After having a couple of computer games published whilst I was at school, I started working in education back in 1994 as a Graphics teacher in a school in west London. It was while working here that I became involved in the Duke of Edinburgh’s award and rekindled my love of the outdoors. In 1999 I moved to another London school, this time as a Graphics and Resistant Materials teacher and I also ran the school’s Duke of Edinburgh programme. I’ve always enjoyed performing and I did a lot of work with drama and music at this school. I spent seven years there and had a great time helping students to design and build all kinds of projects, working on school productions and performances and taking hundreds of young people away on DofE expeditions.
In 2006 I moved to Doncaster with my family and after a couple of years I took over the Technology department at Armthorpe Academy. Building up the faculty was a great challenge but I worked with some fantastic staff and had lots of opportunities to do interesting projects. I worked closely with Mrs. Batty and Miss Thornton while they were there – mainly on extra curricular days, and I stayed in touch after they both left the school.
In 2015 I visited XP for the first time to see what Miss Thornton had been up to, and I was really impressed by the students and the ethos of the school. In 2016 I visited again and this time I was able to see the new building. Finally, when Mr ap Harri told me that XP were looking for someone to help students to make beautiful things, I knew that I had to come to work at this really special school.
The culminating event to our staff induction is an Educator-Led Conference, where staff prepare speeches, critiqued by their peers, which answer the guiding question:
“What kind of person, and what kind of educator do I want to be at XP?”
Below is Mr Jackson’s speech: