In the first instalment of our staff spotlight for 2023 we speak to Kim Dixon and Chelsea Harley about how their roles have developed since joining Beanfield.
At Beanfield Primary School, we’re lucky to have some exceptional members of staff. Kim Dixon (SEN Support) and Chelsea Harley (Education Welfare Officer), are two such individuals, who bring a great deal to our school community. Read on to find out how their roles support our pupils and our school…
What do your roles involve at Beanfield Primary School?
I’m the SEN support for EYFS and Key Stage 1, working alongside the SENco and making sure that that the teachers and the pupils are supported while they’re in school. Teachers will make a referral to our team if they have a concern about a child. We assess it and decide on the best course of action which might be observations in class or extra resources to support that child and then liaising with parents if we need more support from outside agencies.
I’m the Education Welfare Officer which involves the monitoring and supporting of regular attendance at school. We know from research that missing too much school has a significant impact on children’s learning, so it’s really important that use our monitoring plan to support any families who might need help.
How long have you worked at Beanfield and what did you do before this role?
I've been here for eleven years. I joined as a lunchtime supervisor when my daughter was in reception at the school. I did a variety of voluntary roles before becoming a Teaching Assistant. I really enjoyed it and quickly worked my way up to Cover Supervisor. In 2021, shortly after the SEN team had been created I started working in my SEN Support role, looking after Key Stage 1.
I've been at Beanfield Primary for five years. Initially in the special provision, assisting them in an admin capacity, before becoming a Teaching Assistant. For a while I was working in both the office and in the classroom, and now I’m in my current role as Education Welfare Officer.
How has the school supported your development?
Beanfield has been brilliant in terms of support. They’ve given me opportunities, experience and training. I recently completed my Elkan qualification and in the new year I’ll be completing a SENCO qualification. Even when I was new, they saw potential in me and helped me work towards the cover supervisor role. When I was wanting some career development Leyton and Sam were really encouraging and helped me get to where I am now.
I agree with Kim. I’ve been given lots of opportunity to develop here and the training I’ve had has been brilliant.
What makes BEANFIELD a great place to work?
What’s special about the school is that we all want the same for the children. We care about much more than the academic side of school life. We truly care about the pastoral side. There’s a great sense of team work here and it’s a really welcoming school. People who visit us or new starters always comment on how welcoming and friendly it is.
It’s really evident that the children are the beating heart of this school. It’s what we're all here for and that’s such a good feeling to know that we’re all striving for the same thing – to ensure that the children are thriving and well looked after.
What have you particularly enjoyed about this year?
It’s been really nice to get ‘back to normal’ school life since coming out of the Pandemic. We’ve started to welcome parents back in for school events and offer the children more activities like movie nights and Christmas and Halloween parties. Year 1’s got to write their letter to Santa and we've walked them all to the post box to post their letters. Little things like that that make them so happy.
It’s especially nice for our Key Stage 1 parents to be able to get the benefit of our after-school clubs and experience everything that we used to offer before Covid. This school is about much more than the core curriculum. School trips have taken place this year and Key Stage 2 have enjoyed a residential, so it’s great to have this on offer again.
The children were really happy about our recent ‘Good’ Ofsted rating and it was fun to celebrate with balloons and photos. The children didn’t even mind when we asked them to bring in their uniforms on Mufti day (for a quick ‘outfit change’ for the photo)!
At the end of last term we had Christmas dinner, crafts, carols, movie night and Christmas jumper day – so much going on!
What does being part of Brooke Weston Trust mean to you?
It’s great being able to access the Primary training hub, so that we can meet other staff members across the Trust. We have training days at other schools which is great for learning and feeling part of something special.
This term I’ve joined the SEN Network with the other SENCo’s from the trust which has been a great opportunity to share experiences and support each other.
Belonging to the Trust has meant some really good training and networking opportunities. We’re lucky that the other schools are also super friendly. It’s just a lovely thing to be a part of.