Training During A Pandemic!

Our Teach Wimbledon trainees, like us all, have had a very unusual year! Towards the end of last term we caught up with them to find out how they have coped with their first term of training and how they built a their initial teacher-student relationships in such different circumstances to what they were no doubt expecting. 

“We are very impressed with how our trainees have developed this term in such testing circumstances, they have come on leaps and bounds and really gone the extra mile to ensure students felt supported and engaged in their learning during very confusing times- this is a testament to their dedication!”

Ms Farley, Assistant Headteacher, Ursuline High School



How have you found the teaching experience so far?

"Hard work! Very rewarding though.." 
Sophie, Raynes Park High School

"Challenging but enjoyable.." 
Niamh, Dundonald Primary School 

"Very enjoyable, the department at Rutlish have been extremely helpful and I feel like I have settled in nicely." 
Mark, Rutlish High School

"Brilliant! Love it!" 
Bonnie, Sacred Heart Primary School

Zoe, St Mary's Primary School

"Overall I have really enjoyed my first term of teacher training.  I expected this to be an exciting new challenge and that is what it has been.  Hard work, as expected, and a long, steep learning curve ahead. But that new learning is what makes it interesting." 
Sven, Ricards Lodge



How have you found teacher training during the pandemic and how have you overcome challenges?

"Currently, 2 out of 4 of my subject teachers in class are being covered due to covid, so I have been struggling with these classes as the cover teacher is less aware of our behaviour policy and has less presence in the classroom than they’re usual subject teacher. I had to isolate earlier on in the year and this led me to fall behind with teaching hours, which I am still playing catch up for. The quality of teaching from the university is less than I expect in other years, as a lot of the asynchronous study seems like much more written work than would be expected of us on campus." 
Sophie, Raynes Park High School

"Difficult because you don’t get to see many other teachers and children, however my CTM and SBM have been incredibly supportive and helpful." 
Niamh, Dundonald Primary School 

"It has been interesting but I feel like it hasn't affected my development very much as the majority of my development so far has been getting used to being in a classroom/assuming usual teacher responsibilities. The only area I feel it has affected is practicals but I am still managing to get some practice at these." 
Mark, Rutlish High School

"It has been 'different' but everyone at school has been so supportive so I have managed to push through.. I have been supported every step of the way." 
Bonnie, Sacred Heart Primary School

"The pandemic has been disruptive in several ways.  We are limited in how we can interact with pupils in the classroom (e.g. no walking around, checking pupils' work), the structure of the days and weeks is different from normal practice (e.g. no form time and no in-person assemblies.  The university experience is also completely different, given that most of our sessions are remote.  Having said all this, it has forced us to learn other approaches (e.g. much more use of technology or other ways to gauge whole-class progress).  Overall, the pandemic has had less impact on my experience than I had feared." 
Sven, Ricards Lodge High School

"Strong working relationship with CTM and other student at my school."  
Zoe, St Mary's Primary School



How have you built a rapport with students during an unusual school year? 

"Many students have needed comprehensive support due to the pandemic, thus I have been able to be a trusted person to help support the students throughout this. Being understanding and offering additional support to students, being involved with conversations home and rewarding positive behaviour has been great in establishing rapport." 
Sophie, Raynes Park High School

"Being positive and asking them lots of questions, going out at playtime with them, giving them lots of time to ask questions." 
Niamh, Dundonald Primary School

"I feel like I have managed to build a good rapport with the students, I try not to unnecessarily mention the current situation to give them (and me) a sense of normality which seems to help keep them at ease." 
Mark, Rutlish High School

"Having those 1 to 1 moment really helps develop those relationships. Taking interest in their lives helps too!" 
Bonnie, Sacred Heart Primary School

"I think I have been able to build a rapport firstly by ensuring I knew all the pupils' names from the first lesson or two.  This shows respect and the fact that I care about them as individuals.  I also always greet the students at the door and wish them a good rest of the day when they leave the classroom.  I think the pupils appreciate this and it has helped build relationships." 
Sven, Ricards Lodge High School

"Within our class bubble very easily." 
Zoe, St Mary's Primary School



How has Teach Wimbledon supported you? 

"Fantastically! Where I have felt the university’s support has been lacking somewhat, teach Wimbledon and all the teachers involved have gone above and beyond to support us, and provide many enriching CPD opportunities. I especially enjoyed the employment seminar!" Sophie, Raynes Park High School

"By providing specific sessions.." 
Niamh, Dundonald Primary School

"The professional studies lessons have been beneficial, giving me ideas for new methods etc." 
Mark, Rutlish High School

"Answered any queries I have had." 
Bonnie, Sacred Heart Primary School

"All the staff at Ricards Lodge, in my department and beyond, have been extremely helpful and generous with their time.  We have really good weekly Professional Studies sessions at Ricards Lodge on relevant subjects, led by senior leadership members.  Our university Professional Studies sessions, mostly hosted by Ursuline High School, have also been really useful, focusing on interesting topics with good presentations and panel sessions of teachers and students.  I think Teach Wimbledon have done a very good job supporting us in this first term." 
Sven, Ricards Lodge High School

"Some training, more to come." 
Zoe, St Mary's Primary School



What has the highlight of the term been?

"Delivering the STEM day to our year 9s!" 
Sophie, Raynes Park High School

"When children enjoy the lessons I have planned and I have inspired a positive behaviour for learning." 
Niamh, Dundonald Primary School

"Being in the classroom, specifically I find it very satisfying when a lesson proceeds with minimal disruption and the children grasp the core concepts I am trying to get across." 
Mark, Rutlish High School

"The school - staff and students - couldn't feel more welcomed!" 
Bonnie, Sacred Heart Primary School

"Probably some of my year 10 lessons, where I have managed to build a really good rapport, and the class is performing well given it is a lower set.  It has been particularly uplifting when they gave positive feedback after lessons." 
Sven, Ricards Lodge High School

Zoe, St Mary's Primary School

Primary Trainees

Niamh Curran- Year 2
Sally Trivett Dundonald- Year 1

Sacred Heart
Bonnie Lee Roger- Year 5

St Mary's
Mollie Powell- St Mary’s- Year 5
Zoe Thompson- ST Mary’s- Year 5

St Teresa's
Patrick Gallagher- St Teresa’s- Year 5
Lisa Hodgson- St Teresa’s- Year 1

The Priory
Grace Hassell- The Priory- Year 5

Secondary Trainees

Raynes Park
Sophie Holland- Biology
Marcus Bishop- P.E
Emily Wistow- Biology
Wendy Robins- History  

Ricards Lodge
Sven Oestmann- Maths
Caitlin Hardie- Physics
Sarah Burns- Biology
Helen Frater= Design Technology
Naomi Debaka-MFL French/Spanish

Eleanor Neilson- Sociology
Mark Bishop- Biology
Louis 0’rourke- R.E

St Marks
Elliot Koubis- MFL- French/German

Ursuline High School, Wimbledon
Poppy Rushforth- English
Jason Ching- Music
Joshua Noone- History
Mary O’Brien- Sociology
Paige Smith- Maths
James Shriver- Physics
Umaiyarl Theephthakumar- Chemistry

 IMG 5750

 The Teach Wimbledon trainees at Ursuline High School, Wimbledon

About our Teach Wimbledon Programme

Teach Wimbledon delivers primary and secondary, salaried and non-salaried training in London Borough of Merton. Lead by Ursuline High School and Ricards Lodge in partnership with University of Roehampton, working with 10 primary and 6 secondary schools in Merton. Teach Wimbledon has trained over 50 teachers in the last 5 years!

If you are interested in a career in teaching please visit the Teach Wimbledon website here!