Saturday, 11 February 2012

Teacher training...some thoughts

Yesterday I spent the day with a group of GTP trainees. ( )
The purpose of the day- to raise confidence in planning/assessing/teaching Science at primary level, increase understanding of pitch and expectation, continuity and progression.

In a day!

I have run a similar day as part of the Dorset GTP programme for the past four years. Evaluations at the end of the day are always welcomed and enable me to make alterations/improvements for the following year.
The day went well ( even though it was the Friday before half term !)

I will embed the powerpoints I used at the end of this post- I made a concerted effort to minimise the amount used to enable as much time for reflection and discussion between the participants- too often this is overlooked (by myself on previous GTP days also) and I was particularly pleased with this aspect of the day.
I left feeling energised (even on a Friday afternoon) following energetic, stimulating and challenging discussions.

I have been interested in ITT since qualifying back in 1991 and have been lucky to be involved with B.Ed and PGCE students from Plymouth University when I worked in Cornwall. Now I am a school based tutor with the Dorset SCITT ( ) where I also have the opportunity to tutor a DT at KS2 session (coming up in March this year!)

I have blogged previously about the positive impact working with trainee teachers can have )

At the end of the day, I read through the evaluations  and noted how many had commented on the positive impact of having input from a currently employed teacher. I thought back to my own training and remembered how few of the lecturers had any recent teaching experience. It seems as though this is still the case. The Dorset SCITT has a part time teacher in the Deputy Director role ( a colleague and friend of mine :) ) and I know that she is hugely respected for many reasons; not least for the fact that she teaches ,so is able to talk about up to date classroom practice.

So, what it the point of this blog post? To ask if there are opportunities for teachers to be involved in ITT through secondment . Once you are out of the classroom you can't possibly have the same impact as someone who is doing the job or has had recent experience. (In my opinion) Of course you can keep up to date with changes and have a clear idea of what makes an effective lesson.
(Of course this can also be applied to Ofsted inspectors, but that's a whole new can of worms)

I LOVE being a teacher- but I would like to combine this role with ITT . I could , of course, leave teaching and get a job doing this- but that goes against what I have been saying about teachers with current experience having greater impact on trainees.

With the move to more "training schools" and teacher training "on the job " surely there is a need to give teachers greater opportunity to work with trainees as part of their own CPD?

Trainees need to be given support from a range of teachers during their training and early years. They need quality training for subject knowledge, child development, safeguarding, planning, assessment et al
They need to observe a range of teachers in different schools at different stages in their careers.
They need input from experts in education; head teachers, consultants, teachers, other trainees

I would be most interested to hear from anyone who has been involved in ITT on a basis which has enabled them to maintain their teaching role too. I would also be pleased  to hear from trainees and teachers as to what aspects of their training they found had particular impact on their teaching.

Maybe there are wider opportunities for teachers in larger schools or who are in close proximity to ITT providers. Maybe I am not looking in the right places. What I know is that I enjoy working with trainees. Feedback received indicates that I can do it effectively; so what next steps can I take?

Here are my presentation slides.
Thanks for taking the time to read; if you have any comments at all please share.

Introduction to Primary Science Session 1

Experimental and Investigative Science Session 2

Planning, Differentiation and Cross Curricular Links Session 3

Assessment and Record Keeping Session 4


  1. Might be worth contacting your local universities - they might like you to work with them as a visiting lecturer. I've been invited back to my old Uni on that basis to work with their students. Budget cuts have put paid to that recently, but it's maybe worth you giving it a try.

  2. I have been a teacher tutor for Uni of Bedfordshire BEd students for last few years, I love it, although hard work teaching a class and supporting students. I would love a part-time tutor post combined with a teaching job share, but think the work load would be a challenge.

  3. Sadly, local university not that lcal which is why the SCITT and GTP used. But I will def talk to the director of studies.

  4. Agree on the workload...which is why I'd love a secondment opportunity. Don't seem to be many of those though:-(