Author: fts

An interview with our Cohort 3 Scholar Saffron Blake

How are you finding the Future Teaching Scholars programme so far?

When starting the programme, I was a little bit apprehensive as I didn’t know anyone. However, on the first day of the National Conference I met so many likeminded people as well as some of my now closest friends. The scholarship has provided me with invaluable experience, observing incredible math teachers as well as a very strong support network, where I feel comfortable asking for help and advice with my training coordinator as well as peer support from the friends I have met plus the pupils who are at my Regional Training Centre (RTC).

What motivated you to become a maths teacher?

Seeing my primary school headteacher having an incredible rapport with the staff, pupils and parents inspired me to want to help others, putting a smile on someone’s face and making a positive impact to the lives of others. Over the years I have been a part of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets as well as competitive dance groups. I enjoyed learning new skills however I loved teaching skills to others; when discussing with my Mum what I should do when I am older she said to me why don’t I become a teacher. I have always loved maths from a young age, I remember practising for hours to ensure I would always win the timetable contest at primary school, so when I was in college I went to my secondary school for work experience in the maths department and it just solidified that I wanted to become a maths teacher.

Most people say that it is a dangerous game making your hobby your career, however over the past 3 years, being part of the scholarship, my passion for teaching has just developed so much deeper, and I cannot wait to learn more.

You share some great explanations, tips, and exam techniques on Instagram and TikTok.

What was your motivation behind mathswithmissblake?

During this year I have been working at a school as a cover teacher, but when we were put into the second lockdown I knew that a lot of students would struggle revising at home with no face to face contact, and as a student myself I felt awkward asking questions in lectures during online lessons and I assumed students at school may have felt the same.

I have used TikTok since July 2020, and saw other teachers making comedy sketches but a few were making curriculum content and I thought it was a great way to make learning more interactive and more current, by producing short informative videos using trending songs.

I created @mathswithmissblake in January 2021, as I had not seen many math content creators. I wanted to create content that would be easy to understand, informative and useful.

I was a student not too long ago myself, so I felt that I could use this to my advantage since I can understand and sympathise where students struggle in maths as well as the pressures in today’s society; with this account I not only focus on maths but also growing your self-belief as I believe these go hand in hand.

How do you come up with content ideas for mathswithmissblake?

I always ask my followers what they would like to see from me as I want to help them as much as possible. As well as this, I think back to the time when I was doing my GCSE’s, and during my final year exams, and think of what I would have wanted to read and what would have helped me to overcome obstacles.

I usually ask this during my live sessions, by using polls on my Instagram, and some students also leave comments. I then usually choose topics that have been asked for by several students. I am also trying to include revision techniques, how to deal with exam stress and the importance of mental health.

What’s your favourite post or tip you’ve shared on mathswithmissblake?

I have enjoyed sharing different exam revision techniques as I think this is such a key point to teach students but I feel that this is something they are afraid to ask their own teachers, as some have said to me it is something they feel like they should already know.

I have also shared the importance of exercise and have recently partnered up with a yoga instructor to show students different exercises and breathing techniques that will help calm them down during exams, this was really fun and a bit different!

You’re entering your ITT year in September, are there any particular aspects of ITT training which you are looking forward to?

I honestly cannot wait to be in a classroom again so I can build relationships and ensure I can help each student individually.

I am looking forward to meeting the trainee teachers within the school I will be working at as it will be good to have peers that are experiencing the same so we can help each other through stressful periods.

I have also bought a lovely new planner and I can’t wait to use it (Yes, I am that teacher with notepads for every day of the week).

How did you find the process of securing a teaching role for your ITT year and the support provided by the programme?

The support from the Employment Coordinator was extraordinary. Not only did she provide exceptional help for my CV and personal statement; she also helped with interview style questions and was there for support, she made me feel so at ease in anxious situations.

I applied for the Harris Initial Teacher Training Programme as I thought the scheme was bursting with opportunities. The interview process was a little daunting as it was on Zoom and I did have some technical difficulties. I was worried that the lesson I had prepared was not going to work as I was using a football and water to visually show volume of shapes and one of the interviewees couldn’t see me. However, it did go well, and I found out the same day that I was accepted. I was just overjoyed as I know that the Harris Federation is an excellent teacher training provider and that they want excellent teachers.

A couple of months later I met the principal of the school where I had secured a job, and I was told that trainees would get matched with schools that will help them grow and if there is anything specific they could help with, they would try to facilitate this. I asked to work at a school with a sixth form and where there was a big focus on extracurricular activities, and I was thrilled to find out that this school was just that! Meeting the principal was a wonderful experience as the school ethos and focuses aligned with what type of teacher I aspire to be and made me feel at ease, knowing that this school isn’t just about grades but for growing their students into confident, powerful individuals.

What is one thing you could tell a pupil reading this, who is unsure of what career path to follow?

Do not fear what others say, remind yourself where you have come from and be proud of yourself for taking a step forward when you can. Stay focused and stay inspired; you have the potential to become anything and the only obstacle in your way is how much belief you have in yourself.

Don Stewart Tribute

It has now been a year since Don Steward, whom many may remember through his keynotes to teachers and the wonderful resources he had published, sadly passed away.

