History

Nichola Johnstone

School: The King Edward VI School

Nichola Johnstone

My enthusiasm for my subject inspired my pursuit of a career in teaching. Now I am in the privileged position of being able to encourage the same enthusiasm in my students. I have been a History Teacher at The King Edward VI School for 18 years, I was an AST for 6 years from 2005-11 and for the last five years I have been a Lead Learner. In my role as Lead Learner I have responsibility for developing Teaching and Learning across the school, leading on independent learning and EPQ and running the NQT programme.

The reason working at KEVI is such a rewarding job is simply the students, their aspirations, outlook and attitude. Much as I value this experience I am also motivated to support other students and staff in different contexts. This type of outreach work was one of the aspects of my role as an AST which I found especially rewarding as it enabled me to work with a range of teachers across different departments, schools and contexts.

As part of my Lead Learner role I am frequently asked to be observed by other staff, especially NQTs, to model creative and innovative Teaching and Learning strategies. I am also involved in delivering CPD every year. This includes leading working parties and delivering training on different school priorities to staff across different departments and at different career stages. As part of this I have co-ordinated action research projects across the school, supporting staff in conducting research, writing case studies and delivering presentations.  Coaching and mentoring is another important aspect of my role.

Sarah Nightingale

School: Cramlington Learning Village

Sarah Nightingale

I have worked at Cramlington Learning Village since joining the teaching profession in 2008 and have a particular passion for developing teaching and learning. I love to be creative, imagining new ways to enable students to make great progress and enjoy their studies. I have been the KS3 Coordinator of Humanities since 2011 and gained Lead Practitioner Accreditation in 2012. Within the KS3 role I have redesigned the Humanities curriculum to promote literacy, progress and engagement. I am also involved in developing Project Based Learning (PBL) across the curriculum at Cramlington, and am currently working with colleagues at the Buck Institute of Education and High Tech High in San Diego. This has involved me coaching staff through new curriculum developments within Humanities and providing support where necessary, especially those new to the profession or new to PBL. I also have experience of mentoring School Direct students and Student Associates.

I have delivered a wide range of CPD over the past five years, starting from 2009 when I had the responsibility for tutor work and the rewards system for KS3. This particular role led to the introduction of an electronic rewards system which is now integral to Cramlington. I have also led Professional Enquiry Groups over the past three years and I have delivered a number of workshops at the annual national conference held at Cramlington Learning Village covering areas such as ‘independent thinkers’, ‘project based learning’, ‘showing progress in lessons’ and ‘literacy’. I have a particular interest in literacy and have completed a lot of work on raising literacy within my own department and school.

I am very keen to continually develop my own practice. As a result, in the summer of 2013, I became an examiner for AQA to broaden my understanding of my own subject, but also to start critically evaluating the current SOW within the History department, rewriting it to help students develop the skills they need to be successful in the exam.