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Working at Bristol Brunel Academy

"Deeply committed to high standards and striving for excellence."

 

At Bristol Brunel we believe that every student can be an outstanding learner and that it is our responsibility to ensure that they achieve this. 'Lessons are for learning' and everyone works together to ensure that lesson time is spent productively. Bristol Brunel provides a supportive working environment that challenges students to produce their best work. We work extremely hard to ensure students receive the best possible education that will prepare them for a lifetime of learning. This is achieved through an incredibly supportive and inclusive pastoral system, where the personal and social needs of individual students is considered alongside their academic needs.

The following information should help you to decide if Bristol Brunel Academy is the right place for you...

 

High expectations

We have exceedingly high expectations of our students and everything that they do. We believe that every student can learn and it is our responsibility to ensure all students do. The most caring thing we can do for students is to maintain high expectations at all times and in every aspect of academy life. The moment we 'let a student off', we are lowering our expectations. In order to ensure that lessons are spent productively, we have the following in place:

  • Simple behaviour system (1 warning, on a second occurrence the student goes to isolation) - no teacher detentions.
  • Effective pastoral system that supports an inclusive approach to education.
  • Whole site mobile phone ban – lessons are for learning.
  • Strict uniform policy.
  • Multiple formal exams in every year group - one of the most effective ways of learning is to test what you know to identify knowledge gaps that can then be addressed.
  • Strong SEND / EAL team who provide a range of support / interventions to enable these students to be successful.

 

"We have an enthusiastic and collegiate staff, with an open response to sharing and questioning what makes great practice. The positive relationships among staff and renewed focus on staff well being have helped create a great, supportive atmosphere in the school. High behaviour standards and support from senior leadership enable teachers to focus on teaching and there are lots of opportunities for staff development too. CPD is really outward looking, and we're constantly looking for ways to improve rather than just relying on doing 'what we've always done'. This is a real strength of the school."

Dave Bunker (Former NQT at BBA, now Curriculum Leader of English)

 

Effective CPD

We have regular CPD which is personalised and seeks to evaluate the impact of teaching on student progress. We make use of the latest educational research to challenge our thoughts and ideas about teaching in order to move our practice forward. We aim to share great practice from within the academy, but are also outward looking to find the best practice nationally and internationally. We never stop learning. Some of the CPD available includes:

  • Fortnightly CPD sessions for all teaching staff throughout the year (this is on a rotation with team meetings).
  • New staff receive additional CPD during the first two terms to help them understand why we do what we do.
  • Regular one-to-ones to discuss strengths and areas for improvement. These are then supported through an open door team development culture which includes collaborative drop-ins to develop practice further.
  • Edu-Journal club (supported by the Institute of Education).
  • Edu-Book club – this is an opportunity to engage with current educational literature and discuss findings with colleagues from across the academy. The group has previously read 'Why students don't like school', 'The hidden lives of learners', and 'Making every lesson count,' to name but a few.
  • Federation Network Nights (FNN) - an opportunity to meet with similar departments from different academies across the Cabot Learning Federation to network and share best practice. There are 6 of these a year.
  • Cabot Learning Federation (CLF) Conference – The CLF hosts two conferences a year which brings together over 1000 colleagues from across all of its academies (both primary & secondary). The aim of the conferences is to collaborate through a series of workshops that staff opt into - another fantastic CPD opportunity.

 

"To work in a school where everyone works so well together and has shared values is amazing. At BBA there is an ethos of collaboration and we are always asking questions like; 'how can we make this process more efficient? Why are we really doing this? How can we make this task really meaningful?".

Ali Harvey (Head of Science, recently relocated from London)

 

Wellbeing

Staff wellbeing is high on our agenda and something we proactively encourage staff to address. We have a staff wellbeing team who organise social events and exercise sessions. SLT work on an open door policy and are always keen to get feedback from staff.

We also continue to address staff workload by investing in systems like MintClass (creates annotated seating plans in minutes) and ShowMyHomework (creates self-marking homework tasks). We also give time back to run 'marking parties' throughout the year to give staff an opportunity to mark collaboratively and provide feedback on student work.

 

Curriculum

We value a traditional, knowledge-based curriculum that seeks to teach students the best that has been thought, said and done. We value deep learning that dwells and builds knowledge, rather than simply skimming content to cover a scheme of work. Teachers are reflective in their approach and adjust their teaching through lots of formative assessment. They seek to identify things that students do not know and then adapt their teaching to fill the knowledge gap. We want students to engage with knowledge outside of their normal sphere of experience.

 

Leadership development

We pride ourselves on growing our own high calibre leaders at Bristol Brunel and from across the Cabot Learning Federation, whilst also spotting talent externally to bring in the most tenacious and gifted leaders. In addition to high quality teaching CPD, we also offer a range of CPD opportunities that help accelerate the career progress:

  • NPQML / NPQSL / NPQH
  • CLF Emerging Middle / Senior Leader courses
  • CLF Accelerated Leaders

 

Open door culture

We have worked hard as a school to develop an open-door culture across the academy. We like teachers and leaders to visit classrooms regularly to see great practice in action. We see working together to improve our practice as a vital part of our improvement journey. See and read about some of the latest 'Bright spots' here: https://neverstoplearninghub.com/category/bright-spots/

 

State of the art facilities

The building is remarkable and enables teachers to teach. There is always somebody nearby to help and no teacher should feel isolated. The building has a simple layout that eliminates 'students getting lost.' Classrooms are well equipped and different curriculum areas have up-to-date facilities to make learning challenging and interesting. Lesson change-overs are smooth and students are expected to be in the next lesson within 3 minutes of finishing their previous one.

 

Living in Bristol

Bristol is, without doubt, one of the greatest cities to live and work in the U.K. It is a city which celebrates its cultural diversity and champions interesting ideas. The city caters for a wide range of interests, and you'll be hard-pressed not to find something to explore and fall in love with. With easy access to the rest of the glorious south-west (Somerset, Devon & Cornwall), Bristol is fast becoming the place to be. Read more here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/bristol-named-britain-s-best-city-to-live-in-9210931.html