An Outstanding Opportunity
Our staff are our most valuable resource and we pride ourselves on investing in them, to ensure the best outcomes for pupils. Our unique working environment offers many benefits for staff, ranging from training opportunities and guest speakers to a supportive culture and financial incentives. Find out for yourself what our staff members value the most in their career at Perseid School, and their experience so far.
Amber Jones, Classteacher: I Trained to be a Teacher After My Temp Experience at Perseid School
“I have dreamt of being a teacher for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I had a wonderful school experience and inspiring teachers, and I wanted to give back what I had received, and shape young minds to achieve big things.
During 2021/21, I worked at Perseid School in KS4 as a temporary member of staff. My experience then encouraged me to undertake my PGCE and return to Perseid School as a teacher. I saw for myself that here the child’s needs and views are put first, each child has an individual learning experience, with a focus on development and independence.
The highlight of my job is witnessing the ‘little things’ being achieved – the growth in confidence to take part in a new group activity, finding transitions easier.
It truly is a joy to work in a school where pupils enjoy their school experience. Perseid is one of a kind, offering a safe environment for all children, with specialities to make sure they reach their potential, experience hands-on learning and benefit from strong relationships with staff and their peers”.
Lizette van der Koppel, Classteacher: Why I Joined Perseid School
“Working with children from different walks of life has always been a passion of mine, and working at Perseid School felt like an incredible opportunity as I know that it is a leading school for professional development. I know that teachers and staff across the school have their talents and potential recognised, and are supported to be the best version of themselves through training and development, ensuring we deliver the best standards of teaching and support possible for our pupils, to give them the very best outcomes.
I have only been in my role for three months, but in that time, I have formed strong partnerships with my colleagues, sharing best practice, supporting one another and all with the best interests of pupils at the heart, which makes for a very positive working environment which supports our wellbeing.
In my role, I teach a group of children with varying needs, which makes my job unique and incredibly interesting, I take great job satisfaction in supporting children to reach their own individual goals and celebrate their milestones. I hope to develop my practice my completing a Master’s degree in Inclusion and grow into a leadership role.
It is a pleasure to work in a school that is recognised for providing a provision that pupils love, and to hear feedback from families that every day they are excited to come to school. It is my belief that their joy for school is a result of the trusting relationships developed with staff, and that Perseid is a place where they feel valued, and heard, and have many exciting opportunities throughout the year. It is a safe and happy place to learn and grow – not only for pupils”.
Louise Tidey, Lead Practitioner for School Improvement: Why I Came Back to Perseid School
Louise joined Perseid School 12 years ago as a Teaching Assistant, and now proudly takes the role as Professional Lead of KS4 and Sixth Form.
Inspired to learn more of how she could support children like those at Perseid to have their needs met and to develop enjoyable and exciting learning approaches and her knowledge of alternative methods of communication, Louise completed her PGCE, and came back to Perseid as a qualified teacher. Louise praises the school for encouraging and supporting her professional development, which has ensured she provides every child and young person within her care with an outstanding education.
Following eight years of teaching as a Class Teacher and Middle Leader, Louise moved to Thailand for two years, pursuing a career at an international kindergarten as an EYFS Phase Coordinator and Class Teacher. During this time, she deepened her knowledge of early childhood development and teaching through play. She was keen to return to Perseid, to use this knowledge to better understand the different stages of learning pupils are at, and bring new exciting play concepts to the classroom.
Now that she has returned and has been warmly welcomed back to Perseid School, Louise has taken on new responsibilities in her role. As she leads a bigger staff team, Louise encourages her staff to reflect on their practise an ensure staff have the knowledge and training they need to fulfil their roles to an outstanding manner. In addition, she liaises with the Senior Leadership Team to ensure children and young people have a broad and enriching curriculum, incorporating opportunities to develop their skills for their future, and make choices about their future.
