Feb 162018
 

A highlight of mine (although it could have been a potential nightmare) was performing a Respiratory System adaptation to Ed Sheeran’s song ‘Shape of You’ to a Y10 GCSE PE Theory class I hadn’t yet met. I was aware that it would be a risk delivering the content in such a way, as I was unsure of how the pupils would respond. Thankfully, the song ended with a round of applause and an enthused group of Y10 girls raring to learn the ‘Pathway of Air’ song! The girls were shocked to find out that the lyrics that they had enjoyed learning off by heart during the lesson were in fact the word for word answers provided in the mark scheme, and were thrilled to achieve high marks in the exam questions at the end of the lesson.

It filled me with pleasure to have pupils thank me and to hear pupils boasting about “Miss Morley, their new PE teacher”. The following day a teacher approached me to congratulate me as several of the Y10 girls had been speaking very fondly of me whilst she was on duty. It was lovely to see that the effort and enthusiasm I put into my lessons was recognised and appreciated by the pupils.

Feb 092018
 

At first, I found setting up practical experiments daunting, with fifteen Bunsen burners all lit and thirty students to keep an eye on at the same time, I imagined glass smashing all over the place.

After a few lessons though with a few routines in place the pupils all knew their jobs and with their safety glasses on I had a room of young scientists.

My favourite lesson was heart dissection. I remembered it from school so I felt I needed to pass on that same enthusiasm that had been instilled in me. I was made up when all the children took part and the girls and the boys all confidently carried out the practical, no one wanting to sit it out.

To round it off my subject mentor pointed out that the calm way that I had modelled the demonstration had a big impact on the attitude and behaviour of the children. I left that lesson with a big smile on my face!

Feb 022018
 

I was meant to be taking a year out after university before starting a teaching course however I applied to WWLCSD quite late on and I have never looked back on that decision.

I thought I wasn’t ready to be a teacher but in my first placement I felt confident enough to teach my first full lesson by the third week of the course, due to the support from my mentor. One of my favourite moments in the classroom was when I had organised peer assessment with a year 9 class using a speed dating layout to make it more socially engaging. At first the pupils were embarrassed about the idea of ‘speed dating’ but once they got into the routine, it was so nice to hear them giving each other such meaningful feedback about their work. I was walking around the room with a huge smile on my face for the rest of the lesson. Both my placements at WWLCSD have been really rewarding and I have learnt so much in two very different teaching environments. Having other trainees at placements means that we can help each other and it has been a key part of my experience. It is hard work but well worth it!
Jan 292018
 

My first term of teacher training has come as something of a whirlwind! I never thought I’d become a teacher, I was dead-set on working in scientific research and maintained this vision up until a few years ago. Having travelled on pilgrimage to Lourdes over the past 7 years with the Archdiocese of Liverpool Youth Pilgrimage, and interacting with hundreds and hundreds of young people my opinion started to shift. As I got older I realised I actually really, really enjoyed working with young people, so I moved away from science for a year to work for Animate – the archdiocese youth ministry team.

During this year, I worked with around 10,000 young people and it really cemented my desire to become a teacher. I had the opportunity to go into a range of catholic schools across the diocese, and this included some of the schools that make up WWLCSD! It was clearly meant to be, and a few months later I’d accepted my place on the course to train as a teacher of science.

Fast forward to the end of the advent term. I’ve recently completed my first placement at St. Bede’s in Ormskirk. It was such an amazing place to work, the department was really supportive, and my professional and subject mentors helped me immensely during the term. I was able to immerse myself in the life of the school, running the table tennis club and helping out with a range of trips and activities – especially within the chaplaincy where I could draw on my previous experience in youth ministry.

As Christmas crept up, I was made aware of a vacancy within the department. I applied, initially just for the experience. I wasn’t expecting to be successful as I’d only just finished my first placement, but I was offered so much support by our WWLCSD directors to prepare! I hadn’t had any university input on it yet, but this made sure I was really relaxed and confident going into it! My lesson and pupil panel both went really well, so it was just the interview left in the afternoon. Thanks to the advice I’d been given, I had thought through my main answers to the really key questions. Later that evening, I received a phone call saying that I was being offered the position. I was absolutely ecstatic! I really couldn’t have done it without the support given from my tutors and school direct directors, they were all so helpful! As far as I’m aware, I was the first of our science cohort at Hope to get a permanent position and I’m now incredibly excited to begin once I qualify!

