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I started my career with ACE in October 2012 as a TA. I was the learning mentor for a KS3 group. 12 months later, I was given the opportunity to run LOTC (learning outside the classroom) for KS3 which was an amazing experience. I have now been given the challenging new role as Pastoral Lead for health and welfare in our base out at Estover. I now get to work with KS3, Yr10 and Yr11 and get to support them in a different way which I am enjoying very much.
When ACE started I was teaching maths and science at the Mannamead base for years 7 to 9. I was appointed as maths coordinator and data coordinator for the service. This involved developing a whole school pupil progress tracking system for all subjects and abilities, and uniting the maths teachers into a department to effectively deliver the subject across ACE. When we closed Mannamead I moved to Bretonside and continued with these roles but also took increasing responsibility for Child Protection. Over the next couple of years this role grew and I was appointed as High Profile Vulnerable User coordinator and Designated Teacher for our Looked After Children. We organised a team of staff who were involved in Pastoral Support across ACE and developed systems to monitor and support the needs of our most troubled pupils. I joined the Senior Leadership Team and became a Learning Manager. My work then extended beyond ACE as I represent the service on the Exceptional Provision Panel meeting and two sub-groups of the Safeguarding Children Board. They are the Learning and Professional Practice Group and Missing and Child Sexual Exploitation Group. These are all multi-agency meetings drawn from organisations across Plymouth. Over the last 18 months I have been working on my National Professional Qualification for Senior Leaders and Attachment Lead qualification culminating in our inaugural ACE conference on Attachment in February. Following this I was appointed as Assistant Head Teacher. It's been a very busy few years!
I recently completed a PGCE in Secondary Physical Education at the University of St Mark and St John and during my last placement on this course I completed 3 weeks at ACE. I came back to work at ACE in September 2014 as a supply teacher and have now have a permanent role at the school. I’m currently completing my NQT year and ACE are also supporting me with my Masters in Education. Since starting I have been given numerous opportunities to develop professionally through attending various CPD conferences, presenting at Teach Meets and Universities and leading on staff training. The school is a fantastic place to work due to the supportive nature of the staff and whilst being a teacher at a PRU can be extremely challenging, it is highly rewarding and satisfying.
I originally trained as a mainstream secondary biology science teacher, but my first teaching post was at ACE, teaching secondary science and maths. As an NQT in a pupil referral unit, you learn a lot, very quickly. Over time, I took on increasing numbers of regular STEM activities, leading to a temporary curriculum responsibility for STEM lessons for all pupils. This led onto a permanent responsibility for this area. In summary, I am now a third year teacher in my first job, with responsibility for a curriculum area and trained up to a high level. I couldn’t have wished for a better place to start my teaching career!