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Meet some of our Team

Find out more about what it's like to work for Allerton Grange from our staff in a variety of roles across the school.

Anna Simons - Learning Development Leader, History Teacher

After completing my PGCE at York University, I applied for a job at Allerton Grange as I wanted the opportunity to work in a multi-cultural school. On joining the school, I found the department I worked in and the whole staff to be welcoming and supportive. The school also provided me with a range of career progression opportunities. Early on, I took on a responsibility in my department before taking on the role of ITT co-ordinator. Following this, I was appointed on a short term secondment to the leadership team focusing on data. I found being on the leadership team challenging and it gave me the opportunity to affect real change for our students in school.

Therefore, when a full time position on the leadership team came up to lead on Teaching and Learning, I applied and was appointed to this position. This role was then extended to leading on National Strategies and Intervention to ensure all students were receiving the support they needed in order to achieve their potential. I continued in leadership until I had my children and chose to work part time but was able to continue in a role within the teaching and learning team, first as a mentor and currently as a Lead Development Learner, which involves mentoring and supporting staff, running training sessions and supporting new Teaching and Learning initiatives in school.

My experience of Allerton Grange continues to be very rewarding and has made me into the successful teacher that I have become, due to the inquisitive and diverse perspective our students bring to the lessons, along with their enthusiasm and desire to extend their knowledge and understanding of their subjects and the world around them.

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Charlotte Harrison –Trainee Teacher English

My role at Allerton Grange is a trainee teacher of English. During my training, I have been working closely with my departmental mentor, who has guided me towards meeting all of the teaching standards, including planning and marking and feedback. I will then take part in the Assessment Only route to QTS with Leeds Trinity University. This involves being observed by Leeds Trinity 3 times during the 12 week assessment period.

I applied for a job at Allerton Grange for a number of reasons: I appreciate the diversity of students, the commitment to improvement and the dedication to literacy.

I think Allerton Grange is a brilliant place to work due to the high expectations and aspiration to succeed. The school has a calm and productive environment where students feel proud of what they achieve. I feel extremely motivated and fully supported by my department.

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Gemma Turner-Lindley – Assistant Headteacher, Director of Key Stage 4

I came into teaching through a 1 year PGCE after my degree studies. I had second thoughts about going into teaching and so took six months out to reconsider my options. Then I applied to Allerton Grange High School for a six month maternity cover and I never left! I received so much support and encouragement in those first two years that I knew I didn't want to work anywhere else.

I completed my NQT year in the RS department and 2 years later became Head of Department. My subject has a very high profile in our school compared to other RS departments and this is what has led to us having such long-standing staff in our team. We work together to ensure that the students get the best learning experience possible. Alongside this, I am a Learning Development Leader on the Teaching and Learning team and have responsibility for delivering CPD, and coaching and mentoring new and experienced members of staff.

I wanted to work at Allerton Grange because of the diversity of the intake. RS is very relevant to the students in our school and it is a great challenge to foster the spiritual and moral development of such a broad variety of young people. Now that I have been here for 10 years, it is much more than that - our students are a wonderful bunch, who often have the ability to teach us new ways of thinking about things. We don't just teach students at Allerton Grange; we help them to grow into the person they have the potential to be. Regardless of the barriers that some of them face, we recognise that all of our students have the ability to succeed and they deserve to succeed.

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Emma Dodsworth – Assistant Headteacher

I joined Allerton Grange as an NQT in 2002. As an RS specialist, I was drawn to the school due to its rich diversity. Within any classroom, I would have students representing most of the world faiths amongst atheists and agnostics, which would bring the lessons to life. I soon came to realise that what made the school so special was that, despite such varying beliefs, backgrounds and cultures amongst our students, they embraced such differences and were eager to know more about each other and celebrate what makes each one of them unique.