Don inspired students and teachers as a superb maths educator for over 40 years, collecting, trialling, and disseminating ideas for effective learning. Don was actively engaged in mathematics education discussion via online articles, his personal blog and talks for Maths Hubs and several mathematics subject associations.

He was extremely generous, always willing to give up his time to answer questions or provide materials and ideas for others.

Don Steward is sadly missed by all in the mathematics education community.

We highly recommend Don’s blog MEDIAN to our Scholars and maths teachers, which Don created as a freely available resource and has since been used by teachers across the globe, continuing his legacy and passion for mathematics.

How to get more classroom experience

Often people have pointed to how learning to teach is like learning to drive a car.  It is all very well understanding the theory, but it is only really through time in the driving seat (working with real children in classrooms) that effectiveness grows.

Experience supporting Scholars into employment over the last three years has shown us that those Scholars who seek out additional opportunities to develop often thrive more easily in their first year as an initial teacher trainee. Alongside this, getting additional more extended experiences can be a real help in interviews and during applications because it will give you more to talk about in your application letter and when asked about teaching during the interview.

Below is a list of suggestions based on things that Scholars already in employment have found useful:

  • Contact the school you went to and ask them if they would like you to help out as a teaching assistant in maths or physics lessons – the school you went to will be very likely to be enthusiastic about you deciding to become a teacher and may well need more help following the Coronavirus health emergency.  A really valuable way to spend a couple of weeks after your finals and once you are back home before the end of the school summer term.
  • Talk to your Regional Training Centre co-ordinator to see if there are schools in their teaching school alliance that might value teaching assistant support.
  • Look for opportunities to do tutoring of individual students.  The government is rolling out a major programme of tutoring to support catch-up in schools following the health emergency.

 

 

Toby Reichelt

From the outset, it was clear that the FTS programme endeavoured to emphasise experience in the classroom rather than learning how to teach in a lecture theatre. Of course, this experience in the classroom started out as small, ten-minute starter or plenary sessions. Bite-sized pieces of practice. Gradually, these ten-minute activities become fifteen-minute sessions, then half an hour; before you realise how far you have progressed, you are stood in front of a classroom for the full hour delivering a lesson.

The job interview process was enjoyable: I was permitted a tour of the school, a meeting with many of the amazing staff, and I delivered a small session to a class with the other interviewees. From the experience I had gained, I felt no trepidation at delivering the session—it was nothing that I had not experienced before. This allowed me to flourish in the interview and really display the skills and knowledge that I had developed over the years.

Felicia Hebbes

When I was at school, I had teachers who believed in me and pushed me to achieve more than I ever thought I could. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to emulate these amazing role models that helped me to grow and develop as a mathematician and as an individual.

The unique Future Teaching Scholar pathway has allowed me to balance valuable teaching practice with my university studies, and has given me the opportunity to gain confidence through practice, research, constructive feedback and reflection. The mentors that I have worked with have always driven me to plan starter tasks, small group activities, and even whole lessons; I never expected I would be able to plan a 50-minute lesson in 2 hours, but now it feels natural to ask for opportunities to practice and learn. The immense support and encouragement of every member of the FTS community has been a reassurance and a motivator, and I feel extremely proud and privileged to be a Future Teaching Scholar.

Muhammed Uddin

I was always told at school that if you failed to plan then you planned to fail, and that mantra carries through strong when it comes to teaching. When I first started out, I learnt that no matter how much you can try to prepare for it, behaviour management issues will always arise and that students love to talk. But once you get past that, you uncover why you go into the profession. Being responsible for facilitating so many ‘eureka’ moments is such an enjoyable feeling.

My first month, it felt like all I did was plan, teach, sleep and repeat, where I had little time to do other things. Knowing where to look for quality resources or creating your own took too much time. What helped was being able to talk to my fellow scholars for good sites to look, as well the Lesson Plan Library created by FTS in the Development Zone. So over time, as I gather more proven resources or sources of this, my planning time has slowly begun to decrease.

The FTS programme has helped me so much with settling into my school. I was lucky that the majority of the school visits and observations set up by FTS that I had whilst at university were hosted by the school that I would go on to work at. This gave me huge insights into the school before I started and reduced my transition period since it gave me a little familiarity with the structure of the school and my future department.

Katie Karran-Antrobus

Applying for my first role was terrifying! It’s really strange when you’re trying to fill in a Teaching Application when you aren’t a qualified teacher yet! The FTS team were amazing though, they helped me shape my CV and Cover Letter into something professional, but without it losing the essence of “me”! The Employment Coordinator was fantastic and would spend time to answer any question I had, as well as ring me before Interviews to go through some prep and mock questions! I felt so supported, which when you’re up against NQTs and possibly even teachers who have been qualified for years, its a real comfort. Plus, the information that FTS provide schools you’re applying to really highlights the benefits that that school would get by hiring you- we’ve joined a really exciting and interesting new way into teaching, and schools are keen to learn more about us!

My first term has been fantastic! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had bad days and bad lessons, but I’ve been able to learn from them. I’m supported by an amazing department, who make me feel like a proper part of the team, and not just a trainee. At first, I was really nervous. We all just want to do right by the kids, and going into Day 1 as a trainee in charge of my own classes, teaching my own lessons, you really do worry that you’ll somehow fail them. You won’t!

