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Testimonials

Chloe Jenkins

Chloe Jenkins

Why was the STTP the right choice for you?

Following a school visit where I got the chance to meet the English department and the senior mentor at Lydiard Park Academy, I could see that STTP would provide the support and structure that I needed with the reassurance that I wouldn’t be placed in a school where I would feel uncomfortable or have a long commute to. Professional development opportunities were also provided which has since proven invaluable in my teaching career.

How important was it to you that you were able to attend the school setting before the main placement began and how did it help?

It was great to have the opportunity to get to know the school and pupils during my Friday placement days from the first week of term. This meant that I could hit the ground running and was ready to begin teaching; I was developing my classroom practice from day one!

In what ways were you supported in your placement school(s)?

Each week we would receive a development seminar taught by our senior mentor. I found the support very useful and having a friendly face that you knew would support you was vital. It was also an opportunity to meet with trainees from other subjects and share our highs and lows from the week.
My subject mentor was always in the room when I was teaching which gave me confidence and she was able to provide feedback at the end of each lesson which meant that I improved greatly in a short space of time.

To what extent did your STTP training prepare you for your first qualified teacher role?

I ended up in a teaching role within the trust of my first training school. Having those links has been very helpful and I have felt very prepared. I find that I reflect on my time with STTP when looking for new ways to approach a situation.

Both my STTP mentors and my NQT mentor have been fantastic supports through this journey. I would not be as confident in my teaching ability if it were not for their unwavering professionalism and support.

What doubts did you have when considering applying to/ joining the STTP?

Before applying, I arranged to spend a couple of days at the lead school (Lydiard Park Academy) observing in the English department. I wanted to make sure that secondary teaching was right for me before I committed to a career change. This experience didn’t just leave me feeling excited about teaching; the supportive, welcoming team, made STTP my first choice for my PGCE year. Therefore, I had no doubts about applying and accepting my place.

How important was it to you that you knew that both your placements would be within the STTP schools and why?

It was extremely reassuring to know where I would be training; I knew that I would be comfortable in either of the five schools and it made travel considerations significantly less of a worry which allowed me to focus on training.

Fran Bell

Fran Bell

Why was the STTP the right choice for you?

What stood out to me was the practical, 'on the scene' aspect. You are spending time in your placement school from week one, alongside attending central sessions at UWE. This gives you the opportunity to know and understand your school and its curriculum before your main placement starts. As you are settling into the school, you can also get to know the pupils before you begin to get involved in teaching them.

How important was it to you that you were able to attend the school setting before the main placement began and how did it help?

Being able to come into school before the full placement began was so important and is a key part of training I would recommend to anyone if possible. It allowed me the opportunity to get to know the school, the staff and the pupils and understand the way in which the teachers structure and deliver their lessons, and how the pupils demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. It also gives you a chance to talk to staff members about teaching strategies and anything you're worried about - the staff at my placement school were super supportive and very kind.

In what ways were you supported in your placement school(s)?

The support received from the senior mentor was incredible - the advice and guidance received from the senior mentor played a large role in my training year and really helped me grasp the importance of good classroom practice and how to be successful in all of the Teachers' Standards.

I also had a subject mentor who was the person I went to daily for advice and support. Being able to have someone at the school in your subject area be there for you in your training is so important and influenced my teaching heavily. Having the subject mentor felt like having someone always in your corner supporting you and rooting for you.

To what extent did your STTP training prepare you for your first qualified teacher role?

STTP trained me for more than how to teach a lesson. It prepared me for my first teaching job by teaching me the importance of pupil/teacher relationships as well as how each Teachers' Standard is linked throughout our position. We also discussed, at length, ways in which we can protect our own well-being which is crucial if you are going to be effective in what can be a tough and intense working environment.

What doubts did you have when considering applying to/ joining the STTP?

Some of my doubts was the idea of "Was I good enough to become a teacher?" and "Could I do a training course that was so full-on?" but this was all debunked very quickly. The mentors are always rooting for you and are there to watch you and guide you in becoming the best possible teacher you can be.

How important was it to you that you knew that both your placements would be within the STTP schools and why?

The STTP schools for trainees is a safety bubble - the schools know who you are and are able to give the correct and personal support you need depending on your gaps in training and subject knowledge.