Bromley
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Principal

Sam Rigby

Executive Principal

David Astin

Harris Girls' Academy Bromley

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Academy Information

About Harris Girls' Academy Bromley 

We are an outstanding academy and the 80th highest performing school in the country, with a culture of high expectations; for our students, to improve their life chances, and for our staff, to fulfil their career potential. We are incredibly ambitious for all and strive to improve daily through a strong culture of feedback, underpinned by high levels of support and challenge.

We are proud to be an all-girls school that breaks barriers and challenges gender inequality. Our students are respectful, hard-working, intelligent individuals, with brilliant senses of humour, and we are an unapologetically academic school that believes every single one of them can achieve. We offer them a supportive, pastoral environment that promotes personal development, character building, and their understanding of the wider world. We believe developing a students love of reading is paramount to any educational success and that students reading for pleasure is an educational silver bullet. 

We have built our academic culture around the idea that education is ‘not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire’. At Bromley we want students to be inspired every minute of every lesson, we want every interaction to spark curiosity, and every day here to light that fire in the minds of our young people that burns throughout their time at Bromley and in their life beyond.

Sam Rigby, Principal

We are committed to ensuring all students have pathways that lead to great opportunities, and we judge our success at the academy by the opportunities students have when they leave and the kind of people they are when they leave our school. Our curriculum is the centre of our educational approach and is aspirational in its scope. Education does not end when lessons finish. At Bromley, we want our students to leave with a relentless curiosity and a strong understanding of the world. 

Staff wellbeing and getting the balance right between delivering exceptional outcomes and experiences for our students and the workload of staff is at the forefront of our decisions and our culture. We achieve this by working transparently and collectively, where all staff are provided with the opportunity to contribute to decision making and everyone knows they have a voice.  

Check out our Twitter to see some of the incredible things we've been doing. 

Location

Based in the borough of Bromley, we are easily accessible from most areas of London, with Kent House and New Beckenham train stations only a 2-minute walk from the academy.  

Why work for us?

Career development

We are passionate about developing our staff and have many initiatives to support this. Nearly all of the wider leadership team have been internally promoted, and we have a track record of retaining trainees and moving them onto middle and senior leadership positions. Staff know that ambition at HGABR is something to be celebrated and we invest time and resources in ensuring all staff feel that they are growing and always developing. 

We have a culture of learning across the staff body, ensuring everything we do is research and evidence based to ensure we are maximising the effectiveness of our time. All staff are supported to complete NPQs and have the opportunity to be selected for a Lead Practitioner role. All middle and senior leaders meet regularly for extended leadership CPD, which has included completing the content of the NPQSL together as a team and participating in an external coaching programme. 

Examples of the CPD opportunities include:

  • Bromley Bites - an optional teaching and learning session run after school every half term to deep dive on topics to help mastery of it 
  • Teaching and learning breakfast - a short regular burst of CPD every Tuesday 
  • Learning walks - non-judgemental and focused purely on development and feedback 
  • Subject CPD - departmental meetings every Tuesday focusing on subject-specific development 
  • Paid examiners - as exam marking is incredibly valuable CPD, we pay an extra £500 to staff when they are examiners (on top of what they earn from the exam board) and protect their time so they can do most of the work during the day 
  • T&L working groups. A voluntary group that pilots and experiments with T&L strategies before they are built into whole school practice.  
  • Aspiring and new Middle Leadership Training  

Richard Wood - Vice Principal

What inspires you?

I previously worked in Bangladesh, despite not knowing anyone who had been there before. I was working in classrooms where you might have 100 students with almost no resources, and it showed me how much can still be achieved. From that experience, I learnt that education is something universal to every society and every person internationally. 

 

What is your favourite memory from HGABR?

My favourite memories are when you have a really strong relationship with the students so it’s a great environment in the classroom; and the really special moments come from when you’re explaining a tricky concept and all the work you’ve put in and relationships you’ve built with the students pay off and you see them have lightbulb moments where they make sense of something, and it clicks.

Justine Anglin-Smith - 2ic Science

When did you join HGABR?

I started as a trainee and usually trainees won’t be given certain responsibilities, but towards the end of my training year, I was offered the chance to take on a form group. That really showed me that the school saw something in me and trusted me. 

 

What are you most proud of?

For me, I’m proud of being a black woman and my grandparents coming from the Caribbean, my Dad’s Mum came over in the Windrush generation and I’m the first person in my family to have gone to university. I just strive to be the best that I can for myself, my family, and my students.

Gill Stockwell - Pastoral Manager

Why did you join HGABR?

This was actually my old school when I was a student; it’s a nice school and the girls are good to work with. I’ve found my vocation in life, and I’ve been able to build a good relationship with the students here. The girls are really nice and come to me with issues and I like being able to support them. 

 

What is your favourite memory?

One of my favourite memories is I worked with a student for a long time and when she left, she wrote me a note that said when she grows up, she inspired to be like me. I still have it, and she must be about 30 now. That was really lovely.

Yasmin Rhule - 2ic Maths

Why did you join HGABR?

I hadn’t experienced an all-girls school before, but I liked the ethos of the school and what it stood for, and that was my reason for applying. It’s been 5 years now and time has flown by. 

 

What do you like most about the school?

Maths isn’t typically a girls’ subject and it’s great being part of a school where we can encourage all the STEM subjects and see girls thrive in them. We have a lot of girls who choose to take Maths at A Level and the parents really support that as well.

Chris Blackburn - Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages

What inspired you to teach?

I was working in luxury retail for 10 years but always had an interest in education. I’d been considering doing my teacher training for a few years and was never sure when the right time was. Then about 5 years ago, I became a governor for a school in Streatham and I’ve absolutely loved it. That experience just confirmed for me that working in education is what I want to be doing. I really like that I’m now doing something with more purpose and in a job where I feel like I make a difference every day.

Amy French - Director of Art and Design

What were you doing before teaching?

I have a degree in costume making and worked in various theatres, mostly around London. I worked in wardrobe which meant I was maintaining, altering, and laundering the clothes for the shows that are running. I worked for the National Theatre for a long time and did a couple of West End shows too. 

 

How did you get into teaching?

I’d been thinking about teaching for a while and then did some more research. I discovered that you could train on the job and be paid a salary, and that felt like the only viable route for me so when I found out it was an option, that was what I decided to go for.

Nat Jasper - Head of PE

What were you doing before teaching?

I loved sport from a very young age and played football for many years. I started my career in the sports industry and worked at a gym doing personal training. I did that for about 9 years and then did some travelling across America and did some supply work in between which I really enjoyed. 

 

Why is PE important?

There are so many benefits to students being active and engaged with sports, and I love seeing their faces when they achieve something. The students enjoy being competitive and they do so well. We have so many trophies now from a whole range of competitions. It’s great to see them engage with extracurriculars too. Sport is a big part of the foundation here, certainly more than how it is at other schools I’ve seen.

Sam Rigby - Principal

How would you describe the development opportunities?

The Federation has been great and there have always been huge amounts of CPD, both for teaching and learning, and leadership development. They’ve also supported me to do a Masters in Educational Leadership from Warwick University so the development opportunities have been excellent. 

 

What are your aspirations for the future?

I would like all schools to be achieving the kind of education that Bromley is, everyone deserves an education like what our students get and that’s not currently the case but it should be. So, I would like to find ways to spread the great work that we’re doing.