NQTs and Alumni
We are very proud of the Harris NQT Induction programme. Our programme ensures that your future career and professional development builds on the individual ethos and vision of each academy yet recognises where collaboration and best practice can be shared across the Harris Federation of Academies. This will be achieved through nurturing your professional skills by providing a supportive yet challenging structure where you can flourish and capitalise on the highest standards of learning and teaching.
Our NQT programme is designed to build on your training year, to further develop your classroom practice, self-evaluation, professional, and subject and curricula knowledge and also to provide a supportive network of colleagues with whom to share ideas, experiences and best practice.
1. Your Induction Year
As a Harris NQT, you will have a mentor to guide you through your first year as a qualified teacher. Your mentor will meet with you each week and provide regular support so that you continue to develop excellent classroom practice. Your mentor will be supported and trained in order to guide you towards a successful completion of your NQT year.
2. Specialist NQT Training
Our NQTs receive subject and age phase specialist training from our consultants and outstanding practitioners throughout the NQT year. These bespoke sessions are an opportunity to develop specific skills and to develop networks with colleagues across the Federation.
3. Harris NQT Conference
All of our NQTs attend a dedicated welcome NQT Conference early in the Autumn term to introduce the Induction Programme and to meet key staff. In addition to high profile keynote speakers, there are a range of high quality workshops to create a bespoke training experience for each NQT.
Please click the link to see our post about the Harris NQT Conference 2016 at the Guoman Tower Hotel.
4. Career Development at Harris
At Harris, you will have the opportunity to access a wide range of routes to develop your career in a way most suited to your interests. We are very proud of our School Direct and NQT alumni who have gone on to promotions as middle and senior leaders in education. We see networking as a key part of developing careers and offer opportunities to learn about the different career paths on offer.
5. Our Alumni
Kirsty and Tkaion completed their training year with Harris School Direct in 2015. See the videos at the bottom of this page to find out how they feel the course helped them to get to where they are now.
Ryan, Beth, Vasco, Blessing, Nora, Rachael and Jerome completed their training year with Harris School Direct in 2016, and are now Newly Qualified Teachers based in and around London.
Find out how they felt about their time training with Harris School Direct...
Ryan - Harris Maths trainee 2015/16
I was placed in a school from September and immediately felt like I was teacher. I've managed to build strong relationships with students over many terms rather than switching and having meet a new set of students as you would on placements. I've had an incredible first-hand experience of what it's like to work in a school. I feel lucky to have been a part of the school since September and see how my students have progressed after each term.
The support networks created with fellow trainee teachers have been the most important and helpful part of my training. I've met a whole group of other maths teachers who are going through the same experiences and are incredibly supportive. You are also given the opportunity to meet the Harris consultants who are lead practitioners in their subjects; they have helped me to vastly improve my pedagogy and subject knowledge. The weekly training that we receive has helped me to develop as a new practitioner. Days are specifically designed to meet the needs of the trainee teachers and I always come away with new strategies and a morale boost. With the Thursday training sessions every week I am improving because I have been able to add something to my practice. Thursdays also allow you time to talk to the course leaders if you need help and they are always happy to talk and support the trainees. With all the support I have received so far I feel prepared to jump into my NQT year in September. I've received career advice so I am aware of the possibilities and routes I can take and I was offered help to secure a place for next year.
Beth - Harris Design & Technology trainee 2015/16
One of the benefits [of Harris School Direct] is that we have a full day out [of our school placements] for training each week; we are not in every single day, so we have all the same responsibilities but we are getting really intense training that we then go back and apply directly.
We might use it the next day or the next week, or refer back to it when something comes up in a lesson in future, or in planning where we think, ‘Oh, we’ve done this in training.’ I can come back to what I’ve learnt about EAL [English as an Additional Language] or behaviour management; everything’s stored in the back of my mind so I feel really prepared.
I’ve had the admin, classes and teaching responsibility from day 1. It was a shock at the beginning, but looking back now I think that it was such a benefit to me to be thrown into the deep end. I think that’s the way that you develop: things come up and you learn to manage them. I feel really well-prepared for next year. I’ve got a year 11 class, I’ve got a mentoring group; I had those from day 1, and when I saw that on my timetable I was nervous, but actually in reality we’re going to have to have those kinds of things next year, and every year that we teach, so to have them now and get that experience when you’ve got all the extra support from the ITE team is great. I’ve got my mentor to ask; I’ve got training days to discuss with other trainees; I’ve got Jacqui and Rachael to speak to - to have all that support is really reassuring!
The sense of community is the best bit of the course. Whether it’s something that’s gone really well or something that might have gone really wrong, I’ve got everybody. The tutors, the trainees, the central team, everybody’s available to talk it through with me. It’s nice to know it’s not just you that’s going through all of these things. Getting their feedback is really valuable, for example, in the sessions in small groups we had at university about our chosen MA assignment subjects. Having other people to talk through those with that are in the same position as you is so helpful.
