What our Staff Say
Nathan Heath, Associate Assistant Principal, Hinde House Academy (Primary Phase)
Recommended by a friend to visit Hinde House, Nathan was immediately drawn to the academy because of the ethos and commitment to supporting the development of teachers new to their career. Upon beginning his journey at the academy, Nathan found that teachers across both phases and the Trust were all invested in the same thing – ensuring the wellbeing and high-quality education of all pupils, and this was mirrored in staff too, as over the last seven years he has been encouraged and supported to develop as a teacher and leader.
“Working as part of the Brigantia Learning Trust has been incredibly beneficial as it has offered me plenty of chances to develop myself professionally and progress in my career. Over the years, it has provided me with opportunities to collaborate with, and work alongside, a range of different people. Not only that, as we are a 2-19 Trust, we are able to pool our collective expertise and successfully guide our learners through their primary, secondary and tertiary education.
I have achieved an incredible amount since starting my career as a teacher at the Trust, progressing to a subject co-ordinator, phase leader and currently Associate Assistant Principal (AAP). My multi-faceted role not only allows me to work with some of our youngest pupils in the Trust, but it allows me to collaborate alongside great teachers. Additionally, the most interesting aspect of my role is spearheading the development of our wider curriculum, something that I am incredibly passionate about.
The CPD offered at our academy is always relevant, grounded in sound education research and appropriate for our setting. It deals with various aspects of teaching and learning, curriculum developments and subject-specific sessions. My current ambition is to complete my NPQSL training course and embed the skills I learn as an AAP. I am currently involved in the IRIS Connect Hub, working alongside other leaders within the Trust, which is a wonderful opportunity for cross-academy collaboration.”
Carole Flynn, Teaching Assistant, Hinde House Academy (Primary Phase)
“I was inspired to work at Hinde House Primary because of the dynamic, supportive team that always goes above and beyond to help young learners achieve, instil a sense of self-belief and strive to help pupils be the best they can be. The young people here truly are the highlight of my career; empowering them to be confident, to learn and feel safe is incredibly rewarding, and I gain great job satisfaction from knowing I belong to a great team who are ambitious for pupils, improve their life chances and help them to realise they can achieve anything they set their mind too.”
Gavin Breward, Student Support Manager, Yewlands Academy
Gavin describes Yewlands as an uplifting and inspiring place to work, where positive relationships with families and students are the norm, the community is inclusive and professional development and upskilling is encouraged.
With the support of his line manager and colleagues, and by continuing to grasp the professional development opportunities offered, Gavin hopes to become a Student Support Manager for a year group. It is his belief that the Trust and academy are keen to upskill, with a plethora of CPD opportunities and the support of senior leaders under his belt.
“What I most enjoy about my role is working with such wonderful students and helping them overcome barriers to their learning to see them succeed pastorally and academically. Having worked at Yewlands Academy for over 17 years, I have seen so many students blossom and grow, and it is great to hear about what now they are doing such as working as teachers, doctors and plumbers and how they have now got children of their own that are now at Yewlands Academy”.
Lorna Halliday, Subject Lead for English, Yewlands Academy
Over the last six years, Lorna has progressed within the Brigantia Learning Trust ranks, beginning as a Teach First trainee teacher at Hinde House to her position now as Subject Lead for English at Yewlands Academy. During this time, she has developed leadership and management skills, expanded her subject knowledge across both academies and engaged in opportunities to share in new teaching strategies, defining the CPD offer at the Trust as enlightening.
Lorna pursued a career in the education sector because she wanted to further explore her passion within the English subject, and to contribute positively to the life of others. Her mission is to help eradicate the link between postcode and attainment, to break the glass ceiling that is educational inequality and expand her impact beyond just one community by working in a multi-academy Trust.
“I have been on an incredible journey over the last six years with the Brigantia Learning Trust. I stayed here because I felt that my professional development was always valued and supported when I was in my early career and still now as a middle leader. Throughout my time, I have been empowered to keep on aspiring for my own and my students very best outcomes, and I love to see them progress and flourish, taking great reward from when I see their confidence grow and sharing in the joy they feel when they reach their potential”.
Elliot Lister, Key Stage 3 Lead, Yewlands Academy
As Key Stage 3 Science Leader, Elliot holds an important role in overseeing progress at a pivotal time in students’ education, and sees his position as a privileged one, in which he makes sure every student in Yewlands receives the highest standard education.
In the future, Elliot hopes to expand his responsibilities to improve education and progress from a holistic perspective and complete an MPQML as part of his continued professional development. As part of the CPD offer at the academy, Elliot has participated in peer led coaching, led departmental meetings, completed external qualifications, training and led trips.