Louise’s ambitions lie in expanding her knowledge: to build upon what she has learnt to better support our pupils in order to thrive. She hopes to continue learning through sharing best practise, reflect upon her own, develop her leadership skills and discover new and exciting approaches to education by engaging in CPD opportunities offered by the school.
“I love working within a highly professional, supportive, motivational school community. I am surrounded by highly committed and inspiring teachers, all with the same aim to provide the students with an exciting, play-based, motivating and outstanding education.
We are encouraged as teachers to find professional development opportunities in areas of interest and develop new knowledge which we can then share with others. There are always new challenges and new projects that we can lead on which encourages us to reflect, research, and act to bring about positive change. This is highly motivating and brings a sense of achievement and pride when you notice the positive impact this has on the students learning.
Pupils love their school experience because Perseid is an exciting, motivating and inspirational place to learn. Pupils are encouraged to use their voice to express their opinions, choices, needs and wants. Pupils interests are put at the heart of all their learning which in turn, provides them with a motivating way to learn”.
Daniaal Effendi, Classteacher: My First Term
Daniaal completed his PGCE in summer 2021 with the Harris Federation Schools Direct programme, working in EYFS and we welcomed him back to Perseid Lower School, as one of our KS1 teachers.
With a passion for working with children and making positive impacts, Daniaal is dedicated to providing every pupil in his care with memorable and enjoyable life and learning experiences. When asked what his favourite aspect of his role is, he responded that it is the spontaneity of each working day: the excitement of knowing that no day will be the same and the chance to each day develop a new understanding for the pupils he works with, whether it be academically, self care and independence or simply just creating memorable moments together.
Daniaal’s motto is ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world’.
“I worked as a TA1 at Perseid School from November 2019 to Summer 2020 and found the experience to be incredible. The training and support I was provided with was outstanding, giving me confidence in my own ability to support the pupils to the best of my ability. I knew that following my PGCE year, returning to Perseid would provide the support, training and opportunities to become the best teacher possible for the pupils I would work with”.
Diane Propsting, Classteacher: My Journey at Perseid School
We warmly welcomed Diane to Perseid School eight years ago, and she has been a fantastic addition to our team ever since. This year, Diane is leaving Perseid to begin her new adventure, and we caught up with her to find out more about her experience over the last eight years.
When I decided to retrain to become a teacher, I knew I wanted to work in SEND. I followed an unsalaried School Direct route into teaching with the Merton Special Teaching Alliance, which allowed me to attend the University course as usual but provided greater opportunities for a variety of special schools one of which was Perseid. This route into teaching confirmed for me my passion for working with children with SEND and inspired me to secure my first teaching post at Perseid.
One of the things I like best about Perseid is the fantastic school community. Everyone strives to ensure that the very best outcomes are achieved for each child, which is very important to me whilst also ensuring that all the children continue to have fun and remain engaged in their learning. I have absolutely loved working with all the pupils and now that I’ve been here for such a long time, I’ve been able to see whole cohorts progress and grow. I have also really enjoyed all the opportunities available at Perseid – it’s a great school for ensuring staff are well supported and there is so much professional development on offer too!
Since gaining QTS and PGCE with Distinction from Kingston University in 2015, I have worked at Perseid Lower School teaching pupils across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Following my NQT year (now called the ECT year) I have continued to develop my practice by completing a Masters in Educational Practice with the University of Roehampton, and I was awarded an MA with Distinction in 2017. Alongside my MA (which I completed whilst working full-time and am fortunate enough that Perseid offers this opportunity to all Teachers fully funded) I undertook subject leadership in Drama and Learning Outside the Classroom (LOTC).
Following completion of my MA I then participated in the Leadership Legacy Project with the SSAT, which provided valuable insight into school leadership skills as well as opportunities to visit and shadow headteachers. My think piece for this project was published in the Winter 2019 SSAT Journal. During this time, I took on the ITT Mentoring Lead Coordinator role and have hosted multiple trainee teachers over the past few years as well as supporting trainees placed in other classes. During the Pandemic I was also able to contribute to the Oak National Academy virtual school through filming a series of lessons for the SEND primary age range. Most recently I completed my NPQML and gained my Middle Leader qualification. This supported me to understand the competencies and values required for leadership, which I was able to bring to my new role as KS1 Professional Lead.
Alongside the above listed professional development, I have also undertaken training in a variety of specialist programmes including TEACCH, PECS, Attention Autism, PRO-ACT SCIPr, Colourful Semantics, THRIVE, Augmented Communication, Intensive Interaction and MOVE. In addition to these specialist skills, I have undertaken training in Maths Mastery and RWInc and have also been filmed for the Ruth Miskin RWInc training website for SEND.
As part of my professional development, I have taken on several areas of subject leadership. I am currently the ITT Mentoring Lead responsible for ensuring that trainee teachers make progress against the teaching standards whilst also ensuring continuity and a positive impact on pupil attainment. As a class based and school-based mentor for trainees, I enjoy being able to support new teachers to fulfil their potential.
As the subject lead for LOTC since 2016, I have transformed the outdoor learning curriculum, rewritten schemes of work for KS1 and KS2, provided staff training and successfully introduced and embedded a pet care topic. Most recently, I worked with Trees for Cities to support the implementation of the Edible Classroom.
During my time as the Drama lead for Perseid Lower School, I ensured that every class had access to the theatre and also jointly produced the KS1 and 2 Christmas Show with the Music Teacher and Middle Leader. As the professional lead for KS1 I have been able to develop my leadership skills across a wider department for example building effective working relationships with my team, across the key stage and also with parents and families of pupils in KS1.
Over the last eight years, there have been so many highlights – almost too many to mention! Certainly, having my professional work published in a national journal in 2019 has been an absolute highlight and would not have been possible without the support of the senior leadership team at Perseid but on a more personal level I really enjoyed working closely with Polka Theatre to run a series of workshops in 2018 with my class at the time to devise, produce and perform a short play made for and by the pupils. Their excitement and delight at performing in front of families a piece of work, which they completely created themselves was a huge achievement.
I will be very sad to say goodbye to Perseid at the end of this academic year as I have so many fond memories here. However, I am looking forward to moving to a new post in a similar school nearby in Wandsworth. I will be taking on a class teacher role and continuing to develop and build my skills in a new school context and environment.
Grace Leech, Classteacher: Why I Joined Perseid
From a background of teachers across all sectors; culinary, the arts, music, dance and both primary and secondary education, Grace grew up with love for learning new things, and passion for sharing knowledge with others. Her career pathway was clear – she was seeking a fast-paced environment, the opportunity to work with children and a rewarding career. For her, Perseid School was the natural choice, where every day is different and puts a smile on her face.
For Grace, her favourite aspect of her role is teaching and engaging with pupils, developing new methods of teaching and learning within and beyond the classroom to ensure they enjoy their topics, and making progress towards their personal goals is a joy and reward. As a teacher to the school, she looks forward to sharing her enthusiasm and knowledge with colleagues, whilst learning from others and their best practise.
In the future, Grace hopes to study a Masters in SEND to improve her pedagogy, and see its impact in her teaching. For now, she is content with her ability to teach pupils across the school in the Pathways style of teaching, which allows her to interact with a range of pupils from Year 7 to Sixth Form; fostering the close-knit community that the school is so well known for.
“Perseid School is an outstanding school whose reputation for their child-centred approach to learning is known within and across the boroughs. When looking for my first teaching post, I wanted to find a supportive school environment with a strong sense of community where I could grow and develop my pedagogy, and Perseid ticks that box. Working in a school where pupils enjoy coming every day, knowing they will be listened to and heard is a pleasure. Pupils love the exciting curriculum and creative provision and know that everything we do is for the benefit and with their best interest in mind”.