Do you have what it takes to become a teacher?

Oct 19, 2023

Trainee teacher shares why she loves the profession as education trust launches applications for next SCITT intake

With a name like Miss English, it was perhaps inevitable that Tiegan English would embark on a teaching career.

The 21-year-old from Sunderland’s love of books led to her graduating with a degree in English literature and creative writing at Northumbria University in the summer.

In September, she was “super excited” to start her SCITT course with Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, which is a Teach First training partner.

And she is settling in well on her teaching placement at Sunderland’s St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy, which is part of BCCET.

“My lead mentor, Charlotte King, is superb and has helped me settle in extremely well; she is a credit to the academy, Trust and the course,” said Tiegan.

“Likewise, all the staff have been accommodating and welcoming and have really made me feel comfortable in such a short space of time. I’m excited to see how the year will progress.

“I’m so thankful for this opportunity to watch expert teachers in the field, such as Sarah-Jayne Atkinson. Her lessons, as well as all the lessons I have watched from other members of staff, have all been so informative and essential to my learning on the course.”

Teaching English is what Tiegan has wanted to do since she started her A levels.

“My teachers really brought English to life for me and I wanted to ignite that passion in other young people,” she added.

“In fact, one of the teachers, Kate Wallis, that I am observing now is the very same teacher that ignited the passion for my desire to teach at A level.”

A pivotal moment for Tiegan was when she started volunteering every Friday at Box Youth and Community Project in Sunderland working with children and young people when she was 17.

As well as gaining valuable experience, she also spotted that some young people were really worried about their GCSE English exams and were struggling with poetry, so she volunteered to start a poetry group.

“I had just started doing my A levels, so I knew the GCSE English literature curriculum really well,” she said.

“They were really passionate about it but they were struggling. They came back to show me their scores and they had gone from Grades 4 to 7. I was so happy for them. That was the key moment that I knew this was what I should do.”

When a Teach First representative visited her college during her A levels, she knew that was the career path she wanted to take – and now she has started her teaching placement, she could not be happier.

Applications for September 2024’s one-year School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme gives people hands-on experience in the classroom while they train. Trainee teachers interact every day with pupils and work as a member of teaching staff in a school local to them. The intensive and weekly training was developed in partnership with curriculum design experts at Teach First to ensure a quality research-led programme.

Their approach includes online and face-to-face training; subject and phase specific training combined with effective teaching methods; support from skilled and knowledgeable mentors; Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) on graduation.

Suzanne Robbins, BCCET’s director of teacher development, said: “We are determined to be a highly aspirational organisation with the highest quality professional development opportunities at the heart of our work.

“Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust wants to ensure that all teachers are provided with opportunities to be the best version of themselves right from the start of their career. We want to strengthen recruitment and retention to make us the employer of choice.”

  • To find out more about the Trust’s SCITT programme, email: [email protected] Applications close in May.


Photo captions: Tiegan English, trainee teacher at St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy, Sunderland.

Suzanne Robbins, BCCET’s director of teacher development, pictured at a recruitment fair.

Press release issued by SASS media on behalf of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust. For more information, contact Sarah Dale on 07814 976582.

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