The Role of the Mentor

Our mentors are all experienced subject teachers and heads of department. Your mentor will support you throughout your placement, providing weekly meetings, lesson observations, and training.  Through these they will provide feedback  to help you develop your teaching practice and effective classroom management strategies.Our mentor’s have outstanding subject knowledge and signpost our trainees to other expertise and knowledge, for example subject associations.  


Abi Hewson- Second in Department (English), Ribblesdale High School

I have been teaching English Literature and English Language for six years at Ribblesdale High School. Towards the end of my NQT year, I began to oversee Year 8 (within English) and have now been Second in Department for the past four years.  In this time I have taken part in delivered many CPD sessions notably ‘Ownership of Own Learning’ and ‘Robust Assessment for Learning’, as well as subject specific sessions for the department.

So far, I have mentored five trainees with PLSCITT and am Acting Lead Subject Coach for English trainees. There are so many things that I love about my job.  No two days are the same, there are always new ways to teach topics, teaching is great fun and when a child has a “light bulb” moment there is no greater feeling!  My advice to trainees is to never be afraid to ask, no question is silly!

Phoebe Smith, Teacher of English, Ribblesdale High School

I have been teaching five years now in the English Department and have had experience with two TLR posts: Student Leader Co-ordinator and Transition and Year 7 Co-ordinator.  Without a doubt, the best thing about teaching is when you gain pupils’ trust and start to see the impact you are having on a class. Seeing young people’s confidence increase is really rewarding and when you develop relationships with classes, it really is enjoyable.

My top tip is to be as organised as possible during your training, as this will prepare you for your NQT year and beyond. Additionally, make sure that you manage your time effectively to ensure that you have time for yourself/well-being. Your trainee year/NQT year is very challenging, but if you run yourself into the ground, you will not be as productive in the long run.


Nicole Wood – Teacher of Science (Chemistry) Ribblesdale High School

I have been teaching for 5 years on main pay scale as a teacher of science with Chemistry specialism. I do, however, teach all sciences at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.  I have delivered CPD as my role as Microsoft Innovative Educator of the science department. This involves departmental training, sharing resources and having one-to-one meetings with staff to help with E-Learning. I also have a focus on pupil premium boys, I test and deliver strategies through sharing best practice, carry out learning walks and feedback into the DIP.

The best thing about my job when the students finally understand the concept you are teaching – you can see the penny drop for most when they say, “Oh, I get it!” especially with some of the trickier content in science.  My top tip is for all trainees to take a break to have some time to yourself – especially at the weekend!


Carmen Anderson – Teacher of Science (Physics Specialist), The Hollins 

i have been teaching for 10 years now and have been at The Hollins for 8 of these years as a science teacher. I teach both key stages, specialising in physics at GCSE.  I have delivered CPD on cross curricular numeracy, exam marking and required practicals.  I have been a subject mentor for 7 years now and have coached students from a range of pathways, including PGCE, Schools Direct and SCITT.

The best thing about teaching is that every day is different so it never gets boring! It is also a very rewarding job. Young people are brilliant and we are lucky to get to work with them on a daily basis.  My top tip to trainees is to be prepared, do not leave anything till the last minute! Make sure you ask for help/support. Don’t be afraid to try new things in your lessons.