What our staff say
I have spent 10 years at Parrs Wood, in which time I've been the Head of English, transition lead, Head of Sixth Form and Assistant Head, before stepping up to the Deputy Head role with responsibility for curriculum and outcomes.
I first got into teaching because of my love of English. I enjoy being able to explore current issues with students but through brilliantly poetic texts. It's inspiring to be the conduit between what students can't do and what they need to be able, not just in terms of their lessons but in their development into adulthood.
Parrs Wood has a unique sense of community, I've been in 3 schools previously and not experienced the same mutual respect with students as I do here. It is a real pleasure to see them go on to achieve great things having seen them join in Year 7.
I think we're so successful because the school is not afraid to empower staff. Since we became a trust we have been encouraged to support other schools across the north west. I find supporting others rewarding, but it has also benefited our school because we have learned a lot too.
I started life in the advertising world but while I was working in industry, I just felt that I could be using my time better, which is when I started to think about a career in teaching.
My first impression of Parrs Wood was on a walk around at my interview and I got a real feel for the sense of community. I genuinely feel that it perfectly reflects Manchester's true diversity and aspirational ethos.
We commit to every single child, irrespective of their behaviour record or prior attainment. This isn't a school where any student gets left behind, and that includes making sure their family is able to share in and support their journey. Our ethos is that we treat our students as we would want our own children to be treated.
I believe that our team's culture is unique because nobody is precious about their specific role. If somebody needs help then they will step in, regardless if that isn't part of their remit.
I had quite an unorthodox route into teaching! I started working in engineering but had a change of heart and so took a job overseas with the British Council. While I was there I started teaching English to Chinese students and the rest is history.
I worked in a number of local schools before starting at Parrs Wood, but I remember walking in the door here for my interview and immediately sensing a community spirit that I hadn't experienced elsewhere.
One of the first things I realised is that our staff are treated more compassionately. There is a real understanding of the workload pressures and the impact this has on people. It's still hard work, but the school does everything to make sure we're not struggling.
The size of this school means that staff get opportunities that they wouldn't elsewhere. I think the variety of SLEs available is remarkable. I co-wrote and delivered a training package for a group of high schools and have been recommissioned to do an audit and implementation process. I'm also fortunate to be starting the NPQH this year.