Read about some of our past trainees who are now teaching.
Jo Crockett (Science 2008-2009)
Jo attended Twynham School, where she gained A levels in Biology, Chemistry & Geography. She then studied Anatomy at Bristol University where she gained a 2:1 degree. Before applying to the SCITT in 2008 she spent time teaching English in Thailand, working as a ski instructor at the local dry ski centre and also spent 18 months working at JP Morgan.
Jo undertook placements at The Grange School and Twynham School; she is now working at Avonbourne School in Bournemouth.
Jo says about the SCITT programme: "I decided to train as a Science teacher after realising that a career in investment banking was not for me. I was told about the SCITT by a friend and following further research of routes into teaching I realised that it was the ideal course for me. It was brilliant to be able to train locally and in a very supportive environment. The 2008-2009 trainees got on really well and we relished the time spent sharing our school experiences with each other at the BLC. I would recommend the course to anyone interested in becoming a teacher; the support from all the tutors and staff involved in running the course is superb."
Daniel Kelly (MFL 2007-2008)
Daniel Kelly attended Bournemouth School where he gained A levels in Spanish, Physics and Art. He then studied Spanish at the University of Exeter where he gained a 1st class degree. He worked for a time in Spain before applying to the SCITT in 2007 to train in Modern Languages.
Daniel undertook his school placements at Glenmoor School and at Twynham School. He was successful in gaining a teaching post at Twynham, who were about to introduce Spanish into the 6th Form.
Daniel says about the SCITT programme: "While a demanding experience, the support available and guidance offered allows every trainee the foundation to grow into well-prepared members of the teaching profession. The closely knit unit that forms as a result of the course's limited intake encourages the sharing of anecdotes and is therefore propitious for the continuous reflection on your practice. This is a vital practice if you wish to understand WHY things are successful, HOW to build on your successes and how to learn from your mistakes."
Kate Potten (Maths 2007-2008)
Kate gained A levels in Pure and Applie Mathematics and in Physics and studied Mathematics at Royal Holloway College, University of London, where she graduated with a 1st class degree. She then worked in a major City-based company for 15 years in a variety of roles including as an Actuary and as a Manager. After starting a family, Kate decided on a career change and applied to join the SCITT programme in September 2007. She undertook her placements at Oakmead College of Technology and St Edward's RC CE School in Poole, and was successful in gaining a teaching post at Bournemouth School in September 2008.
Kate says about the SCITT course: "The SCITT course was ideal for me with lectures based locally at the Bournemouth Learning Centre and with placements at local schools. It is a tough year, learning to teach and working towards a PGCE, but the support provided by the SCITT staff, the school mentors and the University tutor was invaluable in helping me achieve success. The SCITT course has a good balance between theory and practice, with the emphasis on the practical. The two contrasting teaching placements were interspersed with theorectical sessions, where my fellow 19 students and I were able to learn the professional aspects of teaching but were also able to share and learn from each others' personal experiences. The SCITT course worked well for me, a mature student with family commitments, returning to work after a long break."
Vicky Groves (Design & Technology 2007-2008)
Vicky Groves studied A levels in Sociology, Art & Design and Classical Civilisation, and then attended Bournemouth University and gained a degree in Hospitality Management. During this time she also worked as a chef in a number of restaurants and hotels. Whilst at Bournemouth University she worked as a Peer-Assisted Learner leader. Graduating in 2007, she moved directly onto the SCITT course to train in Design & Technology, majoring in Food Technology. She undertook her placements at Twynham School and Portchester School, and was successful in gaining a teaching post for September 2008 at the Purbeck School in Wareham.
Vicky says about the SCITT course: "I really enjoyed the SCITT course; it was an intensive year which was full of highs, wonderful people and supportive staff and students. I joined the BPDE SCITT because I did not want another year in University being told how "it" works; I tend to learn better if I am hands-on and get stuck into something and I knew that I was self-motivated enough to do the course. The time I spent at the BLC with the other trainees was invaluable and insightful: being able to talk to people outside your subject area about how they teach, techniques they use and to share our opinions on issues. While talking to University PGCE students in schools I trained in who were just beginning to take a small section of a lesson as I was just finding my feet with a 3-part lesson, I knew I had made the right decision. I graduated from the course as a confident, happy and hopeful teacher and after a month in my first job I still am!"
