The Most Important Thing I Learnt During my Training, with Tom Percy
Making sure you pick the correct provider for you is essential during your training year. There are so many options out there; from the traditional academic route at universities through to remote learning using an online platform, there is certainly something for everyone. Make sure you do as much research as possible about each of your possible providers and try to speak to some people who are already using that provider if you can.
For me, I have been completing the Suffolk & Norfolk SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training) during the past year and I have to say it was definitely the right choice for me. When I was looking for a provider I had a checklist of questions I wanted good answers to (which I have condensed down to three major questions):
- How much will I be in school and will I be there from day one?
- Will I have a good level of support?
- Do I get a PGCE along with my QTS?
These were the things that were important to me for my training and it is valuable to do this to make sure you find the right provider. SCITT ticked all of the boxes above and then some so it was an easy choice for me. In terms of getting into school, I believe it offers one of the highest amount of days in school and something that was really valuable was that I was in school from the very first days (including PD days allowing me to get to know staff first). This enabled me to be seen as one of the teachers by the students, rather than a trainee who had turned up halfway through the year/term. Getting to know the staff and the layout of the school during PD days when it is much quieter was an excellent way of doing things and ensured I kind of knew what I was doing (or at least where I was going) when the students turned up.
As for the support I have two tutors (one pastoral and one subject based) who are not associated with the schools and I can look to for advice and guidance whenever I need it. This has made me feel highly supported throughout the year and they have always been available for a phone call when I have needed more immediate help. Further, the course itself has a number of people who are more than willing for you to contact them about any of the queries you have, whether it be about dress code, the PGCE assignments or how to teach a certain topic you are stuck with. As just mentioned as well, the course also provided a PGCE so I could access the academic side of teaching as well as the practical side. This was condensed down into a series of workshops rather than a longer drawn out process, which suited me as I the theoretical side is interesting but I wanted the focus to be on practicalities of teaching, which the course is certainly focussed on.
The Suffolk & Norfolk SCITT has been really great this year, providing me with ample support, enough challenge and a lot of reward now I am finally in the last few weeks. I think no matter which provider you pick you will find your training year tough, however knowing where the support is and how I can access it has been invaluable and is why I would certainly recommend this provider.
By Tom Percy