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OUR TEACHERS

There are some exceptional and inspiring teachers in Yorkshire Coast schools. Read some of their stories here.

Harriet Baxter

Harriet is a teacher of Mathematics at Scalby School in Scarborough. She has worked at Scalby since September 2018.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I just love coming to work every morning, my school is fantastic; amazing teachers, lovely students and a fantastic community to work in. I qualified as a PE specialist but when I came for an interview for a PE teacher, I was offered a job as a maths teacher. When I weighed up my options for this there was no real choice to be made. The welcoming feel of the school and the staff and children in it just made me feel like I belonged right from the start, and I still feel this way a year later.

What’s the best thing about the community that your school serves?

I think that the community this school is in is lovely, I do commute to work so I do not live in the area but the community is involved in the school and the school is involved in the community. I think that is something that is quite rare and it makes Scalby School even more special.

What would you say to a teacher thinking about moving to a school on the Yorkshire Coast?

I think there is something unique about coastal schools, the environment they create is something of a community, and everyone is working together towards a shared goal. I have a 50-60 minute drive to work every day and if I did not love the school or the location, I would find it a struggle. However, it is the complete opposite. I adore the school and therefore the drive is not a problem for me.

Katy Phipps

Katy has just started a new role on secondment at Wheatcroft Community Primary School in Scarborough, as Deputy Headteacher.

Where did you work before and why did you decide to move?

I had been working at Northstead Community Primary School in Scarborough in key stage two for the last seven years. I moved to Wheatcroft School to take on a secondment position as their Deputy Headteacher. After seeing the advertisement online, I decided to apply for the opportunity to gain more experience in a contrasting school. Not only this, but to develop the leadership skills and qualities that I had not yet had chance to put into practise. I have very recently completed an NPQSL and therefore felt ready to work within a senior leadership team.

Once I had read the person specification and liaised with James, I arranged a visit to the host school to discuss the role further with the Headteacher and tour the school. My Headteacher at Northstead was incredibly supportive of my application and was in agreement that this would be excellent experience. With his support, and guidance from James, I applied for the role and was successful. Following this was a process of transition and I have now been working in my new role for roughly half a term.

What are you most looking forward to about your new role?

I am looking forward to working with the senior leadership team and other colleagues across a new school.

As I have not yet had much experience of working with whole school data and analysis, I am looking forward to working alongside the Headteacher at Wheatcroft in doing this. This is definitely an area of skills I wanted to develop.

What’s the best thing about living and / or working on the Yorkshire Coast?

At Wheatcroft School, one of our curriculum drivers is our locality. We use our locality to drive our learning. This includes lots of visits out into our community. With the beach only a ten minute walk from school, we regularly visit with the children to help bring their learning to life. Our school has recently been certified as an official ‘Beach School’.

Another aspect of working on the Yorkshire Coast that I enjoy are the opportunities for CPD with other schools. I have really enjoyed collaborating with other local schools, who are always willing to do this, to discuss their approaches to learning. The events organised by the Teaching Alliance, for example speed learning, conferences at the Spa etc., have also been a good way of networking with colleagues from other schools and sharing good practise.

Norma Enright

Norma joined Graham Secondary School in Scarborough in September 2019. She is the new Vice Principal for Teaching and Learning.

Where did you work before and why did you decide to move?

I will be moving from a school in Bradford West Yorkshire. My main reason for moving is I have done 18 years in inner-city schools with high deprivation and I needed a new challenge.

What are you most looking forward to about your new role?

I am looking forward to leading teaching and learning across the school, which will have an impact on the progress of young people. It’s about empowering staff to take risks in the classroom.

What are you most looking forward to about living and / or working on the Yorkshire Coast?

I come from a coastal town on the west coast of Ireland, so the sea-air is in my blood! I believe it will allow me to have that much needed work life balance and walk on the beach with my dog all year round. There is nothing better for the soul or at the end of a difficult day than to feel the sea breeze on your face!

Maddie Blakeley

Maddie Blakeley is an Early Career Teacher at Newby and Scalby Primary School in Scarborough. She has worked at the school since June 2017.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I don't think there is any job that can be as varied as teaching is. You can't beat working with children: getting to know them as people; sharing their hopes and aspirations for the future; celebrating their successes and watching them finally get something they have been struggling with. That is when you truly know you have made a difference. Finding a school where this ethos is shared and where children are the driving force is what I have managed to do and I work alongside an incredible group of dedicated people that share that same goal. Not only have I found a group of work colleagues but also a group of friends that support me and make me laugh often.

What’s the best thing about the community that your school serves?

