Humanities

The Astra Learning Alliance currently has the following SLEs in this category:

Ahsan Abbas - Geography (Dr Challoner's Grammar School)

Hugh Bradbury - History (Chesham Grammar School)

Simon Taylor - History (The Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe)

Steven Williams - Geography (The Hemel Hempstead School)

 

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Ahsan Abbas

School:  Dr Challoner’s Grammar School

Position held: Subject Leader for Geography

SLE area of expertise:  Geography, Leadership, Curriculum Development, Digital Learning, Trips & Expeditions

Current responsibilities:  Leadership and management in Geography from KS3-KS5; Planning and leading extra-curricular visits to compliment the Geography curriculum from KS3-KS5; Reviewing, evaluating and developing the department; Mentoring NQTs & trainee teachers; Experienced tutor from KS3-KS5

Previous career history:

Since graduating from King’s College London and completing my PGCE from the Institute of Education, I have worked in two schools as Student Development Leader and Subject Leader for Geography. I have run middle leadership workshops across a number of schools. I am committed to my own personal and professional development and actively pursue my work in the field of trekking and humanitarian photojournalism outside of school time. I have led a number of short and long-haul expeditions and I have travelled to over 50 countries. I have recently been made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society for my contributions to global education and am shortlisted Landscape Photographer of the Year. I was selected to sit on a judging panel for the Royal Geographical Society for their ‘Explore’ photography competition.

What you hope to achieve as an SLE:

I am passionate about improving the quality of teaching and learning in Geography across the county. I am keen on raising the profile of Geography by creating a shared community where teachers can collaborate and discuss how we can create an inspiring and engaging curriculum for our students.

Specific areas of expertise, and how you might be able to help other schools:
  • Geography curriculum KS3-KS5

  • Mentoring staff to Leadership positions

  • Coordinating and promoting Geography in whole school curriculum

  • Provide advice and expertise on extra-curricular school visits

  • Coaching and mentoring new team leaders

Future career goals:

I am looking forward to connecting and collaborating with colleagues across the county to raise the quality of teaching and learning.

 

Hugh Bradbury

Hugh Bradbury

School:  Chesham Grammar School

Position held: Subject Leader for History

SLE area of expertise:  History

Current responsibilities:  Experienced teacher of KS3-KS5 History and KS5 Politics; Leadership and management of learning and teaching in History from KS3-KS5; Planning for and implement new curriculum changes; Planning and leading a wide variety of extra-curricular visits to complement the History curriculum; Experienced form tutor across all Key Stages (use of vertical tutor groups); Help prepare a number of students each year for Oxbridge applications; Assisting the Assistant Head responsible for Teaching and Learning by regularly delivering CPD sessions

Previous career history:

I have taught History and Politics at Chesham Grammar School since September 2012.  Chesham Grammar School is an outstanding co-educational selective school. During this time, I was lucky enough to see the school complete its journey from good to outstanding in March 2014 and now am looking forward to seeing it develop into an exceptional school. This experience has provided me with an excellent foundation in a wide range of teaching and learning strategies and principles. During my time at CGS I have had a number of different roles including Politics Coordinator where I helped to develop interest and take up in the subject, More Able and Talented Coordinator where I worked across the whole school to develop and share ways to effectively provide challenge into lessons and more recently I have been Subject Leader for History where I have worked to improve the examination performance of our students as well as a wider appreciation for the subject as a whole and preparing for the variety of recent curriculum changes.

What you hope to achieve as an SLE:

Having worked with a number of colleagues at other local schools already and having seen the benefits that this can have for all involved I hope to continue to support the improvement of others but also learn from them too. As a result of this, I hope that this helps to make History classrooms even more exciting for students and encourages many more to enjoy the subject at a higher level.

Specific areas of expertise, and how you might be able to help other schools:

  • The History curriculum from KS3-KS5 and the teaching of Politics at KS5.
  • Mentoring staff from NQT to leadership roles
  • Provide advice and expertise on offering extra-curricular school visits
  • Raising attainment at both KS4 and KS5 and to reduce gender attainment gaps
  • Providing challenge for students within and beyond History lessons
  • Use of data for self-evaluation, trends and interventions
  • Contributing to whole school CPD programmes

Future career goals:

Through my role as an SLE I hope to broaden my experience of working with a wide variety of other teachers from different schools. This will allow me to develop my department further with lots of new ideas and also my own skills as a middle leader. This I hope will all help to improve learning, teaching, attainment and a passion for the subject as a whole at Chesham Grammar and beyond.

