Case Studies: Working at Perseid School
Transitioning to Special Educational Needs
Liane Walker joined Perseid School as Assistant Headteacher at Lower School in 2019, from a mainstream school.
With outcomes in the forefront of her mind, Liane was inspired to teach because she wanted, and enjoyed, teaching children the knowledge and skills they need to progress, and feels a great sense of reward witnessing their own pride when they achieve something they have persisted with, and accomplished. Her career began in mainstream primary, where she led in Arts and Maths. Shortly after she progressed to teach in a base for pupils with autism, with a focus on English and Attention Autism, where she became Head of the base and SENCO for the school they were attached to.
Drawn to Perseid School due to the inclusive practice and range of needs met through the carefully planned curriculum provision, Liane praises the school for their inspiring commitment to pupils. From the curriculum to the facilities, everything is carefully curated with the child in mind. She states that she was blown away with the dedication staff appeared to have to pupils during her first visit, and since joining, that has only been further confirmed.
The unique opportunity and the freedom to design individualised curriculums with additional strengths and needs cemented her decision to transition from mainstream education into a SEND school. At Perseid, Liane knew she would thrive and relish the opportunity to teach in a different way, and quickly became very passionate about inclusion and ensuring all pupils had the same access to education and opportunity. When asked what was the biggest change in the transition, she states ‘how to embed pupil voice throughout the curriculum and why this is so important. Learning and developing my understanding of appropriate terminology to describe pupil’s dysregulation and ensuring staff are fully supported through debriefs and regular check ins, but this only reiterates why I wanted to work here – a school that has the child at the heart of all practice’.
Through a thorough induction, supervision with a senior leader and extensive CPD, Liane was supported at every stage into her role. Alongside gaining an impressive Masters degree, NPQSL and becoming a licenced Thrive practitioner all with the support of Perseid SLT, she has developed as a leader and fulfilled the role to the best of her ability.
In the future, she hopes to support staff as she was, and develop initiatives to ensure the school is always striving to deliver practice that allows pupils to achieve and reach their personal potential.
It is exciting to have so many opportunities at Perseid, one thing I really enjoy is delivering training and upskilling other professionals and hope to continue to deliver more of this both internally and externally.
From Teacher Assistant to Teacher, A Journey of Progression
Daniaal began his career at Perseid School in 2019, when seeking a break after studying at University. He joined Perseid as a part time teaching assistant, where he discovered a passion for inspiring younger generations, and igniting a passion for learning.
Between 2020-2021, Daniaal completed his PGCE in a mainstream Reception class, where he came to the realisation that working in the SEND field was where his dreams really lay, and this returned to Perseid School as a Key Stage 1 Teacher at Lower School, in September 2021.
From a young age, Daniaal knew he wanted to be a teacher. For him, Primary school was the best part of his educational journey, both socially and academically, and as he grew older he saw a reduction in enthusiasm towards school from not only himself, but his peers alike. It was this notion that made him want to return to school as a teacher, to tackle the narrative that education is only about achieving good grades, and revamp the views that children held toward school. He wanted to work in a place where schools focused on development, not solely academically, and created new experiences for learners.
During his time at Perseid, Daniaal thrived as he created meaningful learning experiences for pupils and create days of fun and enjoyment. Although his time in the classroom was halted due to Covid-19, it was enough to reshape his entire career decision and know that upon completion of his PGCE at Harris Academy, he would be returning to Perseid School.
Praising the school, colleagues and the approachable and supportive SLT, Daniaal refers to his experience as a TA as beneficial. Citing that extensive training, work shadowing and support from collages held to build confidence, contribute to pupil learning and further develop his passion for wanting to support pupils with SEND as well as he could.
“Working at Perseid showed me just how important the role of a teacher is. Every day I am empowered to give attention, inspire, and enlighten the lives of our pupils and teach them how to have a voice for themselves, whilst developing them to their full potential. It is incredibly meaningful to be to change the lives of those I work with, and it is with the support of senior leaders at Perseid School I am able to do this. Without their encouragement and willingness to welcome me back, and their dedication to training to ensure I am the best teacher I can be, I wouldn’t have discovered a dream I didn’t know existed”.
Higher Education and Progression
Mollie Crossley has worked at Perseid School for four years, as a Level 3 Teaching Assistant.
With strong desires to work in the teaching sector from a young age, Mollie decided to delay her university to degree to gain first hand experience, and came to Perseid. Whilst at Perseid, Mollie as valued her role in supporting and helping children, finding her new career path incredibly rewarding and gaining a great sense of job satisfaction.
Mollie applied to work at Perseid School as an Apprentice, and chose this career route as it allowed her to gain a qualification alongside first-hand experiences, all the while developing her knowledge in an area she had limited experience. Upon completing her apprenticeship course, Perseid offered Mollie multiple training and induction opportunities, enabling her to become a permanent member of staff and progress through the ranks from TA1 to TA3, and begin studying her degree in Education Studies. Following the completion of her Foundation degree, Mollie plans to complete a top-up year to achieve the full degree and become a qualified teacher.
Studying Education Studies, supplemented by Perseid School, will educate Mollie further in the areas of safeguarding, special educational needs, teaching theories and curriculum planning, all of which is relevant and will extend her current knowledge.
Throughout her time at Perseid School, Mollie has benefited from a wealth of learning and experiences, gaining more responsibilities as she is provided the opportunity to lead lessons, make decisions and supporting the teacher to lead a team. Mollie speaks highly of the wealth of training and professional development opportunities, cohesive working team and positive working environment, and highlights the annual appraisals where staff are encouraged to discuss their strengths and weaknesses, and areas they would like to develop, and how the school can support the achievement of this.
For Mollie, the pupil centric approach at Perseid resonates with her own values. All members of staff are equipped with the correct training, and a shared vision, to make a difference to pupils learning and wellbeing. Staff are committed to delivering the highest standard of teaching, which is bespoke to individual need, made possible by Senior Leaders dedication to ensuring every member of staff is highly skilled, and has the appropriate training to match the schools Outstanding Ofsted status.
In the future, Mollie hopes to continue on her upward trajectory of success at Perseid School and progress in to a teacher role, at Perseid School.
Not only are staff at Perseid committed to developing the very best of staff, but they are to pupils as well. Pupils communication, development and wellbeing are supported by providing staff with training and resources for a wealth of strategies and therapies, meaning our portfolio of skills benefits pupils in the best way possible – we recognise each child is different and ensure the correct strategies are in place to support them. I leave work knowing the work we are doing is having a positive impact to the child’s learning and well-being, and that my practice is of the highest standard it can be. It is incredibly rewarding to work at Perseid School.
Progression to An Early Careers Teacher
Lizzie began her career working on exciting projects such as the regeneration of Battersea Power Station as a retail property advisor, following gaining her Geography degree at the University of Exeter. Slowly, Lizzie sought out a career change, and undertook a new role which she found to be a breath of fresh air: working as a behavioural teaching assistant in a SEND school and assisting pupils to positively participate in a varied school curriculum. In 2021, Lizzie embarked on her teacher training, at Perseid Lower School.
Inspired by her time as a teaching assistant, Lizzie felt she acquired the knowledge and experience from the role and was inspired to further pursue this, deciding to further refine her practice and develop academically by studying to become a teacher. Having researched lots of schools online, Perseid stood out among the crowd due to its Ofsted Outstanding rating and its clearly structured policies, in addition to its positive reputation and established route for trainee teachers.
On completion of her training, Lizzie was resolute in her decision to not return to her native Cornwall. Having formed strong relationships with her colleagues and benefitting from the network of support, Lizzie decided to stay at Perseid School, knowing that the opportunity to work in Yellow pathway would challenge and enhance her teaching, with a desire to learn more about a range of additional needs.
Over the course of her time as a PGCE teacher, Lizzie benefitted from class observations, which served to broaden her experience of SEN teaching. As she progressed to ECT, she has gained access to in-house training such as Attention Autism, Intensive Interaction and PROACT-SCIP. She speaks highly of her colleagues and senior leaders and the open-door policy which means she feels supported at all times. The school environment encourages a culture of sharing best practice – through in formal chats and regular observations, colleagues have shared information and knowledge and shared feedback, allowing her to hone in on specific areas.
As an ECT, Lizzie has bi-termly online lectures run by the school, which focus on breaking down the Teacher Standards in a way that is applicable to SEN schools. These lectures are incredibly insightful, allowing Lizzie to network with other ECT’s working in SEN schools across London, and her school-based mentor Louise develops sessions to ensure they are relevant to teaching pupils with SEN, and always on hand for guidance.
In the future, Lizzie looks forward to continuing to develop her knowledge and practice through the training offered by the school. Over the course of her first year, she has developed an interest in the PMLD field, and wishes to embark on targeted training, which could contribute to overall knowledge, whilst enabling her to refine and improve teaching practices for her class, ultimately improving outcomes in alignment with our school vision.
“As I continue to progress throughout my first year as an ECT, I have been given more independence and opportunity to explore different pedagogies and routines in my classroom, with are now embedded and well established with both staff and pupils. I am incredibly grateful for the support and opportunities to enhance my practice delivered by the school, SLT and my mentor, and I look forward to progressing as I have done so far, with Perseid School”.