A Happy Workplace
From the moment someone new joins Ardingly College they have a full induction programme and are made to feel very welcome. There is a strong sense of community and fulfilment at Ardingly College, achieved from a wide range of social activities and opportunities to get involved in school life.
We actively encourage well-being, through exercise and relaxation. Our beautiful campus provides plenty of routes to walk and a stroll down to the reservoir is a popular lunchtime pass time. In the summer the shade from the pergola in the kitchen garden is popular for takeaway picnic lunches.
There is a termly programme to promote individual wellness and a full mental health awareness week. Activities include free massage, aromatherapy, singing, healthy walks, yoga, meditation, fundraising, health talks on subjects such as breast and prostate cancer, menopause, back care, healthy eating. We also work and promote the services of charities such as MIND, Anxiety UK and Papyrus.
Staff wellbeing is at the core of all that we do as we recognise that the single most important resource to the College is a happy and thriving workforce. We have many members of staff who have particular responsibility for staff welfare; a Deputy Head (Staff and Operations), Head of Staff Development and a team of middle managers who lead on this daily.
In addition, the HR team, the Health and Wellbeing Centre staff and the College Chaplain are available for all members of the College community. New staff, including UQTs and NQTs, are appointed a mentor and a buddy to guide through those early days, weeks and beyond. There is always someone to talk to should you need it and all staff have access to an employee assistance helpline.
If you are lucky enough to join at the beginning of the Michaelmas Term there are events for all new teaching staff as well as a relaxed evening social on the terrace for all staff and partners. This provides a wonderful opportunity for existing and new staff from all areas to the College to get together. Another highlight of this term is the ‘big breakfast’ held during the October break where staff still in work are treated to an amazing brunch and live entertainment.
Christmas provides another party opportunity for all employees and partners and is undoubtedly the most lively of staff events. Most departments also organise their own individual celebrations and everyone gets an invitation to one of the numerous Christmas lunches or dinners taking place.
Throughout the term, the teaching staff are brought together via their Common Room. The Senior School Common Room, to which all staff can join, offers a retreat from busy school life providing comfortable sofas, daily papers, refreshments and a bar for after school use. This is where Senior School teaching staff gather regularly for staff meetings. The Prep and Pre-Prep teachers also have their own Common Rooms. There is another staff room for everyone’s use, as well as the staff dining room which provides another relaxed area for employees from all areas of the College to congregate. The large support staff team have a weekly meeting over coffee to catch up socially and also to be kept up to date with everything going on around the school. Every month an employee or two is recognised for a particular contribution they have made to school life.
Throughout the school year there may be other socials and activities taking place to bring the team together. Staff tennis, stoolball and cricket for example. In addition, everyone is encouraged to participate in a very active school programme. This may be running the Steepo alongside students, or participating in the staff vs students netball match; for the musically minded there’s the opportunity to play in the orchestra, jazz band or join the choir.
There are also events that bring the staff, student and parent body together: summer fun days, Burns night, fireworks evening, quiz nights, gala balls, and house events. It’s not just the teachers that help with student development and we welcome support staff involvement, in particular during our Life Skills week where the skilled teams pass on a bit of their knowledge to students. There are other opportunities to get involved, such as community projects and trips.
As a teacher, the genuinely supportive relationships that I have formed with staff and parents from across the College make it a pleasure to work here each day. On top of this, the beautiful setting, the lovely grounds, the amazing food and the fantastic care and education that my children receive mean that it is a job well worth holding on to.
Eddie Noel, Head of Enrichment Prep School, Teacher of Maths
Why do I love working at Ardingly College…..
Simple really. It’s the people who keep me here. Everyone is so friendly. It’s also such a beautiful venue … the best view that I never tire of is looking across to the viaduct .
Never known anywhere like it. As a member of staff the College completely embraces you as a person and helps bring out the best of you. Oh and of course… How can I forget. The food. Second to none.
Jo Davies, Catering and Major Events Manager