Jo Casson (Mathematics 2005-2006)
Jo Casson left school at 16 and went to work Banking, spending almost 30 years working in International Banking in Birmingham and London, as a Management Accountant and being Senior Manager of a busy office. During this timer she studied part-time for her Mathematics degree with the Open University and also gained professional qualifications in accountancy and banking. Jo decided to change careers and applied to the BPDE SCITT programme in its first year and was accepted onto the Maths course. She became involved in the Trainee Forum as the Maths Rep. Her main placement school was Oakmead College of Technology, who liked her so much that they offered her a teaching post before the end of her first placement. Her second placement was at St Edward’s RC CE School in Poole. Jo taught Maths at Oakmead for 2 years and then moved onto Lytchett Minster School.
Jo says about the SCITT training programme: “You will put a lot into your SCITT and you will get a massive amount out. A most memorable, enjoyable and challenging year”
Graham Johnston (Science 2005-2006)
Graham Johnston studied A levels in Chemistry, Physics, Maths and General Studies at Poole Grammar School, and he then went to Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of London, where he graduated with a degree in Geology. After working for two years as a bar manager and later General Manager of a very busy pub in central London, Graham decided to pursue his career aim of becoming a teacher by applying to the BPDE SCITT, and was one of the very first Science Trainees accepted onto the course. Graham spent his main placement at St Edward's RC CE School in Poole, anad his second placement at The Grange School in Christchurch. When a vacancy for a Science Teacher came up at The Grange, the school was delighted when Graham applied for the post. He is now teaching Science at the Grange and has now taken on the role of SCITT Subject Tutor in Science - so he is now mentoring SCITT trainees himself!
Graham says about the SCITT training programme: "The course was, in a word, excellent. Training mostly in the school environment gives you experience and skills that University-based courses do not provide. I was able to get a real idea of what my first teaching post would be like and built up a good bank of resources that will be used for the rest of my career. I would strongly recommend this style of training to anyone who is thinking of coming into the teaching profession."
Sarah Eagle (Design & Technology 2006-2007)
Sarah Eagle grew up in Lymington and attended Priestlands School. She then went on to complete a GNVQ in Art & Design at Brockenhurst College and was accepted onto the "Costume for Screen and Stage" degree at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth. Through connections made during her degree, Sarah went to work in the costume department at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where she gained valuable industrial experience. Following her passion for education and textiles, she then undertook a Masters degree in the "History of Textiles and Dress" at Winchester School of Art. Sarah decided to pursue a career in education and spent a year working as a technician at King's High School in Bournemouth. She joined the SCITT course in 2006 and trained at St Edward's RC CE School, Kings High School and Broadstone Middle School. She gained a teaching post at Arnewood School in September 2007, and after two years gained promotion to Head of Textiles at Burgate School in Fordingbridge, where she is now also a mentor for SCITT trainees.
Sarah says about the SCITT course: "The SCITT course prepared me for every aspect of life as a teacher, which made my NQT year a thoroughly enjoyable and unprobematic experience. Although intensive, demanding and challenging, the SCITT course was the best option for me, as it enabled me to train in the area I lived and gave me first-hand experience of school life. I relished the opportunity to work as part of the team in school and the ability to build relationships with pupils. Equally, I felt that professional studies sessions were very comprehensive and brilliantly delivered by specialist speakers. On completing the course I felt inspired, enthusiastic and confident about my teaching career and have since achieved promotion. I thoroughly enjoyed my year with the SCITT and would encourage anyone seeking a career in teaching to take advantage of the fantastic opportunities offered through the course, as it fully prepares you for your teaching career."
Laura Squire (Design & Technology 2007-2008)
Laura Squire studied A levels in Design & Technology, Art & Design and Communication Studies, then completed an Art Foundation course before going onto the University College for the Creative Arts in Surrey where she graduated with a degree in Graphic Communication. Whilst at University Laura continued to work as a sessional worker for Social Services, working with Special Needs children. She worked in the design industry for 2 years prior to the course. She decided to apply to the SCITT course in 2007, and after acceptance attended the 2-week Subject Knowledge Booster Course in D&T at the University of Brighton. Laura undertook her placements at Twynham School and Ringwood School, and was successful in gaining a teaching post at Hounsdown School, Totton, in July 2008.
Laura says about the SCITT course: "I thoroughly enjoyed my year on the SCITT course and feel it has given me an excellent start into a teaching career. Whilst completing the year I feel we really benefited from the amount of time spent in schools gaining firsthand experience. The tutors both in school and at the BLC were there thoroughout the year to offer support and advice whenever needed. I would recommend the SCITT to anyone considering a career in teaching."
