Staff induction and development
A commitment from the Headteacher
On my first day as Headteacher I said to staff “I will trust you to look after the children and I will do my utmost to look after you”. This was a clear statement that I want staff wellbeing to be central to the work we do, alongside effective safeguarding.
Our Christian ethos is founded on the Parable of the Sower in the Gospel of St Mark, Ch 4 vs 3-9:
Through God’s love, we are the rich soil where seeds flourish and roots grow
My commitment to you is that this ethos applies as much to the staff as it does to the students, and it underpins my statement that I will do my utmost to look after the staff.
A significant part of this is to ensure that all staff settle effectively and quickly into life at St Mary’s. We recognise that even the most experienced staff find the first weeks at a new school difficult because systems, structures and personnel are different, and we support colleagues through this in a number of ways:
Effective induction – staff receive an effective induction programme when they start at St Mary’s.
- For classroom teachers, this will be a three day programme where you will spend time with key people in your life at school and you will learn about safeguarding, our pastoral system, Behaviour for Learning, your own Teaching and Learning area, the layout of the school and how to navigate our data/student information system. You will also spend a day observing effective teaching at St Mary’s to help you understand how we do things here.
- For those teachers taking on additional responsibility (such as Head of Year, Subject Lead, Director of Learning, member of the Leadership Team) you will receive additional induction that is particular to that role.
- For Learning Support Assistants, you will spend five days shadowing an experienced colleague, learning the ropes through direction observation.
- For those of you taking on non-teaching roles, you will receive induction relevant to that role and these programmes differ according to the role you have been appointed to.
- All staff have a line manager who can support them throughout their time at St Mary’s. You will also be given a buddy as an additional person to talk during this settling-in period.
- Wherever relevant and possible, you will spend some hand-over time with the person you are taking over from.
Effective development – we recognise that we are all life-long learners and have an innate desire to progress in our career, as well as keep up-to-date with the rapid changes in education.
- Teachers have access to our strong and growing Professional Development Team (PDT). This is lead by Alyson Grindley, the Senior Deputy Headteacher who is in charge of ‘Teaching and Staff Development’. If you are a newly, recently, or overseas qualified teacher, this team will be instrumental in your long-term development to become an excellent teacher. If you are an experienced teacher this team will support you as you get to know what effective teaching looks like at St Mary’s. In all cases the team will support your long term development as identified through the NQT/Performance Appraisal process.
- Performance Appraisal is different at St Mary’s – the focus is on ‘staff development’, rather than ‘results’. Through the process you will work with your line-manager to identify which area of your practice you wish to develop (e.g. stretch and challenge for the more able, differentiation, marking and feedback, questioning…) and the school will support you doing this. This may involve engagement with internal CPD sessions, external CPD sessions and support from the PDT. Success in performance appraisal, leading to movement up the MPS and UPS scales would be dependent on engagement with your own programme.
The Performance Appraisal process is reviewed regularly and any change will involve staff and governors, with the intention of achieving a process that is useful for staff, and driven by staff.
Staff induction and development is also always under review at St Mary’s. We take feedback from new staff about the effectiveness of their induction and whether there is anything that we can do to improve the programme. If you have received induction, please give your feedback to me so we can adapt our programmes.
Get In Touch
St Mary’s Church of England High School
Lieutenant Ellis Way
Herts EN7 5FB
General Enquiries: 01992 629124
Student Absence: 01992 642918