What our staff say
I have spent 10 years at Parrs Wood, in which time Iíve been the Head of English, transition lead, Head of Sixth Form and Assistant Head, before stepping up to the Deputy Head role with responsibility for curriculum and outcomes.
I first got into teaching because of my love of English. I enjoy being able to explore current issues with students but through brilliantly poetic texts. Itís inspiring to be the conduit between what students canít do and what they need to be able, not just in terms of their lessons but in their development into adulthood.
Parrs Wood has a unique sense of community Ė Iíve been in 3 schools previously and not experienced the same mutual respect with students. It is a real pleasure to see them go on to achieve great things having seen them join in Year 7.
I think weíre so successful because the school is not afraid to empower staff. Since we became a trust we have been encouraged to support other schools across the north west. I find supporting others rewarding, but it has also benefited our school because we have learned a lot too.†
IainHead of English
I was determined not to be a teacher because both my parents were, but I loved studying English at university and I decided I wanted to pass on this enthusiasm. Iíve been at Parrs Wood since I was an NQT Ė the English department is an incredible place to work because we have such a strong bond so Iíve never really thought about leaving! †
The schoolís diversity means that there is never a dull day because thereís so much to learn from everyone around you. Our students are interesting and funny, and the strong relationships we share with them are remarkable. I think 9/10 days I really enjoy work and ask myself where would I go thatís going to be better than that?
I have aspirations of becoming part of the Senior Leadership Team, and the school are very supportive of staff who are looking to progress. I can access specific CPD sessions and have been involved in a coaching programme. The school even funded my Masters which has undoubtedly helped me to become a better teacher.
EmmaDeputy Head (Behaviour, ethos and culture)
I started life in the advertising world but while I was working in industry, I just felt that I could be using my time better, which is when I started to thinking about a career in teaching.
My first impression of Parrs Wood was on a walk around at my interview and I got a real feel for the sense of community. I genuinely feel that it perfectly reflects Manchesterís true diversity and aspirational ethos.†
We commit to every single child, irrespective of their behaviour record or prior attainment. This isnít a school where any student gets left behind, and that includes making sure their family is able to share in and support their journey. Our ethos is that we treat our students as we would want our own children to be treated.
I believe that our teamís culture is unique because nobody is precious about their specific role. If somebody needs help then they will step in, regardless if that isnít part of their remit.
I had quite an unorthodox route into teaching! I started working in engineering but had a change of heart and so took a job overseas with the British Council. While I was there I started teaching English to Chinese students and the rest is history.
I worked in a number of local schools before starting at Parrs Wood, but I remember walking in the door here for my interview and immediately sensing a community spirit that I hadnít experienced elsewhere.
One of the first things I realised is that our staff are treated more compassionately. There is a real understanding of the workload pressures and the impact this has on people. Itís still hard work, but the school does everything to make sure weíre not struggling.
The size of this school means that staff get opportunities that they wouldnít elsewhere. I think the variety of SLEs available is remarkable. I co-wrote and delivered a training package for a group of high schools and have been recommissioned to do an audit and implementation process. Iím also fortunate to be starting the NPQH this year.
I have a family connection with the school because my father taught at Parrs Wood, retiring in 1998 as Head of Sixth Form Ė a role my wife now occupies!
Iíd worked in a number of different schools when the chance to teach science here came up. I felt the school had everything Ė a strong ethos, challenging educational targets and a sixth form. Iíve been here for almost 20 years now and I can honestly say thereís just a positivity you get walking about the school thatís difficult to create. †
What I love about working at Parrs Wood is the challenge of teaching such a diverse cohort. I have students that really struggle with science, all the way through to those who go to Oxbridge. Regardless of ability, our students recognise that education is the best way for them to make a life for themselves.
Iím in my second year of teaching, having done just completed my NQT. Itís a wonderful place to learn to teach because well-being is prioritised and people never feel like theyíre judging you, just helping you to get better. Even the most established staff are very welcoming of new team members.
The school was very forward thinking in its training programme Ė feedback was always constructive and focused on making me a better teacher. The mentoring scheme, half-termly observations subject buddy system all really helped me thrive.
I was first attracted to teaching because young people can do great things if theyíre given the right guidance. Parrs Wood is the perfect place to do this because its size means you get to work with a cross-section of Manchesterís society.
The positive nature of the socio-economic and cultural diversity is what first attracted me to the school. I worked in other schools while I was training but didnít experience any with the same sense of unity.
SharonDirector of Languages
Iíve taught in different schools but have now been at Parrs Wood for over five years. As well as overseeing the languages department, I am involved in outreach work that helps us support other schools in the area by embedding strong learning techniques.†
A love of learning languages led me to choose a career in teaching in order to enthuse others similarly. I have embedded our ĎPass it oní model, part of which focuses on giving students engaging subject matter, so that they are passionate about their learning.††
Being able to pass on the best practice that has delivered results in our school just highlights what an innovative place this is to work in. Senior leaders understand the benefit of helping others, but also how this can better what we do ourselves.†
Supporting others is typical of this schoolís sense of community, one of our core values. Students here get to experience the full diversity of Manchesterís community and this stand them in good stead for later life because they can communicate with anyone and everyone.
Sarah TurnerScience Teacher
Iíve been teaching for 25 years and have spent the last 18 of them at Parrs Wood. Iíve even got two children who attend the school now.†
I wanted to teach at this school for two main reasons; Iím a passionate believer that a comprehensive education system is the best for everyone, and the sixth form meant I could teach more advanced subject matter.†
Weíre fortunate because the school attracts diverse staff who are enthusiastic about bringing their own ideas. Not only this, but the school is keen for staff to try new things and give you the space to see if theyíll work.†
I think students enjoy coming to Parrs Wood because its size means they get opportunities, both in enrichment and a broad curriculum, that they know they wouldnít get anywhere else. Beyond this, they know that the school wonít take the easy option but the one thatís best for them.