As we approach our application cycle for 2021 start (applications open in October) we wanted to share some great testimonials from past trainees who trained with us in 2014/15 – see what they have to say about their training year with us and how their careers have progressed over the years. We are so proud to have been there at the start of their teaching journey.
Aaron Worswick, English
I was an English ITT with K&C SCITT from 2014-15. My host school was Honley High and my 6 week placement school was North Huddersfield Trust School. I must say, it was a brilliant experience. The schools had very different cohorts and this gave me valuable experience of a range of student needs. What they both had in common, though, was that they were incredibly supportive. I had wonderful mentors and excellent host teachers.
The weekly training sessions at SCITT were also excellent. There was a really diverse range of areas covered and it was great to have different hosts for these sessions most weeks. I did the PGCertEd route so had some really useful Masters sessions at the University of Huddersfield too. This led to brilliant research projects that I have been able to use in my teaching practice in my career. Perhaps most useful were the subject-specific training days that gave me lots of practical advice on English teaching and building up resources and practices that would support my NQT year and beyond.
In terms of my career since, I was able to successfully interview for my first post at Rastrick High School early in my ITT year (December), which is again testament to the great training I had at SCITT. I have stayed at Rastrick since and have progressed well – I am Director of English and have been since January 2019. This has been a really interesting journey on which I have already covered a number of roles. At the end of my NQT year, I was trusted to start taking on some responsibilities in the faculty which saw me support some initiatives for Year 10 curriculum. This overlapped into my second (RQT) year but the Second in Department went on maternity leave at the beginning of the term and the Director of English at the time gave me quite a lot of responsibility in supporting him in her absence. The experience I picked up here led to my successful application for the role of Associate Lead Teacher just before Christmas, a TLR position with some departmental and whole school T&L responsibilities. At the end of that RQT year, I was again promoted to Faculty Literacy Lead, which was an extension of the ALT role I was doing.
During my third year (2017), I was myself given the chance to mentor ITT students, which was wonderful as I could reverse the role and pass on some of the knowledge I’d acquired both as an ITT and as a teacher in the relative infancy of my career. Whilst undertaking this extra role, the opportunity to become a full Lead Teacher arose, and I successfully interviewed for this position, which started in January 2018. My wider responsibility as part of this role was to be literacy coordinator for the whole school and take on full leadership of this. I did this for a year, and was actually making some good headway and enjoying it but, unexpectedly, the role of Director of English came up and, although it was still early in my career, I was encouraged to apply and am pleased to say I was successful. I have been in this role for 16 months now and I love it. I do not doubt that the grounding I had during my training year at SCITT gave me the foundation to make these relatively large strides early on in my career.
I still talk about my experience at SCITT to colleagues now, and it is especially useful when providing my own support to the ITTs we have at Rastrick. It was a truly valuable start to my teaching career.
We currently have a strong relationship with Rastrick High School and year on year have trainees placed in the school. Several go on to be appointed for their NQT year here.
Alex Bottomley, History
I’m currently Head of Humanities at Trinity Academy Halifax and I’m really grateful for the grounding that I had during my time on the SCITT (I can’t believe it’s 5 years ago!). I think both of my placement schools taught me valuable lessons that I have been able to apply in my NQT year and beyond.
I’ve remained in touch with some colleagues that I worked with at Heckmondwike Grammar and that’s been really beneficial. I also learned a lot about the discipline of the subject and lesson planning from the Friday sessions with Alan, our Subject Tutor!
Since finishing the ITT programme, I’ve been lucky to have numerous opportunities in my school (I’ve stayed at Trinity since being a NQT) including working on the Teaching & Learning team, being the history subject mentor for the TTSA and I’m currently working on a DfE Curriculum Project which has provided resources for over 500 schools.
Liam Belk, History
I am now a History Teacher at Shelley College. Above my normal teaching responsibilities I am an Excellent Practitioner which is an internal T&L role which means I am responsible for supporting staff to achieve their professional development targets, and coaching/mentoring them on how to be the best teacher they can possibly be. Within this role I am also part of the quality assurance team at Shelley – completing lesson drops in, work scrutinies and student voice in order to help improve teaching quality and student outcomes. I am also the CPD Lead at Shelley College, meaning I work with the assistant head in charge of Teaching and Learning to plan and deliver high quality CPD to staff. This role also sees me delivering training to ITT students, organising the optional CPD programme, and delivering whole school T&L briefings on a weekly basis.
My training year with Kirklees and Calderdale SCITT is a year I remember fondly still to this day. The training was fun, engaging, hands on, and excellent. I still maintain friendships with a number of people I met on this course (shoutout Michael Thompson and Alex Bottomley) and this has helped me network effectively across Kirklees. I remember my subject days with Alan Connor and Alex, working through History based training and sitting with Alan for hours whilst he gave us real high quality advice which not only helped in that year but also the years to come.
