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Wellbeing at OTT SCITT

“The programme is superb preparation for the realities of teaching. On top of this exceptional professional induction, well-being support is also first class.”  Ofsted, 2023

Wellbeing is a one of our Seven Core Areas here at OTT SCITT and is a key aspect of our provision.   As Ofsted commented in 2023 “Additional core areas of ‘values’ and ‘well-being’ are an integral part of what makes this training programme such an excellent induction to the profession.”  Our aim is always to prepare our Associate Teachers not only to survive their initial teacher training but to thrive in the profession for many years to come.  

This provision includes 1-1 conversations before the programme begins to establish any support needs and discuss strategies to manage emotional health at an individual level.  We have sessions in our induction programme and across the year where we explore workload and wellbeing as well as excellent individualised support where needed for Associate Teachers through Education Support.  

Wellbeing is a team sport, and we would not be able to achieve this level of care without the work of our mentors, senior links and other expert colleagues in school, who are at the frontline of supporting Associate Teachers on their journey to success in this demanding and rewarding profession.  Often the most important role they play is to reflect the successes achieved and to remind Associate Teachers of the progress they have made across each phase of the programme.  

Another tool we use is the Five Ways to Wellbeing, a set of aims researched and developed by the New Economics Foundation to support and improve mental health and wellbeing. We focus on a different aim each term as a guiding principle for our effort to proactively protect our wellbeing. In this Summer Term we have been focussing on BE ACTIVE.  Many Associate Teachers have told us that maintaining an exercise routine has been vital in supporting their physical health and mental wellbeing.  Exercise can take many forms – it’s really hard to think about tomorrow’s lessons when you are trying to remember the steps and keep up with a country dance routine, as our Primary group found at a recent PE Day!

One way to BE ACTIVE we know to be particularly beneficial for our wellbeing is spending time outdoors.  Our recent Museums Day allowed us to consider the benefits of learning beyond the classroom, and we will be exploring the benefits of outdoor learning at Hill End Centre later in the term.  It is always clear at this session that as a group of beginning teachers, about to embark on their first teaching posts, being together in the outdoors will not only benefit their future pupils, but is a great way to ensure a positive finish to the programme.  The Five Ways to Wellbeing will take them forward, along with all they have learnt in the course of the year, to shape ‘the best job in the world’ in their own way.  

Linda Hull – Primary Subject Specialist