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Are you considering learning to teach?  Read here about the daily lives and experiences of some of our past and present teacher trainees.

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David Livesley


Trainee Teacher


Year 2


I’ve just started the second term of my trainee placement at St Thomas More’s and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I initially shadowed my mentor whilst getting to know the children and the structure of the lessons being covered. It wasn’t long however until I was in front of the class teaching, with thirty smiling faces looking up at me!

 

I can honestly say that teaching them and seeing them progress under your tuition is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. My mentor has been superb, providing constant guidance and constructive criticism in order to help me improve. I’ve found every member of staff to be extremely helpful, with everyone willing to help out and listen when I need them.

 

Teacher training is certainly a steep learning curve, but with so much support from the staff, I have quickly settled in to life at St. Thomas More’s and feel confident and happy going forward into the second term.

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Adam Frost


Trainee Teacher


Year 3


Leaving the school which inspired me to get into teaching was a tough step, but when I look back on it now I have no regrets whatsoever. 


Before the 2015/16 school year had even concluded Essex Teacher Training and St Thomas More’s really supported me through a difficult time as an undergraduate. Since then I have built fantastic relationships with the whole school community, particularly my mentor, class, training colleagues and of course the ITT lead! 


The programme has been an exciting journey so far, learning lots from the courses and from the experienced teachers I am lucky to work with. I have been challenged but this has of course developed me. 


I have so many fond memories already and I look forward to more great times and more challenges as the year goes on. 



I have just started my second year of being a qualified teacher. I have been fortunate enough to be kept on at the school I trained in. This proved particularly beneficial last year, during my NQT year, as I was already familiar with the school, staff and many of the children. I have been given a lot more responsibility this year, aiding my professional development. This year I am mentoring a trainee teacher and I have also been designated the position of music coordinator and MFL coordinator.


My typical morning sees me arriving at work fairly early in order to prepare for the day. This preparation often includes gathering resources, creating and printing worksheets, and assessment. The children then arrive and are registered. 


The class will then complete their short daily spelling and handwriting lesson before completing an English lesson. English lessons tend to have a particular focus each day. This focus may be grammar, comprehension, spelling or creative writing. The children then have their daily maths lesson which is based around the particular concept being taught that week. 

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Tom Wright


Class Teacher


Year 3 

The afternoons usually consist of two non-core subject lessons. 


I try to base these subjects around the topic we are studying during that half term. For example, our current topic is ‘The Rainforest’ and so we have completed lots of geography based work. Our science unit, ‘Animals and Humans’, also ties in well with our current topic. 


In addition, I have to timetable a minimum of two hours of PE each week. Being a catholic school, RE is also an important subject and so is taught many times each week.


After the school day, when all the children have left, the focus then turns to marking and assessment. I generally attempt to mark my maths books during my lunch hour and then my English and topic books after school. Marking on the day enables me to assess the children’s learning accurately and helps inform the next day’s lessons.


I feel very lucky to work in such a supportive school. The whole staff works as one unit and everyone is always more than willing to offer their help. I believe this supportive ethos is imperative to the smooth running of a high achieving school.  





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 Leigh Bevan


Class Teacher


Year 4


As an NQT at St Thomas More’s I am very fortunate to have a supportive and informative team behind me. The rest of the staff are always available and I think the fact we are in a teacher training school contributes to their mentality of bending over backwards to help wherever possible. A typical day sees me arrive early to finish marking and prep my resources for the lessons ahead that day. When the children arrive I am greeted by all of those that see me including those of other classes. I attend to any problems or queries that have arisen overnight with the children in my class and register them.

 

We move into lessons and the children collect and distribute all of the bits they need according to their job roles assigned at the start of the year. They are fantastic and a pleasure to teach. We spend the morning focusing on Maths and English either side of break with another subject sandwiched in between them. At break if I am on duty then I head to the playground and a member of staff kindly brings me a cup of tea. If I am not on duty then it is an opportunity to catch up with the rest of the team and share stories of the morning. At lunch I usually try and get some marking completed. In the afternoon we start with a spelling lesson and two other subjects from the wider curriculum.

 

The day finishes with a prayer and we take the children out to meet their parents. However this isn’t the end of my day as I mark the children’s work and seek advice on the teaching of certain aspects of the curriculum from experienced teachers. My mentor provides me with any information I may need and once a week I also run the football team.

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Adam Munn


Trainee Teacher 


Year 5


Starting my teacher training at St Thomas More's I didn’t know what to expect, least of all arriving in my placement class to find everything flipped around; tables turned over, chairs everywhere and tree branches being used as a roof. My mentor looked at me and said, ‘Today we are at war, this is our shelter to keep the children safe during the air raid'. After a very exciting lesson with lots of highly motivated children, the class was returned to normal ready for the next lesson. 


The opportunity to observe experienced teachers with time to reflect on their practice (behaviour management, creating excitement for learning, ensuring everyone makes progress, differentiation) enables me to develop my own tool box for teaching.


Very soon it is time to step into the teaching arena and guide the class in their learning. My mentor has provided me with guidance in planning for the lesson, and instilled confidence in me that I am ready to go.  In a flash, the lesson is over; it seemed like I had only just begun. Getting to play a part and watch the learning take place makes all the planning worthwhile.  Having the opportunity to go over the lesson with my mentor provides a good chance to reflect and develop. 


Not only my mentor, but everyone at the school is supportive and on hand to answer any question I may have and provide support when needed.  The decision to undertake teacher training was definitely the right decision for me and I look forward to the rest of my time on the course and the adventure that lies after.



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