Vasco - Harris Primary trainee 2015/16
The Harris School Direct programme has been very beneficial to my training in many ways. You are at the forefront of practice - from the very first day, I was put in front of the classroom, dealing with parents, positive and negative behaviour from children. This helped me to grasp key pedagogical concepts from very early on in my career and has made me a more reflective practitioner overall.
The subject days have been the most beneficial aspect of the course, as I have been able to liaise and discuss with other trainees the key pedagogical principles that each subject entails. This has built my confidence monumentally as I take away key information from subject experts which I can apply directly in the classroom the following week.
Most of the Thursday sessions have been invaluable in building my pedagogy and unique teaching style. They are varied and fun, allowing trainees to explore various areas of practice and theory and how these work in tandem in the profession. You build positive relationships with the other trainees and we are never shy to talk about how our week went!
I am constantly reflecting and improving - I will be ready for my NQT year. The programme has promoted my individual talents and also has provided a sanctuary for me to hone my practice, which will be invaluable next year.
Blessing - Harris History trainee 2015/16
The Harris School Direct route has been the right choice for me because it placed me directly within an active school environment and so I have been able to get a true sense of how a school works over an extended period of time.
It has enabled me to create and nurture relationships with fellow teachers and trainees as well as students. The greatest thing that it has given me is the true understanding of student progress over an academic year and being responsible for this has provided me with true insight into the nature of teaching. The most important part of my training has been the marked increase in my subject-specific knowledge which has greatly improved my ability to plan and teach whole schemes of work effectively. I now feel more equipped to promote student understanding and progress. The time set aside each Thursday has been the highlight of my training. Just knowing that I will receive professional insight into the teaching profession as well as techniques that I can put into action the very next day has been invaluable. I feel that I have been prepared with the necessary knowledge and understanding of my subject, teaching pedagogy and the school environment to ensure that my NQT year is a successful one.
Nora - Harris Science trainee 2015/16
Harris School Direct has been a great way into teaching. It’s the best way to jump straight in and get comfortable in the classroom from Day 1. It’s great to be treated as a teacher from the beginning by colleagues and pupils alike and to have that respect as a member of staff from the students.
For me, the most important part of training has been getting the opportunity to work with and observe teachers who have years of experience and really know how to command the attention of a class. Every time you watch someone you pick up so many good techniques to try!
Thursday training has been a great opportunity to see the other trainees, to discuss experiences and give each other help and advice. Plus it’s a day mid-week when we don’t have to stress too much about being prepared for the classroom and makes the workload feel far more manageable!
I think I will feel well-prepared for my NQT year. There is always so much to learn but we have been well supported all year, and it’s comforting to know that we’ll still have that support in September staying on as NQTs!
Rachael - Harris Geography trainee 2015/16
The Harris School Direct programme introduces trainees to all the realities of school life from day one! Being an immersive experience, School Direct trainees are encouraged to become as involved with their classes as possible from an early stage.
As a career changer, starting back at the beginning and training in something completely new was a huge adjustment. I chose the School Direct programme because it is fast-paced and trainees demonstrate rapid progression in a short space of time. From managing behaviour to planning lessons and attending parents’ evenings, the programme is the best preparation for life as a newly qualified teacher.
For my second placement, I went to Harris Boys Academy East Dulwich. This was one of the best experiences I had throughout the training year; it was a complete contrast to my current school, which meant I was able to take on some different responsibilities and pick up a variety of new teaching, learning and behavioural strategies for use in the classroom.
The training sessions on Thursdays have been an invaluable part of the programme. They’re not only about learning new strategies and tactics to implement in the classroom, but they also provide the chance to meet with fellow trainees each week. Being able to share experiences acts as an important reminder that you are not on your own; there is a wealth of support available from both the trainers and fellow trainees. It’s a really important forum to share frustrations and gain advice, but also to celebrate the huge achievements being made.
There is always an element of surprise as a teacher, but by the end of the year I feel I will be as prepared as I can be for my NQT year. Having a full year of school experience behind me has not only helped to grow my confidence in the classroom, but has also given me a really solid base on which I can develop my practice.
Jerome - Harris English trainee 2015/16
One of the major things that is beneficial about our Harris School Direct training is being able to talk to your peers at the training days and have an understanding of what other people who are going through the course are experiencing.
It allows you to share ideas and fresh ways of teaching. We are also much more clued up on things like our subjects, subject pedagogy and behaviour management as a result.
You can talk to likeminded people on the training days about all the things you’re nervous or scared about, and there will be someone going through the same thing: we share worries and concerns, thrash out ideas together, brainstorm together.
One of the best things about the Thursday training is the fact that it’s away from the main placement, so you can step back and be apart from that and in a different space to really reflect and get a different experience.