchill this September: we also welcome a fantastic group of new staff!
When I was training to be a Headteacher, I was given a lot of advice about how to improve and maintain high standards in schools. In one particularly memorable document, the following piece of advice was number one:
“The most important thing the Headteacher does is to find, recruit, develop and retain great teachers. You can’t play like Barcelona if you’ve got players from Brentwood.”
I’m sure that no disrespect was meant to Brentwood in that Headteacher’s advice, but it stuck with me! For Churchill to continue to be a great school, and to continue to go from strength to strength, the quality of the teaching needs to be the best it can be in every classroom, every day. That teaching needs to be underpinned by exceptional support staff in every role across the Academy. I am very fortunate to have inherited a school already packed with dedicated, highly skilled professionals doing a fantastic job with the students, and I am thrilled that this year’s new recruits have added to that strength.
It is especially gratifying to have such fantastic staff joining us at a time when teacher recruitment around the country is very challenging. I know of many schools – including some locally – with unfilled vacancies in key teaching posts being covered by non-specialists or temporary staff. Our reputation and the quality of our offer here at Churchill has meant that we have filled every teaching post with subject specialists, experts in their field, and fantastic teachers to boot! And our support staff has been strengthened by the recruitment of experienced, dedicated staff who have added to our capacity to ensure our students are able to learn to the best of their ability.
This year we are joined by:
- Jon Bevan (Teacher of Geography)
- Harry Church (Teacher of History and Politics)
- Owen Davis (Teacher of Psychology and Sociology)
- Joanne Dignum (Teaching Assistant)
- Eric Evans (Teacher of Physics)
- Chloe Harvey (Teacher of PE)
- Lizzie Hudson (School Administrator)
- Alison Innalls (Head of RE)
- Maire McNeil (Stuart House Mentor)
- James McWilliam Woods (Teacher of Maths)
- Victoria Piper (Head of Maths)
- Jacqueline Sims (Teacher of Modern Languages)
- Jeff Spencer (Teacher of Music)
- Adam Taylor (Teaching Assistant)
- James White (Performance Technician)
After the Governors met with the new staff this week, the chair of our Finance Committee sought me out to tell me how impressed he was by their energy, positivity and enthusiasm, and he remarked on how lucky our students were to have these people working with them. I couldn’t agree more! So welcome to all the new staff joining us this September. We’re thrilled to have you here, and we’re very excited about all that you have to offer the students. I hope you enjoy your time at Churchill as much as me!