Francis Isaac (Science 2007-2008)
Francis Isaac studied Sciences at the University of Essex, where he also gained a Masters degree in Chemistry. He then worked with various companies as a Chemist before joining Twynham School as a Teaching Assistant in 2005, where he worked for 2 years gaining vital schools experience before starting the SCITT course in September 2007. Francis undertook his school placements at Glenmoor School and Ferndown Upper School. He did some Supply Teaching before gaining a teaching post working at a Support Unit in Poole.
Francis says about the SCITT course: "When I was trying to find out which course to pursue as far as teaching courses are concened, I spoke to a lot of colleagues and they all informed me that the SCITT course is the best course to embark upon. I did my own research before deciding to study with the SCITT course. I found the course very informative and supportive, and it prepared me for the challenges I now face everyday. Without the SCITT course I would not be able to deal with the challenges of teaching. I am so glad that I did my teacher training via the SCITT course."
Anne-Sophie Mason (MFL 2007-2008)
Anne-Sophie Mason was born and raised in France, where she attended the Universite Jules Verne in Amiens, gaining a Masters level degree in Applied Languages and Business. She moved to the Bournemouth area with her husband in the early 1990s and worked with a range of different businesses including banking and finance, before deciding on a career change. She applied to the SCITT in Summer 2007 and started the course in September of that year. Anne-Sophie undertook her placements at Ferndown Upper School and Highcliffe School and was successful in gaining a teaching post at Queen Elizabeth's School in Wimborne for September 2008.
Anne-Sophie says about the SCITT: "I really enjoyed the training provided through the SCITT as it enabled me to spend more time at school than I would have been able to through an ordinary University PGCE. During my training, I discovered two different schools which both helped me to get ready for my challenge as a NQT. It is also a local course which meant that I did not have to travel miles to attend the regular sessions at the BLC. The training was of a high quality, interesting and enjoyable. In short, it was a course that suited me very well and that I would recommend to anybody wanting to become a teacher."
Tim Aston (Design & Technology 2007-2008)
Tim Aston gained A levels in Art & Design and Business Studies at Bournemouth School, before moving onto the Arts Institute where he completed a Foundation course in Art & Design. From there he went on to Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College in High Wycombe where he graduated with a degree in Furniture Design & Craftsmanship. He then spent 7 years working with a regional furniture manufacturing firm before making the decision to change careers and move into teaching. He joined the SCITT course in 2007 and spent his placements at Highcliffe School and at Twynham School. Twynham liked him so much that when a vacancy arose they swiftly appointed him to teach Design & Technology.
Tim says about the SCITT course: "For me the SCITT course was a highly rewarding yet challenging year. I cannot sing higher praise of the course or the opportunities given to each and every trainee. From very early on in the course working first hadn in a school environment quickly whetted my appetite to teach, and within a short space of time I was confidently teaching full lessons. Having spent 7 years in industry the change of career has given me a new confidence and a fantastic sense of purpose to my daily life, with no regrets about my radical change of career path! Having the opportunity to train alongside a small group of other subject specific trainees provided us with a great forum for support and reflection on our own practice. During the year I met and worked alongside some excellent professionals who have helped to provide me with a terrific platform from which I can really begin to develop my own practice."
Marie Page (Mathematics 2007-2008)
Marie Page completed her Maths degree with the Open University while also working as a Teaching Assistant at Kings High School. She spent 5 years as a TA and gained a Teaching Assistant Qualification through Plymouth University. Working now as a HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant), she applied to the SCITT programme and started in September 2007 to train in Mathematics. Marie undertook her placements at Ashdown Technology College and at Twynham School, and was successful in gaining a teaching post at Highcliffe School in September 2008.
Marie says about the SCITT course: "I chose the SCITT course because I had heard very positive reports and the fact that it was locally based was a huge benefit to me. The course was challenging and every effort was made to tailor activities to meet the needs of the individual. I have wider school experience than many of those on the course and this was taken into consideration during some sessions. I found the whole course extremely positive and would recommend this route to anyone wishing to go into teaching. The course is run by a very supportive team who will endeavour to sort out any problems as they arise."
