Our trainees appreciate the skilled and challenging nature of their mentors and trainers during their induction year and as a result gain a fuller and more rewarding experience of how to teach young people and lead in the classroom.
Freya Crocker, Geography SCITT Trainee, 2018-19
What attracted to you to a career in teaching?
Before starting the course I was working as a risk analyst at a firm in the City. Teaching was something I had previously considered, and I really liked the idea of engaging with young people in a way that you cannot do if you are working behind a desk all day. I also am really passionate about Geography, and I wanted to inspire others to love it too! After visiting a few schools, I realised that it was something I could do, and I set about applying for teacher training.
Why did you choose the SCITT route?
As I had already spent a few years at university doing a degree and then a Masters, I decided that going back to university was not for me. Instead, I chose the SCITT route because I wanted to learn on the job, and gain extensive experience of working in a school. At the Pimlico London SCITT I have spent the majority of my training at one school. As a result, I feel like a fully-fledged member of staff.
Why did you choose the Pimlico London SCITT?
The Pimlico London SCITT has a great reputation and is rated as one of the best teacher training providers in the country. I went to an Open Morning at the SCITT which I found a very positive experience and I was able to speak to current trainees on the programme. I also liked the idea that you get a PGCE from the Institute of Education which is held in high regard around the world.
How have you found your experience of working in a school?
Working in a school has been the most emotionally challenging but also the most rewarding experience of my life. The highlight for me so far has been seeing the progress my students have been making in class, and realising that the work I have been doing is making a huge impact.
How would you rate the quality of mentoring and training you have received?
My mentor and department have been really good and supportive, and have answered any questions that I have. Managing workload is often a major challenge for teachers, but thanks to their support, I have developed effective strategies for managing my workload and maintaining a good work-life balance.
The SCITT team have also been very supportive; the training we receive on Tuesday afternoons is extremely thorough and current. I have benefited from listening to a range of speakers on various topics covering pedagogy, curriculum development, and teaching strategies which I can use and apply to my teaching practice.
Sarah Montague, Music Teacher - SCITT Trainee 2017-18
What were you doing before starting the course?
Before starting the course I worked in communications at an arts organisation. I was spending all my spare time playing music and I quit my office job so that I could figure out a way to make music the centre of my life again. I spent a year building up my skills by teaching privately, running and playing in ensembles, doing workshops in primary schools and other bits of work.
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
Lots of people had suggested over the years that I would make a good teacher, but I was so petrified at the thought of standing and speaking in front of a room full of teenagers that I didn’t think it was an option, though I’ve always enjoyed talking to children and young people. I was playing the violin in an orchestra and found myself gradually taking responsibility for leading and teaching, and I realised it was something I really enjoyed and could be good at.
What inspired you in particular about the Pimlico London SCITT programme?
I thought that the intensity of the programme would stand me in good stead. I felt like there was incredible attention to detail in terms of what the course covered: I got the impression that a number of very bright people had put a lot of thought into putting it together and making sure all the bases were covered.
What aspect of working in a school have you most enjoyed?
Getting to know the ‘music kids.’ There are children who spend most of their spare time hanging around in our department, just like I did at their age, and it feels like a real privilege to be able to have an impact on their lives. It’s great seeing them grow into mature musicians. I’ve also really enjoyed teaching all my Year 7s this year: so many of them are really keen and are always coming in to find out how to play a chord or something, which is gratifying.
How would you describe the mentoring and support you have received?
I must say that I have been lucky on this front. I didn’t sail through the course effortlessly, and I have had so much support. I’ve always felt that the course leaders believed in me and they were really patient and put a lot of extra hours into helping me. The music teachers have been tremendously supportive as well and I have learned so much from watching and working with each of them.
Lucinda Merritt, Drama Trainee, 2016-17
What was distinctive about the quality of mentoring you received?
This school, this department has been a driving force behind my desire to teach. Studying here has been most rewarding and I am incredibly grateful for every opportunity I have had to be part of this outstanding school. I love that this school champions the diversity of its students, setting high expectations and promoting good subject knowledge. The staff I have worked with this year have been inspiring, hardworking and passionate and reflect the dedication of the school to its students. The Drama Department have provided me with a rich and fulfilling experience, their knowledge, wisdom and experience have developed my own knowledge and practice. Working within a small department has meant I have been able to draw upon their expertise frequently and creates a nurturing and supportive environment befitting of any future training teacher.
How would you describe the leadership provided by the Pimlico-London SCITT team?
The SCITT programme itself has been a life affirming experience. The SCITT team are highly knowledgeable and are dedicated to maintaining high standards of teacher training. This is provided in our Tuesday training sessions, the detailed feedback from lesson observations and learning walks and our cross-phase, alternative provision and school experiences. I would highly recommend the training at the Pimlico London SCITT.
How would you describe the level of support provided during the most challenging times of the course?
Recently, personal circumstances have made my experience quite challenging and the team have not only offered academic and logistical support but have also made efforts to check in with me. They have shown a level of understanding and compassion that may be lost in larger programmes or in different teacher training routes. I have felt very much supported, encouraged and motivated to complete my teacher training and as the programme grows I am confident that each, individual trainee teacher will feel the same way.