Case Studies

Christina Holland - Co-ordinator of Science, Harris Academy Beckenham

Teacher Christina Holland shares her experience of working in the federation and how it has helped develop and progress her teaching career.

Christina Holland is a co-ordinator of science at Harris Academy Beckenham. We hear from her as she outlines her career pathway since joining Harris Federation.

What attracted you to join the Harris Federation, and what was it about Harris that helped in your decision to join?

Initially, in 2012, I was placed at a Harris academy through Teach First and I knew little about the educational philosophy of the federation. I chose to continue my career pathway at Harris Academy Beckenham after successfully completing my newly qualified teacher (NQT) year. During my first two years I developed my skills as a teacher and leader through accessing the high quality staff training opportunities and cross-academy guidance from consultants and established teachers.

How has your career progressed during your time with Harris, and what support have you received?

During the spring term of my training year I was promoted to lead for key stage 3 science. In this role, I developed schemes of work for use across the federation. I have also led training sessions so that members of staff are confident in delivering the new curriculum, and I became an NQT mentor to two new teachers.

All of this would not have been possible without the opportunity to share good practice with other post holders, accessing high quality training programmes for teachers at all stages in their career. I have recently been promoted to co-ordinator of science. My skills as an effective leader have been developed by federation support throughout my masters in leadership, coupled with weekly line management meetings.

For anyone considering a career with the Harris Federation, how would you describe the culture and ethos of working at a Harris academy, and what could they expect?

Harris Federation expects high quality teaching and learning and has a relentless focus on improving standards. It is an exciting time to be in teaching since the educational landscape is undergoing a period of change. The support of working within a large federation is invaluable; the cross-federation training allows support, collaboration and networking between academies. The Harris Federation promotes personal growth, a rewarding climate and a supportive culture with the central belief that the needs and aspirations of all students are met.

Tell us about the key challenges you face in your role and how the support of the federation has helped to tackle these?

As a new science co-ordinator, my priority has been to build and maintain a team of committed individuals so that students are able to reach their personal potential through continuity of teaching and learning. The federation support this by rewarding successful and dedicated teachers, not only through an increased payment allowance, but also through promoted opportunities, private health care and bonuses for meeting targets.

What advice and guidance would you give someone considering a career with the Harris Federation?

If you are a committed individual with a relentless focus on improving standards and personal development and are willing to give your time towards a shared goal, then you would find working at a Harris academy a vibrant, supportive, challenging and rewarding experience. I have become an outstanding practitioner, an ambitious leader and driven individual. I have found working in this fast-paced and challenging environment incredibly rewarding and I have been promoted rapidly which may not have been possible at another educational establishment.


If you are interested in joining the Harris Federation, please contact our Central Recruitment Team to discuss opportunities and career pathways. or call 020 8253 7777


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