Abi Smith, Maths teacher
Michaela Community School, Wembley

Ms Smith’s first impressions

I began teaching at Michaela in January 2017 and haven’t looked back since. I am still astounded by the clarity and articulation with which our pupils speak, by their manners and by their knowledge. I look forward to each teaching day knowing that it will be exactly that: teachers teaching and pupils learning.

There is no denying that starting at Michaela is hard work: school days are long and acclimatising to new and such well-defined structures is mentally draining at first. However the time invested by colleagues in order to support me has been (and still is) incredible. Staff really do ‘row together’ as Katharine says, and you can be sure that pupils experience consistently high standards across the school.

What I love most about Michaela is that I am able to discuss and teach Mathematics in a huge amount of detail and depth. The resources we use are made by Michaela staff and each lesson is meticulously planned and discussed, before being taught consistently across the department. Every day I see pupils enjoying learning for learnings sake: for the subject content itself, stripped away from any gimmicks. Yet at the same time, lessons are exciting, pacey and constantly employ useful memory techniques including rhymes and drilling exercises. I really look forward to department meetings every week, where we fine-tune our instruction of mathematical concepts and procedures.

Michaela is unique; its culture of empowerment has certainly changed me as a person. I am more resilient, more grateful and happier than I have been in the entirety of my academic career so far. It really is a pleasure and an honour to work at Michaela; with staff that are committed, energised and analytically minded and with pupils who are truly able to thrive.