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Shanti Chahal

ITT Subject Lead, Primary Phonics

One of the key pillars of our wellbeing curriculum is the “Ways of Winding Down.”

This encompasses prioritising personal health, offering insights from previous trainees, and integrating features like voice sessions, punctual twilight meetings and self-paced asynchronous units into the e-Qualitas curriculum.

In this half-term spotlight, we delve into practical ways to support trainee teachers in this through the Ways of Winding Down. We recognise that this half term can feel challenging due to a range of factors and want to ensure that our trainees are equipped to manage their wellbeing.

This foundational pillar isn’t just a collection of practices; it’s a roadmap for cultivating resilience, setting boundaries, and nurturing a healthy work-life balance. As we guide our trainees through the intricacies of this profession, we emphasise evidence-informed methods that extend beyond the training year, equipping them for a sustainable and fulfilling teaching career. In the hustle and bustle of the teaching profession, managing workload is paramount

To combat burnout and encourage a healthy approach to productivity, we have introduced trainees to practical techniques such as The Eisenhower Matrix and the Pomodoro Technique during the Wellbeing Pause Point in Term 1.1. These tools empower trainees to prioritise tasks effectively and manage their time and try to avoid the pressures of presenteeism.

One way in which we support the trainees with winding down is through the January conference focus on Voice from Janet Shell.

Janet Shell’s “Talking Voice” session (pictured, left) for trainee teachers aims to achieve several key outcomes. Trainees will first gain heightened awareness of professional-level voice function and their current voice usage. The session aims to boost confidence in employing voice and body language effectively within the classroom setting, ultimately leading to improved teaching practice. Additionally, our trainees will develop an understanding of the importance of warming up the voice and learn specific exercises to enhance their communication skills going forward.

While technology can enhance productivity, it can also contribute to the blurring of boundaries between work and personal life. Evidence suggests that setting designated times for checking emails and using productivity tools mindfully can mitigate the negative impact of constant connectivity.

At the conference in August, we introduced the trainees to guidance from EmailLogic such as the use of delay send, the importance of professionalism through email and an email curfew.

We have also shared How To videos with trainees to allow them to develop their understanding of technology to reduce workload. Visit this page for a range of How To videos: e-Qualitas.co.uk/how-to

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