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Trainees Advice and Tips

Name:
ALICE MAIR
School trained in:
KING ETHELBERT SCHOOL
                                                                        
What advice can you give about applying for a School Direct place? Make sure you are definitely committed to the time and work that is needed in the position you are applying for. I completely underestimated how much work there was going to be, so really had to push myself to keep up with everything. As soon as you pass that hurdle, you’ll be fine and everything soon starts to feel easier. It is definitely the best decision I have made in a long time and the role is so rewarding in many different ways.
What interview tips do you have? Try and take some risks whilst planning your interview lesson. Plan something fun, interactive and creative so your interviewers have the opportunity to see that you are willing to take chances and can see your interaction with the pupils. Also, have confidence and remember to find out as much as you can about the school so you can impress during the interview process.
What advice would you give about gaining work experience in a school prior to applying? I had never had any experience in a school setting before applying so wanted to make sure I gave myself the opportunity to gain some experience. I managed to get some experience in the secondary school I attended when I was younger and also the school I would be training in. I found it invaluable and felt that I was more than ready to start my training when September came around. I could focus on more important things earlier on, rather than worrying about how to find the toilets or where the printers were!
What advice can you share about the Key Skills Tests? It almost goes without saying, but make sure you revise for the skills tests and practise as much as you can! The time limits for each question are very tight and some questions ask a lot of you. Also, try and get them out the way as early as possible so you don’t have to worry about them.
What have been the benefits of training with EKLA? EKLA had regular training evenings throughout the training year and these were really useful for various worries we all had. They offer support and advice for various things you will need to complete throughout the year.
Additional comments: Definitely go for it!!
 
Name:
AMY BURRIDGE
School trained in:
KING ETHELBERT School
                                                                        
What advice can you give about applying for a School Direct place?

If you really want to train to be a teacher, go for it!

Use the CCCU website and EKLA web pages to research into the role you might want to apply for. If possible, also try to speak to the school ahead of applying for the position.
What interview tips do you have?

Although you will be feeling nervous, just be yourself and be confident. This is your first time showing off your capabilities and although you may not have had experience in a school before, this is your opportunity to make an excellent first impression.

Try to plan something that is creative, fun and engaging for the students, this will allow you to interact positively with the students.
What advice would you give about gaining work experience in a school prior to applying?

I would definitely suggest trying to get into the school you are applying for or have applied for as soon as possible, if this is something that the school have agreed with.

After my interview, I went into the school for 4-5 months before I started. This allowed me to get a feel for the school environment and setting before I actually started.
What advice can you share about the Key Skills Tests? Make sure you revise before taking the test. There are plenty of revision resources online.
What have been the benefits of training with EKLA?

The biggest benefit for me was having the opportunity to train in the school. This allowed me to adapt to school life quickly and begin teaching even quicker.

It was also beneficial to have regular twilight training sessions throughout the year.
 
Name:
RACHAEL BRAITHWAITE
School trained in:
KING ETHELBERT School
                                                                        
What advice can you give about applying for a School Direct place? Research the role and the School Direct process as much as possible; there’s a lot of information available on the EKLA and CCCU websites.  
What interview tips do you have? Ask lots of relevant questions and try to do a practise one with a friend or family member.
What advice would you give about gaining work experience in a school prior to applying? If you have the time go to more than one school to gain work experience. They are all different and it will help you make an informed decision and give you more to discuss in your interview.
What advice can you share about the Key Skills Tests? Practise the questions as much as you can and read through the advice on the website. They have quite challenging time constraints so it’s worth getting familiarised with the layout.
What have been the benefits of training with EKLA? They have experienced mentors who give constructive feedback from lesson observations. They are teachers themselves so have been through the process before.
 
