Anthony Poupard - Year 6 Teacher and Upper Key Stage 2 Leader, Mayplace Primary School
Anthony Poupard – Year 6 Teacher and Upper Key Stage 2 Phase Leader
Anthony Poupard is one of our talented Year 6 Teachers and Upper Key Stage 2 Phase Leaders at Mayplace Primary School. Anthony has spent his whole teaching career to date at Mayplace Primary School.
In the last five years, Anthony has completed the Teach First programme, become a Newly Qualified Teacher (now known as an Early Careers Teacher) and has progressed to the position of Upper Key Stage 2 Phase Leader.
Tell me why you decided to work in education?
“I was an only child growing up and spent a lot of time on my own. I always knew I wanted to work with lots of people, but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do.
“When I left university, I was looking at different graduate schemes, but none of them inspired me. I then spoke to someone at a graduate fair who told me about the Teach First graduate programme, and it sounded really rewarding and impactful!
“First, I set out to gain some experience of working with children and volunteered full time for the youth charity, City Year. I worked as a pastoral support mentor for children in a secondary school in inner London. My experience was overwhelmingly positive, and it confirmed that teaching was the right path for me.
“I then completed my teacher training at Mayplace Primary School via the Teach First programme, meaning I could complete my training while teaching full time.”
Why did you stay at Mayplace?
“It was the environment of the school, I felt at home. The school has a great atmosphere and ethos, and all of the staff get on really well. The behaviour is also good, and things feel settled, so I knew that this would be a good place to consolidate what I had already learnt.
“Also, The Primary First Trust provide lots of excellent training opportunities, which was definitely an attraction to stay. Especially when you are starting out your career, continued professional development is so important and it really draws you into a workplace, knowing that you can access this type of support and build upon solid foundations.”
Please tell me a bit about your role at Mayplace Primary School?
“I started out teaching Year 5, during my first year of Teach First. Then when one of the Year 6 teachers moved onto pastures new, the Headteacher asked if I was happy to move into Year 6 as a good progression opportunity to develop a broader sense of how the school works. I moved up to teaching Year 6 for two years and then I became the Upper Key Stage 2 Phase Leader in 2021.
“In my role now, alongside teaching my class and preparing them for SATS and the transition to secondary school, I am responsible for monitoring the academic progress and personal wellbeing of all children in Year 5 and 6. I am also the PSHE and PE Leads and coach the school’s boys and girls football teams which I really enjoy.”
Does The Primary First Trust prioritise continued professional development?
“Yes, I’ve done two training pathways thanks to the Trust.
“One of these was the Leadership pathway. I completed this with other teachers within the Trust who were going into leadership roles. We studied leadership styles and developed our own leadership abilities.
“I have also completed the ‘Good to Great’ course, which the Trust kindly funded. This was about developing your craft and improving your teaching ability to take you from a good level to a great level. This was really helpful as I am looking to become an outstanding teacher!
“The Primary First Trust also has inset days where teachers from across the Trust come together to share best practice. It is really helpful to have such a wide network of other teachers who you can learn from. Throughout my career at the Trust, there has always been relevant CPD to support me.”
What is the most challenging aspect of being the Upper Key Stage 2 Phase Leader?
“The hardest part is staying organised and staying on track with that additional work outside of my Year 6 class responsibilities. There are a lot of different plates to spin.
“One example is I organise the Year 6 school trip. I have to make sure everything is organised and done on time. It is a mammoth task, and it takes the whole year to organise, but it is also my favourite week of the year. The knowledge that the children are having fun, trying activities they’ve never done before and making memories they’ll cherish, makes all the hard work worth it.”
How are you supported to balance this?
“I am very well supported. The senior management at the school are very good at checking in. I have regular meetings with our Headteacher, where we discuss my personal targets and what my roles and responsibilities entail. Our meetings really help me focus and streamline my work.
“It also really helps to speak to other teachers within the school, who are always friendly and helpful.
“Moreover, the fact there is clear progression helps, the old phase leader is now the assistant head, so I can go and speak to him about my role, and he can provide really solid advice.”
What is the most rewarding aspect of being the Upper Key Stage 2 Phase Leader?
“The most rewarding moment for me is when I see each Year 6 pupil at their graduation ceremony. I get to know then in Year 5 because I am their phase leader, then this continues when I teach them in Year 6. I see them overcome hurdles, celebrate highlights and enjoy their school performance. I’m always left with a feeling of pride that they’ve challenged themselves and are ready for their next adventure at secondary school.”
Do you have any advice for people thinking about going into primary education?
“Personally, I gained so much from my year of volunteering. Someone told me once to keep a diary of all the positive moments, it really helps to remind yourself why you got into the job.”
How does the Primary First Trust support Mayplace Primary School and yourself?
“I have benefitted in many ways from the Primary First Trust. They provided me with training when I was a new to the role, which was particularly helpful as I was the only new teacher at Mayplace at the time and it meant that I had a support network of others within the Trust. We would meet regularly and share our experiences.
“They also provided me with training when I went into Leadership. I completed the Leadership Pathway alongside other teachers within the Trust who were going into leadership roles. We studied leadership styles and developed our own leadership abilities together.
“They also provide all staff with Continuing Professional Development through personally tailored training during Inset Days. It is also a nice experience to be able to meet up with your colleagues across the Trust and feel like you are part of a connected network of like-minded people going through the same things as you are.”