On all our secondary programmes you will be allocated a Lead Subject Coach, an expert in their subject, who will work with you to develop your subject knowledge, curriculum expertise and subject pedagogy.
Art and Design – Lita Keenan
Chemistry – Claire Wilkinson
I started teaching in 2012 at Our Lady and St John’s in Blackburn. I was both pupil and NQT at OLSJ and stayed there for five extremely happy yet eye opening years. I made the move to Ribblesdale to take on the role of Second in Science. The school is a fantastic place to work with lots of opportunity for CPD with lots of great teachers to learn from and work with. Whilst at Ribblesdale I took on the role of Chemistry Lead for the PLSCITT and have been involved in delivering CPD sessions in Engaging Boys.
The best thing about this job is that every single day is different. You can plan your lessons, but you can never plan on what the pupils are going to do or say! Working with teenagers does have its challenges but it can also be very rewarding and quite funny a lot of the time. My advice to trainees is to use your time wisely in school and take advantage of all the support available to you, not just from your mentor but from all members of the department you’re working in. There will be a lot of experience and a lot of ideas that people are more than willing to share with you. And remember, it WILL get easier!
Computing – Laura Coop Rushworth
I was appointed to my present role as Head of Computer Science at Stonyhurst College in 2015. During my career I have worked as a Teacher of Computing and ICT in Dover, Head of Department, Co-ordinator of the school’s VLE, and Head of Faculty for Mathematics and Computer Science. I have coordinated primary and secondary school outreach for Computing, mentoring non-specialists in the teaching of Computing and Digital Literacy. Working at Stonyhurst College has allowed me many experiences, such as working with a high proportion of EAL pupils.
I am passionate about Computer Science and due to the nature of the subject, no two lessons are ever the same. My advice to trainees is to be adaptable, teaching a lesson in a specific programming language does not always go to plan, but it is your response and flexibility that makes lessons that pupils will remember forever.
Design Technology – Emma Barnett
I have taught Design Technology for 20 years and specialise in Textiles. I have been involved in mentoring trainees for a number of years and since 2019 have been the DT subject coach delivering subject pedagogy to our trainees.
The best thing about teaching is the variety the job brings. My advice is that trainees should be flexible, be well planned, be reflective!
English – Gemma Stevens
I have been an English teacher at Rhyddings School since 2005, and in that time have taken on several roles such as Gifted and Talented Lead and 2nd in Charge of English. I have been in my current role of Head of English and Literacy lead since 2014 and have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and responsibility it brings. During my time at Rhyddings, I have supported trainee teachers through my role as subject mentor and thoroughly enjoyed seeing them develop and grow.
The most rewarding part of being a teacher is seeing the impact you have on so many lives. Instilling a life-long love of reading and writing is something that every teacher should be passionate about.
My advice for trainee teachers is to never stop being passionate, hardworking and dedicated and you’ll reap the rewards this fulfilling career will bring.
Geography – Nagina Johnstone
I have been a teacher of geography for fourteen years and a year coordinator for ten. I have been the lead subject coach for PLSCITT for a number of years and in this role I mentor geography trainees and provide cpd on subject pedagogy and the geography curriculum for both PLSCITT and the North West SCITT consortium. In addition to delivering CPD about AFL, marking and behaviour management.
Teaching is the most rewarding job with regards to enabling students to mature both academically and emotionally. And my advice to all trainees is to be organised, this will make the job so much easie
History – Chris Watson
Having been a teacher for almost 20 years, I first joined The Hollins in 2003 later becoming curriculum leader for History. My role as Lead Subject Coach for History has allowed me to visit schools across the partnership, share best practice and support trainees in becoming History specialists.
I am a member of the Historical Association and my advice to trainees is to join their subject association as this will keep you up to date in the latest research around the teaching of your subject.
Maths – Jamie Cross
I have been teaching maths for 18 years and have taught in 4 different schools. During my career I have worked as Teacher of Maths, Numeracy Coordinator, Head of Department, Lead Practitioner and I am a SLE for maths for the East Lancashire Teaching School Alliance. I have both taken part in and delivered CPD in teaching and learning, subject pedagogy, and am currently leading a number of National collaborative Projects for three Maths Hubs in the region. As an SLE I have been involved with school-to-school support. I have been involved in the mentoring of trainees for 15 years. The best part of my job is still being in the classroom.
Professional collaboration is a fundamental feature of teacher development. My advice for all trainee teachers to engage with other staff and schools as much as possible.
MFL – Charlotte King
I followed a school centered training route and since gaining QTS have spent ten years as MFL teacher and nine as head of department. I have delivered trainee CPD sessions in the use of target language in the MFL classroom, challenge and engagement, use of data and have also led whole school CPD on modelling. the best thing about teaching is that every day is different.
My advice to trainees is to observe as much as possible as you won’t get this chance again! Also say yes to as many opportunities you get – trips, duties, clubs etc!
Music – Ben Parker
I qualified as a Teacher of Music in 2008 and have been a part of The Hollins since 2019. I consider myself to ‘practice what I preach’ and am an active musician in a variety of avenues outside of school, including concert bands, musical theatre, rehearsal pianist and even the odd show helping backstage. Although I am fairly new to the PLSCITT programme, I have had the pleasure of working with a vast amount of Music Teachers at varying stages of careers and I really enjoy the opportunities to meet, discuss and share good practice. I believe that music is a very personal experience and it our role as practitioners to help students discover and explore the world of music making, to make them want to know more and develop their own personal taste. To collaborate with trainee teachers to allow them to do the same thing in their careers is an exciting prospect. There is no greater joy than being in the classroom and helping emerging professionals in this environment is something I am most excited about.
My advice to trainee teachers is two-fold:
· it’s quite alright to deviate from the lesson plan (sometimes we can leave the classroom learning just as much as the students do!)
· Despite the stress, sleepless nights, anxiety and cold sweats, every single performance will pay off. Take a few moments close to the time they happen and think “this is why we do what we do”. Whilst it may only be another performance for us, for them it is something that they shall cherish for the rest of their lives.
PE – Dave Palffy
I have been in post as a teacher at Marsden Heights Community College since 2013 and in my current role as Assistant Head of Physical Education for four years. Working with forward thinking colleagues in an innovative school has facilitated my development as a leader in my subject area and as a result, I understand the range of skills and techniques that teachers must develop to be successful and get the best out of their students.
I have experience of sharing good practice both in my department and in the wider college community through contributing to staff training sessions and supporting colleagues through teaching and learning coaching. Working with ITT trainees for a number of years has enabled me to develop my own coaching and equip trainees with the skills they need to strive as physical educators. I have a passion for my subject and enjoy sharing my knowledge and ideas with others. I thoroughly enjoy discussing new and innovative teaching methods with the students I mentor and enjoy the challenge that being a subject coach provide
RE – Sarah Guiste
I have been a qualified teacher for a decade, how time flies, but I can still remember the nerve-wracking experience of being a trainee. It is a great privilege to be able to nurture the next generation of teachers and I truly hope they have a career that has been as rewarding as mine. I can’t deny that the trainee year may well be one of the most challenging times in your life, but sometimes the most difficult things are the most rewarding and I promise that the positives far outweigh the negatives!