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Meet Our People: Rachel Cranwell, Acting Primary Phase Lead at Harris ITE

“To me, teaching embodies the saying: ‘Do something you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life!’”

It was my passion for imparting knowledge and a love of learning that led me to pursue a teaching career in the Primary phase. With an undergraduate degree in Psychology, I have always been fascinated by child development and neuroscience; having the opportunity to be able to use my own learning, in practice, every day is rare and keeps the job very intellectually stimulating.

From the moment I was interviewed in 2013 for my first role with Harris at Peckham Park – the first Harris Primary academy – I knew I was going to become part of something special. Harris are committed to providing the best educational opportunities for all children, with no excuses. I have been extremely fortunate throughout my time at Harris to have worked, and to continue to work, with a multitude of passionate, committed and talented teachers and leaders.

The training and learning opportunities have been incredible and I have been able to work with the incredibly skilled teaching professionals to ensure all children achieve to the best of their potential. I have also been able to achieve my own Master’s degree with the support from Harris Federation. I am so excited to now be part of the team which leads the unique ITE programme supporting the new generation of teachers who will improve the lives of thousands of children across the federation.

If you train to teach with Harris, you will join a team of remarkable beginner teachers who will be your peers and support network for your training year and beyond. Our highly skilled tutor team are all qualified teachers passionate about learning, and you will have the opportunity to train alongside an experienced teacher in one of our Good or Outstanding Primary academies. You will also have access to an experienced mentor team within school to support your daily teaching practice.

A key strength of our training programme is the subject specialists we have teaching across the year in the Primary phase. On these days, you will get specialist and practical input in planning, teaching and assessing each subject, with guidance on how to engage pupils in the subject matter. 

I would recommend anyone considering a career in Primary teaching to come and spend some time in a range of classrooms at one or more of our Primary academies. This will allow you to familiarise yourself with the curriculum whilst gaining a good understanding of what it is really like to be a teacher. As our Outstanding training programme is class-based for four days of the week, this would also give you a good idea of whether this would be the right route for you.

On their UCAS applications, our successful candidates demonstrate a passion for learning and an ability to reflect on teaching based on recent school experience. Ensuring you have taken, or at least booked, your Literacy and Maths Skills Tests and have spoken to your references before completing your UCAS form will really speed the process along.

I truly believe teaching is the greatest job in the world; there is nothing that compares with seeing the ‘Eureka!’ moment light up a child’s face. Each day is completely unique and rewarding, and knowing that you are making a difference to young minds, and hearts, makes all the hard work worthwhile.

What are the top three qualities you look for in a trainee teacher?

A passion for teaching, learning and developing children holistically. The ability and enthusiasm to teach all subjects across the Primary phase. High expectations of yourself and for all children.

Click here for our latest teaching jobs, or contact the careers team on careers@harrisfederation.org.uk / 0208 253 7777.

Click here to discover more about training to teach with the 'Outstanding' Harris Initial Teacher Education.

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