Professional Development

Developing Leaders Programme

“Avocet has a deep rooted ethos of collaboration and it is because of this it provides clear opportunities for professional development and career development.”

I began teaching in 2004 and joined Easton in January 2013. I working as a class teacher as well as supporting colleagues with teaching and learning and leading the school when the Head was o site. From September 2013 this responsibility developed as Cheryl Singleton (now CEO of Avocet Academy Trust) was asked by Suffolk County Council to support Leiston Primary School alongside Jo Stanley-Bell (now Executive Head of AAT). Subsequently I shad- owed Cheryl in her leadership of the school to continue its development whilst she supported Leiston.

The implementation of non-contact time, which allowed me to develop my leadership role through my own research and also time for me to complete the Mathematics Specialist Teacher Programme. I was given the opportunity to support Leiston with curriculum development and academic standards. As staff across schools we were also part of several lesson studies including a project focused around raising standards in boys writing.

The Trust gave me the opportunity to develop my role and become an Assistant Principal. I led initiatives across the Academy such as e-Safety Peer Ambassador scheme which saw us receive an award at the Raising the Bar awards 2016 held by Suffolk County Council.

In 2016, I was offered a secondment to become the Assistant Principal at our largest school in the Academy, Leiston Primary School. This has already seen me working closely with another school in Somerset to raise achievement for disadvantaged pupils. Working as part of the leadership team has allowed me to develop my own skills and understanding of school development, reflecting on my actions and next steps through the Leadership Development Programme put in place by one of the Trustees.

I truly believe that the development of my career over the four years since I joined Easton primary school is based on this ethos. I look forward to seeing what the future holds.

Melissa Geater
Assistant Principal
Avocet Academy Trust

Staff Development Programme

I began my career as a teacher at Leiston Primary School a little over 7 years ago as graduate trainee teacher. I taught there for 4 years until Cheryl and Jo arrived as our new headteachers. Shortly after their arrival we became Avocet Academy Trust along with two other local primary schools. As a teacher for Avocet Academy I have had numerous career progression and development opportunities all beginning with a chance to work with an outstanding teacher mentor. In ten weeks I had the opportunity to ‘redo’ my teacher training with all the benefit of hindsight! education for the students.

Following this I was asked to go on a one year secondment to Wickham Market Primary School. In that year I found my confidence and was given opportunities to lead, including mentoring an NQT. I took the chance to learn what I could from a new school and new sta. At the end of that year I was lucky enough to be asked to complete a further years secondment at Easton Primary School where I had the opportunity to be a SCITT mentor for the autumn term. Throughout, the staff of Avocet Academy have worked collaboratively through shared CPD, lesson studies, regular training and workshops. Working for Avocet Academy enables me to progress my career by taking professional risks to strive for better.

Catherine Riveria