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School leadership

Debbie Westwood - Director of Primary Education

Debbie Westwood is the Director of Primary Education for the Nishkam School Trust and Principal of both Nishkam Primary School Birmingham and Nishkam Primary School Wolverhampton.

As an experienced Head Teacher and Senior Leader for the last 10 years Debbie has a track record of success with moving schools from requires improvement to outstanding and her passion lies in working with schools in challenging contexts on all areas of school improvement.

She has experience of leading more than one school on many occasions and has been a School Improvement Adviser for the last two years in another Multi-Academy Trust with 16 primary schools under her remit.

During her time as a Head Teacher her school was awarded the following;

SIAMS Inspection April 2016 – Outstanding

OFSTED Inspection in November 2017 – Outstanding in all areas

SSAT Educational Outcomes National Awards for Closing the Gap for Disadvantaged Pupils, Children’s Attainment in top 20%, Children’s progress in top 10% for the last 3 years

Ranked top Primary School in the Birmingham Mail 2018

Platinum Status for the Sustainable Schools Programme in Birmingham

Shortlisted for TES Primary School of the Year 2018

Shortlisted for Head Teacher of the Year at the Birmingham Education Awards 2019

Won Primary School of the Year at the Birmingham Education Awards 2019

Received letters of congratulations from the Rt Hon Nick Gibb and Damian Hinds for excellent pupil progress – top 2% and top 3% in the last two years.

Debbie is thrilled to have joined the Nishkam Family and believes that when all parties come together we can achieve amazing things that will help to improve the life chances of children in our care.

 

Gurpreet Kaur - Head Teacher

Gurpreet Kaur, Head Teacher, Nishkam Primary School, has 7 years of experience gained in schools in Scotland and the West Midlands. With a background as a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and Newly Qualified Teacher mentor she has developed and strengthened her skills and knowledge in teaching and learning and leadership.

Gurpreet is passionate about teaching and learning and is constantly looking at ways to raise standards across the school. She is a firm believer that everyone should strive for excellence in academia as well as personal and spiritual development.

 

Miss Prior - Deputy Head teacher

Miss Prior, Deputy Head teacher, Nishkam Primary School, Miss Prior has 13 years of experience gained in both faith and non-faith schools across the West Midlands.

Studying Initial Teacher Training for 4 years at Newman University, Miss Prior gained a wealth of pedagogical understanding and practice. With her academic background in English and the arts, and her firm understanding of pedagogical practices, she began her early stages of her career being a creative and inspiring practitioner in Year 5 and Year 6.

With experience teaching across all key stages and a drive and passion for high quality teaching and education, Miss Prior naturally moved in to leadership. As well as leading a range of subjects, such as science, art, maths and outdoor learning, Miss Prior also managed a team of staff as a Key Stage 2 Phase Leader. She is also a trained mentor for both Trainee Teachers and Newly Qualified Teachers – a role she thoroughly enjoys.  Throughout all these roles, she has successfully raised standards in teaching and learning across the school and implemented new initiatives effectively.

Alongside her previous and current role as Assistant Headteacher, Miss Prior is also a Specialist Leader of Education in mastery maths. Through this system leadership, she provides external training, support and consultancy work to other schools in the West Midlands.

Miss Prior believes that teaching is a vocation and a service to others. She believes that schools should have a holistic approach to education; where children should achieve and excel not only academically, but socially, personally and spiritually. A philosophy that she has held greatly throughout her career is: “When there is joy in what they are doing, they learn to love learning.” Miss Prior believes children should enjoy their education and will reach excellence through this love of learning.

 

Mrs E Glypti - Assistant Head Teacher

Mrs E Glypti, Assistant Head Teacher, Nishkam Primary School, Mrs Glypti is an experienced teacher with a 17-year teaching background gained in schools in Greece and the West Midlands. During this time, she has successfully raised pupils’  academic achievements, led a variety of subjects such as Maths, Art, DT and Outdoor learning, introduced new curriculums, promoted whole school initiatives and volunteered as a parent governor in an Outstanding Secondary School.

Gaining a degree in English Language and Literature, Mrs Glypti began her early stages of her career being an EFL practitioner; therefore, she developed a real passion for a pedagogical philosophy of taking a hands-on and enthusiastic approach to teaching and creating a learning environment that is characterised by empathy, mutual support and, above all, inclusion of all pupils and opportunities to develop their cultural capital.

In her previous role as a Curriculum Co-ordinator and KS2 Phase Leader, Mrs Glypti has a proven track record of successfully improving learning and teaching to continually sustain positive outcomes for students. Amongst other initiatives, as a trained Forest School and Outdoor Learning Practitioner, she supported the school to achieve Platinum Status for the Sustainable Schools Programme in Birmingham.

Mrs Glypti is a strong supporter of Nishkam’s educational ideals: the focus on academic and spiritual excellence and the balanced education of the child as a whole. The virtues-led ethos and the strong sense of community between students, parents, teachers, and administration is what makes Nishkam a special place to teach. She is looking forward to a long career at Nishkam as part of the community.

 

Sophie Worthington - Assistant Headteacher

Mrs S Worthington, Assistant Head Teacher, Nishkam Primary School, Sophie started her journey as a class teacher in Leeds. As a consistently outstanding practitioner, she was used as a model of outstanding practice both within the school she was teaching and by other schools in the local area from as early as her NQT year.  A year later Sophie relocated to Nottingham where she was appointed as a Year 6 Teacher, Key Stage Two Co-Ordinator and English Lead. In her role as Key Stage Two and English Lead, Sophie was a driving force when implementing the new National Curriculum objectives and with the design of the school assessment system and has a track record for improving the progress and attainment of pupils in Reading and Writing.

Shortly after starting, Sophie was asked to work within the local authority where she was able to introduce, share and support with the implementation of effective strategies to improve teaching and learning in not only her school, but other schools across Nottinghamshire.

As part of this role, Sophie was regularly observed by other professionals from within the local authority to share outstanding practice and support their development as teachers.

As a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) Sophie continued to support various schools in developing their practice. In addition, Sophie was asked to speak at one of Nottinghamshire’s largest teach meets – where over 30 primary schools attended- sharing her expertise on Assessment for learning (AFL) and questioning, feedback and marking and leaders of learning.

In addition to her SLE role, Sophie was lucky enough to be put forward as a knowledgeable teacher; delivering training through the Raising Achievement Network which specialised in marking and feedback. Sophie was observed by other practitioners regularly over the course of six months to help develop aspiring middle leaders.

As a reflective practitioner, Sophie strives to continually develop whilst facilitating and learning from others. Education is ever changing, and teachers need to lead from the front and not be afraid to take risks. Sophie believes that fostering a love of learning amongst children, and adults alike, is an essential part of her role and fundamental for the development of teaching and learning.