My biggest success has been the relationships I’ve formed with one of my classes. This class is a very small class as they need extra support, but because I have such a good relationship with them, they will focus, get on with their work, and if I have to calm them down it usually takes one countdown and they’re with me again. They’ll even produce some fantastic work last lesson on a Friday! The best feeling though is that they always try their hardest, and because of that they are making progress!

I think FTS has prepared me well. I think I’d have been much more nervous if I was thrown straight into it in September, having not been part of FTS. Being able to witness, discuss and reflect on teaching experiences during training days and the National Conferences have helped and also given me some great ideas. The online modules have given me some great background knowledge, and having days specifically on things like Behaviour Management have been really useful. I think the National Conferences have been the best part, because being able to network with other scholars has been invaluable!

Hannah Ellison

I am currently studying Mathematics at the University of Liverpool, in hopes to become a secondary school teacher of Mathematics. I love my subject as it’s the universal language and offers so many opportunities. This is why I wish to spread the love of maths to the next generation of learners. Teaching is the career I wish to pursue as it allows me to face new challenges on a day-to-day basis. I believe teachers have a huge responsibility and I would love to be part of this challenge.

The Future Teaching Scholars programme has helped me massively by easing me in to the teaching environment. I have struggled with confidence in the past and now, thanks to Future Teaching Scholars, my confidence has improved significantly. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with fellow scholars and being surrounded by those who share the same love for Mathematics as me. I have recently provided tutoring for a Year 7 student and have found this to be extremely rewarding. I am now even more excited about helping students achieve their goals through my career and I look forward to furthering my experience in teaching.

Luke Berry

I knew that I always wanted to be a teacher. Experiencing the classroom from ‘the other side’ has been pivotal on this programme – I never imagined how strange it would be! However, it has been the perfect way to solidify my career plans of becoming a teacher. From the teaching experience so far, I am already beginning to see the rewards and joys that teaching can bring, such as knowing that you’ve helped at least one student to understand a topic further and become more confident. Maths is such a broad and interesting subject – the more people who can experience this and find some enjoyment from it, the better!

The opportunity to learn more about the teaching profession firsthand and begin to develop skills in effective practice has been brilliant. The modules and further reading provided by the programme have allowed me to begin my journey of preparing for teaching at a much earlier stage, encouraging me to become a more reflective learner right from the start. This was challenging at first but gradually it is becoming easier and more natural to reflect both on what went well, in addition to what didn’t go so well, in the lesson activities. The online modules have all been relevant, and very well linked to the in-school experiences – allowing for the opportunity to see current research in practice!

Jamie Morgan

The thing I love about teaching is the challenge I face. There is a challenge to ensure all students understand maths, give them the logical and creative thinking needed and pass on the enthusiasm I have for the subject. There are many misconceptions people have about maths causing anxiety and I think its part of the challenge and fun creating and using methods of teaching to tackle the problem.

The future teaching scholars programme has shown me the difficulties teachers have such as making sure all students are engaged and learning but also how fantastic it is working with young people and having a job where no two days are the same. There has been so much support both in and out of the classroom meaning the apprehension I once had about being the teacher has gone.

Hesana Sathiyaganthan

When applying for a job, I was provided with interview tips and advice from Future Teaching Scholars. I had plenty of conversations about what the process would be and what I would need to do. I was very nervous at first, as I was teaching and going by what I thought was expected, but I realised within a couple weeks that I am not expected to be great at teaching straight away. I was able to get support from my colleagues and from my SCITT. I’m still developing my skills, but I have gained confidence and this has enabled me to develop further.

My biggest challenge is behaviour management. It is still a challenge that I am working on overcoming, however through this process I have gained some behaviour management strategies and have changed the way I approach such situations as a result. The experience I had gained over the first three years of FTS enabled me to see what strategies teachers use to teach their students. From this I was able to start the first term with a few ideas in mind. The in school experience was the most useful as I was able to observe others. I was also able to develop good relationships with my colleagues during the first three years, through this programme I was able to see traits of good teachers and these inspired me to aim to do the same.

ITT & NQT National Conference 2020

Highlights from ITT & NQT National Conference 2020

Last week, our Future Teaching Scholars team welcomed 70 Scholars in their Initial Teacher Training (ITT) and Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) years for a one-day conference. This event, which is usually held over two days in Manchester, was delivered online.

The conference day was opened by Dr. Richard Churches, Programme Director, with a welcome message via video from Richard Hall, FTS Programme Lead at the Department for Education. Professor Paul Glaister from University of Reading, representing the National Advisory Group had praise for the Scholars:

“We all know that mathematics, physics and science education is important to the nation, internationally and society and you are making that contribution to develop young people for the future. I cannot think of a better way of training to teach, being emersed in teacher training right from day one of your degree.”

Our dedicated Scholars gave up a Saturday to attend this professional development focused conference, delivered by experienced teachers and teachers who have undertaken research in particular areas of learning improvement including:

  • Care and Training of Your Voice
  • Developing Students’ Literacy in Maths and Science
  • Inclusive Pedagogy and Differentiation
  • Managing Workload and Building Resilience
  • Maths working with Science: how can you support your colleagues?
  • Starting again: From KS2 to KS3 Mathematics
  • Strategies to End Educational Disadvantage
  • The Science of Learning and The Field of Educational Neuroscience

Scholars brought their thoughts and classroom situations to the discussions in the sessions, enriching their colleagues’ continued training as well as their own. Many also took the opportunity to ask specific questions to speakers at the end of the sessions to broaden their knowledge from more experienced teachers who may be teaching from a different environment from them.

