M. Webster – Teacher of RE / Head of Bernadette House at St. Mary’s Catholic High School
After studying for my degree in ‘Theology, Religious Studies and Sociology’ at Leeds University, I heard an advert on Wish FM advertising Catholic School Direct. The programme appealed to me as it was based in my local area in local schools I already knew much about. I was intrigued by the contact between the trainees and the different schools and the amount of time spent training inside school settings.
My training offered me both a subject and a professional mentor in both my ‘home’ and ‘away’ placements. The support of the mentors encouraged me to grow in confidence and subject knowledge, supported me to take risks in the classroom and reflected with me on my teaching journey and how to improve my practice.
I was lucky enough to be appointed after my first year at the school as Head of Bernadette House working with the local community. This role has allowed me to take a lead in the behaviour and achievement of pupils from Year 7 through to Year 13. I worked with pupils within my house to create new community projects and raise money for different charities each term. St Mary’s supported my development even further through allowing me to continue my CCRS modules through the Archdiocese.
After a year the role of Head of House changed and I was now in charge of a large number of disadvantaged students in the school. This allowed me to work closely with certain students, build a rapport with them and assist them in achieving their best in their education.
An opportunity arose in another school belonging to WWLCSD, Holy Cross High School Chorley. I applied for the job as 2nd in the RE department which I began in September 2018, this allowed me to bring new ideas and initiatives to assist in new systems of tracking students, enhancing the curriculum and ensuring assessment shows clear progress. This was pinnacle in our ‘outstanding’ Section 48 review by the Archdiocese. During my time at Holy Cross and becoming more familiar with the students of a new school, I was granted the position of Assistant Head of Year. This gave me the opportunity to complete pastoral work alongside work on the RE curriculum as well as teaching and learning.
I do believe WWLCSD has allowed me to learn the skills, knowledge and confidence to get me where I am today. I continuously feel supported by the programme and would recommend anyone who looks into the teaching profession to choose the WWLCSD programme.