“I wanted to work at the Brigantia Learning Trust because I knew it would offer a wealth of opportunities to develop not only as a teacher, but as a well-rounded person. Here, I am offered a large support network, the opportunity to teach in a place where my responsibilities for students expand a lot wider than within the classroom and sharing of best practice to develop my own practice is the norm, CPD prospects are frequent and supportive senior leaders always offer developmental feedback and encouragement.”
Debbie Hobbs, Phase Leader, Wincobank Academy
As Key Stage 1 Phase Leader Debbie takes great pride in leading her team, a close-knit team of colleagues all of whom have the best interests of all pupils at heart. For 9 years, Debbie has inspired children and instilled a sense of self-belief in them, raising their expectations of what they are capable of in the same way her own teachers did.
In the future, Debbie hopes to continually evolve within her role, leading teachers, passing on her knowledge and expertise whilst indulging in her passion: teaching.
“At our academy, there is a real sense of community, and we are all there to support one another. It is a really exciting place to work, where children have a thirst for knowledge, we benefit from positive relationships with families and the Trust’s strong ethos of hard work, ambition and trust creates a culture we are all proud to work within”.
Nicola Sherwood, Associate Principal, DSL, SENCO and Attendance Lead, Concord and Wincobank Academies
From an early age, Nicola always knew that she was going to be a teacher. Having grown up in a family of teachers and witnessing first-hand the positive impact and the differences they made to the lives of pupils, this had a great influence on her decision to work in education.
One of our longest serving members of staff, Nicola joined Concord as an NQT 23 years ago and since then has benefitted from the ambitious training programme in place across the Trust, developing a range of skills and brokering support and training from a range of leading specialists and consultants.
Referring to the unique infant and junior academy environment, Nicola praises the smaller setting, which allows staff to get to know every pupil on an individual basis, but the partnership with one another allows the academies to benefit from the opportunities a larger academy brings.
For Nicola, belonging to the Brigantia Learning Trust provides a range of unique benefits: academies are equipped with a wealth of high-quality resources and ever-increasing expertise to support continuous development, providing each academy with autonomy, recognising the strengths of each academy and providing the opportunity to work in partnership, develop the quality of education and range of experiences for the whole community.
“The team we have at Concord and Wincobank is fantastic. We genuinely care about one another and it’s a very supportive working environment. Our desire to encourage high aspirations and for every pupil to achieve their best, lies at the heart of everything we do.
I feel fortunate to work as part of such a committed team in an academy that’s so rooted in its local community. My ambition is that we continue to build on the strong foundations we have, to provide the highest quality education and experiences for all pupils at Concord and Wincobank so that they secure the best outcomes and go on to the great things they are all capable of”.
John Matterson, Vice Principal, Concord and Wincobank Academies
With 10 years’ experience under this belt working at Wincobank and Concord Academies, John is now Vice Principal, and has big plans for the future.
“I came to the Brigantia Learning Trust as part of my final QTS placement, and I absolutely loved working for an academy that is not only at the heart of its community, but its pupils and families were at the centre of all that they do. Not only this but working for the Trust has created a pool of expertise from which we can draw: working with colleagues of all ages and different levels of experience and the ability to share practice and seek advice where needed.
My journey at the Trust has grown and progressed from student teacher to class teacher, to taking on more responsibilities until I became Vice Principals across both academies. This provides me with a unique insight into primary education, being able to work across a variety of subjects, areas and different age ranges as I lead on teaching and learning. In the future, I hope to work within a Principal role.”
Cassie Allen, Senior Academic Tutor, Longley Park Sixth Form
Cassie was first welcomed to Longley Park during her PGCE placement, where she witnessed first-hand the strong relationships between staff and students, culture of care and passion staff have for helping students achieve their full potential and the destinations they seek.
Within her role, Cassie and her team design and develop a robust and compressive core offer for subjects, with scope for creativity in how to approach challenges which she believes is a highlight of the role. Praising the Trust and academy for its emphasis on rewarding staff, Cassie has benefited from the sharing of best practice across the Trust, range of CPD opportunities and Sodexo platform which offers a range of discounts on holidays, shops and activities in the local area.
“I love my job. Within my team, everyone is incredibly supportive, and we work collaboratively together. I can put my trust in both my colleagues and line management, sharing any concerns and celebrating successes as a group. I love being able to interact with students, helping them to discover their passions and empowering them to make decisions to better their future. There is truly nothing more fulfilling than helping a student to achieve their dream and knowing that you played a part in making that happen for them.”
