The first cohort of teachers to be trained under the School Direct programme has attended induction sessions at Brooke Weston. The group comprises seven secondary trainees and five specialising in the primary phase. The induction week gave them a chance to get to know each other, familiarise themselves with Brooke Weston and their departments and have structured induction sessions. The primary trainees spent some time in Brooke Weston before going on to placements in the local schools that they will be based in.
The induction sessions were led by the Director of Teaching School, Mrs Taboada-Naya. They focussed on subjects including Ethos and Expectations, Professional Responsibilities, Safeguarding and Child Protection and Behaviour Management. She said: ‘This week has been very lively and not only were the School Direct trainees getting to know each other, we also introduced them to some of the key concepts that underpin good teaching. This week will serve as a precursor to their university studies and, for those that will be undertaking their placement in Brooke Weston, has given them a chance to meet with staff in their department.’
Ben Johnson, a former student who is now training to be a maths teacher under the scheme said: ‘‘I want to learn more while doing the job rather than just going into university. I like the fact that the School Direct programme is hands-on. It is a bit strange coming back and seeing the same teachers that taught you in the past but it helps in some respects because I am familiar with the expectations here. We have already spoken to the Ms Gerard, the Head of Maths and she is really informative. There are a lot of new things going on in maths, they have changed the syllabus and the way they are teaching it.’
Matthew Rodger, whose specialism is English said: ‘I wanted to do School Direct as opposed to a PGCE course where you spend a lot of time having theory drilled in. School Direct is obviously learning on the job and, for me, that direct experience is a far better way of learning. My teachers instilled a love of English in me at secondary school and I want to give that back and hopefully make all my students want to go to university and read English as well!
‘It has been fantastic here. I am feeling far more comfortable having seen the theory from the school perspective rather than just a textbook perspective. When I come back in October because I am now familiar with the school and department I will hit the ground running. The other trainees are a fantastic group and obviously everybody is sparking off each other and feeling comfortable with each other. It is building up that network so when we do come back we can all bounce ideas off each other and support each other.’
Roisin Fernando, who will also specialise in Maths, said: ‘It has been really good to meet everyone and to get to know the school as well. Even though it has only been a week it has been a crash course about Brooke Weston and the differences between it and other schools. It was really helpful being in the department and talking to Ms Gerard. We got to know the curriculum and the age groups we will be working with. First impressions have been really good. The most positive thing has been meeting everyone and seeing the support network that you clearly have here.’