The Morpeth Partnership of schools has received high praise from graduates of an intense teacher training scheme.
An event to celebrate the graduation of 12 newly qualified teachers took place before the end of term at Chantry Middle School and Technology College.
They were the 2014/15 School Direct cohort – this approach involves treating trainees like members of staff as they are in the classroom four days a week.
The other day is spent at Northumbria University, which is the training provider.
Nine of them were on a primary programme and Peter Twentyman and Britany Parker were among those who were based at Chantry for most of the school year.
As well as teaching Year 5 classes, supervised by a qualified teacher, they have accompanied pupils in other year groups on visits to London and Windermere (Britany) and Belgium and Hexham (Peter). In addition, Peter has assisted the PE departments at Chantry and Newminster Middle School and Technology College with their joint Years 7 and 8 rugby team.
Britany said: “It’s a very realistic way of finding out what you have to do to become an effective teacher.
“Standing in front of a class and thinking ‘these children are my responsibility’ was very stressful but rewarding, especially when I helped them make progress in a particular subject.
“The students are very polite and eager to learn, which made it easier for me to build confidence.”
Peter added: “Spending a lot of time in the classroom allows you to build relationships with the students and it gives you a better opportunity to engage them in your lessons.
“The staff at Chantry have been very supportive and my mentor has given me constant feedback.”
They have both secured jobs at Newminster, starting in September.
The three others were on the secondary programme and spent most of their time at King Edward VI School. All trainees spend a few weeks at a second placement school, which includes a number of the partnership’s first schools.
Chantry is the overall lead school and lead school mentor Sue Brown said: “School Direct ensures that we are able to employ newly qualified teachers with many hours of teaching under their belt who are also comfortable with how we do things in the Morpeth Partnership.”