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Harris School Direct Alumni, DT

One of the benefits [of Harris School Direct] is that we have a full day out [of our school placements] for training each week; we are not in every single day, so we have all the same responsibilities but we are getting really intense training that we then go back and apply directly.

We might use it the next day or the next week, or refer back to it when something comes up in a lesson in future, or in planning where we think, ‘Oh, we’ve done this in training.’ I can come back to what I’ve learnt about EAL [English as an Additional Language] or behaviour management; everything’s stored in the back of my mind so I feel really prepared.

I’ve had the admin, classes and teaching responsibility from day 1. It was a shock at the beginning, but looking back now I think that it was such a benefit to me to be thrown into the deep end. I think that’s the way that you develop: things come up and you learn to manage them. I feel really well-prepared for next year. I’ve got a year 11 class, I’ve got a mentoring group; I had those from day 1, and when I saw that on my timetable I was nervous, but actually in reality we’re going to have to have those kinds of things next year, and every year that we teach, so to have them now and get that experience when you’ve got all the extra support from the ITE team is great. I’ve got my mentor to ask; I’ve got training days to discuss with other trainees; I’ve got Jacqui and Rachael to speak to - to have all that support is really reassuring!

The sense of community is the best bit of the course. Whether it’s something that’s gone really well or something that might have gone really wrong, I’ve got everybody. The tutors, the trainees, the central team, everybody’s available to talk it through with me. It’s nice to know it’s not just you that’s going through all of these things. Getting their feedback is really valuable, for example, in the sessions in small groups we had at university about our chosen MA assignment subjects. Having other people to talk through those with that are in the same position as you is so helpful.

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