I’ve had such an amazing start to my teaching career, I know this is the right choice for me and I’m truly blessed to have been given this opportunity so early. I know I couldn’t have done it without WWLCSD!

Jan 262018
 

I have been running a dance workshop on Thursday after school for Key Stage 3. Turn out has been mixed, starting with 20 but ending up with a solid 9 dancers. Our work was made public during our Christmas carol performance for parents staff and governors. The girls were excellent, considering we had only 3 hours to prepare, they presented a well-rehearsed and skilled dance. The school does not currently hold any dance classes and the head of Drama commented that there had been no dance showcased at the school for about ten years!

There were so many positive comments and the dancers were thrilled with their efforts. I also had a reading sprung on me and I performed that to the audience of about 300.

It was a spectacular evening of music dance drama and hymns. Most of which I had some involvement in. It really got me into the festive spirit and made me feel one hundred percent part of a lovely caring committed team, finalising my first placement as a fantastic experience.

Jan 202018
 

Thinking about my journey with WWLCSD so far I have already gained so much great experience and confidence with many high points that it was initially hard to pick just one. However, there is one moment which stands out as a highlight that I would like to share.

It happened just after half term, walking through the humanities communal area I asked a group of students if they were ok, one of which is in my year 8 class. As I walked past I overheard that particular student confidently say to the others ‘that’s my geography teacher’. It may seem like such a small thing but those four words resonated with me, putting a smile on my face and I truly realised for the first time that I was a teacher!

 

Mar 312017
 

“Wigan and West Lancashire Catholic School Direct is a teacher training course that offers trainees fantastic mentoring, support and training. Not only does the training course prepare you thoroughly for the role as a teacher, but the course also helps and supports you in securing a job. A Head Teacher from one of the partnership schools will check your application to ensure it is to a high standard and then you will be given the opportunity to take part in a Mock Interview Day. Although at first this seemed quite daunting, after receiving feedback from the Mock Interview I felt a lot more confident as I knew what my strengths and weaknesses were. The week later I had an interview at Holy Cross Catholic High School, which is one of the partnership schools, and I got offered my first job!”

Mar 242017
 

I believe it is vital to show pupils that mathematics is not confined to the classroom. On Friday afternoons during my first term, I would take a group of year 9 intervention pupils to a training facility in Leigh to explore the practical applications of mathematics in areas such as joinery, plastering and construction. By creating links to the real world, these pupils were able to gain a greater appreciation for the relevance of mathematics. It was wonderful to watch many of them discover new talents and vocations they would like to pursue in the future!

Mar 172017
 

A few Year 7 food tech lessons in and one of the pupils said to me, ‘Miss, do we pick our options in Year 8 now?’ to which I replied yes. He continued to tell me how much he was enjoying the lessons and was considering taking it as a GSCE. I circled the class passing his table a few moments later. I then over heard him saying to his class mate, ‘….and I can make cups of tea and hot chocolate.’ listing what types of food/drink he could make! Put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

Upon completing the bird feeder in the resistant materials with the Year 7 class I explained they would need to contribute £1.50 to the materials if they wanted to take it home. Later that week there was an envelope in the Technology office with ‘Miss Aubrey’ written on it. Heart melted and I kept it! (just to be clear the envelope, not the money!)

Mar 102017
 

On my first placement, my Y11 class that I shared were completing their written live theatre reviews as part of their GCSE coursework. One girl struggled with severe dyslexia and this reflected in her work, which was getting her down. I assigned some time for her at lunch and after school where we could go through her work and address anything she was worried about. A few weeks later, I received a delightful postcard from the pupil thanking me for helping her so much and giving up my own time to do so. That’s what it’s all about!