After studying my Primary Education BA (Hons) in Winchester, I started teaching in both Key Stages in inner-city Southampton. During this time I earned the school the Artsmark Award, before relocating to Plymouth, leading assessment and creative subjects. In 2010, I took on the role of Key Stage One Leader at Launceston Primary. During my time there I completed my Masters Degree in Education, Leadership Pathways, NPQSL and took on the role of English Leader and Assistant Head. I also became part of the Key Stage One County moderation team.
As the school become part of the An Daras MAT, I took on the role of Head of School at St Stephens Community Academy whilst completing my NPQH. In role as Head I introduced the Visible Learning Programme across the MAT schools. Since then, I have taken on my current role as Academy Improvement Officer as the MAT has grown across Cornwall and Devon. My main focus is supporting leaders and teachers with aspects such as assessment, moderation and teaching and learning. During this time I became an SLE to work with schools on Assessment, English/ Phonics as well as provide Teaching and Learning support to NQTs and teachers
I have been teaching for 9 years, having entered the profession in my 40s, with previous experience in Local Government and law. Having trained with Cornwall SCITT in Early Years, my first teaching job was in at the deep end in Year 6!
I became PE co-ordinator just before the transition from secondary school funding for primary sport, to primary schools receiving the Sports Premium. I gained a wealth of experience across our trust schools on how to utilise this premium and was instrumental in setting up a broad programme of competitions for the schools within our Trust. I have a PE subject leader qualification with Arena and have worked with teachers from other schools to ensure the correct spending of the Premium and in respect of providing high quality PE teaching. Sport is my main interest in life (other than teaching) so I have real enthusiasm and understanding of the importance of sport in our children’s lives.
Over the years, I have worked closely with KS2 teachers from other schools in respect of the assessment and moderation of writing. Having been through the moderation process and attended various training sessions, I feel confident in my ability to support other teachers in the assessment process, as well as the teaching of writing. I have worked with NQTs, as well as more experienced teachers, to discuss their pupils’ work and to support them in their assessments in line with the Teacher Assessment Framework. We have seen changes in the Framework with varying opinions regarding how to interpret criteria such as: particular weakness, independent writing, use of success criteria, handwriting and spelling requirements, as well as with the ability to control the level of formality for greater depth. I believe it is key that we continue moderating our writing on a MAT-wide basis, ensuring that all staff are supported and feel confident in their assessments, as well as in their teaching of writing.
Helen Ayotte - PE
I believe that a healthy mind and body assists learning and that physical activity should be a part of an active curriculum in every child’s education. Children who are happy, healthy and have the confidence to believe in their own abilities will succeed in school and in their journey to adulthood. I believe that high quality PE and Sport enables children to develop - life skills, team work, resilience, confidence, independence and build self-esteem. It is a passion of mine to ensure the next generation have the access and opportunities to develop these skills and achieve their own goals.
I have taught in both KS1 and KS2 and love working with children to inspire, motivate and enthuse. During my teaching career, I have coordinated many curriculum areas including science, mathematics, assessment and leader of learning and I also spent 18 months working on the Senior Leadership team at my previous school. For the past 6 years I have been based at Parc Eglos School in Helston working as a Physical Education Coordinator for 12 primary schools and working alongside the Southerly Point Multi Academy Trust. I have supported schools with the management, coordination and teaching of PE and the use of the Sports Premium. I am also an active member of the Cornwall, PE & SS Strategic Alliance Board.
During the last 6 years I have become a specialist in the area of PE and School Sports. Physical activity has always been an area I have been passionate about. Having grown up in Cornwall I have played/competed for my county in many different Sports individually and as part of a team. I strive to give children as many different opportunities as possible to support them to become physically active but most importantly to enjoy taking part. It is a pleasure to assist and influence children in their journey to develop a life-long love of physical activity.
Sarah Richards – Literacy
I trained as a primary school teacher after completing a degree in Early Childhood Studies. I predominately taught in mixed aged classes in a small village school and really enjoyed the challenges that this involved. I became PE coordinator, Literacy lead, KS1 lead and wore many other hats (as you do in a small school!) I worked closely with the SLT to rewrite the long term plan for Literacy and raise the profile of reading and writing across our whole school. I have recently completed a research project in boys writing and used the outcomes of this to change the way we deliver Literacy.
I spent some time working with the Key Stage 1 moderation team and thoroughly enjoyed this experience. This combined with my enthusiasm for sharing good practice and ensuring that we provide the best possible opportunities for all children led me to becoming an SLE. I have just begun a new position, EYFS teacher at Parc Eglos, which I am thoroughly enjoying and looking forward to gain more knowledge and experience which I am able to share.