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PGCE in dance | Graduated 2018

Ben Bradley

Teacher of Dance at Cockburn School.

Graduated from Leeds SCITT 2018

How did I prepare for studying my PGCE in dance?

Prior to beginning the Leeds SCITT, I contacted my old high school to volunteer my time running an extra-curricular club for Dance students. I completed several weeks’ worth of experience delivering these workshops to students, to gain valuable experience in working with students aged 11-16. I also familiarised myself with the Lead School, Cockburn High school,  paying particular attention to the schemes of learning and qualifications delivered there.

Leeds SCITT was very appealing due to its location in the North. There are few teacher training providers for Dance in the North of England; this meant that I would not need to relocate to complete my training. I was also attracted to the fact that Cockburn High School is a specialist Performing Arts school. This reassured me that the Subject Lead Tutors within the school would be able to provide me with high quality and specialist training, which I needed.

The Subject Lead Tutors were extremely supportive and welcoming. The Lead School Experience gave me an insightful perspective of the daily life of a teacher. I was able to observe fantastic practise and engaging schemes of learning. I was able to observe many lessons from KS3-4, each lesson demonstrating a range of teaching and learning strategies.

How does the course support you in preparing for your teaching placements?
The course allows you to have lots of contact time within schools. This really allows you to develop your own pedagogy and you are given the opportunity to experience the various factors that contribute to the typical working day of a teacher. As a trainee, you also receive weekly one-to-one meetings with your mentor. This is an invaluable opportunity to really discuss your progress and develop your pedagogy, whilst learning from experienced mentors.

The support I was given has really helped me to successfully embark on my teaching career.

I would definitely recommend Leeds SCITT for anyone wishing to begin their teaching career. My training year was one of the hardest, but most rewarding years of my career so far. You receive specialist advice from a range of practitioners operating within the education sector and their experience and expertise really helped me to become the teacher that I am today. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to train with Leeds SCITT.

My current role is Teacher of Dance at Cockburn school. Whilst I do not have a TLR in school, I have gained experience this year in mentoring current Leeds SCITT trainees.

Teaching history

Since graduating, I have completed my NQT here as a Teacher of Dance at Cockburn and remained there since.

As the job for Teacher of Dance became available at my Lead School, this meant that I had an insight into the values and ethos of the school and was already familiar with students and staff. This enabled me to feel more confident in my interview. The job position was only opened to current Dance trainees on the Leeds SCITT course that year, which was a fantastic opportunity. Leeds SCITT allowed me to develop my pedagogy in the classroom which prepared me for the teaching requirements on interview days.

My previous mentor was the Subject Lead Tutor for Dance, Kay Smith, on the Leeds SCITT course, now she is my line manager in my professional career. By training via the Leeds SCITT course, I had the luxury of working as a member of the department during my placement at the school. This made the transition from a trainee teacher into teacher of Dance seamless.

As Leeds SCITT is one of the only Dance teacher training providers for SCITT in the North, this was a very important factor for me when choosing this course. The location of SCITT being based in Leeds was also largely attractive for me. I did appreciate that Leeds SCITT did combine university-based learning as well as ‘on the job’ training. This made the transition into the classroom a less nerve-wracking experience, as I was able to implement my knowledge from the university sessions, into practice in a real classroom environment.

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