What people say

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As a trainee teacher, I found XYZ Primary to be a very warm, friendly and supportive school. Staff were open and encouraging throughout my placement, and M could not have been more inspiring as a mentor. Teaching at the school was creative, fun and interactive so the children really enjoyed their learning. During my six week placement, I saw real tangible developments in the reading and writing abilities of the children in my Year One class, which was down to the mentor’s highly effective approach to Literacy. 

Former trainee

Just to let you know that Ofsted seemed to go really well and what added to the success was the amazing support of the SCITT trainees.  I can truly say that A has been absolutely amazing in supporting myself, the class and Senior Leadership Team.   A’s commitment has been second to none.  One of the inspectors commented on how supportive A was with helping the children.

So thank you, you do a fantastic job in preparing and supporting all trainees.  My experience of mentoring this year has been a most enjoyable and memorable one.

SCITT Mentor

Having come from a musical background, I made my first steps towards teaching by taking music workshops for young children and their parent/ career. This then led me to teaching music part time within nurseries. After gaining some valuable experience, I soon wanted to teach the full curriculum to my own class. This led me to researching all the various teaching courses. I chose Wandsworth SCITT due to the equal mix of course teaching and hands on placement, making the theory immediately relevant to you in the classroom. The small, friendly environment within SCITT creates a comfortable and nurturing atmosphere for which to prosper to your best abilities – something I hope to achieve for my current pupils. After finishing SCITT, I am now enjoying my first year teaching Year 1 in a neighbouring borough.

Former trainee

My time on school placement was a great one for me in terms of enjoyment and professional development. From my experience, the children at this school are developed well both academically and socially. I was particularly impressed by the schools’ ’Nuture Group’, which catered for children with social and emotional difficulties.

The school has a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. I felt supported by my mentor and other staff at all times. I found my mentor to be a skilled teacher who was well trained and skilled at developing me as a trainee. Her comments and advice have had a huge positive impact upon my teaching practice.

Former trainee

I feel particularly fortunate to have been placed at this school. I have learnt so much from my mentor and have been supported and made welcome by all members of staff. It is everything a school should be, with inspirational and dedicated teachers offering a safe and supportive learning environment where children are motivated to achieve their potential.  Above all it is a happy community where children feel welcome, safe and where they are valued. 

Thank you for placing me here! I’m enjoying it so much.

Former trainee

I wanted to let you know how encouraging and exciting your course has been so far.  The whole process from application to interview through to induction has had a genuine and warm approach, bringing out the best in candidates. Having been with you for a week now, it is clear that this supportive and encouraging ethos runs throughout the course.

Thank you both.

Former trainee

I don’t think you can ever fully be prepared to teach, as things can change instantly working with children. But Wandsworth SCITT was the best preparation possible. J

Former trainee

“Over the years I have recruited many quality NQTs (at least 12) from the Wandsworth SCITT. A number have also been promoted internally and now make up some of my best middle managers e.g. the following are current ex-SCITTs: G&T Co-ordinator, RE Co-ordinator and Geography Co-ordinator. 

I select SCITT trainees since I am impressed with the quality of their teaching experiences and practices. They move almost effortlessly onto the NQT Induction course and have all developed excellent attitudes to collaborative learning and teaching.

I have been particularly impressed with the number of male teachers and those from ethnic minorities”.

Consortium Headteacher

“Over past 8 years I have appointed SCITT graduates for the following reasons:

Can be sure of all aspects of the quality of the training received

Can be sure of the speed of dealing with any issues large or small arising

Can be sure of the accuracy and quality of references

All this leads to more effective and efficient induction process

Can be sure of appointing candidates with skills that complement the existing school team leading to more effective teams”.

Consortium Headteacher

Hi, I’m Louise, Nursery teacher in Wandsworth. I did the SCITT course 6 years ago and am still proud to say to everyone I meet that I love my job. I am proud to work with each and every child in my class and I love the fact that they absolutely love coming to school every day. Who can say that about the people they work with? 

My school has a long history of mentoring trainee teachers and supporting newly qualified teachers. This is also one of the many things the SCITT course provides – support and help that gets you where you need to be. Thanks to a really well grounded start to my career I feel that I will soon be ready to use my experience to help the future waves of excited and motivated trainee teachers make their first steps towards taking responsibility for a class of children. Last year I started working towards an MA in Professional Studies with the IOE and carried out a research study on parent-school partnerships. This classroom based research opened my eyes to more and more ways to become a better teacher, the best that I can be in fact, because the children in my class deserve it. They deserve to be taught by the best people out there. We can’t change children but we can embrace who they are and lead them in the right direction. In the Early Years it is our job to follow the children’s interests and extend them from where they are in their own personal development, therefore holding true to the concept of the unique child. That’s why I think the Foundation Stage is the place to be. So come and join me, teach in the Early Years! And don’t forget, you there will always be a ball of playdough to take your frustrations out on! 

