Abbot Beyne Staff Testimonies

Why work at Abbot Beyne School? 

Please see below some of our staff testimonies about working at Abbot Beyne, in their own words.

Fiona Airey – Assistant Headteacher Inclusion/SENCo
I started working at Abbot Beyne School in 2014.  This was my first post on a Senior Leadership Team and right from the start I was well supported and offered high quality CPD opportunities.
It has been a privilege to work within such a supportive and collaborative environment.  This was highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic when every member of staff worked together for the greater good, ensuring a positive experience for all of our students. As a school we are certainly greater than the sum of our parts. 
We are a relatively small secondary school which allows a community feeling to flourish and allows staff to unleash their flair and not be restricted by bureaucracy. We aim for the culture to be truly inclusive and have high aspirations for all students that are not purely academic.
Working at Abbot Beyne School is not without its challenges but being part of a supportive community, with a non blame culture, can be hugely rewarding and means we can make a real difference to the lives of young people and their families.
Faisal Razaq – Teacher of ICT/Business

I am one of the lucky few who have had the opportunity to attend Abbot Beyne School as a student and then start a teaching career here.It all started back in 1995 when I walked through the doors of Abbot Beyne School as a student. I can honestly say I had a very good experience as a student. The school had a very positive vibe, an engaging environment and a community feel. It was a diverse and inclusive school as it represented a number of communities across the town and still continues to do so today.Many years later I decided to become a teacher and completed my PGCE. After graduating I did some supply work for the first year. During my second year of teaching a supply position was advertised at Abbot Beyne School. I enquired about the position and was asked to come in and start the role. After a few months I was asked if I would like to continue to work here and become part of the Abbot Beyne School teaching team. I have been here since 2013 and have not regretted my decision at all. I have enjoyed being here every single day.What makes Abbot Beyne School special is that I am surrounded by a team that is very commited, supportive and understanding towards both staff and students. All teachers here contribute to making a positive difference to students’ lives as well as ensuring they are given every opportunity to succeed and make the best versions of themselves possible by the time they leave here.Abbot Beyne School is an awesome place to be. During my time here I have witnessed the achievements accomplished and the strive for further improvements – one of them being the fact that we are an Apple Distinguished School. The introduction of iPads has made teaching and learning both effective and efficient.Everyone genuinely cares about one another’s well being and makes that effort to get to know you that little bit more, making you more than just a colleague.