The day concluded with ‘Remote Learning: What should we keep?’ delivered by John Coats from Notre Dame High School, Sheffield to address the current climate in teaching with restrictions due to the global pandemic and reflections on best practices to plan and deliver lessons.

The Future Teaching Scholars team would also like to give a big thank you again to Alan Denton, Emily Giubertoni, Isabelle Goetschel, John Coats, Laura O’Brien, Rebecca Turvill, Roger Terry, Sasha Fraser for sharing their knowledge and expertise with our Scholars.

To catch up on our conference day on Twitter, follow #FTSConf2020.

Virtual Scholar to Scholar event

Scholar to Scholar event – reflection on first term

Future Teaching Scholars recently held the first virtual Scholar to Scholar event. This evening session gave our Scholars who started their Initial Teaching Training (ITT) this term the opportunity to hear from our Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) about their experiences in the previous year and the transition to qualified teacher.

Sophie Jeropolous, Felicia Hebbes and Katie Karran-Antrobus who recently completed their ITT year reflected on their first term as NQTs.

Sophie described the difference between ITT and her experience as an NQT so far: “This year just feels different, you don’t have someone observing you once a week so don’t feel like you have to adapt your lesson to satisfy that one person. They are just your classes from start to end for the whole year. I can experiment more because they are my classes, see what works for me and what works for them.”

Diving into how this year’s events have affected building relationships with her class, Felicia shares: “I had a class last year who I was really dreading, they were really chatty and out of control. I felt that I was able to get them under control a bit during ITT. It was unclear whether I’d have them again this year and with going into lockdown, everything was a bit uncertain. When they all got back in September and they walked into my classroom, they started cheering. Which is absolutely lovely and you do get classes who at the start are difficult but they become your favourites.”

Katie shared a story of achievement from one of her students. “One girl just struggled all the way through school and one lesson we were matching a clock with normal time to 24 hour time and she did it all on her own. She didn’t need my help once. She didn’t need the TA’s help once. She got everything spot on. I was so proud of her; in that moment she had the confidence and determination and that made me feel good too.”

After hearing these inspiring stories and challenges, all Scholars at the event had the chance to ask the speakers questions, providing an informal space for peer learning. In the second half of the event, Scholars had further discussions with the key speakers on best practices and tips for the classroom before feeding back to the group.

Tips from our NQT Scholars for ITT students:
  • Behaviour management is always the most daunting part of teaching standards, don’t worry if you still finding the best way that works for you and your class.
  • Good is good enough. Throughout your ITT year you may feel you are getting more wrong than right. You can get yourself down if you strive for too much perfection, so take time to acknowledge what’s going well too.
  • Know where to find good resources and if you see something you like, save them ahead of time even if you are not teaching the topic for another few months.
  • Ask fellow teachers for help when you need to, this includes lesson planning and knowing who your first point of call for general matters is. They are unlikely to say no, and it helps to build a rapport with those around you.
  • Have good communication with your students’ family. This way, if you have bad news it is easier to deliver and if it is good news, a win-win for everyone.

We are looking forward to seeing our Scholars at the ITT and NQT National Conference in December and hosting another Scholar to Scholar event next term.

Scholar Stories – first weeks of ITT

The second cohort of Future Teaching Scholars programme has now started their Initial Teacher Training (ITT). Scholar Annie Bevan is sharing her experience.

“I’m so glad to finally be teaching in front of my own classes! The maths department at HACH all have been so welcoming and helpful with answering any questions I have. I feel quite lucky as I have a NQT in the department as well, so he has been able to help me out quite a lot as he knows what it was like last year.

“I had to deal with a safeguarding and pastoral issue the first week of term which has been resolved, but it was a really good learning experience. I could act on the system of reporting an issue and finding out the outcome.

We are extremely proud of all our FTS Scholars who continue to impress with their enthusiasm and determination. They are passionate subject specialists with three years’ experience, who are committed to effective teaching and learning,

If your school has appropriate vacancies for scholars to complete their Initial Teacher Training (ITT) then please get in touch with us.

FTS National Conference Goes Online

Held on 11-12 September 2020, FTS National Conference transformed from one of the most inspiring education face-to-face events of the year into a resounding online success.

The Future Teaching Scholars annual conference is a real highlight of the year, where we bring our future teachers together to discover more about school life and the role of a teacher, as well as developing their vital skills. Scholars benefit from a range of workshops led by expert practitioners and are able to share their experiences with their fellow Scholars from across the country.

Future Teaching Scholars, developed and delivered by Education Development Trust and funded by the Department for Education, aims to develop the classroom skills and confidence of aspiring teachers, as they study undergraduate courses in maths and physics at some of England’s top universities.

The conference aims to introduce Scholars to range a topics that are vital for new teachers, helping to prepare them for their Initial Teacher Training. Sessions included how teachers can make effective use of technology, approaches to behaviour management and classroom culture, and practical strategies for scaffold learning.

