Hera Tiborcz, Maths Teacher at William Edwards School
“My career in teaching began as an A-Level Math Tutor in Hungary. Since then, I have fulfilled my PGCE teacher training course with an awarded IMA scholarship in the UK and progressed to a Key Stage 3 Coordinator at William Edwards School. I’m proud when I reflect on my self-growth over the past two years, owing to both my hard work and the opportunities SWECET provides. In my third year of teaching, I am still focusing on my chosen training topic, ‘Teaching for Mastery’ and I appreciate how it shapes my practice in the classroom.
Throughout the School Direct course, I’ve been inundated with support from other teachers at various stages in their careers. Observing their lessons has exposed me to a wealth of knowledge and given me invaluable insight into teaching. The course requires a lot of work, but it is really reassuring to know that there are so many people I can go to for guidance. I feel empowered by my peers who inspire me every day.
Maths has always been a strength and the school recognised that instantly. SWECET valued my subject knowledge and has given me innumerable opportunities to develop. From early on, I’ve been involved in deepening our students’ knowledge with exciting responsibilities which led me to restructure our Maths scheme. Seeing the effects of this and making a difference in their learning in this way has been extremely fulfilling. I cherish each student’s ‘aha’ moments; I feel blessed to be a teacher when I witness the light bulb flicking on and they solve a complex Maths task.”
Jenna Chapman, RE Lead at Orsett Heath Academy
“I joined SWECET in 2020 when Orsett Heath Academy opened. Throughout my time at the school, the Trust has supported me with lots of opportunities. One of my favourites has been designing my own RE curriculum and directly seeing the impact this has had on our students. Watching them learn, grow and engage in lessons I’ve put together makes me feel extremely fulfilled knowing I have contributed to their development.
The Trust gives me the resources I need to inspire every student. Having a substantial amount of time as a new and growing school to develop the curriculum has resulted in lots of progress in the classroom. Being part of SWECET means being part of an encouraging, friendly environment and it’s so reassuring to belong under an umbrella of schools united by the same vision and values. I have built valuable connections with other schools which is super useful and I’m able to collaborate with leaders and teachers from these schools who offer different insights and perspectives that positively influence my own teaching. The Trust is a catalyst for creative thinking and sharing best practices.
Of course, teaching comes with its challenges – but the satisfaction of students enjoying the lesson you created or learning from a syllabus you established makes all the hard work worth it. I also really enjoy the opportunity to be a positive role model in the lives of our young people. I cherish the relationships I’ve built up with our incredible students who make each lesson unique and every day exciting.”
India Howlett, Subject Leader RE at Marshalls Park Academy
“I started my career as a newly qualified teacher at Marshalls Park Academy (MPA) in 2017. Having just moved to the Essex area and starting a new job with no prior experience, it was daunting joining such a small department consisting of just myself and the Head of RE. However, in just one year of joining the Trust, I was fortunate to take over the position of RE Lead and grow the department to what it is today – a subject that is now embedded within the curriculum and taught by a dedicated team of teachers who are passionate about enriching our students’ knowledge of the subject area.
With RE not being a national curriculum that’s taught in all schools, I feel grateful to have been given the power to shape our own curriculum, opening our students’ minds and challenging worldviews. The result is RE now becoming a core GCSE subject at MPA, with results consistently improving year on year.
Throughout my short time at MPA, I feel lucky to have been supported by the Trust and offered career development opportunities that have made a positive impact on my job role and support my future career ambitions of becoming a Headteacher. This includes undertaking a National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership and getting to shadow the assistant headteacher for 18 months, allowing me to become heavily involved in designing the curriculum, overseeing GCSE options and creating the school timetable. This has been a steep learning curve, but I’ve been so impressed at how quick the Trust are to shape individuals and help steer their colleagues’ career paths.
Being a subject lead can sometimes feel like an isolating job if you don’t have a large team behind you. However, being a part of the Trust has allowed me to work with other likeminded colleagues across the Trust, attend trust initiatives, share best practices and build and raise the profile of RE across our other SWECET schools.”
Jack Lloyd, Head of School at Stifford Clays Primary School
“Since I joined Deneholm primary School in 2014, I have been offered a lot of opportunities to progress my career. The Trust has been instrumental in my growth, both as an individual and as a teacher. I have had the opportunity to work in each of the three primary schools in our Trust and have developed as a teacher and a professional because of those experiences.
I chose to teach because I wanted to play a part in developing children into the best people they can be. When I realised I could have more of an impact across the whole school supporting other like-minded teachers, SWECET helped me to find my feet as I stepped onto the path of leadership. The Trust encouraged me to continue pursuing my passion for teaching whilst developing me as a leader, and as Head of School, I have still been able to continue my passion by regularly teaching each day.
I have learnt a lot from my inspiring colleagues, be it support staff, school teachers or senior leaders who have all influenced my thinking in different ways. I have been able to shadow some incredible headteachers as well as turn to them for advice at all hours.
Ultimately, my role allows me to do what I always wanted: to shape a child’s life. Receiving a new class of thirty small humans and seeing them leave with new achievements and develop as young people is the reason I and many other teachers decide to teach. Now that I am Head of School, I also get to watch lots of teachers grow as professionals which is just as rewarding whilst impacting on the outcomes of hundreds of children. In eight years, I am extremely proud of my achievements and have enjoyed working with the primary schools in our Trust, contributing to Good Ofsted results.”