Name:
HANNAH PEREZ
School trained in:
KING ETHELBERT School
                                                                        
What advice can you give about applying for a School Direct place? Research both the school direct pathway and the school you are applying to.  Arrange an observation day at a school and talk to teachers to be sure it’s the job and route to becoming a teacher best for you.
What interview tips do you have? Research the school and current issues surrounding education before your interview. 
What advice would you give about gaining work experience in a school prior to applying? Try and get a range of experiences.  Every school is different so it is good to get a broader view of teaching.  If you struggle to get in touch with schools directly try ‘get into teaching’ through the government website as they can help organise placements for you.
What advice can you share about the Key Skills Tests? Get as much practice as you can, there are books available and online resources to help you prepare.
What have been the benefits of training with EKLA? I enjoyed being based within a school from day one.  EKLA help provide and support mentors alongside University who have the experience of the schools direct pathway to support you throughout the year.
 
Name:
Christina Birkett
School trained in:
Joy Lane Primary School
                                                                        
What advice can you give about applying for a School Direct place? Make sure it’s something you definitely want to commit to, as it is a really big commitment and there will be some amazing highs bit also some stressful lows. But then - go for it! Practise the skills tests so you are ready when you go and do them at the test centre.
What interview tips do you have? Plan. List all your experience and any questions you might want to ask and don’t want to forget in the pressure of the interview. Find out about the school, their ethos, behaviour strategies and latest Ofsted.
Be yourself.
What advice would you give about gaining work experience in a school prior to applying? Get as much experience as you can – this will all help you with your interview and be valuable experience to fall back on when you’re in the classroom.
What advice can you share about the Key Skills Tests? Practise as much as you can beforehand. Practise tests, with and without scaffolding, are available on the website.
What have been the benefits of training with EKLA? Learning by doing is very effective – you observe and experience so much over the year. The learning curve is very steep, though. I am about half-way through now and I can just about glimpse the edge of where I need to be but it can feel overwhelming at the beginning.
Additional comments: It’s an amazing experience and, for me, there have been far more highs than lows. I’m just as certain now that this is the right career for me as I was when I first applied. Joy Lane Primary School has been a wonderfully supportive and nurturing place to train, and I’d highly recommend them as a Teaching School.
Name:
Fay White
School trained in:
The Canterbury High School
               

What advice can you give about applying for a

School Direct place?

Know the schools you are applying for. Understand what is expected of you as school direct trainee from the schools and universities perspective. Look at all options available (salaried and unsalaried)
What interview tips do you have? Be professional, Be prepared, Ask questions, Be positive.
Be yourself.

What advice would you give about gaining work

experience in a school prior to applying?

Strongly recommend. Try for more than one day a week, over a least 3 terms. Go to as many different departments as well as your subject.
What advice can you share about the Key Skills Tests? Revise. Do as many practice tests as possible.
What have been the benefits of training with EKLA? Additional support. Extra training sessions.
Additional comments: None
Name:
Jack Hoskings
School trained in:
Canterbury Academy
                                                             
What advice can you give about applying for a School Direct place? I would definitely recommend applying for a schools direct placement. I believe that being in a school setting, seeing and applying how teaching is done first hand is the best way to ensure you learn the skills needed to be a teacher and make sure it is the job for you.
What interview tips do you have? Ensure you read up on the school that you are applying. Make sure that you prepare yourself for questions you think could be asked such as, Why do you want to be a teacher? And What do you think you could bring to the school as a person?
What advice would you give about gaining work experience in a school prior to applying? Having prior work experience is very beneficial as it won’t be as big of a shock to find out just what it entails to be a teacher, as well as, what it is like to be a class with so many children looking at you and depending on you.
What advice can you share about the Key Skills Tests? Make sure you do revision for these tests, it is surprising how much information you have forgotten since school without a recap and just how fast the time goes while in the tests. But, mostly just try to go into the tests relaxed with a clear head.
What have been the benefits of training with EKLA? EKLA provide a lot of support as well as training sessions on how to teach students of many differing needs such as, vulnerable groups, free school meals, special educational needs and English as an alternative language.
Additional comments: A benefit of the school direct placement also provides the opportunity to gain knowledge of how others schools run through an alternative placement for 15 days. As well as opportunities to see how the children transition from primary to secondary, with a placement at a primary school for a week (if doing secondary teaching).

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