Lisa Khalil (MFL 2008-2009)
Lisa grew up locally and attended Highcliffe School and Brockenhurst College where she gained A levels in French, Spanish and English. Following a two year tri-lingual secretarial course at Wiltshire College and Université de Caen she worked in London for many years in law translating, banking and the Defence Industry before returning to the South Coast with her family. After spending two years at a special school supporting children with autism, she decided she wanted to take a lead role in the classroom and so embarked on a Modern Language Studies degree with the Open University, graduating in 2008. Lisa's placement schools were Glenmoor and Twynham, and she obtained a teaching post at Ballard School in New Milton in the Autumn of 2009.
Lisa says about the SCITT programme: “Due to a bizarre stroke of fate I was in the rare position of having an offer from both the University of Southampton and SCITT for the PGCE course. The local school placements and accessibility of the BLC were key factors in my choosing the SCITT course and although it was a tough year combining teaching practice and studying for the Masters level PGCE with running a family, the support from my mentors at Twynham and Glenmoor Schools, from SCITT programme management and fellow SCITT trainees was exceptional. I am looking forward to my first day in the classroom with enthusiasm and confidence!”
Andy Morris (Design & Technology 2005-2006)
Andy attended St Peter’s School in Bournemouth. He studied A levels in Design Technology, Business Studies, Psychology and General Studies. After 2 years working full-time as a carpenter/joiner he studied for a BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth. He then studied at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University where he graduated with a BA in Contemporary Furniture Design. After a brief period travelling to New Zealand, Andy decided to embark upon a teaching career.
He was one of the first Design & Technology trainees to be recruited onto the course in its first year, specialising in Resistant Materials. He spent his main placement at Twynham School in Christchurch, and his second placement at Ferndown Upper School. Andy was successful in gaining a teaching post at another partnership school, St Edward’s RC CE School in Poole, where he is now teaching D&T across the full age and ability range.
Andy says about the SCITT training programme: “Choosing a SCITT programme to study for a PGCE was, for me, by far the best option. I needed the experience in classrooms and not lecture theatres and the SCITT offered me the best way in which to learn how to teach. I was very fortunate in my placement for D&T to be placed at the lead school Twynham which was an excellent training ground for my subject area. At certain times during the training it got pretty stressful, but it needs to be to prepare you for how tough it can be when you get a proper teaching job.”
Susanna Fernandez-Gomez (MFL 2007-2008)
Susanna Fernandez-Gomez was born and raised in Spain and studied English Philology at Oviedo University where she also gained a Spanish teaching certificate. Moving to the UK she worked as an evening class tutor at the Bournemouth & Poole College and as a Supply Teacher at Bishop of Winchester School, before deciding to apply to the SCITT in order to gain the UK PGCE qualification and train in Modern Foreign Languages. Susanna undertook her placements at Highcliffe School and at Oakmead College of Technology. She gained a Spanish teaching post at Shaftesbury School in September 2008.
Susanna says about the SCITT course: “My experience was challenging but very positive. I was pleasantly surprised by the students’ attitude to learning and their ability to progress. Classroom management was not always easy but thanks to all the support, advice and encouragement provided throughout the course I learnt that keeping calm and persevering brings a positive atmosphere in the classroom, which makes teaching and learning enjoyable for both teacher and students. I will always remember the excellent relationships I established with the students and my tutors.”
Lucy Sahandi (Design & Technology 2005-2006)
Lucy attended Ferndown Upper School. She studied A levels in Design Technology, Art and English Language at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth. She then completed a BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at Bournemouth University, and then went on to graduate with a BSc in Computer Aided Product Design in 2005.
She was one of the first Design & Technology trainees to be recruited onto the course in its first year. By strange coincidence, her main placement school was also Ferndown Upper School and she completed her second placement at Twynham School. When a vacancy arose at Ferndown, Lucy did not hesitate in applying for the post, and was quickly appointed to her “alma mater”. She is now teaching Design Technology with a specialism in Resistant Materials, Systems & Control and Graphics to Years 9 to 12 at Ferndown.
Lucy says about the SCITT training programme: “The SCITT course was the best choice I could have made in order to become a newly qualified teacher. The support and training available through the SCITT course gave me both valuable training and an insight into my future profession. I am greatly thankful to all the staff at the BPED SCITT and School trainers. I had two valuable placements; Ferndown Upper and Tywnham, giving me a wider scope into teaching of all age groups from years 7-12. When I compare those students who do a PGCE at college/university, I can see how the SCITT course is far more beneficial in terms of training a teacher. We spend all our time at school than rather than a college or university. I am always recommending the SCITT course to any people who wish to follow in my footsteps. Thanks to the SCITT team, I now teach at one of the schools I trained at!"
