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Trainee stories

Nicole Clark

Primary CTSN SCITT trainee, 2019-20, and is now an ECT at The Pathfinder Primary School, Northstowe

I’ve shared this experience with other trainees, we supported and guided each other through every aspect of the course. Each week we were able to discuss our teaching, placement and generally life. We celebrated each other’s successes and helped with any lows, teaching related or not.

I’m extremely grateful for all the support, learning and guidance I was given throughout my time with CTSN. I would highly recommend CTSN and a SCITT to anyone. I can’t wait to put everything I’ve learned into practice. I am now teaching in a local Cambridgeshire school and enjoying my NQT year.

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Jeni Tong

Primary CTSN SCITT trainee, 2019-20, and is now an ECT at Waterbeach Community Primary School, Cambridgeshire

The mentor model supported my professional development as we worked together in weekly mentor meetings to find gaps in my knowledge and activities so I could undertake practice in order to fill these gaps.

She was always there to encourage me to be brave and try things I had learned at core training. The relationship we developed boosted my confidence and ultimately my ability to teach. Her professional reflections on my lessons were gratefully received. My senior tutor was my sounding board and her approachable understanding nature saw me through times when I was struggling.

Her professional knowledge was second to none and she encouraged me to experiment with different teaching techniques. I feel that she will also be there to support me in my career.

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Saffron Parris

Secondary CTSN SCITT trainee, 2019-20, and is now an English ECT at Bassingbourn Village College, Hertfordshire

I feel so lucky to have had two wonderful placements in two wonderful partnership schools. Both were filled with experienced and knowledgeable teachers who were always eager to support and advise me. The opportunity to be placed in two different schools allowed me to gain different perspectives and approaches to teaching. The high employment rates in partnership schools was also appealing and I now have a job teaching English at Bassingbourn Village College where I had my first placement. It’s exciting to know I have a job in a school that I already know so well.

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Phil Powell

Secondary CTSN SCITT trainee, 2019-20, and is now an English ECT at St Peter's School, Cambridgeshire

Looking to the future, I of course cannot say with certainty the role CTSN will play in the rest of my career. However my experience to date gives me every reason to believe that my mentor, senior tutor, SSL, colleagues, fellow trainees and course providers will continue to show the unparalleled interest and concern for my personal and professional development and well-being that they have done thus far, and I them.

They will no doubt continue be an invaluable asset for as long as I am in the classroom and I can only hope that I am able to return the favour in kind, perhaps becoming a mentor or delivering training myself one day! And in the end, I suppose that is what school-centred initial teacher training is really all about.

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Katrina McCartney

Secondary CTSN SCITT trainee, 2017-18, and is now a Geography Teacher at the Netherhall School, Cambridge

Having completed the CTSN SCITT course in 2018, I am very happy to now be teaching in Netherhall School. The course successfully supported me in building a range of new skills needed for teaching. Working with such a range of experienced teachers and discussing learning with my fellow SCITT teachers, built my confidence and ability to teach. The sequence of in-school time, collaborative seminar-style learning and research/write-up projects all linked the learning well over the year. The course suited my needs perfectly and I also enjoyed it!

Ollie Stoneman

CTSN SCITT secondary trainee, 2017-18, and is now History Teacher and CTSN mentor at Swavesey Village College, Cambridgeshire

After working as a teaching assistant at Comberton Village College, I began to consider teacher training. I soon discovered that much of the outstanding practice I was witnessing on a daily basis was from staff who had trained through CTSN SCITT. This motivated me to take the same route. In my own training, I was placed in 2 contrasting schools and by the end of the training I felt I had a much stronger idea of what great teaching looks like in different contexts. This could not have been achieved without being in the classroom every week. I am now an NQT at my second placement school, Swavesey. This aided my transition into my NQT year as I already felt part of the school. Moreover, the extensive support I was given as a trainee has continued in my NQT year.”

Alice Thacker

Part-time Secondary CTSN SCITT trainee, 2016-18, is now a Maths teacher at Saffron Walden County High School, Essex

Working as a Teaching Assistant, I had always intended to train as a teacher but, with 3 young children, it never seemed like the right time. However, the CTSN SCITT part-time training route gave me the perfect balance of home life and career progression. From the minute I decided to apply, the staff at both SCITT and school couldn’t have been more helpful; getting my timetable made around my childcare; mentoring and teaching me every day; never losing patience; building my confidence and giving me sound advice throughout the course. The school centred route meant that I had everything I needed to progress in my teaching career at my fingertips; it just felt the right place to train, and I never had a second thought throughout the whole course.

Jo Heesom

CTSN SCITT Primary trainee, 2016-17, is now teaching at Highfield Ely Academy (one of Cambridgeshire’s Area Special Schools)

Being an NQT in a special school was certainly a learning curve, but I found that the professional skills and knowledge I had built up during my training year was relevant and I felt that I was equipped with a ‘teacher’s mindset’ of constantly assessing and being able to change my teaching to meet the needs of the students, which is needed whatever the age and ability of the class. Although the SCITT course is quite intensive, I found the amount of teaching built up at a pace I could manage well, and my confidence in my ability to teach increased throughout the year. By the time I started my NQT year I felt well prepared for teaching full-time and having my own class. I absolutely love being a teacher – I am so glad I completed my training through CTSN and thoroughly recommend it.

Christine Burnford

CTSN SCITT primary trainee, 2016-17, and is now a Senco at Isle of Ely Primary School, Cambridgeshire

Teaching is the best career in the world but it is demanding, and good support is vital for success; this is what I received from CTSN SCITT. I could rely on the mentors and tutors for professional and personal support whenever needed. School-based training meant I was able to get fully immersed in the life of the school, even from day one, and allowed me to see and experience parts of school life that can only be seen by ‘insiders’. I would not be the thriving, confident teacher I am without this course, it provided me with a solid foundation and a breadth of knowledge in which to successfully complete my NQT and now RQT year!

Tom Dignum

CTSN SCITT primary trainee, 2015-16, and is now a local primary teacher

Now in my fourth year of teaching, I have used the skills and experiences I gained as a trainee with CTSN SCITT to continue to develop my teaching. I am working in a school that I completed a placement in during my SCITT. Beyond the course, I have been fully supported by the SCITT team that has helped me to overcome challenges of teaching and achieve some of my career goals. The course, together with a successful and driven school, has allowed me to flourish both as a person and as a teacher and I will never look back.

Sophie Igoe

CTSN SCITT secondary trainee, 2013-14, and is now assistant Head at Chesterton Community School, Cambridge

Training with CTSN was simply brilliant. For me, one of the best aspects was that I was in school from day one, so I felt like I was really part of school life even before I went into the classroom. Not only was the course logical, enjoyable and supportive it also put me a on path to things that I never even considered as possibilities when I applied to train: within 4 years of qualifying I became Head of KS4 English, Head of English and am now Assistant Head. The course set me up for a lifelong career in teaching and I love it!