Please see below staffs' opinions what it is like to work at CHS
Teaching at Cottingham High School is rewarding. Each morning as I walk into my classroom, I feel a sense of excitement as I wonder what mystery today will reveal. The students are amazing and surprise me on a daily basis with their interesting ideas. I love working with them and watching them develop into young adults. I have worked at Cottingham High School for two years as a Technology teacher, teaching a range of disciplines from Product Design to Food to Textiles. My department are unfailingly generous and always go that extra mile to help one another. We work as a team and that’s what it’s all about. Cottingham High is entering an exciting phase of its journey and I am extremely proud to be a part of that. The future is looking bright as new horizons approach.
Shareen Al-Shafee, Teacher of Technology and KS3 STEM coordinator
I joined Cottingham High in 2004, initially as the Art Technician after graduating from University and I enjoyed my two years here that much that I returned as a teacher in 2012 after training and working in two other local schools and academies. Since 2016, I have taken on the role of Director of Learning: Sixth Form, a role which enables me to support our young adults in their next steps into Higher education, apprenticeships and training.
The sixth form Consortium partnership with Wolfreton and Hessle High really allows students to achieve the highest successes in a wide range of subject areas, whilst maintaining the personalised pastoral support, information, advice and guidance that comes along with the experience of teaching our students from the beginning of Year 7.
I feel that I have been given not only the opportunities to succeed at Cottingham High but also the support needed to do so. I look forward to continuing to develop and progress and hope to spend a long time here.
Dan Clinton, Director of Learning: Sixth Form
I joined the Science department in September 2012 in my first post as a classroom practitioner and have developed a symbiotic attachment to the school. The school ethos promotes a growth mind set for students of all abilities to enable them to strive for their own personal success.
CHS is built around teaching and learning and the determination to give every student the best possible learning experience, in every subject, in every lesson, every day.
To this end weekly briefings are dedicated to the enhancement of existing practices and skills, the introduction of new concepts and innovations and the sharing of best practice to enable all teachers, of all career stages, to continually develop their teaching pedagogy and practice.
It allows us all to undertake our own personal and professional developmental journey.
This is without doubt the most challenging and demanding job I have ever had and the pressures are not for the faint hearted! In return, the rewards are immeasurable and incomparable to any other occupation I have undertaken.
Dave Hayward, Lead Teacher: Science
I joined the English department at Cottingham High School in September 2012 as a classroom practitioner. Since then, the school has supported me in becoming part of the school’s Extended Leadership Team and provided outstanding training to enable my growth as a leader. Having worked in other schools, I can honestly say that I have never felt as supported as I do at Cottingham High. Staff at all levels are welcoming, friendly and supportive and will offer you the chance to grow and develop into an outstanding classroom practitioner.
The students at CHS are mature, well behaved and show a desire to learn. They are polite, courteous and genuinely want to please.
I thoroughly enjoy working at Cottingham High School, both with the students and staff and I am excited by the opportunities the school gives me to develop and grow.
Paul White, Lead Practitioner
I started at Cottingham High School in 2004 as an NQT. I have been an Assistant Head since 2010, wearing a number of different hats during this time. This school supports home grown leadership and is supportive and encouraging of its staff. The best thing about the school has to be our students. They are creative, hardworking, funny and personable. They respond positively to any challenge that our teachers set them. Teachers work cooperatively on projects and positively contribute to whole school initiatives. Teams support and grow trainee teachers -, always looking to the next generation of classroom practitioners. The school is in an exciting, outward-facing phase.
Cottingham High is a village school with a warm and friendly community spirit– we could not recruit and retain the very best teachers and leaders if this was not the case. I am very lucky to work with such an amazing group of professionals.
Jonathan Rogers, AHT
I am an ex-student of Cottingham High School. It’s amazing how many ex-students come back in professional roles; a mark of how much they have been inspired by staff in the school. I joined Cottingham High School, for the second time, twelve years ago as a teaching assistant and was offered the opportunity to become a cover supervisor the following year. On finding that I enjoyed leading classes, and with lots of encouragement from my colleagues, I decided to join the Open University and graduated with an English degree four years later. I am now pleased to be a fully-fledged member of the English faculty, the members of which are currently supporting me through my teacher training with tireless enthusiasm.
I am also a year eight tutor which offers me the opportunity to work with our pastoral team and enjoy year team-building activities; last year we took our students to an outdoor pursuits centre where I learned just how brave some of my form are.
I feel very fortunate to work here at Cottingham High School, as it has offered me lots of exciting opportunities such as running ‘Hell’s Kitchen’, taking part in residential trips, developing professionally and, most importantly, the truly rewarding experience of watching our students grow and become valued members of the wider community.
