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M. Oakley – Teacher of Science – St. Bede’s Catholic High School

Everybody says the NQT year is the toughest one to be faced, and as I embark on my own NQT year I’m under no illusion as to the challenge ahead of me. Thanks to WWLCSD I qualified as an “Outstanding” teacher in June and have been lucky enough to secure a permanent teaching position at St. Bede’s – the school in which I spent my home placement. Starting as an NQT, I am at a very exciting point in my career. The school is striving to become “world class”, and that is something that perfectly mirrors my own ambitions.

Thanks to WWLCSD, I received the best possible training. I was fortunate to have excellent mentors throughout, both subject mentors and professional mentors at St. Bede’s and St. John Rigby – my away placement. I was able to explore many different teaching methods, observe excellent practitioners, and begin to mould my own teaching style. This has given me a great amount of confidence and instilled a passion for innovation and quality.

From the first day at St. Bede’s I committed to the life and ethos of the school. I got involved in the Science department, Chaplaincy and extra-curricular sport. Through this contribution during my training year, I have opened the door to further opportunity as an NQT which I don’t believe would be possible without the guidance of WWLCSD mentors. I have recently delivered my second year of Lourdes assemblies to each year group in school, the first having been done as a fresh-faced trainee. I have just returned from my first residential school trip with the History department to visit the WWI battlefield sites in Ypres and the Somme. That in itself was an incredible experience, offering the chance to experience something so powerful and also share those memories with the Year 10 and 11 pupils. Again, thanks to the School-Wide Development training provided by WWLCSD mentors I relished the opportunity to travel and get involved. I’m due to travel to Salzburg in Austria as part of the school Music tour in Half Term, which I’m sure will be another fantastic trip! I have also continued my involvement within the PE department, helping to run the Hockey club at St. Bede’s, which will involve taking teams to local tournaments in the future.

As one of my promises during the interview for my position I promised to re-establish a Science club at St. Bede’s, and that is something I have delivered on already. It is still early days, but the lab has been full of budding scientists so I’m sure the club will thrive throughout the year and future years to come! Establishing the STEM club, as well as taking on other duties within the department has led to me taking up the role of STEM Co-ordinator. This is one of the most exciting opportunities I have been given, so I am relishing the opportunity to further inspire a love of STEM in our pupils at St. Bede’s.

WWLCSD provided fantastic training, giving me the confidence and skillset to thrive as a qualified teacher. As I settle into my own role, in my own classroom, at my own desk, I can only talk positively of my time as a trainee. It was an amazing experience that I’m sure I will remember for a long time, but what I am most excited about is what’s yet to come. I don’t know what the future holds as I start my career at St. Bede’s, but I fully believe the sky’s the limit.

“Thanks to WWLCSD, I received the best possible training. I was fortunate to have excellent mentors throughout.”