Thank-you for taking an interest in the possibility of training to become a Physical Education Teacher and I am delighted you are considering doing so through the National Forest Teaching School (NFTS).
My role in the NFTS includes working closely with the Physical Education trainees and mentors across the partnership of schools to ensure that your experience in your training period fully prepares you for a future career in education.
I have previously completed my PGCE/MSc (QTS) in Physical Education at Loughborough University and undergraduate studies at Sheffield Hallam University with (Honours) in Physical Education and Youth Sport. I am equally passionate about Physical Education and teacher training and I aim to ensure that all students are able to reach their full potential in all aspects of Physical Education and every other aspect of their school life or career.
Should I be concerned about subject knowledge prior to starting the course?
I fully understand that many of our trainees will have strengths in their subject knowledge but also areas where they will not feel as confident. This is especially true with PE trainees and their knowledge of sports which they have either competed at or have no experience in. Nobody expects the finished product as they walk through the door on the first day and I have worked hard over a number of years to develop a course which fully develops subject knowledge and pedagogy across a range of sports and theoretical concepts including Rugby, Gymnastics, Basketball, Badminton, Athletics and many more. By the end of your training year you should have gained experience and knowledge in a broad and balanced number of sports but also ideas and strategies on how to teach these successfully and with confidence. You will also have well informed theoretical knowledge across a number of key stages and will be armed with different teaching and learning strategies to help you in the next step of your career.
How are the subject knowledge sessions structured?
I have developed a bespoke programme tailored to the needs of trainees based on an initial skills audit which looks to develop all of the areas which you do not feel as confident in whilst also enhancing areas you consider to be a strength. Sessions in a classroom are closely linked to the holistic education sessions you will receive in the morning but will look to apply them to a Physical Education setting. Practical sessions include a ‘hands on’ experience to develop confidence and give teaching experience on a number of different sports. The sessions will primarily be with myself but I have also employed the use of a number of different subject specialists to ensure you receive the highest standard of delivery in each of the subject areas.
How do you help trainees across the subject areas gain employment?
We have a good employment rate in what can be considered as a rather saturated market. The vast majority of trainees go on to jobs in education which have also lead to leadership positions and subsequent roles as mentors within our partnership schools. We have close links across our partnership schools and across The John Taylor Multi Academy Trust so we are often first to know if a position becomes available in the local area. During the subject knowledge sessions, you will receive information on how to structure and write a cover letter. You will also receive support in re-drafting these letters for different job positions. Trainees will also receive a mock interview so they are able to understand the types of questions they should be expecting on these occasions. Finally, all PE trainees are offered the option of a completing NGB qualifications to enhance employability.
Why do you enjoy working with trainees?
To say I was inspired by my PE teachers is cliché, however, I did take huge inspiration from my tutors and mentors whilst teacher training. I take great pride and gratification in knowing that I have helped develop our next generation of teachers and have provided them with the tools to have an impact on the lives of young pupils around the country. What often starts as raw passion for the subject finishes as refined and cultured expertise. The learning is often reciprocal and I have developed my own practice from ideas that my trainees have, every day is a school day!