Jane Haiselden, Newly Qualified Teacher of English
I first joined Cottingham High School as a teacher of Art in 2007. I was warmly welcomed into the CHS community and, at that early stage in my career, given every opportunity to develop my own teaching practice and encouraged to reach out into the wider school environment. For two years, I was part of a team coordinating our KS3 Media Arts curriculum and have since had roles of responsibility for Photography and Coaching, gradually building up a team of experienced teachers to successfully support staff across the school. In my current role as Lead Practitioner I have been supported in gaining a place on the Teaching Leaders Fellows programme for aspiring middle leaders, an intensive schedule of training gaining access to a network of like-minded individuals from across the country.
I also have the privilege of supporting the next generation of teachers, providing a bespoke programme of internal CPD for NQTs and ITTs. This has enabled me to work with staff across a range of departments and pupils from all key stages. I have continued to feel supported and challenged in my role and I thoroughly enjoy working at CHS as part of a team which is committed to driving up standards in an environment that has high aspirations for both pupils and staff.
Annie Berry, Lead Practitioner
Having joined Cottingham High School as an NQT nine years ago I was extremely happy to take up the chance of a permanent post at the end of my first year here.
Alongside my main position as a teacher of Mathematics, I have been able to develop my whole-school role, firstly as Numeracy Coordinator and more recently as Lead Practitioner. I enjoy the variety that comes from working with different teams of people around the school.
We have a real focus on teaching and learning and continually work towards ensuring all of our pupils are supported and, most importantly, provided with constant challenge in the classroom in order to succeed.
Helen Wells, Lead Practitioner
After completing my training at Cottingham High School, I was delighted when the opportunity arose to work within the English Department. Spending the majority of my training year at the school, I already felt integrated as part of the English team, supported not only by my mentor but consistently motivated and assisted by the Area Leader and other members of the department.
When moving into my NQT year, I was extremely thankful to be continuing with Cottingham High School as I could not have asked for more support from the ITT co-ordinator, who consistently encouraged any opportunities for improvement within my teaching. Alongside a variety of teaching and learning opportunities created by the school, within the second week of NQT training, I had already taken part in an extremely sought after CPD opportunity, arranged by the school, to assist not only my impact on the progress of students across the school but also widening my own teaching practice and personal skill set.
The students at Cottingham High School are a real attribute to the school, consistently demonstrating enthusiasm and determination which continuously leave me feeling genuinely rewarded within my career.
Yasmin Homes, NQT
Joining Cottingham High School in 2015 as a Lead Practitioner has been truly rewarding. I have been able to work, not only within an innovative and supportive department, but with colleagues in many different areas of the school. A clear and obvious focus on pedagogy within the school creates a culture of sharing good practice. Participation in the extensive professional development programme gives staff exciting opportunities to further develop their skills and ensure all our students are able to maximise their potential. It is always exciting to see the impact of the innovative and creative methods that are used to engage students and develop their love of learning.
As part of my role I have also been involved in a range of enrichment activities from a ski trip to a CSI forensic day. Being involved with the students in their learning outside the classroom adds an exciting extra dimension to my developing role in this forward thinking and dynamic environment.
Sophie Ireland, Lead Practitioner
I started working at Cottingham High School in 2000 as an NQT in Drama. In my 16 years teaching here, I have enjoyed taking on a variety of different roles and challenges, growing with the school to adapt to the ever changing face of education. In doing so, I have been privileged to have enjoyed working with many talented and inspirational teachers and leaders who have contributed to my professional development and supported me into leadership. The roles I have enjoyed to date have been many and varied: Head of Drama, Director of Performing Arts, Assistant and Head of House, Lead Teacher for Learning and Area Leader for Arts & Technology. In delivering these roles, I have experienced working as part of a collaborative network of multi-skilled specialists, all driven toward achieving unified goals and raising aspiration through providing inspiration for our students.
David Hilton, Area Improvement Leader
I am now into my ninth year at Cottingham High School and can quite honestly say that my current role is the most interesting I have ever had.
When I first started at Cottingham, I worked 30 hours per week, giving administrative support to the SENCO. Over the years the role became more involved as more SEND students came to the school because we had gained a reputation for providing amongst the best support in the East Riding. I increased my hours to 37, which allowed me to become involved with a tutor group for two years. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the students and being able to support them pastorally.
In July 2013 I was asked to take on the role of PA to the Headteacher, a role which I am enjoying immensely because I love the challenge, I am always learning and I am never bored.
I am involved with producing the school’s Headline magazine, which showcases the many wonderful opportunities for our staff and students (available to read at www.cottinghamhigh.net).
I have always found the staff to be friendly and motivated and the students to be polite and very talented, both of which are reasons I have stayed at the school for so long.