Usually hosted in Nottingham, with a number of cohorts coming together under one roof to take part in two-days of interactive sessions, this year required us to take a different approach. Although it wasn’t possible for our Scholars to be together in person, we wanted to ensure that they didn’t miss out on this important event. Bringing such a large and complex conference online doesn’t come without challenges, but it was important for us that we were able to offer the same opportunities for interaction and discussion.

As an organisation, we know the benefits of face-to-face learning, so we felt there was a real need to retain and replicate these benefits when moving to an online conference programme.

Through leveraging technology to allow for interactivity and ensuring this was plugged into each session, we also developed the format of workshops to allow Scholars to engage with the content, work together in groups to discuss and explore, and discover more about each other’s experiences whilst being able to develop their practical classroom skills. The suite of interactive sessions, each hosted by a member of the programme team, made full use of the functionality on offer including breakout rooms for smaller group discussions, polls allowing Scholars to instantly share thoughts and feedback with us, and even a mixed cohort maths and physics based quiz led by Rob Eastaway, Director of Maths Inspiration.

Overall, the conference was a resounding success with 100% of Scholars telling us they were satisfied or very satisfied with the event.

Scholars that attended the conference told us:

“I really enjoyed the breakout zones, the transition was smooth from breakout zones to conference.”

“Although it is not as authentic as the in person conference, I found the online virtual conference surprisingly enjoyable and felt I have learnt a lot after attending!”

“I found the first session on challenging schools very interesting, I had never considered working in a challenging school before, but am now thinking that could be something I’d like to do in the future.”

We would like to say huge thank you to our fantastic speakers and to our Scholars who attended the event! We look forward to seeing you all again next year!

Learn to Teach Online

Summer is here! August is a perfect time to rest, relax and prepare for the new academic year. For our Scholars, developing their teaching skillset is an ongoing process. When schools return in September, classroom activities will interlace with online learning, and delivering physics and maths lessons in an engaging and stimulating style will be as challenging and important as ever.

The pool of resources to help and support teachers is vast. We have collected some ideas and recommendations to dive into the world of teaching online.

TECHNOLOGY

Zoom platform

Zoom is widely used by teachers and educators to deliver interactive classes, webinars and group discussions. Free training and pre-recorded lessons can be found on their website. Start learning >>

Google for Education

Learn basic and advanced skills across Google tools with free online training courses designed for educators of all levels. Start exploring >>

ENGAGEMENT

Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes

Paperback by Flower Darby and James M. Lang. It includes current best practices around educational technologies, strategies to build community and collaboration, and minor changes you can make in your online teaching practice, small but impactful adjustments that result in significant learning gains. Read more >>

SAFEGUARDING

UK Government guidelines on safeguarding and remote education

Understand how to follow safeguarding procedures when planning remote education strategies and teaching remotely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Read more >>

Have you found other useful resources? Share them in the comments!

ITT Job Applications and Interviews

Many of our Scholars have been asking what to expect from the third year of the programme, when they start applying for teacher training positions. Cohort 2 Scholar Olivia Harvey has shared her experience of successful transition into her ITT (Initial Teacher Training) year, and we are sure that her tips will help other Scholars to prepare for year 3.

Olivia was moving to a new area at the end of her degree, and was balancing her final year at university with the third year on the FTS programme along with the job search for ITT in a new location.

Olivia said: “At the end of year two of the programme I had received talks and workshops during our training days about what to expect in the coming year. It helped me to digest the task ahead and develop an understanding of what was required of me going forward.”

Being highly organised, Olivia set time aside and began her job search after finishing a period of university examinations. Knowing in advance what days best suited her calendar and the university schedule helped in scheduling informal visits and job interviews with prospective schools. She used various job search sites and signed up for alerts from the government teaching vacancy website. However, Olivia’s best job opportunity presented itself through contact with her new RTC (Regional Training Centre) Coordinator and the head of her SCITT provider (School Centred Initial Teacher Training).

As COVID-19 struck and schools closed, the possibility of an informal chat with the headteacher of a school in her desired area became available. The informal chat went well, as did a virtual interview that followed. Olivia followed the interview advice from the FTS employment zone on the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) and other sources, preparing answers to questions and completing lots of research about the school to ensure she could evidence her understanding of the school’s key values. Olivia was successful at interview and received a job offer the same day.

“For me the interview process, despite being different and being nervous, offered a great way to find out more about the school and demonstrate my desire to teach,” Olivia recalls.

“One tip I would give is not to forget that as well as being an aspiring teacher, you are also a person who has other interests and talents. Discussing these can help show how you would fit in the larger school community and not just in your classroom.”

Here are the four key tips from Olivia for a successful transition into ITT:

  • Get in touch with your RTC Coordinator and SCITT lead as early as possible
  • Research the school before applying to make sure it would be a suitable environment for you
  • Prepare answers to key interview questions
  • Set time aside to job search

Good luck with your job search!

Scholars secure NQT roles

Education Development Trust’s Future Teaching Scholars Programme is a unique and innovative route into teaching, funded by the Department for Education. Following four years of hard work and dedication, we are very pleased to report that all of our first cohort of scholars have secured roles as newly qualified teachers in schools across England.

Having completed their undergraduate degrees and Initial Teacher Training (ITT) year, our scholars are now set to qualify as teachers and will be taking on their new roles from September. All 31 scholars have secured jobs in schools across the country, from Cornwall to North Yorkshire. This is a particularly significant achievement in the context of the disruption to the education system caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Of these scholars, 12 will be moving to new schools, while 19 will be remaining with their current school following their ITT.

