Ms D. Bentham (Data & Exams Manager)
I joined Yardleys in April 2018 as Data and Exams Manager. I have worked in both primary and secondary schools across the country including the Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire and Coventry in various positions. The exemplary behaviour and warmth which was exuded from the students on my visits before being offered my position here at Yardleys was the deciding factor for taking on my roll. The attitude of both the staff and the students here at Yardleys makes it feel like a family and I have never looked back.
I came to Yardleys School to take on a new challenge having left my position as Data and Timetable Manager at a school in Coventry. Here at Yardleys I was taking on the responsibility of Exams which I had not been part of before, but I was pleased to be bringing my expertise and skills in data and timetabling to the team at a time of change in their Management Information System. This brought new challenges for me, but with the help and support of the Senior Leadership Team this was not as daunting as it could have been.
The overall ethos of Yardleys school is to support each other to be their best and this is exactly what happens here, not just for students but for staff also. Yardleys is a happy, warm and supportive environment to be a part of and I am happy to have joined it to make a small difference in my own way.
Ms C. James (Cover Supervisor)
I joined Yardleys in 2005 as a Teaching Assistant. It was very daunting as I was young and was used to working with younger children. However, staff at Yardleys soon welcomed me and helped me gain the confidence and strength I have now to successfully fulfil my job role. Over the years I have been given many opportunities to enhance my professional development.
I successfully secured a job as a Cover Supervisor which allows me not only to improve my teaching abilities but also build relationships with pupils across all year groups. Moreover, I have been an Assistant Head of House, which gave me the chance to support with PSHE, attendance and behaviour. More recently, my passion has been to help pupils’ mental health and wellbeing and I am currently studying for a BA Honours Degree in ‘Childhood and Youth Studies’.
Alongside covering lessons and studying, I run wellbeing sessions every week with pupils who may be struggling with anxiety or their emotions. We discuss emotions and why we may feel certain ways. We also discuss strategies to help cope with our emotions. Because after all, educating pupils on mental and physical health will help them succeed at school and in the future.
Mr R. Vaughan (Head of History)
I came to Yardleys school as a Newly Qualified Teacher in 2014. I was nervous, having only just achieved QTS and moving straight into an inner city school. My fears proved to be unfounded. For my NQT year I was given a professional mentor and a subject tutor who guided me through the process of becoming a fully qualified teacher. They dropped in on my lessons every week, giving feedback that was brief, specific and very helpful. I was never left to rest on my laurels, but I never felt like I faced an insurmountable obstacle thanks to their guidance.
After becoming a fully qualified teacher I was given further opportunities to develop professionally, with hot spots and twilight sessions almost every week focusing on the different aspects of teaching. This has continued to help me as I now have my own form and the challenges of Year 11 alongside the fresh faces of a new Year 7. Yardleys helped me grow from a student teacher with a PGCE to a far more confident, fully qualified teacher and now the Head of Department, the school always has mine and my students’ best interests at heart.
Ms T. Chauhan-Rowe (Head of Computing and ICT)
I joined Yardleys as an NQT in 2005, each year has been very different for me. In 2007 I was appointed as Key Stage 3 co-ordinator of ICT, this role gave me a real opportunity to lead and manage a section of the curriculum. During the transition from ICT to Computing I introduced GCSE Computing at KS4 and updated the KS3 curriculum to reflect the latest changes introduced by the government, I was then appointed as Head of Computing & ICT.Most recently I have also taken the role of Professional Mentor which involves mentoring NQT’s and other colleagues. I thoroughly enjoy this role as it has helps me to reflect on my teaching and learning in the classroom and allows me to develop others as well as myself.
During my time at Yardleys the school has changed considerably and there have been challenging moments but I feel fortunate to have been a part of this development and change. Yardleys School has allowed me to become an outstanding practitioner by providing me with many opportunities. The CPD programme is strong and the opportunity to share good practice is a real strength at Yardleys. The staff are supportive and the students are unique. Each day is different which makes the role exciting, rewarding and stimulating.
Mr P. Buckley (Head of Year)
I joined Yardleys School in January 2016 as a Head of House (now Head of Year), having previously undertaken a similar role at my previous school. My experiences of Yardleys were positive from the moment that I arrived for my first interview; both staff and students have been enormously welcoming and after only a term here I felt like part of the furniture.
As a Head of Year I am responsible for the pastoral support offered to 180 students by a team of seven form tutors. I also work closely with parents, Heads of Faculty / Heads of Department and a variety of external agencies to ensure that our students receive the individual support they require to achieve their potential. In addition to this, I undertake a variety of strategic projects and work alongside members of SLT in order to influence whole school strategy and operations.
All in all, I value the opportunities that I am given at Yardleys to develop my own skill sets as well as those of our students.
Ms J. Arshad (Teacher of English)
I joined Yardleys in July 2021, as an early career teacher (ECT). During that period, I was extremely nervous to be starting my first job as an English Teacher. However, I was warmly accepted by the staff at Yardleys, almost instantly. All of the staff members have been extremely welcoming and supportive and the environment at the school has been positive and empowering as I am always encouraged to grow as a practitioner and seek the help of experienced teachers.
As an early career teacher, my mentor has been a great pillar of support, whom I can confide in and seek advice from. She has helped me establish effective strategies for my pedagogy and continuously motivates me to excel in and out of the classroom. I am also a Year 9 form tutor, which has been a beneficial experience as I have built positive relationships with students and have learnt more about the pastoral role in school.
The training I have received as an ECT has been useful because I am able to reflect on my own practice and learn from others within the team. My experience within the English department has been valuable and rewarding. I am given the opportunity to carry out wider responsibilities in the school e.g. organising a Young Writers competition and World Book Day. Coming to Yardleys every day feels like less work and more like home.
Dr A. Bakewell (Teacher of Science)
I started my teaching career at Yardleys on the Teach First ITT programme. Stepping into a classroom and teaching with just a few weeks (online in my case!) training could have been enormously daunting – but the support that I received from Yardleys meant that from the first day I have been able to grow as a teacher without trepidation. Professional mentoring at the school is excellent, and the specific, timely feedback has had a real impact on my development. During my ITT and ECT year, I have been able to build relationships of mutual trust and respect with pupils and staff, develop my own resources for the curriculum, take on a pastoral role as year 7 form teacher, as well as run extra-curricular activities such as Science Club and Eco-Leaders.
The ethos of the school is such that all teachers, not just ITTs and ECTs, are continuously reflecting up and refining their practice. Despite being at the beginning of my career, I have always felt that my contributions are valued and that I am a respected member of the team here. I feel very fortunate to have been able to begin my career at Yardleys.