< View All Posts

As a new group of Associate Teachers join The Cherwell School for their teacher training placements, we hear from a few and a Mentor, about their first impressions.

‘Cherwell has been a warm, welcoming school.  From students, to my department (PE), to colleagues outside of my department and the Senior Leadership Team.  In my first few days, if there was a question that I needed help with, everyone was quick to help.  I have now begun teaching lessons and can see a strong, well thought out curriculum that is being supported by quality teaching techniques within the PE department.  Everyone is working in cohesion and the expectations remain the same throughout the department in both lessons and in extracurricular activities.  My mentor, Calum Surrage, has been immense in ensuring that I feel supported, and is already going over and beyond to support my development.  I look forward to the rest of my time, developing my skills, during my SCITT training at The Cherwell School.

Daryl Burrows – PE

‘At The Cherwell School we always welcome and look forward to Associate Teachers (ATs) coming into the school.  The enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge that is engraved within both of the OTT SCITT trainees, I have had this year in the PE department, has encouraged myself and the rest of the PE department to look into new ways to improve our lessons.  We selfishly like to gain the fresh ideas and teaching ideology which an OTT SCITT AT brings in abundance, whilst sharing some of the teaching gems that have been embedded within the teaching practice at Cherwell over the years.  Our new AT Daryl, has come into the school with a great determination and confidence, already creating groundwork for solid relationships with students he has observed.  He has made the daunting experience of transferring schools look effortless.  I am sure this is down to the careful nurturing of the SCITT mentor before me, the central training he undergoes and the community feel The Cherwell school offers.  I look forward to watching his continued development under the careful guidance of experts at The Cherwell School and from the OTT SCITT teacher training sessions.’

Calum Surrage – SCITT Mentor

‘Although I only started my second placement at Cherwell two weeks ago, I have already observed many engaging lessons ranging from physics, chemistry, maths and even astronomy!  It has been a steep learning curve for me moving from a smaller school in my first placement to Cherwell, but my mentor Danni and other teaching staff are all very welcoming and did a fantastic job in helping me settle in quickly.  The students at Cherwell are an inquisitive bunch and have already asked me loads of interesting questions in my lessons.  I am really looking forward to chatting with the students at Cherwell about science and physics in the coming four months!’

Alvin Leung – Physics 

I have learnt so much already from my placement at The Cherwell School and it has only been a few weeks!  Colleagues at Cherwell have been incredibly friendly and welcoming, explaining how things work and where things are, as well as giving me really useful tips and advice about the school and the profession in general.  My mentor, Esther Smytheman, and the rest of the science team have been amazing, spending time discussing with me what they did in lessons and why, and talking through upcoming sequences of learning.  All this support really helped me to plan my first few lessons at Cherwell.  It was then great to receive such useful and constructive feedback so that my next lessons can be even better!  I have already shadowed a teacher at a Parents and Carers Evening at Cherwell and this has been an early highlight.  I must say that the engagement of parents/carers and pupils is excellent.  It really feels like we are all on the same team working together to ensure the best outcome possible for each child.  Making these connections with pupils is so important and I am grateful to my form tutor for her help and for allowing me to lead some tutor times myself.

One of the great things about the Oxfordshire SCITT is that Associate Teachers get to spend the same amount of time at two placement schools.  Having had an amazingly productive time at my first placement school, I feel very fortunate to be spending the rest of my training at Cherwell.

Chi Lun Pang – Chemistry