Recognising our Teachers at Leeds West Academy
Each week, teachers are asked to nominate their colleagues to be featured on our all new 'Teacher Feature' page. At Leeds West Academy, we value each and every one of our teachers who work tirelessly to support our students, taking their learning to the next level. Read about what makes our teachers so special below:
#9 Sam Pocock
Amy-Kate Newsome, Head of Dance and Drama, alongside Nina Kurij, Head of Music, have nominated Sam Pocock as this week's 'Teacher Feature' because:
Sam Pocock in 2016 took over the line management of the Performing Arts Team. Since this time Sam has been an endless supporter of the team and promotes the subject with integrity and enthusiasm. Sam is always on time for our meetings and presents an agenda that is thorough and challenging which is greatly appreciated to aid the development of the Performing Arts team as a whole. He works very flexibly with members of staff and scheduling meetings around staff teaching timetables and comes in very early on a morning, even when he has been up with his son Sidney 3 hours prior to the school opening. Sam is also incredibly attentive and always has a presence around our lessons which makes our teaching feel supported and that he has a great understanding of course elements and exam criteria.
Sam, as we all know, is brilliant and is in the process of developing a programme for new teaching staff and this is something that has benefitted the newer members of staff as he has the ability to tie in all of the skills to support a highly driven department.
#8 Kirsty Spencer
Hannah Harrison, Curriculum Leader of Design Technology and WRAT T&L Lead, has nominated Kirtsy Spencer as this week's 'Teacher Feature' because:
Kirsty has worked at the Academy Since 2017, starting as a SCITT trainee before fully qualifying in Sept 2018. Kirsty is a vital member of the Technology team who demonstrates all 6 academy values every day.
Her resilience, respect, and aspiration, to ensure that student achieves the highest grades they can possible has recently been demonstrated in her work on redesigning the KS3 curriculum to ensure that it fully supports the learning taking place in KS4.
Kirsty regularly participates in the wider curriculum. Recently she volunteered with the academy production, creating costumes in her own time so that students had outstanding costumes to support with their very professional production.
Kirsty is also an active member of the 15 minute forum group and shares the research and training she has gained within the team to continue to promote excellent outcomes.
I would personally like to thank Kirsty for the effort she places in supporting the team and all her work in creating an engaging curriculum for all Technology students. Thank you.
#7 Harriet Neal
Amy-Kate Newsome, Head of Dance and Drama, has nominated Harriet Neal as this week's 'Teacher Feature' because:
Harriet has worked at the Academy since September 2016 and started as a teaching assistant whilst finishing her PGCE in Dance part-time. Since 2016, Harriet has grown and developed into a fantastic, well rounded and creative teacher who actively seeks to expand her skills and has worked very hard to give Dance a new platform at Leeds West Academy.
Harriet has set up a Key Stage 4 Dance Company within school which allows students to develop positive relationships and explore the industry. In light of this Harriet is taking her dance company to perform at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance Platform in March 2019 which is a prestigious event where our students have access to working with professionals.
Harriet has also made links with Phoenix Dance Company and has planned key workshops for our GCSE Dance students on a weekly basis to promote excellent outcomes. Moreover Harriet is a very reliable member of staff and is always on guard for rehearsals, when practicing for school shows. I would like to thank Harriet for all her hard work and without her as part of the Performing Arts team, we would not have the rigour of talent and opportunities that she has provided for our students.
#6 David Lloyd
Ben Lyons, Head of Mathematics, has nominated David as this week's 'Teacher Feature' because:
From the moment he began working at Leeds West academy, David Lloyd has proved himself to be a dedicated, caring and diligent member of both the Maths department and wider school community.
He has shown ambition to succeed, and works tirelessly to support our students in their academic and personal wellbeing. A man of many talents, David has previously worked in a psychiatric hospital, in restaurant management and has a Master’s Degree in Spanish. In spite of all these other interests/ passions, David has worked extremely hard to ensure that his Mathematical knowledge is strong enough to sufficiently challenge our most able year 10 and 11 students.
This year saw David take on additional responsibility within the Maths department, and so has taken charge of the infamous ‘Saturday School’ revision sessions, with impressive results! Even after a long day of teaching, David will invariably be found in his classroom, either working with individual students, or less experienced members of staff, who have a few ideas they want to run by him.
Often referred to as the ‘behaviour guru’ David’s next challenge is to spread his knowledge and expertise across the entire Maths team, ensuring that all Maths lessons at Leeds West Academy are of the same high standard.
We are truly fortunate to have David working with us, and to have him dedicate so much of his time to the academy, especially given that he recently became a Father himself!