Liz Ballinger – Learning Support Assistant
I have been working as a Learning Support Assistant at Abbot Beyne School for over 20 years. Within that time I have met thousands of students and worked with numerous dedicated members of staff. We are all different, we all have our special talents but we all believe that “every child matters” and that’s what makes us a great school.
Abbot Beyne School is large enough to offer our students the best opportunities but small enough to have a strong community feel. We take pride in celebrating all our successes big and small, we support each other, we look out for each other and most of all we care about each other.
Jason Stafford – Director of Learning for Social Studies (5 Years at Abbot Beyne).
Abbot Beyne School is a comprehensive school in every sense of the word, this was one of the main attractions when I applied. It has provided me with a wealth of opportunities to hone my pedagogical practices, working with a diverse range of students with English as an additional language, physical, emotional and social needs and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
We believe in everyone, and this helps to instil that belief in the students to go on to achieve greatness.
Abbot Beyne School is a place where people aren’t judged, a place where I’ve always felt supported.  It is a place rooted in strong values of respect, responsibility and resilience, critical qualities for success in our world. Values that we created and drive forward together. We are immensely proud of our Apple Distinguished Status, with technology transforming the way our students learn about their world. I wouldn’t want to teach without 1 to 1 technology in the classroom.
This is a school where students and parents genuinely appreciate and value everything that you do, we are a tight community, we are a family.
Ann Tomlinson – Administration Assistant
I am working through my 9th year at Abbot Beyne.
I feel blessed to work alongside the colleagues I have.  Abbot Beyne isn’t only my place of work, it’s like having an extra family outside of my family home.
I believe that from my experience whilst at Abbot Beyne the staff teachers and support staff alike, choose to work here primarily for the love of teaching and the love of the actual school itself.  Yes we are ultimately here for a paycheque at the end of each month, however, the staff are here for the students, staff care for each other and the students alike.
Whatever the task you need to complete can be made easier by the colleagues you work with, we all help one another when and where we can.
Also, I feel that due to the size of the school, we all have a visual personal side of one another, e.g. you know when someone is not themselves, you know when someone is having a tough day, similarly however, staff at Abbot Beyne are quick to complement, thank and genuinely be there for one another.
I am truly thankful that I came for the interview and was successful in gaining the position.  My position is not one that is straight forward, and over the years my role has varied from the original office job that i accepted, I have mentored Year 11 and Year 7 students, completed first aid emergencies (broken hip, punctured artery, epileptic seizures), cleaning toilets and vomit, Christmas Fairy duties, kitchen help……. among a few i can remember….
Don’t get me wrong, at times the role can be extremely hard, both emotionally and mentally….but with the support of the staff within the school it makes it all a lot easier to deal with.   I welcome change, as fresh eyes and ears are always able to see how we can improve, nothing is ever perfect!
However, in all of this, I wouldn’t change a thing…… and I cannot see anything changing anytime soon.
I love the Beyne!
Dawn Davies – Head of Year 11
My journey at Abbot Beyne School started in 2004 when I joined the school as a Learning Support Assistant. During my time supporting students I was given the opportunity to gain nationally recognised qualifications to progress to a Subject Specific Learning Support Assistant in the Science Department. I fulfilled this role for 8 years and enjoyed supporting students, enabling them to reach their potential.
A benefit of working at Abbot Beyne School is that I have been able to attend school trips. Whether it be to the theatre, to support their academic learning or a reward trip to the cinema or theme park. However, the highlight during my time at school is to have been given the opportunity to learn how to ski. I have travelled to Andorra and Austria several times which I can honestly say I don’t think I would have done had I not worked here.  It was a huge responsibility and hard work, but so rewarding! To give students the opportunity to learn new skills, make new friendships and witness the reluctance to return home at the end of the week was worth the tiredness.
Nine years ago, I changed my role within the school and became a Pastoral Tutor to Years 10 and 11. More recently, I have become a Head of Year to Year 11.  I can honestly say that my job is physically and emotionally challenging and sometimes draining, but I really do love it. No two days are the same, so it really does offer variety and keeps you fit.  As part of my role, I am fortunate to witness the growth and development of our students, not just academically, but emotionally too. The finale is always the end of year Prom. I can honestly say that I feel like a ‘surrogate’ proud parent seeing the students dressed up in their finery, thanking me and their teachers for all the support and encouragement they’ve received over the years.
Working at Abbot Beyne School is like having an extended family.  Sadly, I have encountered ill health and bereavement during my time, but have received so much support from ALL staff.  It may just be a quick comment in the corridor or a lovely card left on my desk, but all have been given with thought and kindness. I cannot imagine leaving …EVER!
Laura Mason – English Teacher
Working at Abbot Beyne is like working alongside your family. Everyone here is beyond supportive, and staff are always willing to go above and beyond to help one another out. I have worked here for 9 years now, and I still walk through the door every morning with a smile on my face, wondering what the day is going to bring.
Having recently been on maternity leave, I returned to work part time. Although having a baby and juggling working is a challenge for any new parent, I have found my part time timetable very manageable and enjoyable. It really does give me the perfect work / life balance.
I was an NQT when I joined Abbot Beyne, and I can honestly say that I cannot imagine working anywhere else. I have grown as a teacher and as a person in my 9 years here, and the leadership team here have always encouraged me to progress, to aim high and to be confident in my own capabilities as a teacher.
Bethany Marsh – Maths Teacher
I first came to Abbot Beyne School as a trainee on the John Taylor SCITT in September 2020. I experienced a warm and welcoming environment where the staff clearly cared about each other and their students. I loved that every student was treated as an individual and that staff well-being was so highly valued. I chose to stay at Abbot Beyne School for these reasons, but also because I felt the school values aligned with my own and that it was the perfect place for me to develop as a teacher. I love that staff really care about helping the students to succeed, whatever success looks like for them.
While grades are important, the measure of success is not only regarded as academic but also how students grow into excellent adults with strong morals, a good work ethic and aspirations for the future. It is truly wonderful to be a part of this community.