Why work at Lodge Park Academy?
An insight into what it's like to be a member of #TeamLPA
Lodge Park Academy is a lovely place to work.
We like it here and we’re proud of it. We think you would too.
Let’s start with the basic stuff it’s sensible to ask about any school.
We don’t require teachers to do any set amount of written marking and we don’t do high stakes one-off lesson observations. We have established rules and routines and we centralise all detentions.
The school is calm and orderly apart from when we want it to be loud and silly and you’ll go about your day without feeling that sort of horrible stress that makes you feel both too hot and too cold at the same time. You won’t dread coming in.
We have a well conceptualised 'Family First' policy which means wherever possible briefings and meetings are run online and recorded so those with other commitments can get to them when it’s more convenient. We know that everyone flourishes when they have a good work life balance, so we prioritise that.
We respect teacher expertise and want our teachers to lead classes unashamedly from the front when it’s appropriate to do so. We want them to instruct and explain and model, check for understanding, respond when they need to and supervise lots of student practise.
None of us thinks we’ve cracked it – we love that teaching is something we get better and better at each year. Isn’t it wonderful to think if we keep working at it then our last day in a classroom might be our best ever teaching day?
All of us – from our trainees stepping into our classrooms for the first time to our grizzled twenty-year veterans – has something they’re working on. For those with the least experience this is an action step set by an experienced mentor while those of us who’ve been doing this for decades sometimes set our own steps based on our engagement with and in professional literature and training.
If you came to work at Lodge Park you’d hear about 'action steps' at lot.
These are how we drive improvement here - they are the actions that will lead to the most impact on our students. While you’ll get support to set your action steps, ultimately they belong to you – line managers, including Heads of Subject, develop them with their teams and decide on their own methods of implementation and quality assurance. We operate a high trust model of quality assurance because we believe everyone comes to work to do their best.
Fundamentally we believe the people best placed to solve knotty problems are those closest to them – our teachers and middle leaders. While the Academy Leadership Team (ALT) will do everything we can to support and guide, we respect the capabilities and expertise of our staff. If you need help we’ll work with you to get it, but we know it’s wisest to bow to those who know more than we do. There is no 'done to' culture at LPA. Ask our staff, they'll tell you.
You probably already have a sense of what sort of place we are so our commitment to subject specificity will come as no surprise. We know each subject is different. That’s why we love them so much and why much of our training is organised by the subject networks within the David Ross Education Trust. Here you’ll find some of England’s leading thinkers in education developing curriculum and subject specific pedagogy which is discussed, shared and implemented so our young people get the world class education we believe is their entitlement.
And the young people who attend Lodge Park are marvellous.
Corby – where we’re based – is a proud, passionate and grounded place with just a touch of bonkers. If you come and visit us you’ll wonder about all the Scottish accents you hear, why we go so big on Burns' Night and why it’s Irn Bru and not Coke we confiscate most often! You’ll hear languages from all over the world and smile at seeing two best friends sitting together at break time and sharing stories about their early lives in Romania and Tanzania. You’ll laugh a lot. Corby kids are funny – not just 'ah how sweet' funny but also 'laugh-out-loud tell your friends after work' funny.
We wrap all this stuff – all our values around hard work and kindness and silence and silliness in a little catchphrase you’ll hear a lot – LPA Spirit. It’s how we encapsulate all the best things about ourselves and is something we can say to remind us of how brilliant we all are - even when you slept badly and it’s 9.00am on a rainy Tuesday in February. Sometimes our students proclaim it at us joyfully and sometimes they roll their eyes in that teenage way that says, “yeah it’s a bit embarrassing but we’ll go with it because we like you.”
There’s even an LPA Spirit dance.
We could go on and on about all the things that make us special and why it’s a great place for children to study and adults to work but it’s easier to see if you come and visit - and we love visitors! If you’re thinking about making an application to join us or just because you want to have a nosy around, get in touch. We think if you knew us you’d like us.
If you do come try to make some time to have a spin around the many beautiful villages around us – we’re blessed to be right in the middle of the Northamptonshire countryside where the sunrises and sunsets are breathtaking, and the walking, running and cycling is outstanding. Rutland water – where a prehistoric water dragon was recently discovered – is only twenty minutes away and offers water-sports, world class birdwatching, and old-style proper pubs and cafes with roaring fires in the winter. If bright lights are more your thing then we’re not far from Leicester and just over an hour on the train to London which makes weekends in the Big Smoke very doable.
We think the school alone is worth considering relocation and what’s around us makes this an even more attractive option.
Finally, you won’t want to just take our word on all this. We’d be really happy to pass you contact details of people who work here for off-the-record chats we don’t need to know anything about. After all it’s in nobody’s interest to mislead you and then have unhappy staff. We understand what’s right for one person might not be right for another and if learning more has you feeling we’re not the right place for you then we wish you the best of luck and hope you find your ideal school soon!
Thanks for your interest in Lodge Park Academy – we really, really hope to hear from you soon.
PS – two week half term break in October!