#5 Rabiya Afzal
Nageen Aslam, Curriculum Leader for Spanish and EAL, has nominated Rabiya Afzal as this week's 'Teacher Feature' because:
Rabiya Afzal is an amazing support to our EAL students. Rabiya is always willing to support and lead in EAL sessions on a Thursday. Rabiya has created resources that the students find fun and very engaging.
We are very grateful for all her work and support. Our EAL students are becoming more and more confident with speaking English.
#4 Amy Peterson
Katie Broadbent, Teacher Development Coordinator and Teacher of English, has nominated Amy Peterson as this week's 'Teacher Feature' because:
Amy is already proving herself an asset to the profession during a successful first placement from Gorse SCITT. Whether it's working with her Year 11 form group, her classes, at Parents' Evenings or Engage events, Amy approaches everyone with enthusiasm and professionalism.
As a teacher learning her craft, Amy has shown herself to be open to feedback, always striving to be the best she can be. She plans lessons with creativity and with her students in mind.
We are thrilled that following the successful completion of her ITT course, Amy will be joining the English department as our newest recruit.
#3 Mia Singleton
Emily Morris, Curriculum Leader for Geography, has nominated Mia Singleton as this week's 'Teacher Feature' because:
Mia has joined us through Teach First and is an absolute asset to the team.
Mia has established lasting relationships with students and is always the first to offer her support to other colleagues in the team.
Mia's passion for Geography encompasses everything I could hope for in a member of my team and her students leave her lessons with this same drive and passion.
#2 Matthew Cave
Ben Lyons, Head of Mathematics, has nominated Matthew Cave as this week's 'Teacher Feature' because:
Matthew Cave has shown absolute dedication to his classes, the department and the school during his short time at LWA. He has shown ambition to succeed, and works tirelessly to support our students in their academic and personal wellbeing. After being able to foster an extremely positive relationship with his year 10 class during his NQT year, Matthew has taken the group forward into their crucial GCSE year. Matthew has made it his mission to ensure that the high ability students in said class, achieve the highest possible grade they can; arranging both morning lectures and after school revision sessions.
Even after a long day of teaching, Matthew will also offer to improve the Maths department further, by being a keen contributor to both department meetings and initiatives, as well as by supporting other colleagues with their planning and delivery of lessons.
#1 Lexi Hastings
Emily Morris, Head of Geography, has nominated Lexi Hastings as this week's 'Teacher Feature' because:
I would like to nominate Lexi Hastings as she works tirelessly with all of her classes to ensure they make outstanding progress! Lexi has recently completed her Masters in Education where she analysed memory techniques within her year 10 (now year 11) class. The students were very enthused and all saw vast improvements with their recall.
Lexi has also been working with our Teach First teacher who she is shaping into an outstanding teacher of Geography. Lexi is a reliable and consistent member of the department who we all value greatly.
#2- Michelle Minton
Emily Morris, Head of Geography, has nominated Michelle Minton as this week's 'Teacher Feature' because:
Michelle’s degree was in Environmental Conservation and she is very interested in sustainable management and the protection of fragile environments around the world. In the classroom Michelle ensures all students are able to succeed and share in her love for Geography by enabling students to explore new places and cultures through advocating sustainable development and social justice. Michelle is able to create a classroom environment based on a mutual respect and a thirst for new knowledge making her an invaluable team member. Michelle builds excellent relationships with her students providing them with real inspiration that she can draw on from her time travelling through India and Southeast Asia. Michelle believes the best geography lesson she ever had was travelling on a shoestring budget through some of these amazing wonders, believing that our planet is truly incredible and something that we desperately need to treasure. Alongside this Michelle previously partnered with a school in Durban, South Africa Africa through ‘British Council Connecting Classrooms’ which she led to 2 visits to Durban where Michelle taught in a secondary school and delivered CPD. South African teachers also visited the UK. A third trip involved two students from both schools making the trip too.
#1- Ben Billingham
Anna Simmons, Head of History has nominated Ben Billingham as this week's 'Teacher Feature' because:
The history department is pleased to have Ben Billingham in its ranks. Having joined Leeds West Academy as a newly qualified teacher he successful completed his NQT and RQT years and has become a valued and dedicated member of the team. He has a deep love of history, and in particular an interest in Byzantine Empire, which he passes onto his students on a daily basis. In the classroom Ben builds excellent relationships with his students allowing them to thrive, engage and become real historians in the making. In addition he is well travelled and speaks fluent Spanish, Italian and Basque; in fact his Spanish was so good he has been asked to teach within that curriculum area to share his love of the language and Spanish culture. Furthermore Ben bring both his musical and in particular his chess playing skills and has set up a chess club on a Friday which is well attended by students from across the school.