A teacher who has spent 14 years in the profession has joined Theale Green School as the new assistant headteacher.

Now into his fourth week at the school, Matt Bowler says the welcome he’s received from students and staff has been fantastic.

“There’s a real sense of community here; the students want to engage and show me what things are new in the school.”

‘The role I’ve been looking for’

Matt’s new role will see him working with the teaching staff to bring out the very best in their teaching, which will of course have a huge benefit on the students.

”This the role I’ve been looking for,” he said.

“To directly influence teaching and learning across the whole school, you have the opportunity to make such an impact on young people’s lives. I’m looking forward to being able to develop staff and to help students get to a really amazing endpoint;  each student’s destination will be different and unique and that is what makes it exciting.”

“It really excites me, working with motivated professionals on a journey of self-improvement. There’s a collective drive here to continue to improve together and all move in the same direction, which I really like.

“We will be continuing on with the journey that has already begun at this school with the use of MARGE and Rosenshine Principles [cognitive science educational research]; we are all really passionate about evidenced based pedagogy driving our practice.”

‘Where I belonged’

Matt found his vocation in teaching straight from university, where he wisely dipped his toes in as a teaching assistant before taking a PGCE.

“I’d studied a sports management degree, which just didn’t suit me. I started to think teaching is where I’d like to be, but I didn’t want to rush into it; as soon as I stepped into a classroom as a teaching assistant, I knew that this was where I belonged.

“Being a teaching assistant showed me some great practice, but it also gave me ideas about how I would like to have an even greater impact on young people and their education. “

“So then I did my PGCE and was fortunate enough to get a great job at a great school teaching PE, which allowed me to flourish and make this step up.”

Hopes for the role

Matt, who worked with headteacher Jo Halliday at his previous school in Wantage, will have a direct influence on continuing to improve teaching and learning across the school.

On his plans, he says, “Success for me will be that we have an open dialogue between staff about their practice, and that doesn’t just have to be about when things are going well, but when things are more challenging. That way we can work as a staff body to help everyone continue to get better – no one’s ever a finished product in teaching.

“As a teacher you need to learn so many skills because you’re never teaching the same group of students; every student will come in with a different hat on every single day, and you need to be adaptable.

“I’m a great believer, if you get everything in the classroom right, that things around the school happen as well, so students will walk into a lesson and they will be engaged. They will then get great outcomes, but they will then want to immerse themselves in student life, taking part in extra- curricular activities and representing the school. Whether that’s in sports, the arts, performances, it all hinges on what happens in the classroom because that’s where they spend most of the school day.”

Headteacher Joanna Halliday said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Matt to the Leadership Team at Theale Green School.

“Matt brings with him huge experience of school leadership and a passion for sport, as well as being an inspirational and motivational teacher. He has found his way around the school very quickly and already has created strong bonds with the students and staff.”