Initial Teacher Training
What our trainee teachers say
"My training year at Kenilworth School has been an extremely positive and rewarding experience, where there was fantastic support within the partnership. My subject mentor was extremely knowledgeable and experienced, and the encouragement and enthusiasm offered was outstanding. I was regularly encouraged to reflect on my progress to date and set relevant targets to further my development. We also attended training sessions after school which were beneficial in linking the theory that we learned at University to the practice that we were delivering at school."
"Due to the nature of the training course being based in school, I felt like a trusted member of staff from a very early stage. I was fully supported by staff in my placement school and in the wider Alliance, and I felt that I was able to ask questions freely. The Alliance training days were tailored to the stages we were at in our training, and I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with my fellow trainees and discuss our progress. I was encouraged to reflect regularly on my progress and set targets, and so by the end of my training I felt fully prepared to begin life as an NQT."
"The support and training provided by Kenilworth and Campion has been fantastic over this last year as a school direct Physics trainee. By applying through school direct rather than core I could choose which school I wanted to train at. The mixture of 4 days at school, and 1 day at university has been a great way to learn on the job and also spend time focusing on more academic topics. The course is hard work, but rewarding, with resilience being one characteristic many of the trainees have buckets of. I would definitely recommend the partnership and Warwick university as a place to study."
"Through taking the School Direct Trainee route at Kenilworth School, I have had support that has gone above and beyond. My Subject Mentor has been fantastic, organised and approachable at all times, and the meetings within the Alliance days and training evenings by the Professional mentor have been extremely informative and supportive. It has been one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences that I have ever had. The school’s ethos of responsibility, resilience, resourcefulness, reflection and reasoning have encouraged me to push myself further, and constantly reflect on my own teaching practice."
"The Schools Direct training route at Kenilworth School allowed me to take on the responsibility for classes early on in my training and this matched well with my expectations and ambitions for a challenge. The mentor system and friendly ethos around the school meant that I received excellent support from knowledgeable and experienced teachers and I was able to quickly develop and improve my teaching practice. I found that it was imperative to show resilience and maintain a growth mind-set in order to overcome the challenges that I was faced with throughout the year. Additionally a willingness to listen to feedback and to reflect on my own practice has given me the skills to be able to continuously adapt my teaching to the needs of students.
It has been both rewarding and enjoyable to have played a part in inspiring and motivating students to achieve their goals and ambitions. I have enjoyed building professional relationships with staff and students and look forward to using the skills and experiences gained over the past year to become a better teacher in the years to come."
"The training offered at Kenilworth has given me an excellent start in teaching. I have had the opportunity to develop my skills in a supportive department, with a Subject Mentor and staff that are willing to help wherever possible.
The school ethos is to promote reflection, resilience, resourcefulness and responsibility in the pupils and, as a trainee, I feel like I have also developed in these areas. The year has been hard work, challenging every day, but the progress I have made since the start has been very much shaped by the positive learning environment at Kenilworth."
I spent only 6 weeks at Kenilworth School, my complementary placement for school direct. Teacher training is tough, you expect it to be a difficult year but then the reality hits. The expectations on teachers is high and as a trainee you are observed all the time, you must be prepared to be criticised and the greatest critic will inevitably be yourself. When I arrived at Kenilworth I was beginning to question if I had made the right career choice, it can be both the best and worst career at the same time. You start to question why you wanted to be a teacher. It is this time as a trainee to think about the reasons you chose the profession and it is important to feel supported and nurtured by your school. On my own personal journey teacher training coincided with the birth of my first child and juggling these two life changing events is perhaps the craziest situation that a person can put themselves through.
At Kenilworth there exists an environment where you can grow as a teacher and feel supported. I had a fantastic mentor that was always able to offer practical advice to guide me to make adjustment and set realistic targets to improve. The Japanese have the best word for it Kaizen, “small steps” continuously improving one step at a time. They let you make mistakes and then help you learn from them and most importantly they let you know when you do something well. They encourage first. They share their own experiences of teacher training and this lets you know that they felt the same pressures and difficulties. Knowing this and seeing them as polished professionals helps to put a perspective on your own experience. I also had mentors at every turn from every teacher all ready to offer free advice.
As a new teacher the most difficult challenge is how to manage a class and it is so easy to start to think inwardly at yourself and take everything personally when the students do not act as expected. At Kenilworth I found myself surrounded by great students. I found that for the first time as a teacher I was noticing the good students most, the hard-working students and the characters that make a class a vibrant enjoyable place to work. When you truly notice these fantastic individuals with aspirations, ambitions and hopes then there is an inevitable change in your own perceptions. When you realise that it is the students that count more than your own journey then you start to really focus on how to become a better teacher, you start to feel a responsibility to do a good job. You look at how to deliver learning in a fun efficient way and your effort doubles. When you go wrong you feel it, analyse it and correct it. You wait in anticipation for the end of topic test and hope you have helped deliver the results the students deserve.
In my last lesson the students gave me a thank you poster and I could feel a tear collecting. There is no better recognition than from the students themselves. As I got in my car I knew that I was going to miss Kenilworth School, its ethos and the part that it has played in my teacher journey. Kenilworth has reminded me why I wanted to be a teacher.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my School Direct training at Kenilworth School and feel that my time here has set me up very well for my career in teaching. Whilst the year has been challenging, the support that I have received from my subject mentor, my department and my professional mentor has been excellent, giving me the confidence to succeed.
What I really liked about the structure of the training year was that I was able to develop at my own pace, deciding when I felt ready to teach my first class and when I wanted my timetable to increase. This helped to ease some of the anxieties that I had prior to starting the course. Moreover, I have had the chance to observe a range of teachers from a variety of subjects and have learned a lot from being exposed to different teaching styles. My subject mentor has been especially supportive; she made herself approachable from day one and her positive feedback on my teaching has been fundamental to my growth as a practitioner.
Some of the highlights of my year include taking ownership for my own classes, getting a paper about teaching Shakespeare published in an academic journal, and securing an NQT job at Kenilworth. It has been a whirlwind of a year and I am truly grateful for the opportunities offered to me at Kenilworth School.