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Rachel Sharples


Rachel Sharples is delighted to join the White Rose Academies Trust as Assistant Principal focusing on Academy improvement. Prior to her appointment, Rachel was Assistant Principal with responsibility for driving the quality of Teaching and Learning at Darton Academy, part of the Delta Academies Trust. This was a story of great success and after the implementation of highly effective strategies to support learning both inside and outside the classroom, in 2019 Darton Academy became the sixth most improved school nationally.

Rachel enjoys keeping up to date with current initiatives in education and is well read in the matter. She continuously seeks to improve her own teaching practice and ensures that any strategy implemented at a whole school level is evidence based and grounded in academic research. Rachel has completed her NPQSL with a focus on collaborative learning structures to ensure whole class engagement and to support all cohorts of learners. This was rolled out across Darton Academy and became a prominent feature of learning inside every classroom, something of which contributed significantly to the improvement of the academy's academic outcomes. More recently Rachel has completed the Data Wise Program at Harvard School of Education, a project which supports educators in using collaborative data inquiry to drive continuous improvement of teaching and learning for all students.

A passionate historian, Rachel graduated from the University of Northumbria in 2003 with a BA (Hons) in History. From there she completed her PGCE at the University of Worcester after a short career in estate agency and visual merchandising. Rachel spent 5 years teaching at the highly acclaimed King Edward VI High School in Morpeth after which she was appointed as the Head of History at Darton College in Barnsley. Intermittently, she has worked as a team leader for GCE A Level examination with a specialism of Totalitarianism in Theory and Practice alongside Life in Nazi Germany.

Rachel has recently become a proud school governor for two primaries in central Leeds which form part of the Wellspring Academies Trust. She thoroughly enjoys working in partnership with their Executive Principal to ensure that standards are high and school improvement strategy is successful as well as sustainable.

Rachel is keen to ensure that all students leave the White Rose Academies Trust as happy, well qualified, confident individuals who have been given the best opportunity to gain experiences outside of the curriculum, fully preparing them for life in the wider world. Through high standards in the quality of education she hopes to assist teaching and support staff in instilling a lifelong love of learning and to open doors of opportunity for all students within the WRAT’s care.

In her spare time Rachel enjoys to experiment with vegetarian cooking, explore the great outdoors, attend various music gigs and relax on her family's narrow boat.

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