Among these schools is Brigshaw High School in West Yorkshire, where two of our scholars have been offered permanent employment. “It was hard to believe our Future Scholars had only just graduated; they were stunning!  So good, in fact, the school has employed both on a permanent basis,” said James Brookes, Deputy Head. “I would recommend the employment of Future Teaching Scholars without reservation; their experience in schools gave them a great start and the recruitment onto the programme is clearly stringent – both scholars are highly qualified and highly talented individuals.”

As part of the Future Teaching Scholars programme, scholars are offered support by Education Development Trust as they look for suitable roles in their area of preference, as well as advice on applications and interviews – especially in the context of remote interviews throughout the period of school closures – and guidance around contracts and paperwork. One of our scholars, Amy Petry, commented: “Everyone at Future Teaching Scholars has been so supportive during this process, and guided me through what would have been a very intimidating process if I was doing it alone.”

The programme and scholars have also received excellent feedback from regional training centres. Following a call to mark the scholars’ completion of their ITT, Emily Giubertoni, Regional Training Centre Lead at Bishop Challoner Catholic College said: “I can’t believe it’s four years since we first met them, and now they are qualified teachers! It has been such a brilliant programme to be involved with, and there was so much love for FTS on the call. Comparing themselves to other trainees (and even NQTs) at the start of the year, they are realising how well prepared they were. And the mentors were so full of excitement about being involved with the programme as well.”

Our scholars will receive a further two years of support from the Future Teaching Scholars Programme as they establish themselves in the profession as early career teachers. We look forward to watching their careers progress further.

For more information on the Future Teaching Scholars Programme, click here.

Originally published on EducationDevelopmentTrust.com

Scholars Continue To Prepare For ITT

The Future Teaching Scholars programme is now in its fifth year, with our very first Scholars more than half way through their Initial Teacher Training (ITT).

In the first three years of the programme our Scholars study a maths or physics degree at university whilst gaining teaching experience. They spend time in schools and have many classroom experiences including teaching, team teaching, lesson study and have spent time learning about creating the conditions for high quality learning to take place. This structured programme of learning is delivered by outstanding Teaching Schools, and prepares them to teach.

All of our Cohort 1 Scholars secured employment and started ITT in September 2019, and our Cohort 2 Scholars have been busy seeking job opportunities for September 2020.

To date, we have seen 84 invitations to interviews for our Cohort 2 Scholars and 45 successful job offers! Scholars have also been interviewed for positions alongside qualified teachers and successfully secured the role, which reflects the quality of Scholars’ interview techniques and preparation.

We’ve received excellent feedback from head teachers, who are impressed with their experience, expertise and professionalism. Chris Ellison, Deputy Headteacher at Kennet School offered a role to a Cohort 1 scholar, telling us:

“We were really impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of the applicant we recruited through the FTT programme. It is clear that the programme is an excellent way to find and nurture talent. The guidance we received from the FTS programme throughout the recruitment programme was prompt and helpful and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”

Applying for jobs and attending interviews can be a daunting experience, but our scholars benefit from one-to-one support making the process as painless as possible. Our scholar Joe was pleased to be offered a teaching role at Stockport School:

“Future Teaching Scholars have been incredibly helpful in my application process, from helping to make my CV as good as possible to helping me with sections of the application form! The experience I’ve gained over the last 3 years have undoubtedly gave me a huge advantage over people that are at the same stage and looking for jobs!”

We are looking for more schools that have appropriate vacancies for scholars to complete their Initial Teacher Training (ITT) in 2020, as well as 2021. If you think that your learners deserve to be taught by passionate subject specialists who have three years’ experience and are committed to effective teaching and learning, then please get in touch.

National Thank a Teacher Day

May 20th is National Thank A Teacher Day!

It will mark a moment when we, as a nation, can come together to say thank you to teachers across the country who are making a huge difference to young people’s lives, not only now during these unprecedented times, but every day of the year. In this period of remote schooling, in which many parents are attempting to educate their children at home, the hugely important role that teachers play is perhaps more recognisable than ever!

The campaign is led by the Teaching Awards Trust, in partnership with the Department for Education and a variety of education partners, including Education Development Trust. The Teaching Awards Trust is asking as many people as possible to share their message of thanks, ideally in a video clip. The idea is for these videos to be an expression of the individual’s choosing – perhaps singing or miming a song of thanks to their teacher, writing and/or reciting a poem, or sharing a picture or a drawing.

We are proud to be working with dedicated trainee teachers, with our first Cohort soon to be achieving their Qualified Teacher Status!

How has your teacher or school helped you? This could be a current or old teacher, a university lecturer, or one who is helping you through your teacher training. Let them know with a special thank you message, a video or a picture.

You can also use the hashtags #ThankATeacher and #HowWillYouSayThankYou on Twitter.

For more information, visit https://thankateacher.co.uk/thank-a-teacher-day/

A Deputy Head’s experience

The support of the Future Teaching Scholars programme continues after university graduation into the first three years of the Scholars’ teaching career. As our Scholars in Year 4 of the programme come to the end of Spring term of their Initial Teacher Training year, a Deputy Head shares his thoughts about his Scholars and the programme. 