Former trainee

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I am now in my sixth year of teaching since qualifying at SCITT and everyday I feel that it is me who is still learning! I now know that I had the best possible start to my career by doing SCITT. 

Having spoken to many friends of mine who are teachers themselves I realise that Wandsworth SCITT really is a unique place to train. I love the fact that it is small which gives it a personal and friendly atmosphere. I made firm friends with other like-minded people on the course and I am still in touch with them today. I still call them up for ideas, advice and support…or just to arrange to go for a drink! 

The support I received from teachers at SCITT was great. The staff and lecturers were welcoming and generous with their time. The lectures were interactive, engaging and gave lots of practical ideas to use in the classroom – I soon found that this was essential!

I had a positive experience on both my teaching placements. My mentors were supportive and encouraging throughout. 

Overall, I feel that SCITT was the perfect starting place for primary teaching, and confirmed to me that I was making the right career move. There were many tough days and hours of work, but the friends I made there, and the SCITT teachers helped and supported me. Your initial teacher training year is challenging wherever you go, but SCITT is an intimate and fun environment to do it in, and you get lots of essential ‘hands on’ experience in lectures and in the classroom.

Former trainee

The decision to train to be a teacher is a big one. It is daunting for anyone but a mature student faces an even greater array of obstacles and doubts. The wonderful thing about the SCITT course is that they understand that and they do their utmost to make things easier for you. To start with, the fact that the course only has a small number of students is a huge advantage. I felt that I got personal attention and support because the people running the course knew me and understood my situation. Sometimes balancing studying and the demands of family life and running a home is tricky but it is far less stressful when you are dealing with people that are sympathetic and have the time to give you guidance so that you can succeed. Of course a PGCE course is a big commitment and hard work but it felt like someone was smoothing my way not exacerbating the difficulties.

When it comes to the school-based training your placement will be well-chosen and your teacher/mentor will positively want you in their classroom. Having discussed this with other PGCE students I realise that this is not always so. I found that age was an advantage when I was in school as the pupils and parents accepted me as a teacher as I looked too old to be a student! 

Although it was necessary to work hard I enjoyed my year on the SCITT course immensely.I really appreciated the lectures and the workshops. It was a sheer delight to be stretching myself and learning again. If you are feeling rusty about writing dissertations help is on hand to get you back in the mode. There’s help too with improving your computer skills so that you will soon be putting together PowerPoints and using an inter-active whiteboard etc. The best thing and the most enduring is the friendship that develops over the year together. SCITT attracts a lot of mature students so you will not be alone but in fact I made lots of wonderful, younger friends. I still phone my SCITT friends when I’m despairing or needing advice and we still meet up to celebrate and commiserate the highs and lows in our teaching careers!

Mature students have SO much to bring to the course – an enthusiasm and appreciation for learning and a wealth of invaluable life experience. My mum always quotes Dr. Spock, whose childcare book she consulted regularly, “You know more than you think you do.” So don’t under-estimate yourself – go for it!

Former trainee

The change of career was accompanied by a change of location, as I opted for a move from North to South and a place on the Wandsworth Primary Schools’ Consortium SCITT course. 

The course itself had a reputation for excellence, boasting a healthy balance of theoretical and practical content, weighted in favour of the latter. Being housed in the lead consortium school – as opposed to a large educational institution - added to the charm of the course and provided the perfect supportive environment in which to learn the ropes. 

Perhaps the greatest testimony to the course was that I felt thoroughly prepared – albeit thoroughly nervous – as I entered my NQT year. 

Of course I could have stayed in the North of England, however I was attracted by the vibrancy that London offers, and the schools in the area seem to reflect this. Yes, working in an inner city school may present its challenges, but equally it affords a range of exciting opportunities; opening children’s eyes to them is what it’s all about.

Since qualifying, I feel I have almost come full circle. I now mentor SCITT trainees and have been invited back to the WPSC SCITT to provide input on behaviour management.

Without doubt my time in teaching has already proved to be the most challenging and equally most rewarding experience of my life. The move from North to South now looks like an inspired one and there’s certainly never a dull moment, but then every day is a school day. 

Former trainee