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Maths | Graduated 2015

James Steingold

Initial SCITT trainee experience

I chose Leeds SCITT after researching teacher training courses and hearing excellent feedback from previous trainees. Trainee cohorts are always small, so you get to know the people leading training sessions and other trainees really well. I trained in Maths with 3 other people and there were a total of 40 trainees across all subjects in our year. We quickly set up messaging groups and helped each other and shared our experienced.

From the first week of the course time was split between our Lead School and University – this was incredibly useful as we would have general sessions in Uni on different elements of pedagogy, followed by observing, starting to teach and more specific tutorials on how teaching in our subject was influenced by Uni-based learning.

In each placement I had a mentor who I met with each week for at least an hour. They gave me lesson feedback and helped to understand my workload, what I was focussing on, planning for each class and also keeping me on track. I also taught classes hosted by other teachers, who would each give me feedback on my lessons. ITT Co-ordinators in each school ran weekly pedagogy sessions and were another contact to use!

Throughout the course I had so many opportunities to get involved with the routine things teachers have to do (parents’ evenings, open days, departmental meetings and whole-staff CPD) and also extra-curricular activities. These included running a charity fundraising project and also supporting in Duke of Edinburgh sessions where I strengthened the relationship I had with pupils and gained a different perspective of the community of a school.

While there were times that my training year was challenging, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend Leeds SCITT to anyone. It is a very busy year but you can make the most of it and end up at the start of a fantastic career.

Where did you get your first teaching job? Was it a Lead SCITT School?

My first job was at St Mary’s, Menston. This was my lead school during my training year.

What is your current role and responsibility and at what school?

In September 2020 I’m starting a new role at Bishop Young Academy as Associate Lead Practitioner for Maths.

Why do you think doing Leeds SCITT helped you getting your first job / that job / leadership role?

I really think Leeds SCITT set me up for a long career in teaching. The training I received through the course was initially broad and became progressively more tailored to the areas I needed to develop. I worked very closely with my Mentor and Host Teachers in each placement school and gained plenty of techniques and ideas to implement in the classroom. As trainees we reviewed CVs and covering letters to help us apply for jobs and interview coaching sessions; these were invaluable in gaining my first teaching job.

The confidence I built through the course helped me to become a confident practitioner and helped me know the path I wanted to take in my career. At St Mary’s I became a Key Stage Co-ordinator, then had some experience of leading the department as well. I am now very excited to start a new role and look forward to developing in a new department – Leeds SCITT showed me that teacher training is the beginning of your professional development and I still consider so much of what I encountered on the course as valuable.

Length of time teaching / in service?

In Sept 20, I am about to start my 6th year in teaching.

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