Within the National Forest Teaching School Initial Teacher Education (ITE) provision we want our trainee teachers to be supported by a range of practitioners that can utilise a wealth of experience and to move interchangeably between mentoring and coaching to aid in the development of their emerging professional practice.

figure-1-blog-sfwAs our trainee teachers progress throughout their ITE year we expect our mentors to move between modelling, mentoring and coaching. We do not see this as a linear model of progression but rather we expect that the experienced mentor assesses the trainee teachers’ practice and intervenes by moving throughout the modelling, mentoring and coaching paradigm.

Figure one shows an overview of the modelling, mentoring and coaching paradigm that we deploy at the National Forest Teaching School. Two examples have been italicised which show how the pitch of language develops alongside the expected levels of proficiency and understanding expected of the Trainee Teacher. As mentioned above, we do not see this as a linear progression and if the trainee teacher’s response in a coaching model then we would expect our mentors to aid further in the guiding of the trainee teachers. There isn’t a quantifiable timeframe on the paradigm shown in figure one as we don’t see fixed boundaries on this process. For the process to be personalised and owned by the mentor and the trainee teacher we expect an element of fluidity to match the trainees’ emerging practice. Trainee teachers will develop over a placement and also over the course of the year.

figure-2-blog-sfwFigure Two is a representation of what we have shared with our mentors regarding moving between the coaching and mentoring paradigm. We envisaged mentors moving away from modelling very soon in the trainees’ time on school placement. The mentors are key in owning this process as they are the assessors of the trainee’s responses to the questions they pose. If they believe the trainee reflection is poor or inaccurate, they may have to move to the mentoring model to ensure that a sustainable change in future practice for the trainee can occur.


Mike SimmonsMike Simmons

Secondary SCITT Programme Lead

Deputy Director at the National Forest Teaching School


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