What’s it like working at Ark 6th Form East Sussex?

Interested in working at Ark 6th Form East Sussex? Colm Doherty is a Chemistry teacher and Head of Year 13 at the school – find out what he had to say about working at Ark 6th Form East Sussex:

A rewarding job

I taught at Ark William Parker for over ten years before briefly leaving to take up a new role at a different school, but came back in 2014 to take up a position as Head of Year 13. I was really looking for a job focused on key stage 5, because that’s where you really get to go over the subject in depth and talk about really high-level questions. I’m the kind of person who needs a challenge, and teaching A Level Chemistry is incredibly intellectually rewarding and exciting, so teaching here is a great fit.

By far the most satisfying thing about working at Ark 6th Form East Sussex is helping students get where they want to go – last August was my first A Level results day as a sixth form TLR holder and it was amazing seeing my students make their grades. I had students from my class go on to study Medicine at Russell Group universities and I’ve more students this year who have some great offers for courses like Veterinary Science, Journalism, Dentistry, Chemistry and Physics, again at top universities. Ultimately, every member of staff at Ark 6th Form East Sussex is here to help students achieve their goals and we work together to enable that.

As a staff member at Ark 6th Form East Sussex, I’m also a teacher at Ark William Parker and do still teach key stages 3 and 4, which means I get to know the students before they come into the sixth form. About half of my time is spent just on key stage 5, so I really get to focus in on the things I find interesting.

A supportive team, school and network

The team of people I work with in the science department and the sixth form are really fantastic and incredibly supportive. If you’re not quite sure what the best way to teach a specific scientific concept is, or don’t have the right specialism for a particular topic, there are always colleagues who are able to help support you or share what’s worked in their classes.

This is the first pastoral leadership role I’ve taken as a teacher, so I had to get to grips with a lot of new skills early on, especially guiding students through their university applications. I’ve had great support and professional development from the Ark network on managing and supporting UCAS applications. At Ark 6th Form East Sussex, there’s a real expectation that you’re going to want to develop professionally, so there’s opportunities built into the timetable to allow you to do that.