James Brookes, from Brigshaw High School in West Yorkshire, has employed Jess and Ben since September 2019:

The process of employing a Future Teaching Scholar was straightforward. We attended the recruitment event and had a chance to get to know which Scholars would be the ‘best fit’ for our school. They visited the school and we set up an interview. Their interview day compromised of teaching a lesson to a small group of students, a student panel and a formal interview; through their school experience and work with Red Kite Teaching Training they were well prepared. Red Kite were superbly supportive throughout the process.

It was hard to believe our Future Teaching Scholars had only just graduated; they were stunning! So good, in fact, the school has employed both on a permanent basis.

Both are a central part of their departments and fully contribute to the wider life of the school; we missed them terribly when they were on their second placement.

I would recommend the employment of Future Teaching Scholars without reservation; their experience in schools gave them a great start and the recruitment onto the programme is clearly stringent – both Scholars are highly qualified and highly talented individuals.

Research skills

“The online modules have all been relevant, and very well linked to the in-school experiences – allowing for the opportunity to see current research in practice!” 

Future Teaching Scholars have the opportunity to explore an area of teaching that they are interested in when they carry out a research project in Year 3, supported by the Regional Training Centre research leads who facilitate the projects.

The Research Project is allied to the Teachers’ Standards and gives Scholars the chance to develop their understanding, knowledge and practice. This includes deciding a research focus, conducting a literature review, collecting and analyzing data, writing up findings and presenting the research outcomes.

Scholars prepare for their research work in their Regional Training and Networking Days as well as via online study modules. Scholars can also access all of Education Development Trust’s educational research which supports the aim of transforming lives by improving education around the world and is free for anyone to download on the website.

The research project encourages the Scholars to think broadly, stay up to date with the latest educational research, remain analytical and use that knowledge to inform their teaching practice, both during teacher training and throughout their careers.

Take up the Challenge – IDM 2021

“Mathematics is Everywhere” was the theme for the International Day of Mathematics which took place on 14 March 2020, a worldwide celebration.

The International Day of Mathematics project is led by the International Mathematical Union and is supported by numerous organizations from all over the world. On 26 November 2019, the 40th General Conference of UNESCO approved the Proclamation of 14 March (Pi Day), as the International Day of Mathematics (IDM).

One look at the IDM website shows the level of enthusiasm and interest in mathematics and its many applications around the globe. Events and activities were scheduled, enabling participation for both students and the general public in schools, museums, libraries and other spaces.

The Future Teaching Scholars programme is part of this wider community, promoting the importance of mathematics in education. One of our Scholars, Hannah Ellison, explains her passion for maths and why she is motivated to share her subject knowledge:

“I love my subject as it’s the universal language and offers so many opportunities. This is why I wish to spread the love of maths to the next generation of learners… I believe teachers have a huge responsibility and I would love to be part of this challenge.”

The IDM is asking for ideas for the 2021 theme for the International Day of Mathematics. They aim to “make it unique each year, spark creativity and bring light to connections between mathematics and all sorts of fields, concepts and ideas”.

If you have an idea for next year’s theme, send in suggestions on their website by the deadline of 14 April 2020. Best of luck!

The Mathematical Story competition

The Young Mathematical Story Author (YMSA) competition is an annual international competition set up to encourage young mathematics learners (8-15 years old) from around the world to embed their mathematics learning in a meaningful and engaging context through creating their own mathematical story picture book. This competition is organised by MathsThroughStories.org.

Why now encourage maths students in your school to create a story! The judging panel will be looking for stories that clearly explain and embed a chosen mathematical concept in a meaningful context and have an engaging plot. To read the full entry criteria and terms and conditions, please click here.

The winner in each of the two entry categories will receive an award of £100, and their school will also receive £100. The winner will also have their own profile, their school’s profile and their winning entry featured on the MathsThroughStories.org website.

The closing date for entries is Friday 27 March 2020, and authors of winning and shortlisted entries will be notified of the outcome via their teacher by Monday 11 May 2020.

Best of luck to all those that apply!

We hear from the head teachers

Scholars on the Future Teaching Scholars programme are required to secure employment as an unqualified teacher prior to starting their Initial Teacher Training year. Each Scholar receives employment support to find, apply to and accept a teaching role for their ITT year in a location of their choice.

Mark McKelvie, Principal of Pudsey Grangefield School near Leeds, recruited two Scholars for their ITT year – here’s what Mark had to say about the programme.

How did you hear about Future Teaching Scholars?

I heard about FTS through our membership with the Red Kite Teaching Alliance. We then had several applications for a maths vacancy in January 2019. We were the first school in the country to recruit Future Teaching Scholars and we were very proud to do so. I am a member of the Royal Society’s Advisory Committee for Mathematics Education Circle of Influence and I have been very concerned about the lack of high-quality graduates.

Now that your Scholars are coming to the end of their first term, how have you found their progress so far? Have there been any challenges they’ve come up against?

I think the students have made good progress. There have been the normal developmental issues such as ensuring their behaviour management skills are good, but both of our FTS colleagues have adapted well. We ensured that our two best staff mentored the Scholars. This is crucial if you want to ensure they get a high-quality experience.

What advice would you give to a school considering employing a Scholar?

