The Priestley Partnership Trainees

Waqqas Akhtar
(Trained in one of our Partnership schools between September 2022 and August 2023)

From the offset, Westbourne Primary School welcomed me as a trainee teacher by showing great respect and value to the role of trainee teacher.  I was invited to the transition day during the previous academic year and from September I was equipped with a staff badge, email and laptop and from the first training inset I felt a taster of what it was like to be a member of The Priestley Academy Trust.  This made me feel valued as a member of the Trust and school team.

The lead mentor and SLT made themselves approachable and in particular gave me a tour of the area that the school is based in.  This was important as it allowed me to understand the community that the school serves.

The Trust has a rich training culture for teachers.  Many of its teachers are former teaching assistants and the school has invested in them during their transition to becoming excellent teaching practitioners.  My class-based mentor was a highly skilled and experienced teacher.  Her instructional coaching and teaching practices were absolutely in alignment with the pedagogical, inclusive and adaptive ideals.  Throughout the yea her modelled teaching up-levelled my skills and helped me develop on areas that I needed to further myself in.  My mentor perfected the balance between supporting me and enabling me to grow my own independence as a teacher in waiting.

Even though I had a class-based mentor to take me through my journey as a trainee teacher, other teachers in the team were always on hand to offer their support and help when need be.  The lead mentor played a crucial role in bridging the link between Exceed SCITT and the day-to-day environment of the school.  This is a further example of the support network that was available to me during my training year.

I count myself as fortunate to have trained in the Trust and feel that I am better equipped as a teaching practitioner as a result of it.  Westbourne and in extension, The Priestley Academy Trust, are continuing to support my journey through my ECT years.  I am immensely grateful for their support.