Meet Our People: Beth Sheard, Art and Design HOD and Harris School Direct NQT+1
Beth Sheard has been working at Harris Academy Bermondsey since her School Direct training year in 2015. She trained as a DT teacher and is now leading across Art and DT. Here she reflects on her experience so far.
DT is a subject that, if you’re passionate about it, there is so much freedom and flexibility to be creative, bring in new ideas and hear the student voices! It’s not rigid and that’s really special and why I wanted to train in that subject with Harris.
I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to develop myself, even after my training year, seeing what I can do better and what we can do more of as a team at HAB to inspire and drive the girls in DT and Art. The support from across the academy is awesome and being able to work with others in DT and Art across the wider Federation is really great; everyone has their different specialism and backgrounds and they all share their resources and ideas to build something even better.
I feel like in the transition from Trainee to NQT, I was more prepared that some others around me - my School Direct training prepared me for every challenge because I had been working and teaching in the same academy for a year and it gave me the confidence to just go ahead and try new things, to trust that I was capable of doing it. I was ready!
During the training year, we had a lecture from one of the senior leaders in the Federation who said, ‘If the person is right for the job, if they have the passion, the willingness and the drive then why shouldn’t they do it?’ I really believe in that, and it has been a driver for me in my early career.
In the past two years, in order to develop the Art/DT provision at HAB, I have developed links with Art Bermondsey Project space, Olympus for a photography project for Year 10 and The Fashion and Textile Museum. I am planning to take my students to The South London Gallery soon to encourage them to engage with their surroundings and draw upon the local area even more. Being able to give the girls a live brief as a point of inspiration is wonderful; it’s one of the things I love about the subject. The flexibility to be able to integrate life into learning in that way, to make those links – it’s great, so many girls are actively involved!
Currently, I am enjoying running some exciting schemes of work around set design and textiles. I designed them in response the Drama department looking for someone to liaise with for the academy performances of ‘The Crucible’ and ‘Bugsy Malone’. The schemes have been a fantastic opportunity for the girls to be part of a wider project and to combine design and materials in line with the new DT curriculum requirements. The next books that they’re studying in English are ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and 'The Tempest’ so were all excited to bring that to life!