Meet the Principal: David Astin, Principal of Harris Girls' Academy Bromley
"As a passionate asker of questions with a naturally inquisitive nature, I have always been interested in having new experiences and learning new things."
Teaching has enabled me to nurture that same sense of enquiry in my students and that’s been what’s most inspiring for me: that ‘lightbulb moment’ when a child in that has been struggling to understand something finally gets it – pure joy!
I started working with Harris in 2008 at Harris City Academy Crystal Palace and was then promoted to work for the central Federation team. In that role, I worked across many of the secondary academies as part of the Federation Sixth Form team and Co-Leader of the Student Commission. I was appointed as Principal at Harris Girls’ Academy Bromley in September 2014.
I have been teaching for 20 years, including in two very good schools where I learned a lot. However, joining Harris was a game changer for me. As a new member of the Leadership Team, the amount of support and guidance that I received has been incredible, the development opportunities are immense and the access to hugely experienced professionals is invaluable.
I have found this as a new Principal as well; the access to wise counsel and expertise has made such a difference. I genuinely believe that I have been nurtured, supported and cared for more over my eight years with Harris than at any other point in my teaching career. The amount of support and guidance that you receive is incredible. In an environment where everybody believes that the children deserve the best, expectations are very high, but levels of support are even higher.
What makes Harris Girls’ Academy Bromley special is its remarkable students – the girls are creative, inventive, witty, loyal and most of all tenacious. They believe that they can be the best and nobody is going to persuade them otherwise!
If you want to work here, you should obviously do your research, but if you want to work somewhere that will challenge, support you and give you fantastic opportunities to develop then please apply. The girls are some of the most exciting students to teach that I have ever encountered; no day is ever the same and the rewards are huge.
When you join Harris, you will be looked after, cared for, supported, challenged and rewarded – and for me, that should make it your first choice for a teaching career.
My top three qualities when looking for a teacher:
“First and foremost, I want somebody who loves and understands their subject; then, somebody who is reflective and constantly seeking to become even better; and finally, somebody who is tenacious and will never give up in their pursuit of making sure that every single child is successful.”