Working at HAMD
Thank you for expressing an interest in joining Harris Academy Morden.
This page will hopefully provide you with some insight as to what it is like to be a teacher at our Academy.
Each year we have minimal vacancies as the vast majority of staff have worked at the Academy for several years and for this to continue.
I hope that once you have read this information and taken a look around the website, you are interested in applying for any posts we are advertising or you may wish to submit your CV for potential posts in the future.
Alternatively, if you would like to visit the Academy or have a confidential conversation, please contact the Principal’s PA Mrs Francis firstname.lastname@example.org .
Working at Harris Academy Morden
Harris Academy Morden is a place that puts teachers first.
Yes that is right, we are proud to say we put staff first!
The logic behind this policy is that if the Senior Leadership Team put staff first, this means they are supported, listened to and also work with the Senior Leadership Team. The impact of this is that students get the best environment to learn in!
Simply put, the best teachers want to work where they are valued and supported. If we create an environment where the best teachers thrive, this means the students thrive because the teachers want to stay. At Harris Morden we have very little staff turnover and this means our students get consistently good teaching from staff who know them and have worked at the Academy for many years.
We therefore continuously look at how the Senior Staff can support teachers nad support staff to have a better work life balance and at the same time be the most effective teachers for our students.
It is understood by all that teaching is a wonderful profession; however, it is very demanding!
Over the last 18 months we have explored CPD models, approaches to homework, style and quantity of marking and teaching feedback.
We feel we have developed our processes to provide the best education for students whilst at the same time givivng staff time. Time is the most precious commodity to a teacher. Time is what produces the best lessons and the most effective marking dialogue.
What does this mean in practice?
A two week October Half term
We have adjusted our school day by 10 minutes. The additional 10 minutes per day will be utilised at Form time. During Form time all student learn to play chess, attend assembly or complete the PSHE activity. The extra 10 minutes taking it from 20 minutes per day to 30 minutes means this can be enhanced further.
Staff and families can therefore have an additional week of holiday that will sit outside of peak times. This will benefit our students, families and staff.
We have moved our Monday evening CPD programme to Monday morning briefing sessions. This way we provide short ‘best practice’ exemplar sessions at the start of each week. Monday evenings are then used for department meetings or staff marking evenings.
Each half term we provide two Monday marking evenings. This is dedicated time to sit in the main hall and mark books with your colleagues without being disturbed.
Each term we use one INSET Twilight for marking books. This is dedicated time to sit in the main hall and mark books with your colleagues without being disturbed between 3.00pm – 6pm.
There is nothing worse than spending hours marking page after page for no one to look at this or take any action. At HAMD we use framed marking. Teachers select the piece of work to mark. They frame this using a Pink highlighter and mark it extensively for literacy and subject content. Students are then provided with a ‘What Went Well’ (WWW) comment and an ‘Even Better If’ (EBI) question or action. Students then spend the next lesson re-writing the section and making the necessary changes and improvements to respond to the teachers marking.
Teachers therefore see their marking been acted upon thus the impact of their work.
The volume or marking has significantly decreased but the impact has significantly increased.
Teachers were a little sceptical about this approach at first, however seeing the impact upon their work load and the students’ progress has made this a very well received strategy.
Extract from one of our teachers emails after the change in policy:
I know I and other members of the English department have already mentioned this, but I just wanted to say again what an improvement the new marking policy has made to both my teaching and learning and wellbeing.
For the first time I am prepared for a book look (other than one set of year 7 books). As well as that, I have enjoyed my half term and taken genuine time off whilst still managing to mark four sets of books, three sets of coursework and plan and resource two units of work. I have actually enjoyed marking because instead of feeling like I am desperately trying to cut corners in order to meet the marking policy and play catch up, marking has informed my teaching and learning rather than hindering it. I am able to plan EBI lessons that plug gaps in students' knowledge, clarify misconceptions and build important essay writing skills, as well as continue to revise key content that they will be assessed on for their GCSEs/ end of term/year assessments because marking takes less time and is therefore more timely and relevant.
I genuinely feel in a position to manage my own workload and support the department in a way that I simply didn't when we spoke last term. Thank you for helping to bring about this change in policy.
Emma Sheppard – Lead Practitioner for English
Half Termly Staff Breakfast
At the end of each half term we host a breakfast staff briefing. This is as time for the Principal to address the staff and then spend 10 minutes relaxing with colleagues before the start of the last week of term.
Breakfast is provided for all staff.
We are proud to adopt a number of practices at Harris Academy Morden to help our staff members with families enjoy the best of both worlds.
Almost all of our Extended Senior Leadership Team are parents themselves and do their best to lead by example in terms of accommodating the practicalities of parenthood. A number of our students are the children of staff members at our school, and we have welcomed younger children onto site on INSET days and at the end of term when childcare arrangements can be tricky.
We have staff working in part time positions at all levels – from our Senior Leadership Team, to Heads of Department, to NQTs – and are happy to discuss flexible arrangements, including job share opportunities. Our priority is to attract and retain excellent practitioners to deliver the highest quality of teaching and learning to our students.
We offer childcare vouchers and up to 3 days paid Dependents Leave per year (at the Principal’s discretion) as part of the Harris Federation benefits package, as well as up to 4 weeks per year of unpaid parental leave for emergency family care. We follow the Burgundy Book recommendations for maternity leave pay and offer Shared Parental Leave arrangements for partners.
As a school, we have supported the foundation and development of The MaternityTeacher PaternityTeacher Project to ensure that we are communicating and supporting staff effectively when they are on parental leave, and as an extra level of informal support, we have a Parent Representative on the staff body, who can offer advice and support for current, new and expectant parents. We are always open to hearing ideas about how we can better support our working parents.
We understand that creating a family-friendly culture relies on a network of colleagues who support and empower each other, regardless of their family status, and we hope that the logistical arrangements that we are able to offer enable parents to thrive both at home and in their professional lives.
The Principal’s children and other staff members children are made to feel welcome at Morden when their schools have an INSET day.
Staff Training Opportunities
Each year we offer training opportunities. We have one training slot for an Associate Assistant Principal. This post enables strong middle leaders to apply for secondment to SLT whilst retaining their current post. A timetable reduction is provided to undertake the training and to take on a whole Academy responsibility to gain Academy wide experience. There are two associate places at any one time; one person in Year 1 of the course and another in their final year.
Staff are also offered opportunities to attend training sessions in things such as timetabling; curriculum, middle leaders programme etc.
We hope that the information above demonstrates why we have an extremely high retention rate and a happy staff body - we look forward to welcoming you to our Academy.