I think the best thing Kirklees and Calderdale SCITT is they taught me to have fun, enjoy my job, and achieve a work life balance!
The training was great, but not only that, I was prepared fully for my NQT year because we were prepared for the rigour and workload which comes with the job. I was never surprised by anything from my NQT year onwards, and I think that is testament to the training that I received.
I owe my career to this training provider.
Lewis Wild, Physical Education
My name is Lewis Wild and I was part of the Kirkless & Calderdale SCITT programme in 2014, training as a PE teacher.
I could not give more praise or recommendation to the programme. From the school placements that I experienced to the support that I received during my time with the SCITT I am extremely grateful. The training year itself was one of the most challenging years that I have had as a teacher but the support that I received from Gill and the team was fantastic. The opportunity to work in two different secondary schools was invaluable and allowed me to experience and understand the dynamics of teaching PE in different contexts. The programme also showed me what it was like to be a valued member of a school and PE department.
In the final few months of the programme, I managed to secure a teaching position in Salford, where I completed my NQT year. From here I spent a few years learning and focusing on my position as a PE teacher, during this time I was given the opportunity to support other trainee teachers within the school. In my third year of teaching I was appointed as a head of year, following the cohort throughout year 10 and 11. In January this year, I managed to secure a secondment on to the senior leadership team, alongside my head of year role, where I now have responsibilities in positive student culture and teaching and learning.
The experience and skills that I gained from the SCITT have helped me get to the position that I am in today and for that I am extremely grateful.
Thanks for everything!
Rachel Dawson nee Key, Primary
I have always wanted to be a teacher and all my previous jobs were based in and around schools and childcare. My degree is in Disability Studies and Inclusive Practice which I found fit hand in hand with working in education. I decided to embark upon the school based training for two reasons: 1) I really wanted to get as much school experience as possible rather than a more college based approach and 2) I was able to do my main placement at the school where I worked as a teaching assistant. I was really happy there and didn’t want to move on so this was perfect for me! Don’t be afraid to ask for a specific school when starting your training- it was the best thing that I did!
I qualified (QTS) with the Kirklees and Calderdale SCITT in June 2015 and then got a job teaching in my training school (Christ Church Pellon) where I’ve been ever since.
I loved training on the SCITT course and felt that it gave me a feel for all aspects of primary education: visiting a variety of schools, having access to subject specific training and experts in the field and having excellent support from the education leads. I enjoyed the balance of being in school and college- -I was in college every Wednesday and in school the rest of the week. We also occasionally went to Huddersfield University for sessions. I felt that the assignments that we were set were meaningful and that supported our teaching. They were also quite enjoyable! Developing our Curriculum Package was a really insightful task that gave us the opportunity to delve into the planning process of a teacher and investigate and explore what really inspires and motivates children. By the time I started my NQT year, I felt thoroughly ready and excited to start.
As I previously mentioned, I have been at Christ Church since I qualified and have had wonderful support from my head, the governors and actually the whole school! I started teaching year 5 and then took on the role of Maths lead. Then I moved to Year 6, continued the role of Maths lead then also started to lead MFL and the Upper Phase. I have also passed my NPQSL qualification and started mentoring a trainee teacher this year.
Recently, I have taken the next step in my career and have been appointed as Assistant Head at another local school. It’s a very daunting step but I’m really excited to get started!
My advice to people deciding whether or not to venture down the SCITT based training route is to just do it! Having the opportunity to be in a school from day 1 is a fantastic experience and so worthwhile!
Charlotte Mellor, Primary
My name is Charlotte Mellor and I currently work at Littletown J I and Nursery School in Liversedge.
The SCITT programme really supported me to be diverse and gave me lots of practical and interesting ideas to teach certain subjects. It gave me great subject knowledge for both key stages and the way it is timetabled gave me lots of time to implement what I had learnt within a school setting.
The tutors were all brilliant at their jobs and the people leading training were always very professional and knew so much about their subject which was really inspiring. I am still within Kirklees so I still see lots of the tutors and training leaders in trust moderations and meetings. It’s really nice to see them in a different setting and as a professional myself.
I have worked in KS1 since I qualified in 2014. I remember watching an NQT speaking at Dewsbury Town Hall the year I qualified and this made me want to inspire people myself. I then went on to speak at Dewsbury Town Hall the following year to the NQTs from SCITT and other training routes to give them an idea of what their first year would be like. I wanted to give them ideas to support them with their teaching but also with their mental wellbeing.
During my teaching journey I have challenged myself and strived to be the best I can be.
I won a national competition called ‘Let teachers Shine’ where I won 5 thousand pounds for school with an idea I came up with to support grammar in school.
I have been Science and PE lead during my time at Littletown for 5 years aswell as leading an after school choir club. I am currently working towards gaining PSQM for our school.
I have spoken at Kirklees training events and have also spoken at Science networks.
I hope to keep progressing in my career and SCITT gave me the tools to be the teacher I am today so thankyou!