Working as an NQT at Hazelwick School
Mr Hulks, NQT Science
One reason I was initially attracted to Hazelwick was that they were looking to employ NQTs, rather than just saying ‘NQTs are welcome to apply’, which to me implied they were strongly committed to teacher training and development. This turned out to be the case, and I have been very well supported by the professional mentor, my subject mentor, other teachers across the school, and the incredibly approachable senior leadership team.
During my time at Hazelwick I have felt like a useful member of the whole-school team, being able to contribute and grow. For example, the teaching and learning team are always looking to share pieces of excellent practice in the newsletter, it is very useful to read and some of my practice has been shared in this too. I have been funded by my department to attend online CPD, given the opportunity to teach A-level physics and given extra responsibilities in the department.
As we have, once again (!), returned to online teaching I have felt that at Hazelwick I’ve been able to deliver a high-quality experience to our students and really guide them through this. This is because the staff are encouraged to use a variety of resources, and the school regularly shares outstanding online practice to all staff. The team spirit of the teachers, from departments to pastoral teams has allowed us to work skilfully together to support our students. For me, online teaching has been a learning experience and not a road block to my development.
What makes Hazelwick such a lovely place to work? Easy! It is the people, from the students through to the team-orientated staff, to the most approachable SLT I have seen and a community-focussed head. I have never felt straggled by irrelevant details or pettiness, I’ve felt empowered to focus on the students and trying new methods. It is the little things from positive staff messages in briefings to ‘thank you’ cakes from the head for all staff, and the ‘Hazelwick stars’ to acknowledge the dedication of all staff (including NQTs!).
Teacher of Science
Mr C Stewart, Teacher of English
When I began my career in teaching, I knew that I needed to work in a school with a strong sense of community. This, more than anything else, defines my experience at Hazelwick. Since joining as an NQT, I have been overwhelmed with the support and friendliness from all members of staff, and it is clear that this sense of belonging is shared by the vibrant student population. I was also interested in the responsibility which Hazelwick takes in promoting literacy across the whole school, as this is vital for student wellbeing and academic progress.
I have since become a member of the community here, establishing positive and meaningful relationships with my classes. My teaching practice has developed enormously throughout my time at Hazelwick, and I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to benefit from the experience and varied perspectives of my colleagues to refine my personal teaching approach. During my time here, it has been necessary to change the way that we teach, making an unprecedented transformation to remote learning. Dedication and an open, reflective mind has never been more important for us to support our students and provide a high quality education. As these are perhaps the most valued characteristics within the school, both for staff and students, it has been a highly rewarding experience working to enrich day to day learning in all settings.
Hazelwick School is large, with a great diversity in cultural backgrounds, thoughts and ideas, but with a shared curiosity and respect for our differences and identities. It has been a very meaningful part of my career and I am happy and privileged to work here.
Teacher of English
Miss K Bonnyman, Teacher of Maths
My main aim whilst looking for an NQT post on my teacher training year, was to find a school where I could develop and thrive. I was blown away at interview at the community feel around the site but also at how inquisitive, polite and resilient the students were. I wanted to be part of a strong, collaborative team, and to become part of a working environment that strives to support its staff.
Hazelwick so far has provided me with this and so much more. The Maths department are whole heartedly supportive and are dedicated to providing a love of learning. I have been able to take the reigns in my practice and try out new teaching strategies. You always feel free to discuss how good or bad a resource/teaching style went down. There is encouragement to embrace the bad ones and learn from them! The level of support from my head of department and colleagues has been truly remarkable.
Further to this I have been fortunate enough to have a working relationship with an open and understanding mentor. You will have time set aside in both your timetables weekly to focus on not only how your teaching is going but how YOU are doing. Observations are about you being your best, and targets are always given in the most constructive way. There is also time each week to share ideas with other NQTs.
If you are looking for a school that will enable you to continue to progress as a practitioner through new challenges, then choose Hazelwick. The students you will teach are a real reflection of the school’s ethos and I feel privileged to have been able to teach groups of young people who take such pride in their learning. Hazelwick upholds the highest of expectations and the students respond to this through their resilience.
Working at Hazelwick has developed my teaching further than I could have imagined and made me incredibly excited for the future of my career.
Teacher of Mathematics
Mrs S Tucker, Teacher of Maths
Applying for a job is a big decision, you will spend so much of your time at your job, so you want to be sure that you are looking at the right place. A huge part of any workplace is your environment, and I can say that Hazelwick has been a fantastic place to work from that perspective.
You can see the school values on the website, these are definitely something which motivated me to apply to Hazelwick, but you really see those values in practice on site. The students really are responsible, resilient, able to reason, reflective, resourceful and respectful. These qualities are fostered in Hazelwick students by all members of staff. This makes Hazelwick not just a school about grades and academic excellence, but also a place with a real community feel that strives to grow well-rounded young people who are ready to achieve in both their school lives and the outside world.
As a member of staff, it is hugely rewarding to be a part of developing young minds and souls. This is made easier to achieve through the support received from all, both departmentally, from those in higher positions and other members of staff.
Working as an NQT you will be provided with both a mentor and professional tutor who will help you to further develop your practice through weekly mentor meetings and professional studies sessions. These sessions provide a chance to explore different ideas and share good practice.
Teacher of Maths
Miss Stapleton, NQT Sociology
I joined Hazelwick as an NQT Sociology and Psychology teacher during the 2020 Covid pandemic. For anyone, the NQT year is a daunting but exciting challenge - let alone with the pandemic to contend with! However, due to the highly positive community spirit and support networks that I easily formed here, I felt so supported throughout the entire time.
My relationship with my mentor, head of department and the head of the NQT programme have always been kind, patient and full of knowledge they are always ready to share. My practice has really developed in the last year thanks to this great team of people I have found myself working with - and I am incredibly grateful for this experience.
I have also been given the opportunity to develop my practice outside of the departmental area - I have been given support in becoming a 'Google Classroom Champion' and working within the Psychology department to enter students for a country-wide competition.
But it isn't just about who you work with. Having worked at a few schools, the key thing that drew me to Hazelwick was the diverse range of students with a wealth of knowledge and cultural history. As a sociology teacher, this has provided me with a wealth of really engaging debates and discussions that have really been key to developing their understanding of key terms and theory. The students I have worked with have been polite, kind and always willing to help - even if it is just when I get lost and have to ask for directions from a year 11! I am truly excited to continue working here, and feel my teaching is only going to become stronger as a result.
Teacher of Sociology