Have you seen Manchester Nexus’ own Anna in Oldham?

NCTL launch a new campaign to attract more people to the teaching profession in Oldham and one of the stars of the new campaign is our own Anna Nelson, Initial Teacher Education Lead at The Blue Coat School. She is joined by Blue Coat (our lead school) Computer Science teacher, Andrew Mkandawire.

The major new print and online campaign from the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) has been launched with the specific aim of attracting more teachers to the profession.

The multi-media campaign focuses on Oldham, Scarborough and Blackpool, each identified as an area needing more trainee and graduating teachers.

Anna has been selected for the campaign because she works tirelessly to ensure that training and support all trainees receive is high quality and tailored to the individual.  Anna leads the training for the teacher trainees based at schools in the North Manchester area and is an important part of the Manchester Nexus team

Both Anna’s and Andrew’s photos will now form part of the marketing material that will be seen around the Greater Manchester area.

So how does Anna  feel about being part of such an important campaign?

“I was really happy to represent teaching, teacher training and the area – the north of England. It made me reflect on my career, how much I’ve learnt and how far I’ve come. It reminded me of the moral purpose – teaching is such an important job and so rewarding. My friends found the idea of my face on a bus hilarious!”

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A Week in ‘Little School’ by a ‘Big School’ Trainee. Charlotte Broadbent : Maths

The school direct course offers a week in a primary school to better understand the academic and pastoral transition between the ‘big year 6’ students suddenly becoming the ‘little year 7s’. It is a good opportunity to observe the level of work that the students can complete and what they have learnt in depth. My placement was during the remembrance celebrations for the anniversary of WW1.

As soon as I entered my primary school, I was shocked by how small and intimate it was. Compared to a high school housing several subjects in different buildings my primary school has one classroom for each year with a shared area between two years. Being a secondary trainee, I’m used to having a bell ring at the end of every hour; however in a primary school, the timetable was hard to keep up with. There was no hustle and bustle to get to another class, and each subject seemed to merge into the next. The whole class worked together constantly, and if there was any fall outs (especially between the girls) it affected the whole group – there was no downtime.

Whilst on my placement, I got to work with a few focus groups. Since I am a maths specialist I worked with a group of students who needed a confidence boost in their mathematic ability. Working with this little group of students allowed me to practice new teaching methods on the topic; trying out more visual methods and altering my explanations for them. I also had a focus group for reading, which pushed me out of my comfort zone and highlighted how the primary school teacher has to be skilled in many subjects.

Observing the classroom teacher, I got a glimpse into how much work a primary school teacher has to do. Whilst they only have 30 children to teach, they need to be highly organised to ensure the learning of a mixture of cross-curricular subjects whilst maintaining a high level of pastoral care for every member of their class. You can clearly see the relationships that are formed between the classroom teacher and the pupil.

I loved the whole-school assembly at the end of the week, where members of each class displayed the pieces of work they had worked hard on during the week. There was a ‘theme’ to the week (which was WW1 at the time of my placement) so there was a variety of work to celebrate the anniversary of the war. There were pieces of poetry (from the lovely year 6s I was working with), paintings and even poppy wreaths! I felt a great sense of pride from each person in the school and it was lovely to be a part of it. The older pupils in the school even got the opportunity to take a trip to the cenotaph at Royton Park just before the 11 o’clock silence.

Over the week, I realised that the level of work that the year 6s are completing is of high challenge. I was working with quite a creative bunch of students and was really impressed by their creative writing ability in particular. This was highlighted in the war poetry pieces they were writing (some were quite emotional!). The week in the primary school has left me motivated to implement a more creative outlook to my lessons to ensure that my current (and future!) year 7s creativeness is not lost due to the amount they have to juggle after the transition to secondary. I also learnt that I’d underestimated the academic challenge at primary. This was invaluable experience to inform my secondary planning of year 7 lessons.

Why Teaching was for Me. Michael Ashworth

Teaching never entered my mind whilst at university studying for a sport science degree until I experienced coaching young children first hand at the local athletics club. I thought this is something I could do for a career. Funnily enough both my mother and sister are teachers so this could have also had an impact on my decision after listening for years about the love of the profession that they have. This probably has rubbed off onto me.

Once I had decided upon wanting to be a teacher I then had to decide which subject? Science or PE? PE was my obvious choice due to a variety of sports I played and the close link between sport science and the required PE curriculum knowledge.

I applied for and interviewed for 2 PE PGCE courses but neither of them appealed to me. I had school experience through 2 and a half years at North Chadderton School as a TA and I wanted to get into a school teaching as soon as possible. The Northern Alliance was my answer. A professional and thorough interview process….. The next day an answer of “You have gained a place” was the result I wanted.

My two favourite moments of my teaching life so far are realising that a single blow on your whistle can mean a multitude of different things! I had some students getting up and running and jumping to sitting in silence. This experience has shown me the power of developing a good “teacher voice” to get my instructions understood as a whistle can be confusing at times. After numerous sore throats and loss of voice completely I feel I’m getting the hang of it.

My second favourite moment was during my away placement. I was asked to have a review observation first lesson back after the winter half term. Lesson topic rounders, never taught rounders before = panic! However I planned the lesson well with all the help from my subject mentor the lesson went fantastically well. I was graded outstanding for the first time!

The advantage of the Northern Alliance route of teacher training I find most advantageous is the fact that you get a bespoke mix of teaching experiences in differing school settings, training days held by other alliance schools and university study days. All in all I feel that the Northern Alliance (School Direct) is that it has given me a firm foundation and the support to enable me to develop as an outstanding practitioner.

 



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