Meet Mrs Rachael Kelly ...
Hi Mrs Kelly, tell us about your role at West Sussex prep school Sompting Abbotts
I'm the Head of ICT and I teach English, Maths, History, RS, Drama and PSHCE to Year 3 pupils. I provide the link between the Pre-Prep style of teaching with one class teacher for the majority of the time and the main school where pupils go to subject teachers.
What's your educational background?
I have a BA (Hons) in Languages and Business, and PGCE in Primary Teaching and EYQTS, which I gained when working at a Pre-School in Hove.
Tell us about your career to date
This is my fourth year at Sompting Abbotts. I started teaching in 2001 working in Newham, East London, and have taught all year groups from Year 6 to Nursery. I spent four years in London as an Advanced Skills Teacher with a Primary Science focus, providing training support for Science teaching to schools within the Borough. Since having my children, I have turned to part-time roles to allow me to balance my home and professional life, and have taught for a year at St. Luke's Infants (Brighton) where I was RS Co-ordinator. I then worked at a Funland Pre-School and did my EYQTS there while bringing my teaching knowledge to the curriculum there.
Before becoming at teacher I worked at American Express using my languages, but took part in the community project of reading with children in local schools. It was then that I decided to become a teacher, so I did my PGCE in Oxford and then moved to London to teach until the birth of my first son. I then moved Hove and became part-time.
What do you enjoy about being a teacher at Sompting Abbotts?
Having the freedom to be a teacher that inspires a love of learning.
We use the grounds as much as possible, taking practical Maths and English lessons outside. We're able to take children outside to experience the sights and sounds that have influenced our descriptive writing, giving children a real experiences to base their work on. Practical capacity measuring lessons are much better when you don't have to worry about water being spilled and allow children to problem solve rather than worry about mess! Following instructions are much more exciting when children get to go a treasure hunt around the grounds with edible treasure at the end. To cement our understanding of Greek military History, we've enjoyed re-enacting battles with the Year 4 class, who are worthy adversaries!
At Sompting Abbotts, we teachers are really encouraged to bring life to our subjects and we get the freedom to do this. Smaller classes allow me to focus on each individual and tailor work to provide the correct level of challenge which pushes each child to reach their potential. Teachers are urged to use the school and grounds to their full potential, which is refreshing, as I see so many other schools retreating to within the classroom. Overall, I find that Sompting Abbotts allows teachers to focus on their teaching rather than on the kind of bureaucracy and paperwork which drains so many teachers, meaning that we are always fresh to inspire and challenge our children every day.
I love music too and play myself so I love providing support for Mrs Williamson with the choir and concerts.
A really good education at SA means a child will ...
... gain a first class education, tailored to their individual needs, by staff who know and understand each child's personal learning style.
Tell us something we don't know about you
I'm a synchronised swimmer.