Meet our Cohort 2018-19Back
Daniel Tye: Head of History - Harris Academy Peckham
After a rewarding career in politics and public affairs, it has been my dream to become a History teacher and eventually Head of History. It still makes me pinch myself that I have achieved my dream by the age of 30.
Entering middle leadership four years into my teaching career, has been a whirlwind. They say that middle leadership can be a challenge at times, yet three months into my new role as Head of History, I can definitely say: it is the most rewarding and exciting job I have done.
Within the first few days, I was making decisions on curriculum design, trying to regain access to all our resources lost in the migration to SharePoint, and extensively thinking about the way we close the attainment gaps post-COVID when completing an audit of our curriculum. The pressure has been on, but it has given me the chance to meet the challenges head on and really think about pedagogy and practice to ensure we drive forward our department to achieving the best possible.
Another area that I have relished looking into is how we best support our students, especially our SEND students, with the huge content of knowledge that students must grapple within History. The ability to read research, work closely with our SEND department and revisit training from my days with Harris Initial Teacher Education has been invaluable. This has led to developments within our Department's practice that has resulted in students retaining more historical knowledge and confidently deploying it in their written studies.
Four years on, and I still find myself thinking back to the training days, sat in the lecture theatre at Harris Academy Bermondsey. Returning regularly to those lectures, seminars, and training sessions remains a crucial part of my practice as a teacher, and now as a Head of Subject. Middle leadership is challenging at times, but the training, guidance and support provided by Harris Initial Teacher Education has made the next step in my career an exciting one.
July 2019Coming to the end of my training year, I thought that the biggest hurdle in my career was going to be passing QTS and finally becoming a qualified History teacher. Little did I know that my NQT year would throw two huge challenges in my path: Ofsted and COVID-19.
During our training year at Harris Academy Peckham, we were told about the importance of “every minute is a learning minute”. This is something I come back to regularly, especially in my NQT year last year and as I navigate my third year as a teacher during COVID-19. When there have been hurdles to traverse, I have ensured I learn from those moments, reflect on them and adapt for the future.
This mantra helped me through the first half of my NQT year preparing for an impending Ofsted inspection and being observed by an inspector with one of my more challenging classes and, to the middle and last part of my NQT year, where I had to adapt to our new landscape of COVID-19 teaching.
Due to COVID-19, within days, we had to shift from face-to-face teaching to virtual teaching – where I was not able to instantaneously gauge students’ learning and needed to find new ways to check for students’ understanding in an online lesson, pre-recording lessons for KS3 students that would be accessible for all, regardless of ability, to do independently, and walking parents and tutees through the Free School Meals voucher system on a weekly basis to ensure they were able to put food on the table.
Online teaching was never on the ITE curriculum, yet due to the training provision provided by the Harris ITE Team and my placement school in planning and delivering effective lessons, I was able to reflect on the training I received and adapt it to my new teaching practice to ensure students were still receiving high-quality learning opportunities. By ensuring new teachers have the pedagogical knowledge, tools and strategies in their teaching arsenal, Harris ITE are creating a new generation of teachers who can overcome challenges; often in innovative ways.
This support to think innovatively is especially seen through the CPD provided by the Federation. The opportunities to train further and hone your skills don’t stop once you achieve QTS. Like I said before, every minute is a learning minute. For me this has come about through engaging with curriculum discussions with the Federation’s History consultants and knowledge enhancement lectures and working with other More Able Coordinators across the Federation on how we stretch and challenge our Most Able students in our respective Academies. One of the major parts of my CPD this academic year is building on my leadership skills and knowledge from my previous career in politics and public affairs through the Harris Diploma in Team Leadership to prepare myself for future middle leadership responsibility.
Thanks to my training with Harris ITE and the opportunities that the Federation have provided me, I have been able to take challenges and convert them into learning opportunities rather than letting them beat me, and ensure that I have the skills to go on to further support students in leadership roles in the future.
To find out more about Daniel’s teaching journey, please read this article….