Ashcroft High

What our staff say

What our staff say

Here, our staff let us know about their Ashcroft experience...

Mrs Atkins, Assistant Headteacher

“When I first visited Ashcroft for a week’s CPD training, I was instantly struck by the warm, welcoming atmosphere. It felt like a special place and within just one week, I felt part of the Ashcroft family. So, when an Assistant Headteacher position opened up, I jumped at the opportunity!

I look forward to coming to work every single day. We have phenomenal students, brilliant staff, supportive parents and families, plus we get to work with fantastic professionals and individuals from our local community. We are also very lucky to have some fantastic facilities in all areas of the school, notably our Astro, Theatre and DT areas. There have been so many highlights during my time at Ashcroft, it feels impossible to choose just one. I love being part of that moment when our students achieve beyond what they thought they were capable of and I love seeing our school community beaming with pride and joy at events such as graduation, results day, awards evening and school productions.

Alongside residential training, placements and self-study, Ashcroft has helped me to gain a place on the Future Leaders Programme with NPQH. This incredible opportunity will not only expand my knowledge, skills and experience to support my current role but will also help prepare me for Headship in the future, something I am striving towards.”

Mr Antcliff, Subject Leader for PE

Mr Antcliff praises the school for its inspirational vision, great community spirit, committed staff and excellent facilities, especially for Sport and PE! He aspires to achieve the school’s vision to ignite each individual’s passion for learning by coming to work every day to motivate and educate his students to excel in his subject as well as in their personal lives.

The highlights of his teaching experience so far have been seeing 89% of his GCSE students achieve Grade 4 or above in 2019; organising a successful sports day; and taking students on a variety of sports fixtures locally, regionally and nationally. 

“Since being at the school for three years, I have been provided with continuous opportunities to further my career, develop new skills and strengthen existing ones. In the future, I hope to complete my NPQML and then a Master’s in Education.”

Ms Talat, English Teacher

Ms Talat started at Ashcroft last academic year and was welcomed into the school community with open arms. The support and coaching she has received from dedicated mentors and colleagues have been invaluable and has allowed her to develop and focus on her future ambitions.

Ms Talat admires the school for its dynamic teaching environment, high standards and high achievement, hardworking students, school values and positive reinforcement through the rewards system.

“If you are looking for a place with a strong sense of community and a great support system and which drives you to cultivate your skills and knowledge, then Ashcroft is the place to be!”

Miss Lynch, English Teacher

“I am passionate about teaching and contributing to the development and growth of our young people. Seeing our students mature and develop as they progress through the school is what makes working at Ashcroft so rewarding.”

Ms McMorrow, Head of Art

“I clearly remember the moment when I came to Ashcroft; the school made a very welcoming and warm impression on me. Both students and staff members were kind, courteous and positive. I felt immediately part of the Ashcroft family. Since then I have been fortunate enough to progress in my career quickly, strengthening and widening my repertoire of skills, thanks to the CPD opportunities the school has provided.

The highlight of my teaching career at Ashcroft has been achieving the role of Head of Department. I love the responsibility and autonomy of the position and I enjoy mentoring and nurturing staff, sharing ideas, opinions and advice. It is a privilege to work alongside such fantastic colleagues who are supportive of one another and dedicated to making our school better.”

Mr Pietruch, EAL Teacher

Mr Pietruch finds it a privilege to be part of a culturally rich school in a diverse community. Working closely with students who move from overseas, he finds it extremely rewarding to see them progress, develop and integrate into the school community; whilst learning a lot about different cultures from the students themselves. Mr Piertruch praises the school for its strong work ethos, the respect between staff and students and the school’s inclusivity where nobody is left behind. His future ambition is to use the latest advances in technology to reach out to more EAL students and teachers.

“At Ashcroft, we are regularly presented with opportunities to develop as teachers. I have been able to boost my knowledge on teaching techniques and classroom management and I am continuously learning how to recognise and respond to various challenges.”

Mrs Phillips Riley, English Teacher

“As a prospective linguist, I was elated when I read about the myriad of languages spoken by students at Ashcroft High School. Being a Jamaican, I needed a workplace where I could continue to strive and work with a team that is productive while maintaining my cultural identity. Ashcroft was that place for me. Additionally, the strong school values that are reinforced daily, summarise my personal and professional goals.

The teaching and learning environment at Ashcroft encourages students to work towards their goals both independently and as a group. Classrooms are vibrant and consist of technology that supports 21st Century teaching and student teacher relationships are strong.

My future ambition is to start a linguistic society that could help preserve minority languages while learning at least two other languages.”

Miss Hopton, Cover Supervisor

Miss Hopton has worked at Ashcroft High School for 12.5 years and continues to love the support of her colleagues and the sense of belonging. Whilst the teaching environment at Ashcroft is fast-paced, Miss Hopton praises both the teaching and support staff for their commitment and dedication to providing students with the best education possible.

“The school has constantly provided me with regular CPD sessions and online training courses; all of which has expanded and deepened my knowledge to support our people.”

Miss Rowe, Art, Craft and Design Teacher

One of our newest members of staff to join the Ashcroft team, Miss Rowe was drawn to the school because of its community ethos and family feel. With a belief in the true value of Art education, Miss Rowe knew that a career passing on her knowledge and sharing her passion of something she loved would be a perfect match.

