My School Direct experience was in general very good. Applying for the School Direct course was straight forward with simple, clear instructions for each section. Throughout the year I received excellent support from my professional mentor at the school which made the process a lot smoother. As a non-Computer Science specialist, I worked hard throughout the year to improve my subject knowledge. I was lucky enough to be able to go on a subject knowledge extension course through the school during the summer before my student year commenced. Without that, I would not be where I am today as it was something that was of great importance to the progression of my knowledge of teaching and Computer Science. I had in-school training on a weekly basis and this was very helpful to me throughout the year. I used many skills learned from the training sessions which I now use in my everyday teaching.
When starting at the beginning of the new term as an NQT, I was not nervous but excited. I had plenty of classroom experience behind me and I had been able to observe a vast majority of key staff members around the school in different subjects on their teaching methods and I was confident in new skills I would learn, but more importantly using the skills I had learned over the past year. If someone had said to me two and a half years ago that I would be a Computer Science teacher now, I would have laughed. But now after taking this course, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. (Mr M Power, School Direct 2014/15, Computer Science)
Initially I had not heard a great deal about School Direct or the opportunities that the course offers.
However, after researching the training programme, I was interested in seeing what schools/academies offer a place like this. The advantage that School Direct trainees hold over PGCE students I believe is huge as you are a full time member of staff at the same school. Whereas, through a PGCE you attend 2/3 different work placements and this did not appeal to me as much as a School Direct place.
I was fortunate enough to be offered a placement at my old school, which some people could believe is a disadvantage due to being taught previously by various members of staff. However I saw this as a major advantage of mine as I used all the information I already knew to help me through my training. The support that I got from every member of staff was remarkable, especially in the PE department and the School Direct team. The timetable would increase after every half term and this was used to ease you into gradually taking a full timetable. After successfully completing my School Direct training, I was offered a with PE. (Mr R Hills, School Direct 2014/15, PE)