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Tracey Maloney

Director of Initial Teacher Training

Every January and February, I like to deliberately take time to remind myself of the changes that the eQ programmes and partnerships are about to undertake. To date, there are 104 Second School Placement swaps, 39 of these are new schools which we have partnered with solely for Second School Placements.

I try to do this in the most visceral of ways to prevent myself from becoming blasé about the trainees’ experiences on a second placement.

Often, it goes something like this… I have a university friend called Michelle, an excellent English teacher, teaching at a large school in Surrey. She’s been there for about eight years, revered amongst pupils and particularly for developing cracking schemes of work and bringing texts alive. Her pupils achieve extraordinary results, and she is fully embedded in the subject community. If, on January 8th, I received a phone call to say that we were swapping lives, there is no doubt that I would be daunted. I know ‘what’ she does, I know the job, I know about English, but I don’t know ‘how’ she does any of that in that setting. I don’t know the pupils’ names, I’m not sure if she has her own classroom (I really hope she does, that will make it easier), I can’t remember if she has done the Shakespeare text or not. Maybe she has a form group, pretty sure she has a Sixth Form one – I’m going to have to go back over the UCAS process to prepare myself. Also, I think she runs drama club…

See, works every time, heart rate now nicely raised and I’m ready for the second placement period of the programme. My preparation is the final piece to a yearlong design process, honed fully by the eQ curriculum team.

A teacher training course is a year of change and transformation, a good curriculum should always transform, it is also punctuated by contrasts – all the better to reflect upon.

We begin the eQ course by focusing on quality first teaching principles to ensure that some of the change around being in front of a class, being accountable and assuming a different role, are minimised. Ensuring that the theoretical underpinning of routines, behaviour and learning environment are introduced and consolidated through approximations.

It is incumbent upon us as educators to sequence the curriculum to ease a path through the changed state that trainees find themselves in and to ensure that pupil outcomes are the best that they can be throughout this process.

In the eQ partnership structure, we share a joint determination to navigate the changes for novices to the profession and teach them how to make adaptive alterations to their emerging practice.

Those of you who are familiar with the work of Michael Fullan will recognise some of his phrasing there as he advocates for ‘culture-based accountability’. The culture of our partnership means that we are all, both invested in, and accountable for, trainee progression and ultimately, their successful entry to the profession.

Like me and my life swap scenario, trainee teachers do approach their second placement with a level of trepidation, often musing that wouldn’t it be good to perhaps go for a day, read about a different school via websites, ask a friend… anything but to experience a rupture in their knowing by experiencing change.

And there we have it, don’t we? ‘It is not by looking at things but by dwelling in them that we understand their joint meaning’, Michael Polanji The Tacit Dimension.

That is where we have been for nearly six weeks, we have all been in another place, changing and adapting, growing, and learning. Second school placements are a vital part of our programme and are also fraught with moving parts and sheer commitment from so many ITT Leads and mentors to make them work, but goodness, does it bring changes in practice.

For that, we thank you, for your unswerving commitment:

‘Empathy for context is an essential requirement for making change with the people who live the context every day. When it comes to given situations, there are no shortcuts to nuance’.

Michael Fullan Nuance

What our teachers say about us...

I have most enjoyed the deep-dives in each of the subjects. You've got all the of the expertise of the Subject Leads, and tutors - you can go and ask them questions. It is a culture and an environment where you have all the expertise and experience at your fingertips that you could need.

Sian - Primary Teacher - e-Qualified ✓

What our teachers say about us...

As part of the teacher training programme, so many doors and windows of knowledge are opening. Last term's focus was on assessment, which has been transformative for me. I am now able to look at what my children know, what they need to know and then adapt my practice based on the knowledge they've demonstrated. It's made me a better teacher, because I can adapt my practice to suit everybody.

Dan - Primary Teacher - e-Qualified ✓

What our teachers say about us...

Coming to e-Qualitas and going to the training days has given me the confidence to take lead in the classroom and when working with my support staff.

Cherelle - Primary Teacher - e-Qualified ✓

What our teachers say about us...

This has been a great, supportive programme because I get the freedom to come up with plans and then see them in action with my students. I couldn't ask for a better experience.

Kellie - Secondary English Teacher - e-Qualified ✓

What our teachers say about us...

I'm really lucky at my school that I have a fantastic mentor and really supportive science staff, so I am getting on-the-job advice all the time. Talking to other trainees about what has worked is very useful, because they are at the same level of experience as me and their advice is great too.

Alison - Secondary Biology Teacher - e-Qualified ✓

What schools say about us...

Working in partnership with e-Qualitas has allowed us to put into place a system to support new members of staff in school. It's about focusing on developing individual teachers and supporting them through the teacher training programme.

Mr Tony McCabe - Head Teacher - St Joseph's RC School

What our teachers say about us...

The in-person training sessions have been great and have fostered a brilliant sense of community among trainees, who are from different parts of the country. We've had a lovely mix of practical and theory - enabling us to put into practice everything we've been discussing.

Shikiera - Primary Teacher - e-Qualified ✓

What our teachers say about us...

My subject knowledge has definitely improved from working with the Subject Leads; building my understanding of substantive disciplinary knowledge. I feel I am able to talk to the Subject Leads after each training session to discuss each training session in more detail. My subject lead has been so helpful with my learning sequences.

Masooma - Primary Teacher - e-Qualified ✓

What our teachers say about us...

The workload on the training programme is demanding, though it is manageable.The training and communication that you receive from e-Qualitas makes the workload both acceptable and convenient. Thumbs up, I am looking forward!

Bugra - Secondary Maths Teacher - e-Qualified ✓

What our teachers say about us...

My teaching skills have improved so much during the training year. My tutor and my mentor worked really hard with me, and I am really thankful for the efforts they made to make me the teacher I am today. My Subject Lead taught me so much, for example how to scaffold a lesson - making sure the whole class is engaged with tasks.

Amara - Secondary Maths Teacher - e-Qualified ✓

What schools say about us...

One of the most important things we do is appoint the right members of staff, with the right mindset and ability to form relationships with young people. The brilliant concept of the Teaching Apprenticeship Programme is that you can identify talent in members of staff currently within school.

Mr Tony McCabe - Head Teacher - St Joseph's RC School