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I always wanted to teach Religious Education and inspire the pupils.  I was however, insanely nervous before starting about how to engage with the pupils and how I would control the classroom.  However, on my first day when I stepped into the classroom my fears melted away.  I walked into my year 7 form and the pupils looked up all nervous but filled with excitement but looked at me like I had all the answers.  From that first form session, it confirmed to me that I would teach.  To have a hand in shaping young people’s futures.  Although the journey has not been easy, the the support network from both the school and Sarah and Sarah, I have been able to push through, becoming even more enthusiastic about teaching.

E. Frost

Trainee teacher of RE 2021-2

At first I was nervous about the idea of teaching a whole class.  Thanks to the training at WWLCSD, I was not only able to gain confidence but I was able to teach lessons that pupils actually enjoyed and made progress.

L. Thompson
Trainee Teacher of Maths 2021-2

I was tasked with teaching Ozymandias to a Y10 lower attainment class.  I was really worried about the pupils understanding the poem as it took me a number of times to re-read and understand the poem myself.  I was wary of teaching it to this class.

To make the lesson more engaging, I used different techniques such as group work, visual resources and interactive activities.  I had the pupils throw paper balls at me to tell me what they thought the poem was about.  This task showed that the pupils had understood the poem which was the lesson objective.  This made me feel very positive about how the lesson went and at the end of the lesson I was more encouraged when a pupils said ‘poetry can be interesting!’ This comment made me feel like all the stress of planning was worth it and I was so proud of my pupils for the efforts they had made in the lesson.

N. Green
Trainee Teacher of English 2021-2

As a trainee teacher of Science, a key success story for me would be my lesson on Stem Cells with Year 9.  When I learnt about Stem Cells at high school, I went into the lesson thinking they were the cells of the plant stem and held onto this misconception for a long time.  With this experience in mind, I started my lesson asking all pupils to write on a post-it note what they thought ‘stem cells’ were and then told the students to stick their notes under the seats.  At the end of the lesson, just before lunch, I asked them all to unstick their notes and write down on the other side what they now knew.

After collecting them all in, every single note said ‘a plant stem cell’ on the first side and ‘a cell that hasn’t yet been differentiated / is unspecialised’ on the other side.  The same as I had thought in high school.  Students could then see that they had learnt something new that lesson and I could see that I had addressed their misconceptions.

M.McPolin

Trainee teacher of Science 2021-2

As a trainee teacher of Drama, I have been able to help students study for their mock exams by exploring the written exam in a more practical way.  The feedback from teachers and pupils was encouraging and helpful so I can continue to develop lessons that are creative and inspire students to think outside the box in their education.

H. McAleavey
Trainee Teacher of Drama 2021-2

Since starting with WWLCSD, I feel a lot more confident at dealing with life’s challenges.  The support I receive is fantastic and has really helped me develop my practice as an educator, leader and role model for young minds.  For instance, I had a particularly difficult lesson but after speaking to my mentor, the feedback was so helpful that my next lesson with the same group was really successful.

B. Eastham
Trainee Teacher of Maths 2021-2

Since September 2020, I have started my ITT and PGCE programme with Wigan and West Lancashire Catholic School Direct and Liverpool Hope University. This experience has elevated my self-confidence, enriched my knowledge, introduced me to various behaviour management strategies, honed my teaching skills, and introduced me to plenty of resources. Moreover, it has granted me an invaluable opportunity to observe many teachers teaching KS3 and KS4 students and participate in non-teaching school environment activities.

M. Dwedari
Trainee Teacher of Computing and ICT 2020-1

I collaborated with members of my department in the development of a new scheme of work for Year 7s. After pitching an idea, that it would be focused around celebrating different cultures through immigrant poets such as Rupi Kaur, I planned a week’s worth of lessons for the whole department to share. These lessons were then forwarded to the head teacher by my colleague as she was really impressed, and the headteacher emailed me directly to say thank-you for my contribution to the school.

F. Waters
Trainee Teacher of English 2020-1

Throughout my time at my first placement, I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching my year 8 class, particularly due to the level of enthusiasm and engagement they show in each of my lessons!
After every single lesson I have no doubt that I will finish the lesson on a high and with a smile on my face, not just because I have enjoyed the lesson but because it is clear each pupil is leaving with a smile on their face also! There is no better feeling than the pupils leaving saying, ‘thank you miss, I can’t wait for next week’ or ‘thank you miss, enjoy the rest of your day’. Little comments like these give you the encouragement and confidence to continue as well as the reassurance you need to know you’re making a difference.

