Looking backwards and forwards
As Half Term 6 ends, we would like to take the opportunity to look both backwards and forwards.
We want to look back on what has been achieved this year by our phenomenal cohort of Early Career Teachers, and look forward to seeing how we can develop the experience of our Early Career Teachers within each academy, the Trust and at a national level.
It is really important that we find some time over the summer to reflect on what has been achieved this year and give ourselves some recognition. At times, teaching can seem as though there is a relentless number of things to do, develop and improve on.
But when we look back on this past academic year in particular, our Beginner Teachers have probably experienced a greater number of unique challenges in one year than some teachers who have been teaching for over 10 years, for example:
Teaching in different classrooms across the school day - running from room to room with a trail of worksheets flying behind you!
Teaching in three different schools - not physically, but in terms of the new policies and strategies used to give our pupils the best educational experience regardless of the context
Teaching with disruption to your training year - some NQTs this year may not have even taught on site in a secondary school in their training year!
Teaching virtually and hearing the words 'you're on mute' approximately 50 times a week
And all of this is just a drop in the ocean!
The WRAT CPD offer for Beginner Teachers this half term has focussed on looking forward with sessions on career development and preparing to teach Key Stage 4.
Our dedicated and aspirational group of Beginner Teachers were keen to hear advice on how they can develop into new roles and leaders within the Trust.
Louise Wisson (WRAT Lead Mentor) presented on how to write a personal statement for NQT/TLR roles within a school setting and colleagues planned answers to interview questions using the STAR method.
However, whilst moving towards career goals is important, we must not forget how important it is to ‘nail’ the basics. The ‘Preparing to teach at Key Stage 4’ session provided advice, strategies and tips from exceptional middle leaders across the Trust on how to ensure Key Stage 4 pupils are successful in their final year of secondary education. This was an invaluable session to Beginner Teachers who will go on to teach Key Stage 4 in the next academic year.
Now we look ahead to next year, the Early Careers Framework commences in September. This is new statutory guidance introduced by the government to strengthen the provision for Early Careers teachers.
As such, the 'Beginner Teacher Programme' will be renamed as the 'Early Careers Programme'. Lead Mentors across the Trust have worked incredibly hard this term to develop what looks to be an exceptional provision for our Early Career Teachers, which ensures that they are happy and successful within the White Rose Academies Trust.
Watch this space!