After being supported through my NQT year, my Curriculum Leader moved to another school. The Senior Leadership team must have seen my potential as I was offered the post of Curriculum Leader. This was a daunting prospect and one, at the time, that I wasn't fully sure I could take on. The school agreed to let me jointly lead the team with the Faculty Leader so that I could take some time to see if the post was for me. With the support, I gained the confidence I needed and after one term I made the decision that I wanted to lead the department myself. I spent 5 years leading RS, improving outcomes at both GCSE and A-level and increasing uptake whilst expanding the number of GCSEs and A-levels we offered and increasing the size of the team to meet this need. I have since held several other roles in school before being appointed to Assistant Headteacher for Intervention.

I have found that in a school the size of Allerton Grange there are regular opportunities to progress should you wish to. Although I have been at the school for over a decade, I still find that every day is different and I'm constantly learning and overcoming new challenges. Other than progression, what has kept me at the school for so long are the colleagues that I have worked with closely, many of whom have also chosen to work here for a long period of time and the students that I am privileged to work with, whom I feel that I can make a real difference with, especially in my current role in which I work with our most disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.

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Kim Davis – Lead Teacher of the Deaf (DAHIT)

I am the Lead Teacher of the Deaf - Secondary for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired Team (DAHIT) resourced provision based at Allerton Grange School.

I began my career as a mainstream Design Technology teacher in 1993. After lots of different experiences, I moved to a school that deaf children attended. There I learnt British Sign Language (BSL) and became extremely interested in communication and how Deaf children learn. In January 2008 I chose to re-train as a Teacher of the Deaf. I completed an MA – Deaf Education (Teacher of the Deaf Qualification) though Leeds University in June 2010.

I began working at Allerton Grange in September 2014, where I manage a team of 11 staff: Teachers of the Deaf, Communication Support Workers and Deaf Instructors. I currently teach Deaf children in withdrawal lessons and support them in mainstream lessons too.

The DAHIT team are an extremely well qualified group of staff, fully trained in meeting the needs of Deaf learners in a mainstream environment. Every day brings new challenges for them and me! My job is amazing and I look forward to being at work every day.

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Annette Gonzales – KS4 Science Leader

My passion for Science started around twelve years old, especially for Biochemistry, Anatomy and Physiology. At that time, I wanted to be a professional contemporary dancer and therefore was especially interested in the intricacies of the human body.

After leaving the Northern School of Contemporary Dance at eighteen, I ventured on a career that would allow me to explore the different disciplines of Science. My venture took me to London, where I studied Biology and Chemistry at A level. I returned to Leeds and studied a BSc Hons Applied Biology at the University of Leeds. This degree course marked a life changing period in my life, as it opened up many different doors to an array of careers. The course also allowed me to study a diverse range of science disciplines, such as Genetics, Botany, Physiology, Haematology and Biochemistry.

After completing my BSc, I studied an MSc in Oncology. It was during one of my presentations on this course that I realised I had a passion to teach. I applied once again to the University of Leeds to do a PGCE in Secondary Science and that was seventeen years ago. A career in teaching is fulfilling, rewarding and exciting. I have a career that incorporates both of my passions, Science and teaching. With a degree of tenacity, positivity and hard work and I achieved a career in Science, which fundamentally improves the lives of young people.

At present, I am the KS4 Science Leader, which means I manage and coordinate the teaching, learning and progress of all Year 10 and 11 students. I have been teaching at Allerton Grange for nine years and each day brings rewards and successes. It's great to work in a school that has such a diverse range of nationalities, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds.

I believe I am role model to many students and therefore I have a responsibility to always be aspirational in everything I do. As I encourage and support students from all backgrounds to achieve their full potentials, I ensure that I also achieve this for myself.

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Chelsea Hopkins –Intervention Assistant

I was initially attracted to Allerton Grange due to the location. Once I started my employment with Allerton Grange, it was clear to see that it stands as a provision that aims to extract the best out of the students who attend and I very much enjoy being a part of that.

I started off at Allerton Grange as a Teaching Assistant on a 1 year apprenticeship scheme. Through constant support and guidance, I quickly developed skills and knowledge that allowed me to work efficiently with students, specifically those with SEN. As my apprenticeship was drawing to an end, an opportunity arose for me to apply for a job in Student Care working as an 'Intervention Support Assistant'. I was successful in my application and was offered a permanent contract with Allerton Grange.

