For the last year, Claire Bracher has been an assistant headteacher leading whole-school English. She is now about to embark on a new challenge at The West Thornton Primary Academy in Croydon this forthcoming September, where she will be an assistant headteacher and full time class teacher. Claire has a passion for teaching and learning, but is particularly interested in project-based learning and growth mindset for children. Building a resilience for learning and risk taking is something which Claire believes to be an essential part of developing life skills in children. A collaborator at heart, Claire loves to work with those around her, whether in the real world or in the Twittersphere. Always striving to improve and be the best she can be, Claire loves working in education and her own passion for English, History and creativity continues to grow with each challenge.
1. Tell us about how you got into teaching.
I was a solicitor for nine years, and when the property market crashed in 2008 I was sadly made redundant. I took another job up in London as a compliance manager and it was during this time that I realised that it was time to accept that my first career was over. I had always wanted to be a teacher whilst at school, but somehow in the course of my studies had side-tracked into Law. There was suddenly a window of opportunity to re-train, and I took it with both hands. I found an amazing school who were willing to accept me into their fold and, as they say, the rest is history. I found the most amazing job in the world. I trained through the Graduate Teacher Programme. Practical and hands on, the GTP enabled me to immediately to experience teaching and school life and I loved it. Somehow, through the twists and turns of life, I'd found my home.
This year I have been lucky enough to embark on a new learning adventure at The West Thornton Primary Academy in Croydon. Part of the Synaptic Trust, West Thornton is unique, and, in my humble opinion, innovative in its approach to learning. For a start, I do not have a traditional style ‘classroom’. Instead I share the space of an ‘Open Learning Zone’.
During the course of last year I came across A Tale Unfolds and it fascinated me. A combination of English and Computing skills combined; an opportunity to really engage the children in their learning. I had looked at those teachers who had successfully used it, such as Graham Andre and Rachel Preece-Dawson, and naturally I was keen to give it a go. When I won a trial of the scheme I was over the moon. I took it with me to my new school and trialled it in the Autumn term with my Year 5s.