James Smith (Design & Technology 2007-2008)
James attended Ferndown Upper School where he studied Art & Design, Geography, Product Design and Physics in the 6th form. He completed a Foundation Course in Art & Design and then went on to the University of Brighton where he graduated with a degree in Wood, Metal, Ceramics and Plastics. Whilst at Brighton, James participated in the "Students Associates Scheme" (SAS) which enabled him to spend several weeks in secondary schools before applying to the SCITT course fro September 2007, to train in Design & Technology. James spent his placements at Ferndown Upper School and at Highcliffe School and was successful in gaining a teaching post at Wildern School in Hedge End near Southampton for September 2008.
James says about the SCITT training programme: “The SCITT course really suited me because I was keen to train to teach whilst having an experience that was similar to the job itself, rather than reading educational theory. I felt very welcomed by my placement schools, and was encouraged to get involved in the wider school activities. The SCITT training provided a welcomed break from a teaching programme, and helped me gain a knowledge and understanding that I could apply to my teaching practice. I would recommend the SCITT to anyone, particularly anyone who enjoys working with a close-knit group of committed people.
Richard Curren (Mathematics 2005-2006)
Richard studied A levels in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Geometrical & Mecahnical Drawing. He went on to the University of Leeds where he graduated with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering. Embarking on a career in industry, he worked for 5 years in automotive engineering in the Midlands before moving to work at the Rover Group as an engineer. At the same time he completed his MSc in Engineering Business Management at the University of Warwick. He worked in several other firms in automotive engineeering, including Jaguar, before deciding on a career change into teaching.
Richard was one of the first cohort of Maths trainees recruited onto the SCITT programme. He spent his main placement at Twynham School, and his second placement at Ferndown Upper School. He gained his first teaching post at Oakmead College of Technology in Bournemouth, and now teaches Maths at Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester.
Richard says about the SCITT course: "Knowing nothing (as I did) about teaching it came as a bit of a shock to be put into a school and to be teaching so quickly. In the long term this proved ideal for me as by the time I graduated I felt I had a lot of experience of teaching. The best thing about the SCITT programme was being surrounded by others in the same position, and the amount of support we were able to give each other was fantastic."
Anna Gist (Design & Technology 2005-2006)
Anna studied A levels in Design Technology, Art & Design and German. She then went onto Bournemouth University where she graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Product Design. She spent some time travelling and working abroad after leaving University, including a year in Canada. Upon her return to the UK she spent 18 months as a Technology Workshop technician at Arnewood School in New Milton. She was one of the first D&T trainees to be recruited onto the course in the first year. She became the D&T Rep and Chair of the Trainee Forum which has a membership drawn from trainees and tutors and is responsible for discussing and advising on issues of concern to trainees. Her main placement was spent at Oakmead College of Technology, who were so impressed with her that she was offered a teaching post before the end of the first placement. Her second placement was at Twynham School. Four years later Anna is still teaching at Oakmead, specialising in Resistant Materials at KS3&4 at Oakmead.
Anna says about the SCITT training programme: "I had never worked so hard in my life, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed every moment. I was well-supported throughout the course, both by the staff at the schools I worked in and by my fellow trainees, and I remain friends with many of the people I trained with. Studying on the SCITT gave me a broad understanding of teaching, as well as vital material specific to the delivery of my subject. It has also given me the confidence and inspiration to want to gain a fuller understanding of the students that I work with in order to be able to help them learn and develop their skills. In this respect I have been working towards a Masters degree in Education with the University of Plymouth, since starting teaching."
"Having worked in a school prior to starting the course, I was equipped with an understanding of how schools work, and this definitely put me in a good position when it came to interacting with pupils and staff. It is because of this that I would thoroughly recommend the SCITT to someone who has experience of working with young people in a school environment. I love my job and I really do feel priviliged to be able to work with the young people that I see every day, in a place where each day is different and I have the amazing opportunity to see young people develop and achieve.
"So if you chose to follow the SCITT it will not be an easy 9 months. However, you will leave with a fuller understanding of the brilliant opportunity that teaching gives through the hands-on approach of training in an intensive educational atmosphere. And you won't stop learning."