Success Stories

Jasper Sach

Completing my Schools Direct teacher training in Science with Riddlesdown Collegiate has been one of the most positive, challenging and rewarding experiences of my life.

Riddlesdown has afforded me so many opportunities to develop as a teacher providing me with an environment to learn and continually progress whilst supporting me every step of the way. The Schools Direct route allows you to learn on-the- job and become immersed in an educational environment from the outset. This enabled me to better understand all the nuanced aspects of classroom management and knowledge delivery.

The South East Learning Alliance ensures a diverse, unique and exciting training experience where I have been able to observe and learn from expert colleagues, teach across all Key Stages and participate in weekly pedagogical training sessions.

These sessions are planned and delivered at exactly the right time of the year to benefit my development and work in symbiosis with the University course. There is also the invaluable support of a high-quality Mentor who guides you through every aspect of your training year.

It has been a great pleasure to have developed my own personal style of teaching under the guidance of my committed and highly skilled Mentor as well as benefiting from the vast range of experienced staff at Riddlesdown. Anytime I was unsure of what to do, I was able to seek advice from someone that knew exactly how tackle the issue I was facing.

For me, it has been so important to train at a school that is driven by high aspiration for both staff and students, placing emphasis on academic success, but also appreciating the high value of creative arts, sport and extracurricular activities. As a Science teacher I have been able to stretch students’ abilities, challenge their thinking and broaden their understanding of the world. In addition, training at an outstanding school has afforded me the opportunity to witness inspiring and innovative lesson which has in turn influenced my own practice immensely.

The continued support and training that Riddlesdown Collegiate has provided has been supplemented by the University of Roehampton who, alongside the Alliance, have offered valuable insights, and supported us through the theoretical application of our knowledge. The University-based sessions cover a breadth and depth of knowledge that is vital to becoming a successful teacher and in doing so underpins and highlights the awesome responsibility that teaching carries with it.

The training I received has been above and beyond anything I ever expected – I am truly grateful for my time at Riddlesdown Collegiate and I am delighted that I get to continue my career here accessing the high-quality professional development I have become familiar with! During my two-week Early Career Teacher Induction, the Principal stated that “You’ve taken the biggest decision in your life, to join the best profession in the world!”, which I couldn’t agree with more and I am very much looking forward to September and giving myself fully to ‘best profession’ – teaching.

Mervyn Spence

My time as a School Direct trainee last year was invaluable in its contribution to my professional development. The training provided by Archbishop Tenison’s High School developed and refined my teaching practice and the staff offered me fantastic support. My leader, trainer and mentor were outstanding teachers, and my mentor had been through the training programme prior to me, which meant she was able to provide excellent support and advice for the classroom and my training programme. Moreover, she consistently made time to guide me, even at really busy times of the year.

Staff at Tenison’s worked together to foster a sense of community, within Tenison’s and among the schools of the Alliance. This also enabled trainees at Tenison’s to attend training opportunities at different schools across the Alliance.

I joined the programme to teach Religious Studies, having previously taught Business Studies at A Level, and have been inspired by the professionalism and dedication of the staff around me; not only in these subject disciplines, but in all subjects across the curriculum. I have had the opportunity to observe a range of colleagues delivering inspiring, challenging and highly effective lessons, which has enabled me to learn more about the efficacy of my own practice. A particular highlight of my year was being informed of the result of our SIAMS inspection; I was thrilled to be part of a school where teaching and learning was deservedly recognised as outstanding.

Although the training year was demanding, the encouragement and support I received helped me to meet deadlines and continuously improve my teaching. Training sessions with eQualitas complemented my practice in school, alongside the training sessions and meetings organised by Tenison’s, since it gave me the opportunity to engage with other trainees from across the country.

The School Direct route stands out because it allows the trainee to be a teacher, albeit with excellent support and guidance, so every trainee has the potential to become an outstanding teacher by the end of the training year. Moreover, you get to build positive relationships with staff and students alike. It is because I trained at Tenison’s that I successfully achieved QTS with recognition as an outstanding member of staff.