Proud of our People

Kirsty wattsKirsty Watts

I am a teaching assistant for The Abbey school and I have worked there since 1st September this year. I have always wanted to be a teaching assistant; helping children grow and to learn. My role involves helping the teachers get through the lesson by offering support, guidance and helping the students have a little bit of fun!

The best element of my job is seeing the children achieve their goals by believing in themselves and even going beyond their own expectations. Being part of that is amazing.

The three words I would use to describe my job are:
Fun       Rewarding       Fantastic


Tony sparksTony Sparks

1) Explain your job role
As the Premises Manager at the Abbey School I see my role as a facilitator. I focus on ensuring the school is safe and runs smoothly so the teachers and students can concentrate on learning and having fun. The role is so varied, I could be wheeling my trolley around replenishing hygiene and safety products or building a new workbench for the DT room. Most of my time though, is spent making sure the property and grounds are in good and safe working order.
2) How long have you worked for the School?
Following a career in Corporate Business Consulting and spending 8 years in Melbourne Australia, I decided it was time to move into a new phase of my work life and in November 2019 I joined Rodborough school as their DT Technician. In September this year I joined The Abbey School as their Premises Manager and have been blown away by the passion, commitment and friendliness of my colleagues at the school and the courageousness of the students.
3) Why do you work in Education?
At the Abbey we support children with learning difficulties and additional needs and I am convinced that everyone at the Abbey has a special and exceptional talent that provides our students with an environment like no other. To see the joy and happiness in the faces of our student every day lifts me and makes everything I do have a little extra meaning.
4) What’s the best element of your job?
I’ve always been good at working with my hands to make, fix or repair things and this job allows me to put my passion to good use. With our expansion (Project 22) about to kick off at full speed, I’m sure I will need to be at the top of my game and the next 2 years will be full of challenges and personal reward.
5) In three words describe your School or your colleagues...


Judith spencer

Judith Spencer

Assistant Head at Rodborough School

As part of the WMAT’s Proud of our People recognition initiative, Judith has been nominated following a successful career at Rodborough spanning 33 years. 

Explain your job role...
I have been an Assistant Head at Rodborough for twenty five years.  I am currently responsible for SEND and additional needs, which includes oversight and strategic direction of our SEND and Cullum Team, as well as a Deputy DSL and teacher of Food. I completed a Masters in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion in 2018, which was a challenge so many years after my original degree but confirmed me as a lifelong learner.  I have held a wide range of pastoral and departmental responsibilities over time and have worked for four of the five Headteachers that Rodborough has ever had.
How long have you worked for the WMAT/School?
I joined Rodborough as an NQT for a temporary part time food teacher post in September 1988.  I was interviewed on a Thursday and started work on the following Monday having moved from South Wales over the weekend.  Thirty-three years later, I am still here! My contract was soon extended to a full time permanent post and I had to go back to Wales to do a bit more packing!  In addition to Food I have taught a range of other subjects including Childcare, Textiles, IT, Health and Social Care and PSHE.  I really enjoyed being part of our vocational programmes introducing GNVQ and BTEC qualifications at Rodborough, seeing young people who often struggled with the traditional elements of education, thrive and be good at something, which inspired them to further success and a relevant career path.  I didn’t ever expect to stay in Surrey but think I have been very fortunate to be offered a wide range of opportunities -there has certainly never been time to be bored!    
Why do you work in Education?
I enjoy helping and supporting colleagues to get the best out of themselves and the young people that they work with. Empowering others to be the best that they can be is important to me as is sharing good practice.   Seeing generations of families go through school has been rewarding.  My classes often contain children and now grand children of parents that I have taught.  Building relationships and creating community links have been an important part of the role.  Innovating, when it was allowed, to introduce meaningful and relevant courses for our young people, securing opportunities for them to get involved to achieve things that they didn’t think possible has been fantastically rewarding.       
What’s the best element of your job?
Working as part of many great teams with people who make me laugh.  This applies to staff as well as students!  We are so lucky to have the opportunity to influence and have impact on the life chances of the young people in our care.  They only have this time in education once and deserve the best experience that we can deliver. 
Describe your School or your colleagues...
Rodborough is a great community with inspirational staff and students. One of our former Deputy Headteachers Daphne O’Hanlon, coined the phrase ‘Rodboroughised’ which I now believe describes me!


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