R. Blakeley
Trainee Teacher of PE 2020-1

A potential positive of lockdown has been that more people are in the home environment. I decided that a short and sharp weekly communication might get students talking about science at home. A newsletter which would combine fun things, items that might interest other family members or carers, but also themes linked to the curriculum. We might have experiments that could be carried out in the kitchen using everyday items, or quizzes with questions about the largest bivalve, or rocks that look like cookie monsters. Simple questions such as: what’s the difference between poisonous and venomous? But also short biographies of some of science’s lesser known figures such as Rosalind Franklin. People who often struggled against the odds, but held true to their beliefs and principles. People who faced challenges, but persevered and made a mark on the world. I think this has the potential to make a real difference to pupils at home.

A. Hamilton
Trainee Teacher of Science 2020-1

I am really proud of how I have developed my remote teaching skills. I have been able to find new ways to engage students and further develop relationships that I have built up in the classroom. In my year 10 class today, I used break out rooms to set up groups to work on challenging questions, some based on A’ level content, to really stretch some of these very able pupils. I was able to drop into the rooms and their discussions were fantastic. I was so impressed. Some pupils stayed on working together into their lunch break because they were enjoying the tasks. It is lovely to be able to keep on pushing these pupils to do the best they can even in these difficult circumstances and seeing them rise to the challenge.

L. Carter
Trainee Teacher of Geography 2020-1

I started my Training in September 2020 and will complete in July 2021. Until Christmas I was teaching in the classroom and now as I write this I have been teaching online for a month. Even though we have been under covid restrictions I am very proud of the help I’ve been able to offer my pupils, growing their understanding and enthusiasm for Mathematics.
You may think that it is harder to make a difference, and being a teacher may be less rewarding when online. I can confirm it is different in terms of delivery however the rewards and sense of achievement are the same. Receiving positive feedback from parents and witnessing the pupils growing confidence in Mathematics as the school year progresses is a humbling experience. It is a proud moment for me when the children are confidently and articulately telling me how to expand a bracket over zoom, when online they are getting equally as involved as they are in the classroom and you can feel the anticipation and buzz of who will get asked the next question. Children still want to learn, they continue to react positively to the challenge they face now and in all areas of life. Helping my pupils in the classroom and remotely to be the best they can be is an achievement I and the WWLCSD organisation can be immensely proud of.

S. Amos
Trainee Teacher of Maths 2020-1

One of my highlights is being able to provide face to face teaching for vulnerable and key worker students during the period of lockdown after Christmas. Another would be taking over responsibility for the form group for two weeks since my colleague had to isolate. Doing meditations, discussing current news, and partaking in the general duties of a form tutor was a great opportunity to build relationships.

D. Corkhill
Trainee Teacher of Geography 2020-1

I feel proud to have motivated some pupils in year 8 to revisit the guitar and start playing it again. One student told me she hadn’t picked it up since year 6. After my lessons on the blues, she now felt inspired to try again. Her ambition is now to be able to play like Robert Johnson.

C. Fry
Trainee Teacher of Music 2020-1

Having never taught before in a secondary school setting, Catholic School Direct has allowed me to grow skills which I never thought I would have the confidence to achieve. Since starting my placement in September I have been developing my teaching skills within the classroom with endless amounts of support and guidance. Building relationships with pupils is most definitely the best part of the whole experience; children saying ‘Hi Miss’ in the corridors or expressing a love for the subject through your lessons feels like a significant achievement. This job is extremely different everyday, meaning no two days are the same and every day is exciting. I am loving every minute of the course and cannot wait to continue my teaching journey in the future.

A. Rose
Trainee Teacher of Music 2020-1

From the start of my placement I have been attached to a year 8 form group. I am especially proud of my form and their dedication to fundraising for the Royal British Legion. As a form group we completed a sponsored run and raised over £300 for our chosen charity. This was a fantastic opportunity for the students to come together and get involved with helping others.

E. Duxbury
Trainee Teacher of RE 2020-1