ITE Testimonials

Hannah Kippax

Employed at Revoe Learning Academy
PGCE primary with QTS - 2016/17 cohort

I started my training with Blackpool MAT in September 2016. I chose the School Direct route into teaching because it combined immersion into the working environment from the very beginning, alongside high quality pedagogical training, and I felt that this would best prepare me for a career in teaching (if you can ever be prepared!). I liked the fact that I was placed in a host school for the year and this is where I was based between placements; this allowed me to build strong relationships with both the children and the staff, and really made me feel part of the team straight away. The support I was offered in my training year was fantastic; between my mentor in my host school, my mentors in my placement schools and my tutor from the University of Cumbria, there was always someone whose expertise I could draw upon to develop my practice. Although training for a career in teaching has its challenges, my wellbeing was highly valued throughout the course. My teacher training prepared me well for my NQT year: the gradual increase in teaching load throughout the year meant that I was well-prepared for what was to come. I also attended conferences with other NQTs from Blackpool MAT, where we got the opportunity to discuss their experiences and gain meaningful, usable advice. I was over the moon to secure a permanent position at Revoe Learning Academy (my host school!), and I am enjoying working closely with School Direct trainees as they embark on their own journeys into teaching.

Aimee Cooper

Employed at Park Community Academy
PGCE Primary with QTS (SEND Specialism) - 2018/19 Cohort

My career ambition to work with children with additional needs started when I was young, I have an uncle with Down Syndrome. From the age of 16, I started volunteering at local organisations within Blackpool. Then, at the age of 18 I went to Manchester Metropolitan university to study, Inclusive Education and Disability studies. From this course, I decided that ‘teaching’ was the route I wanted to take and I began my search to find a course that would support my passion for teaching children with additional needs. I was fortunate enough to find ‘The Blackpool Teaching Alliance.’ A course that has supported my passion and provided me with both Key stage 1 and Key stage 2 experience in schools across Blackpool, both mainstream and special. Every opportunity provided by the course has counted, gaining me a permanent position in a special needs school whereby, I had previously completed a placement. The support I have gained along the way has been astounding, not only from the course providers, but from the schools I have had experience in. It has been a fantastic way to network with other teaching professionals and take full advantage of the wider opportunities beyond school life.

Phillippa Cartwright

Employed at Hawes Side Academy
PGCE Primary with QTS - 2017/18 cohort

The Schools Direct route was the option, which most suited the transition that I went through, with my career change. Coming from a very fast-paced business background, I wanted to ensure that I was learning, whilst being constantly challenged. It was a very full on course, which was always providing you with opportunities, either offered or asked for. Schools Direct was greatly organised, to benefit your learning journey and ensure that you had the opportunities to experience as much of the job, as hands on as possible. I opted for one of my assessed placements to be within an SEND school, which for me was a fantastic experience and one, which now benefits my pastoral role within mainstream school. The entire course was a spectacular whirlwind through teaching and a very clear insight into what the job entailed. For me, the course really gave me the reassurance that I needed, that this was the career for me. This decision was supported immensely along the way by the phenomenal school leader’s advice and feedback, which if acted upon, really benefits you long term. If you want to be front row, for the greatest choice of your career, choose Schools Direct!


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