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Paul Armstrong

Following completing my first degree in Industrial Design, I trained as a secondary school Design & Technology teacher, with additional training in ICT and Outdoor Education. Having completed by PGCE in 1992, I worked in secondary schools (GCSE, A Level & Key Skills) until 2011, in the Wirral and in Whitby. Teaching Design & Technology and then mainly ICT, I have had leadership roles for most of my career; being DT Graphics lead, Head of ICT, ICT Co-ordinator (which included technical support management, staff training, curriculum development and support, and infrastructure development), and ICT Advanced Skills Teacher (which included coaching of staff, involvement in LEA working parties and development and delivery of in-house and external training courses). These roles included liaison with external providers, such as Hull University, and disseminating good practice from Specialist Schools Trust and Yorkshire & Humberside Grid for Learning meetings.

As well as leading subject departments, I led a cross-curricular ICT group and worked with other ASTs to develop a programme of teacher-training events for teachers and TAs from the college and its partner schools. These roles involved collaborative-working, negotiation, policy-development, action-planning, co-ordination, progress-monitoring, reporting, budget-management and day-to-day management skills. I worked closely with partner schools to plan progression through key stages 3, 4 and 5 and my primary school experience provides me with an overview of progression throughout compulsory education.

Alongside my teaching, in 2009 I began to study for a Natural Sciences degree (now completed) as well as working with primary-age children as Wildlife Explorers group volunteer assistant leader at RSPB Saltholme, later working with older children as Phoenix group leader. Around 2011, I was looking for a change in direction and began to teach GCSE ICT and Science at Whitby Outreach whilst devoting more time to my studies and training as a bird-ringer for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). Following occasional intervention and support work and then timetabled teaching at Lythe School and SEN work at Hawsker School, I decided to move into full-time primary teaching and have been employed at Airy Hill Community Primary School since 2015. In these teaching environments, I have gained further experience in working with children with behavioural, emotional, physical and medical needs. 

Having taught Year 4, I am now teaching Year 5 and lead Science and Geography, and am responsible for Forest Schools and Academic Resilience. I enjoy the variety and creativity involved in teaching primary-age children and applying knowledge and skills developed throughout my career and studies. Keen to share my love of nature, I run Environment Team and am leading the development of a field studies centre at the school.

I live in Whitby, am married and, as well as volunteering for the BTO, I play a range of stringed instruments (electric and acoustic bass, guitar and ukulele) and enjoy performing in bands. Other interests include hillwalking, running, geology, film and art. I have been Staff Governor since September 2015 and am interested in bringing knowledge and skills learnt across my career to the role.