The community plays a large role in our teaching and learning and is a lovely area to work. We are lucky to work so closely with many services. Whether it be borrowing a book from the local library, visiting the local church for a tour of the war memorial or sharing harvest gifts with local residents, we gain a lot from this. Having open days and workshops means people are welcome to see how the school runs and how their children are getting on. It is a great way to get to know the school and teachers.

What would you say to a teacher thinking about moving to a school on the Yorkshire Coast?

I don't think you can beat working on the coast. Personally, I was brought up in Scarborough but after going to university in Lincoln and working in city schools and village schools I always knew that the coast would be where I ended up. Having the beach on your doorstep is ideal and I'm sure some of our children would agree, especially our Year 6s who have spent an afternoon surfing in the past with trained lifeguards. Trips to the beach and the local parks all add to the different experiences that children in our school are exposed to. We have a bit of everything that is only a walk or short drive away.

As I have not yet had much experience of working with whole school data and analysis, I am looking forward to working alongside the Headteacher at Wheatcroft in doing this. This is definitely an area of skills I wanted to develop.

What’s the best thing about living and / or working on the Yorkshire Coast?

At Wheatcroft School, one of our curriculum drivers is our locality. We use our locality to drive our learning. This includes lots of visits out into our community. With the beach only a ten minute walk from school, we regularly visit with the children to help bring their learning to life. Our school has recently been certified as an official ‘Beach School’.

Another aspect of working on the Yorkshire Coast that I enjoy are the opportunities for CPD with other schools. I have really enjoyed collaborating with other local schools, who are always willing to do this, to discuss their approaches to learning. The events organised by the Teaching Alliance, for example speed learning, conferences at the Spa etc., have also been a good way of networking with colleagues from other schools and sharing good practise.

Anjum James-Francis

Anjum decided to move to Scarborough from Birmingham to take on an NQT Teacher of PE role at Graham School.

Where did you work before and why did you decide to move?

Before I worked in Scarborough, I worked in a leisure centre, coached children and worked as a cover teacher in Birmingham.

There were a number of reasons I decided to move. PE jobs are not easy to come by, especially as a NQT so I was always open to move away from home. I researched the area and surrounding areas and discovered how much cheaper rent was compared to the city.

I also saw this as a opportunity as a new challenge for my career and me personally. Moving and living alone takes a lot of bravery and independence. Graham school was something I had never experienced and something I wanted to explore and make a difference in. Of course, living five minutes from the beach also played a huge part!

What are you most looking forward to about your new role?

I look forward to progressing in my career and becoming more comfortable. One of the main things I look forward to is seeing my form group every morning. This is my chance to make a real impact and I spend most my time with them each week.

I also look forward to travelling to and from school and seeing the views of the coast as I travel back home each day, something I have never thought about experiencing in the city.

What’s the best thing about living and / or working on the Yorkshire Coast?

There are many things I enjoy. As somebody who enjoys photography, the views up here are amazing and something I have already captured endless photos of. As a PE teacher from the city, space to each is always an issue - small fields and cramped teaching areas. Here there is a luxury of outdoor space which has already improved my lessons.

Finally, being able to walk to the beach whenever you please has to be a huge positive about living on the coast.

David Hannam

David Hannam is a teacher of KS2 (Year 5). He has worked at Barrowcliff School since January 2019.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The daily challenge to bring the best out of the children, whether that is academically or as young citizens. I enjoy the social interactions with the class and my colleagues, and also the satisfaction of seeing progress happen.

What’s the best thing about the community that your school serves?

The community that the school serves is supportive of the aims of the school in terms of trying to improve the outcomes for our young people. The senior leadership team have a clearly communicated message about what the ethos of the school is and the parents try to fulfil their responsibilities, sometimes in difficult circumstances.

What would you say to a teacher thinking about moving to a school on the Yorkshire Coast?

The Yorkshire Coast is a beautiful part of the world to live in and the options in your spare time are great. In terms of the schools, the communities are close-knit and the staff teams I have encountered are welcoming, professional and determined to drive up standards.

Lizzie Helmn

Lizzie has just started a new role in September 2019 at Eskdale School in Whitby, as the Teacher of Food and Textiles.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love my job because everyone shares the same vision and I work amongst a super-supportive team. The students are enthusiastic to learn and I find it very rewarding to inspire them.

What’s the best thing about the community that your school serves?

It is a close-knit community and the school has a reputation for supporting students. It is growing because of that. In my interview, I asked the student panel what they liked most about living in and around Whitby and many said the fish and chips! Food aside, the sense of community within the school and around it is strong and I appreciate being part of it.

What’s the best thing about living and / or working on the Yorkshire Coast?

The Yorkshire Coast is a beautiful place to work and could make even a bad day better. On my morning commute I admire the view from above the town of the Abbey and historic harbour. It feels as though this setting generates positivity in the students and staff. I’m very proud to work in Whitby and at Eskdale School.