Hear from our qualified trainees
Chloe Reynolds, 2017 primary trainee
Chloe Reynolds completed the programme in June 2017 and became a qualified primary teacher.
The TTSA provided me with a huge range of support in areas ranging from behaviour management and assessment to subject knowledge. I secured employment at St Mary’s C of E Primary School in Leeds. The course is intense but that’s what makes it go so fast.
Olly (the Primary Programme Lead) was extremely supportive and gave me lots of advice, tips and guidance. They make a huge effort to get to know you as an individual, and you are always make you feel welcome. For example, Olly always smiled at me during observations and never put any added pressure on me. I have really enjoyed the course, especially when my teaching increased to 80% – it really felt like it was my own class.
The best piece of advice I would give to a new trainee is not to let teaching take over your life, and make sure you do something for yourself. I enjoy a lot of sport and combined with the course It is intense but it is really important to have a balance- keep pushing through it really is worth it.
On a final note – invest in a lot of post-it notes and make sure that you go for lunch when you are at the training facility located in the Maltings College – the food is amazing!
Scroll down to read case studies from secondary trainees
Emily Davison, 2017 secondary trainee – Biology
Emily completed the programme as a secondary trainee in 2017 and secured employment at Trinity Academy Halifax as a Biology teacher.
“When applying for positions I received great support and I am excited to have secured my first position as a Biology teacher with Trinity Academy Halifax. A real highlight of the programme was all of the amazing young people I got to meet. I will never forget the laughs (and the struggles!) that I have had this year with my classes and I am so happy to have been part of their progress. I have also been inspired by the many opportunities to meet fantastic practitioners.
I would say that the first month was the toughest – it is hard not to compare yourself to the amazing teachers you work with during the early stages of the course, and remember that you are just at the start of your journey. Enjoying the reflective process helped with this, as it helped me to stand back and recognise what I have accomplished. From cracking coded marking to reduce workload, or finally getting a student to write a response to an exam question, it’s been a great learning curve. I’d recommend that all trainees buy a diary – make an achievable to-do list, prioritise and remember to have time for yourself!
I would recommend the TTSA to others as I have experienced first-hand the support and opportunities it provides. Sue (the Secondary Programme Lead) was a huge help, she was a constant presence and always at the end of an email to reassure me of progress or deadlines or expectations. Her levels of organisation are so admirable and her positive attitude has meant that she has been a massive influence on my ability to get through the course.”
Kelly Stanger, 2016 secondary trainee – English
Kelly completed the programme as a secondary trainee in 2016 and secured employment at Calder High School in Mytholmroyd as an English Language and Literature teacher.
I am a latecomer to teaching having finished my Bachelors degree in English Studies with Creative Writing in 2008 and my Masters degree in Modern English Language in 2009. Following my MA, I taught an English Language module for a year to first year undergraduates studying at the University of Huddersfield. At the same time, I was also working part-time as a support worker for adults with learning difficulties and mental health problems. When the academic year finished, I began working full-time as a support worker. Although this was not the path I had intended to take, I fell in love with the challenging but rewarding role and before I knew it, six years had passed.
I decided to make the move to a teaching career for several reasons. A significant part of my support working role was to help individuals to achieve their goals and this quite often involved supporting them through college courses. I found that I thrived on this aspect of my role far more than any other and it soon became apparent that I wanted to dedicate myself full-time to a teaching role. Additionally, my English teacher at school was a huge inspiration to me. She will probably never know it but she changed the course of my life by re-awakening my lifelong passion for English, encouraging me to continue to A Level and giving me the confidence to believe I was good enough to go to university. I aspire to do this for my students.
I was thrilled to be offered a job following the programme and was supported and encouraged by the programme leaders to apply for teaching roles. In September I will be starting my NQT year at Calder High School in Mytholmroyd which is also part of the Trinity Teaching School Alliance. I will be teaching English Language and Literature to KS3 and KS4 and English Language to KS5. I am looking forward to applying the skills that I have learnt in order to create a safe and stimulating learning environment.
Niall Brady, 2016 secondary trainee – PE
Niall completed the programme as a secondary trainee in 2016 and secured employment at Bolton St Catherine’s Academy teaching PE.
I have always had a strong interest in sport, and this has led to my choice of teaching it as a subject. I knew I wanted to teach after helping out at my local rugby club when I was studying for my A-levels. I then went onto study Secondary PE at university, as well as starting work as a cycle trainer and a sport coach in America. I also got as much experience in schools as I could through the roles of a cover supervisor and a PE Technician. My School Direct year was hard, stressful, but well worth it. After speaking to people who had completed the programme, I knew what to expect in terms of workload. I was still slightly taken aback by it all though. Lesson plans, assignments, lesson evaluations, development forms and much more. Best tip I got all year was to file at the end of every week. It saves a mountain of workload, time and stress!
A real high point has been securing my first job – PE jobs are notoriously difficult to find. I’d advise trainees to be prepared for challenging times – you’ll have lessons that don’t go to plan, ideas that fail, interviews that go wrong, along with interviews that go incredibly well but you still miss out on the job. You have to be resilient and keep your eye on the end goal.
I’m now due to start my NQT year at Bolton St Catherine’s Academy teaching PE. My longer term ambitions are to continue my career in PE, with additional responsibility.
Harvey Najda, 2016 secondary trainee – Chemistry
Harvey completed the programme as a secondary trainee in 2016 and secured employment at Rastrick High School teaching Chemistry.
I graduated from The University of Huddersfield with a BSc (Hons) degree in Chemistry, but I knew I did not want to be in a lab based job typical of most industrial chemists. There were three main things that got me into teaching. I firstly wanted to be in a job with excellent opportunities. The second reason was an influential science teacher who taught me my GCSE science. The third and most important reason was I was inspired to teach after working as a Teaching Assistant during my degree. I found that there was no better feeling than when a student has reached their goal, whatever it might be, because of the work put in by their teachers and support staff.
My School Direct year has had its highs – and occasional lows. I always found, regardless of how hard times were, that TTSA could always be counted upon for help and support whenever I needed them. I didn’t feel that one of my placements was a good fit, and the TTSA arranged an alternative placement. I couldn’t have become a successful NQT without them.
A real high point from the programme was when two mentors told me that they believed I had all the makings of an outstanding teacher. I had a low point when I began to worry that perhaps I couldn’t do it – I think all trainees go through this. Now, I am getting ready to complete my NQT year at Rastrick High School, where I was once a student myself. I will be teaching all three sciences up to GCSE and chemistry at A-level the following year. I hope to be an outstanding teacher – fingers crossed. I also want to start to move up the management scale, to allow me to have a greater impact on what happens in school.