Samuel Whitbread Academy is a large, rural upper school with approximately 1,700 students including a Sixth Form approaching 450 students. The school is situated on the outskirts of the village of Shefford, in Bedfordshire, and has all the variety and energy of a fully comprehensive secondary school. In June 2014 the Academy was inspected and judged as Good, with Outstanding features by Ofsted. Since then, we have continued to improve and are constantly striving to develop our practice and raise levels of achievement.
The size of the Academy and membership of the Trust mean that opportunities available to staff are incredibly varied and wide-ranging. We have a growing reputation for developing an exciting and innovative culture of research within the Academy. We are also a member of SUPER, a research-based school improvement network of similarly minded schools, led by Cambridge University, and offer both a Masters and PhD programme through the University. The Trust also includes a Training School and has an Outstanding Nursery (Ofsted 2012) onsite which is available to staff.
The Geography Department consists of six members many of whom also hold other responsibility positions across the Academy. This enables us to draw from many areas of expertise which we share between each other. With 500 students being taught at GCSE all staff are expected to teach at this level with the other key stages are shared out between the staff in department. As much as possible Teachers have their own classes prior to Key Stage 5 and all members of the team run a variety of Geography fieldwork trips throughout the academic year.
The Geography Department is working hard to embed the new courses for GCSE (OCR B Geography for enquiring minds) and A-Level (Edexcel). We believe that a high number of students opt to study Geography at Samuel Whitbread Academy because of the Department’s passion for teaching and the enriching work they are given to study. Our aim is to create a positive ethos within all students so that they can achieve their true potential and, at the same time, enable Geography to thrive as a subject.
We have five dedicated classrooms within the Department. All are fitted with projectors/whiteboards and one classroom is fully equipped with computers that run the Google Chrome platform. Geography has a range of fieldwork equipment and progressive teaching materials that are updated throughout the academic year.
Team members in Samuel Whitbread’s Geography Department have a common passion for the subject and our approach to teaching means that we develop schemes of learning together and share best practice. As a large Department there are opportunities to develop as a practitioner from leading fieldwork to taking responsibility for a specific area!
As a Department we are looking for candidates with a passion for teaching and learning, who want to make a difference, to join us. If you would like to visit Samuel Whitbread Academy and see the Geography Department during a normal teaching day, please do not hesitate to contact us.