Miss Rowe aspires to raise the profile of the Arts within the school, introducing initiatives such as Arts Week, GCSE Photography and opportunities with Art professionals in and around Luton.

Mrs Horsler, Performing Arts Teaching Assistant / Technician

“My main reason for choosing a career in education was to inspire and make a difference to children’s lives. I believe working at Ashcroft has enabled me to achieve this. My highlight so far has been helping a SEND student learn an instrument, something they initially found a challenge. But through resilience and perseverance, the progress they made was outstanding. It felt so rewarding to be a part of that.

As I continue my journey at Ashcroft, I look forward to progressing personally and professionally, particularly as the school provides its staff with an abundance of CPD opportunities to help them in their current role and help them to progress further. I have a future ambition of developing my sign language skills further to become an interpreter and be able to teach sign language to both adults and children.”

Mr McBride, History Subject Leader

One of our longest-serving teachers, Mr McBride has worked at Ashcroft for 29 years. Inspired to teach at the school for its fantastic Humanities Department and excellent resources, Mr McBride says that his highlights have been seeing the pride and joy on students’ faces on results day as they achieve beyond their expectations as well as the opportunities to enrich students’ studies on school trips overseas.

“I hope to continue to improve as a teacher and continue to help students achieve beyond what they think they can achieve.”

Ms Caballero, Spanish Teacher

“It was the students that sold Ashcroft High School to me. During the interview process, they were enthusiastic, responsive, professional and displayed a fond interest in learning Spanish. It is this collaborative nature between students and staff that makes Ashcroft truly unique.

I enjoy working in such a friendly and supportive environment where we are working towards a common goal of providing the best possible education to the future generation. I am enthused for the direction in which the school is going, and I am excited for the opportunities this will bring for the students and my own professional development as a teacher.”

Mrs Herrington, MFL Subject Leader

“From my first visit to Ashcroft High School over three years ago, I immediately knew that I wanted to be part of the school’s journey. From the positive, energetic students and the committed, passionate staff to the school’s values and strong family feel, I was amazed by Ashcroft’s offer. I have loved every minute of working here since, being able to instil a love for learning languages and in doing so, opening students’ horizons and getting them to embrace different cultures.

During my time at Ashcroft, I have been given opportunities to support my professional development, such as the coaching training. This completely changed the way I lead my team and encouraged me to empower students to take responsibility for their learning.”

Miss Ruse, P.E. Teacher and Duke of Edinburgh Manager

For Miss Ruse, the best part about working at Ashcroft is the daily interactions with students. Their individual characters, inquisitive nature and insightful opinions makes every day different. She feels a great sense of pride when she sees students develop the same passion for sport as she does.

Miss Ruse praises the school for the range of extracurricular opportunities it constantly provides students to enhance their learning; and the CPD opportunities it provides its staff. In the future, she would like to progress to Head of Year to learn more about the pastoral side of teaching.

“My highlight so far has been becoming the Duke of Edinburgh Manager and helping students achieve their awards. It is great to see the resilience and dedication of the students in a different setting to the classroom.”

Mrs Suffling, SENDCo

“I have been at Ashcroft High School for the last 7 years and I have worked with some amazing teachers and staff. Part of the joy in working at Ashcroft is the Ashcroft family and the passion and commitment everyone has in making a difference to our students’ lives. The students themselves are also amazing; they do everything they can to surprise and astound you.

Since being at Ashcroft, I have been provided with many opportunities to gain awards that will help further my career, including the National Award for SEN Coordination. My main highlight though has been completing my Master’s in Education in 2019. I am looking forward to furthering my knowledge and skills in SEND support and I aspire to use these skills to support other local schools, ensuring Luton provides outstanding support to all their SEND students.”

Mrs Surtees, English Subject Leader

“Ashcroft struck me straight away as a diverse, friendly and supportive environment - a real community school that wants the best for everyone. Despite only having been here a short while, I have had such wonderful support from colleagues and positive interactions with students who are keen to learn and progress. I am very much looking forward to the future!

Through training and CPD opportunities, members of Ashcroft staff stay up to date with new teaching methods and qualifications. Just recently, Gary Wilson who co-authored ‘Boys Don’t Try?’ was invited in for a staff session!

I feel fortunate to have achieved my recent promotion to Head of English and I know that I will be fully supported in every aspect of my role and development moving forward.”

Mrs Yates, Learning Resource Centre Manager

Mrs Yates opened and now manages our unique Learning Resource Centre that provides the space for students to deepen their learning and to also relax and develop their interests.

For Mrs Yates, her favourite aspect of the job is that every day is a challenge and different. Praising the dedication of staff to make all lessons enjoyable and stimulating, she notes that her greatest joy is knowing students can achieve their goals during their time at Ashcroft as a result of the opportunities and support available to them.

“I look forward to continuing to improve my practice and to developing the Learning Resource Centre to ensure it meets the changing needs of our students and staff.”

Ms White, History and Religious Studies teacher

“During my time at Ashcroft, I have always been encouraged to attend a wide range of courses and I have gained a huge amount of knowledge and experience as well as qualifications as part of my CPD. These CPD sessions have helped me to develop my teaching methods to ensure all students thrive. It has been a privilege to contribute to a school which has the community at its heart.”