Amanda Abson, Student Support Services Assistant, Longley Park Sixth Form College
A pillar of support in the Longley Park community, Amanda joined Longley Park last academic year, her first position within the education sector as Student Support Services Assistant. Within her role, Amanda works closely with students helping them to apply for bursaries, understand income and financial support, alongside undertaking first-aid and safeguarding roles.
“At Longley Park, I am continually learning and evolving. My colleagues are incredibly supportive, treat students with respect and work exceptionally hard to aid the transition into higher education and adulthood. I feel very lucky to work for an employer such as Brigantia who has a fantastic reputation and values every member of staff as an individual”.
Alison Battersby, Associate Assistant Principal, Hinde House Academy
Alison joined Hinde House 16 years ago, with a passion for delivering the best possible education and securing the very best outcomes for all. Referred to Hinde House by a friend, Alison was immediately struck by the warm and welcoming academy community, and how invested all members of staff were in both student and staff development.
For Alison, job satisfaction comes from adopting many ‘hats’ within her role as Associate Assistant Principal and in working collaboratively with staff across the academy, enabling her to reflect, refine and improve teaching practice. Currently, Alison works across the all-through academy, relishing the challenge to teach a range of abilities and learning styles, developing positive relationships with students and families, designing the Hinde House curriculum and developing teaching and learning philosophies following a successful Ofsted.
“Working for both Hinde House and the Brigantia Learning Trust offers the exciting prospect of progression within my career, where I have been encouraged to flourish and develop a range of skills. Senior leaders are focused on ensuring all staff benefit from progression opportunities, from external qualifications resources to an open-door policy and recognising and rewarding ambition.
I feel incredibly lucky to belong to a Trust that supports and encourages collaboration, development, teaching excellence and has a clear ambition for all. Being able to shape and follow learning journeys from age 2-19 is truly unique and our learners benefit from the wealth of experience and subject expertise from which we draw and share best practice”.
Ahmed Zaman, Health and Safety Officer, Hinde House Academy
Within his role, Ahmed has the opportunity to work across the two Hinde House sites, working with students and staff at all levels and exploring the inner workings of the Trust.
“For me, what I enjoy most about my role is the knowledge that students are getting the best education from some of the most brilliant minds. I feel incredibly lucky to work with fantastic colleagues and leaders; their expertise, knowledge and selfless nature mean I always feel supported, and my line managers have always recognised my strengths and potential, offering professional development opportunities to further my career and enhance performance.
When I first visited Hinde House Academy, I was taken aback by the stunning grounds and views, the diverse student and staff body and how welcomed I felt. 14 years later, I still feel as grateful for the opportunity to work at the academy. I hope in the future to inspire people into having the same passion and work ethic I feel every day and become a key leader in my field, offering my support and expertise to all academies across the Trust.”
Connor Elliot, Associate Assistant Principal, Hinde House Academy
Connor wanted to work for the Brigantia Learning Trust because its values aligned with his own, and he wanted the opportunity to make a difference to the outcomes and attainment of students across Sheffield. As Associate Principal, Connor has thoroughly enjoyed his first years on the Senior Leadership Team, with responsibility linked to shaping students’ pathways, making a wider difference to the academy and Trust and improving life chances for the students in his care.
For Connor, the highlight of his role is working in an organisation that educates pupils aged 2-19; describing the transition across multiple phases as incredibly exciting. In his short time at the academy, Connor has witnessed pupils nurtured from primary to secondary schools, and others transition from Year 11 to our Sixth Form partner Longley Park, and still hears from students now, discussing their preparations for university and life post-16.
“Working for the Brigantia Learning Trust is a truly unique experience, filled with opportunities for progression, and to make a greater difference to our whole Trust community. In my first year I have shared best practice and shadowed other members of the Senior Leadership Team and have been lucky enough to attend external CPD opportunities, including the academy supporting me through STEM training in York to refine the Science and Maths curriculum, in addition to my NPQSL.”
Gemma Bell, Senior Assessment and Data Officer, Brigantia Learning Trust
“As part of my role within the Trust Central Services Department, I lead a small team which manages the data, assessment and reporting across the Trust, producing data analysis and support where needed and ensuring data analysis is easily accessed and interpreted for staff.
To ensure I am fulfilling the role to the best of my ability, the Trust has offered me numerous opportunities for progression and development. So far, I have undertaken training provided by Microsoft and will be furthering this by completing Power BI Training. I am also regularly provided training by exam awarding bodies directly, which enhances my delivery.
The highlight of my career is belonging to a team that collaborates with its colleagues and puts the outcomes of students at the heart of its operation. If I can find a way that reduces data input, streamlines and presents it in a user-friendly way, I will! My ambition is to continually feel that I provide the best service to my colleagues and continue working in a role that I enjoy and am passionate about”.