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Steven Fidler - Curriculum Leader for Mathematics

I have been employed at Allerton Grange School since 2010, having completed my PGCE year.

I knew of the school because I used to live in the area and have friends who attended the school as children. As such, I have witnessed the schools long overdue rebuild. Despite this, I remember when I first entered the building I was extremely surprised by the facilities that the school could offer.

Since this time I have been able to develop my professional skills and am currently the Curriculum Leader for Maths at Allerton Grange School. Throughout the period working at Allerton Grange I have been given every opportunity to develop in my career and, with that, my aspirations to improve as a teacher.

Opportunities I have undertaken so far include

a) SEN Champion

b) Numeracy link

c) Leader of Key Stage 3

d) Learning Development Leader

e) Leader of Key Stage 4

f) Curriculum Leader

For me, Allerton Grange offers a great opportunity for any student because of the quality of teaching and the high levels of motivation amongst staff members, within the Maths department and throughout the school. In addition to this, the school provides opportunities for students of all backgrounds to be given the best possible Mathematics education.

My development has also been aided by strong teaching experience within the Maths department. Other staff members bring their own individuality to teaching and this allows the department to be constantly evolving. All staff members strive to improve and work tirelessly to ensure all students are offered the best diet of Mathematics that will not only get them through exams at the highest level of progress, but more importantly, provides the life skills and knowledge that will help them in everyday life outside of school.

On a national perspective teaching seems to rarely be offered the respect and understanding it deserves. Teaching demands an unending motivation for the betterment of all students and for all teachers it extends far beyond the 3pm home time bell. Despite this, Allerton Grange is a school which offers growth for the most determined and development for all who, despite the negative press, still engage in every day of their working lives with the aim to make students futures brighter. I am proud to be part of an organisation with these fundamentals.

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“Excellent feedback, we’re very happy with progress so far”
- Year 7 Parent on Parents' Consultation Evening, October 2018
"The reward and behaviour system is clear, well enforced and has positive results!"
- Parent
"An inclusive school that is focused on providing the best education for its students"
- Prospective Parent
“Excellent facilities, improving school”
- Prospective Parent, September 2018
"Very impressed with the sports facilities"
- Prospective Parent, September 2018
“Impressed with the consistent enthusiasm of the teaching staff when discussing feedback”
- Year 7 Parent on Parents' Consultation Evening, October 2018
"Staff are passionate and committed to developing and improving"
- Parent
"Pupils look smart and are well engaged in their lessons"
- Prospective Parent
“I especially liked the Science and Maths departments”
- Prospective Parent, September 2018
“Driven leadership, confident pupils. Staff friendly and open to discussing subjects and needs of my child”
- Prospective Parent, September 2018
"Fantastic student ambassadors who are a credit to the school."
- Prospective Parent
"Strong leadership and motivation with an emphasis on progress"
- Parent
“Welcoming staff, friendly, confident students and excellent facilities”
- Prospective Parent, September 2018
“Great facilities. Dedicated and enthusiastic staff”
- Prospective Parent, September 2018
"Safe, Supportive, Diverse"
- Local Authority Representative
"A great learning environment; light, bright and spacious classrooms, clean and well organised."
- Prospective Parent
“Great opportunity to meet staff and gain greater depth of my child’s achievement”
- Year 7 Parent on Parents' Consultation Evening, October 2018
“Clean, bright, vibrant learning space”
- Prospective Parent, September 2018
"I am so pleased with the School Gateway app. Every day I can see any achievement and behaviour points my daughter gets and she knows that I’ll discuss it with her; it encourages her to do well."
- Year 8 Parent
"An open and welcoming atmosphere - very useful being allowed to look at teaching and learning"
- Prospective Parent
“It was good to speak to his form tutor and hear about what is happening in class”
- Year 7 Parent on Parents' Consultation Evening, October 2018
“Friendly staff, well-behaved kids”
- Prospective Parent, September 2018
"I applaud the focus on rewarding good behaviour. My son feels appreciated and recognised at Allerton Grange; we're all so proud."
- Year 8 Parent