When applying for my teacher training, I knew that I wanted to specialise my training in SEND. After working with adults with disabilities and partaking in placements that are in SEND settings, I began to understand how I can advocate for those with SEND and I wanted to help provide an inclusive education for all; showing those with SEN that they can overcome obstacles, learning at their own pace. I chose Oxfordshire Teacher Training in particular as they provided amazing opportunities to work within many different SEND and mainstream settings, meaning that my training wasn’t limited to one setting and the age range I can teach in SEND starts as young as 4 and goes up to the age of 18.
Throughout my training year, I have been able to work within a mainstream setting across both key stages and a SEND placement. I began my year in Year 6 in a mainstream school, and in February I moved across to my 8 week placement in a SEND school. Not only have I had the opportunity to work in two different settings for long periods of time, but I have also been given the opportunity to visit 5 other SEND schools within Oxfordshire over a 5 day period. During this time I worked in KS1 right up to KS5, and worked across a diverse range of schools. This experience highlighted to me how different each school setting can be, and taught me how it is incredibly important to cater for each child’s individual needs in order for them to flourish and grow at their own pace.
As an Associate Teacher I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to work within many different schools and to have received the specialist training that they provide in order to prepare me for working as a teacher and having my own class. One thing I love about the course is that we have the chance to work with all Associate Teachers on Oxfordshire Teacher Training SCITT programmes and have weekly subject specialist sessions and professional learning sessions with the amazing teachers who lead the course. These sessions provide us with tailored subject specific sessions on the National Curriculum for our age range, and means that we can connect and discuss our challenges and victories that we have faced during our time on the course.
The additional training that they provide for those on the SEND route provide us with exceptional sessions that look deeper into the curriculum and tips on how we can teach the curriculum in a more personal and individual way for each child. We also have been given the chance to partake in extra CPD sessions such as Sensory Story training to allow us to learn how to share stories in a more ambitious and inclusive way.
One tip I have for anyone who undertakes their training through a SCITT programme is make the most of your time in each placement. Observe a wide range of teachers and age ranges, don’t be afraid to ask questions, try out different teaching styles. This is the year to develop you as a teacher, and work out how you wish to teach, so don’t hold back on trying out new things. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy it, it really has been the most challenging but most rewarding year I have had so far in my life.