Following a school centred initial teacher training route, I found myself in the school environment from day one. A daunting thought, but the best decision I could have made. From the very beginning of my course, I was a part of the school team, integrated into the systems and routines, and introduced to my future classes, and building relationships with the staff. This hands on experience proved to be invaluable, allowing me to secure a permanent position at my placement school in November, all the time obtaining essential feedback from a department that would become my own.
The training days organised by the LEARN Alliance proved to be a wonderful addition to the structure of the training year. By visiting different schools within the Alliance for training we developed a bank of useful resources and tips; each school could present their areas of strength and trainees were able to build relationships with a staff force across the Alliance. This coupled perfectly with the lectures and additional training offered through the University days.
The school based training allowed me to remain in my placement school (after a brief but essential second placement) for the remainder of the academic year, enjoying the delights of sports day, the school prom and all of the other highlights that come with the end of the Summer Term. Most rewarding of all was being offered a Teaching and Learning Responsibility as the Coordinator of Maths Transition. I am genuine when I say that this promotion would not have occurred had I not been integrated into the school to the extent that school centred training offers.
The amount and quality of continual professional development, coupled with hands on experience on this school centred programme cannot be rivalled. I also valued the significant support offered by the LEARN Alliance. I loved every second of this challenging year; and it allowed me to pursue the career that I love.