I would strongly recommend schools consider the system we used. A member of staff was retiring at the end of the summer in 2019. As the Scholars start on a reduced timetable, we chose to recruit two Scholars and paid them the top of the unqualified teacher’s rate. This meant that they were approximately £1000 less than they would move on to on the Main Pay Scale. This meant we were well within the budget for a single highly qualified teacher such as the colleague who was retiring.

Taking on two Scholars meant we could start them on 0.5 of a timetable each but combined they could cover the 1 fte timetable gap which was left by the colleague who retired. This is a critical point – it is easier to take on two Scholars from a timetabling point of view.

It was important that although we were taking on two Scholars, we only needed 1 fte by the end of the academic year. As a result, we appointed the best candidate to a permanent post and the second-best candidate was given a one-year temporary contract. This provides us with a useful reserve if any vacancies arise during the academic year.

Have you got any final words about the Future Teaching Scholars programme from the Principal’s perspective?

We would not hesitate to take on Scholars again. It had been a great experience for them and provided a valuable source of high-quality maths teachers for us.

If you are interested in employing a Future Teaching Scholar for their ITT year in your school, please contact us to receive more information.

Scholars settling in at schools

“The most helpful part of being on the programme has to be the support that is always available, I know that come rain or shine if I needed help or support for whatever came my way, I could either contact my RTC or anyone on the FTS team and they would provide the assistance I needed.”

“I was always told at school that if you failed to plan then you planned to fail, and that mantra carries through strong when it comes to teaching. When I first started out, I learnt that no matter how much you can try to prepare for it, behaviour management issues will always arise and that students love to talk. But once you get past that, you uncover why you go into the profession. Being responsible for facilitating so many ‘eureka’ moments is such an enjoyable feeling.

My first month, it felt like all I did was plan, teach, sleep and repeat, where I had little time to do other things. Knowing where to look for quality resources or creating your own took too much time. What helped was being able to talk to my fellow scholars for good sites to look, as well the Lesson Plan Library created by FTS in the Development Zone. So over time, as I gather more proven resources or sources of this, my planning time has slowly begun to decrease.

The FTS programme has helped me so much with settling into my school. I was lucky that the majority of the school visits and observations set up by FTS that I had whilst at university were hosted by the school that I would go on to work at. This gave me huge insights into the school before I started and reduced my transition period since it gave me a little familiarity with the structure of the school and my future department.”

Sharing tips for ITT

Scholars meet at the end of their first term working full-time in schools to share experiences and learn from each other.

In December 2019 the very first Future Teaching Scholars ITT year National Conference was held in Manchester. Scholars that started ITT and working full-time in schools in September 2019 came along to share their experiences, attend a series of sessions led by our Outstanding Regional Training Centre schools, and to have a good old fashioned catch up!

The first part of the day had Scholars working in small groups to capture the challenges they had faced in their first term in teaching, the strategies they had used to overcome these, and top tips to share with Scholars yet to start their ITT year. These top tips range from how to handle behavioural issues and whole-class disruption to ensuring a good work-life balance.

Scholars also had the opportunity to attend sessions delivered by staff from our Regional Training Centre network that focussed on a whole range of disciplines, including “managing workload and building resilience” and “the care and training of your voice”.

We have stayed in regular contact with our Scholars that started working in schools in September 2019, and have had such great feedback of their experiences so far. Our scholar Jesse, working at Marlborough Church of England School, told us:

“I probably taught my best lesson today. Students were stuck on the starter so I had to think on my feet and adapt my lesson to suit. It ended in a practical that everybody enjoyed and were talking brilliantly about the science. I’ve just read some of their books and what they’ve written is brilliant so I’m chuffed we managed to meet the learning intentions even with a difficult start.”

Scholars snapped up by schools

The Future Teaching Scholars programme is now in its fifth year, with our very first scholars part way through their Initial Teacher Training (ITT).

In the first three years of the programme our scholars study a maths or physics degree at university whilst gaining teaching experience. They spend time in schools and have many classroom experiences including teaching, team teaching, lesson study and have spent time learning about creating the conditions for high quality learning to take place. This structured programme of learning is delivered by outstanding Teaching Schools, and prepares them to teach.

All of our Cohort 1 scholars secured employment and started ITT in September 2019, and our Cohort 2 Scholars are now seeking job opportunities for September 2020. We’ve received excellent feedback from head teachers, who are impressed with their experience, expertise and professionalism. Chris Ellison, Head of Maths at Kennett School offered a role to a Cohort 1 scholar, telling us:

“We were really impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of the applicant we recruited through the FTS programme. It is clear that the programme is an excellent way to find and nurture talent. The guidance we received from the FTS programme throughout the recruitment programme was prompt and helpful and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”

Applying for jobs and attending interviews can be a daunting experience, but our scholars benefit from one to one support making the process as painless as possible. Our scholar Joe was pleased to be offered a teaching role at Stockport School:

“Future Teaching Scholars have been incredibly helpful in my application process, from helping to make my CV as good as possible to helping me with sections of the application form! The experience I’ve gained over the last 3 years have undoubtedly gave me a huge advantage over people that are at the same stage and looking for jobs!.”

We are looking for more schools that have appropriate vacancies for scholars to complete their Initial Teacher Training (ITT) in 2020. If you think that your learners deserve to be taught by passionate subject specialists who have three years experience and are committed to effective teaching and learning, then please get in touch.