 

Steve Williams

Steven Williams

School:  The Hemel Hempstead School

Position held: Head of Humanities

SLE area of expertise:  Geography

Current responsibilities:  I have been Head of Humanities at The Hemel Hempstead School since September 2010.  I oversee teaching and learning across the Geography, History, RE and Politics Departments and line manage Humanities Subject Leaders. I am responsible for reviewing and evaluating performance of these department and shaping future curriculum changes. Alongside this I still fulfil the responsibilities for Subject Leader in Geography and am responsible for planning and leading extra-curricular visits to complement the Humanities curriculum.  I teach Geography at all Key Stages and currently teach Key Stage 3 RE.

Previous career history:

I began my teaching career at The Hemel Hempstead School as a teacher of Geography after completing a PGCE at The University of Cambridge. I was appointed Subject Leader for Geography in January 2007 and Head of Humanities in 2010.

What you hope to achieve as an SLE:

My main motivation has always been student’s learning.  Encouraging and enthusing students so they can learn, understand and assess geographical issues was the reason I became a teacher and it is still my main motivation.  Working in a leadership role in school has allowed me to spread this passion for learning across the Geography Department, the Humanities Faculty and through CPD to the wider school. I hope the SLE role will allow me to spread and share this passion across a wider area and allow me to make a greater impact on the geographical learning of students in this area.

Specific areas of expertise, and how you might be able to help other schools:

  • Teaching and learning in Geography from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 5
  • Planning and implementing curriculum changes in Geography
  • Raising standards in Geography and other Humanities subjects
  • Mentoring staff from NQTs to leadership roles
  • Leading a large and diverse faculty area
  • Using coaching techniques to grow leadership capacity in others

Future career goals:

I would like to become a member of SLT where I can have a greater say over the teaching and learning in school, allowing students to reach their full potential. Throughout my teaching career I have always been passionate about Geography and the importance of studying geographical and environmental issues and ultimately want to continue working in the classroom.   

 

Hugh Bradbury

Hugh Bradbury

School:  Chesham Grammar School

Position held: Subject Leader for History

SLE area of expertise:  History

Current responsibilities:  Experienced teacher of KS3-KS5 History and KS5 Politics; Leadership and management of learning and teaching in History from KS3-KS5; Planning for and implement new curriculum changes; Planning and leading a wide variety of extra-curricular visits to complement the History curriculum; Experienced form tutor across all Key Stages (use of vertical tutor groups); Help prepare a number of students each year for Oxbridge applications; Assisting the Assistant Head responsible for Teaching and Learning by regularly delivering CPD sessions

Previous career history:

I have taught History and Politics at Chesham Grammar School since September 2012.  Chesham Grammar School is an outstanding co-educational selective school. During this time, I was lucky enough to see the school complete its journey from good to outstanding in March 2014 and now am looking forward to seeing it develop into an exceptional school. This experience has provided me with an excellent foundation in a wide range of teaching and learning strategies and principles. During my time at CGS I have had a number of different roles including Politics Coordinator where I helped to develop interest and take up in the subject, More Able and Talented Coordinator where I worked across the whole school to develop and share ways to effectively provide challenge into lessons and more recently I have been Subject Leader for History where I have worked to improve the examination performance of our students as well as a wider appreciation for the subject as a whole and preparing for the variety of recent curriculum changes.

What you hope to achieve as an SLE:

Having worked with a number of colleagues at other local schools already and having seen the benefits that this can have for all involved I hope to continue to support the improvement of others but also learn from them too. As a result of this, I hope that this helps to make History classrooms even more exciting for students and encourages many more to enjoy the subject at a higher level.

Specific areas of expertise, and how you might be able to help other schools:

  • The History curriculum from KS3-KS5 and the teaching of Politics at KS5.
  • Mentoring staff from NQT to leadership roles
  • Provide advice and expertise on offering extra-curricular school visits
  • Raising attainment at both KS4 and KS5 and to reduce gender attainment gaps
  • Providing challenge for students within and beyond History lessons
  • Use of data for self-evaluation, trends and interventions
  • Contributing to whole school CPD programmes

Future career goals:

Through my role as an SLE I hope to broaden my experience of working with a wide variety of other teachers from different schools. This will allow me to develop my department further with lots of new ideas and also my own skills as a middle leader. This I hope will all help to improve learning, teaching, attainment and a passion for the subject as a whole at Chesham Grammar and beyond.