School based partnerships are at the core of what we do in the RE ITT team and we are always looking for ways to develop and enrich trainee experience. As a national priority behaviour for learning is right at the fore of the DfE’s agenda for ITT, but as everyone who has been a trainee or a new teacher knows getting those relationships right in the classroom can be a big concern. This year we were warmly welcomed not only by our outstanding Stretford High school colleagues, Layla, Faisal and Mez, but the most important people of all- the pupils!
We visited Stretford High school on 11th November and received some characteristically effective training and development on how the school’s successful systems work. In the first session Layla showed how restorative justice and a really coherent pastoral house system work to support everyone achieve the best outcomes.
There’s nothing like hearing what the pupils have to say about what they think makes a good teacher and that’s exactly what we got in the second session. Mez and Faisal (Head of Humanities) took us over to the Humanities are where year 9 pupils worked with RE trainees on the question, ‘What makes a good teacher?’ Trainees and pupils created some great posters and talked together about what really works. We were all unanimous that we wanted creative, fun classrooms but a disciplined and safe space to learn and teach in.
Here are a few examples of what trainees thought:
Dani said, “I think restorative justice is a great idea and I have used it in my own lessons to great effect. I find verbal praise works just as well and rewarding pupils with the chance to write on the interactive whiteboard seems to be a great incentive at getting pupils to behave within the classroom.”
Abbi said, “I enjoyed our trip to Stretford. I particularly liked the progressive C system that was in place and having it in the classroom is a great idea so that the pupils can visualise what ‘stage’ they are at and what the consequences will be.”
Jenni said, “I also enjoyed the trip to Stretford High, I thought the input from the students was very interesting and it was great to hear their opinions on what makes a good teacher!”
Jenny said, “I thought it was really interesting to see how another school tackles behaviour, and to see a system that allows restorative justice to have a huge impact on how children are managed.”
It was great to hear pupils views on the training too. They are clearly very reflective young people and it’s positive to get feedback from Junaid, an aspirational teacher,
“When we were working with the trainee teachers, I felt quite nervous at the beginning however, later on I became more confident and I was the one doing most of the talking”- Wafa
“I felt it was great experience for me, because if I decide to become a teacher, I can dwell upon this meeting with trainee teachers” – Junaid
“I enjoyed working with the trainee teachers as it has been a wonderful experience to express my ideas regarding what makes a good lesson/teacher. The trainee teachers were wonderful to work with as I have learnt a lot from this experience. I felt engaged and proud to work with them as a group and I hope them success for the future”-Kaoutar