My name is Sophie Miller. I am currently an NQT at Rosebrook Primary School in Stockton, a school part of the Academy Trust AdAstra. Prior to beginning my journey into the education profession with Rosebrook, I studied my BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS, degree, at Sheffield Hallam where I graduated with a first class Honours (degree) in November of 2016.
In terms of my experience as an NQT so far, I wanted to reflect on what it meant to me being part of AdAstra Academy Trust. AdAstra Academy Trust’s name and ethos is based upon ‘reaching for the stars’ and ‘going for your goals’, ‘striving for your best’ always wanting to improve your practise and implementing this into your teaching and promote this definition and ethos amongst the children. As a result, I believe this ethos is embedded in all members of the trust I have encountered to this date. They have an inspiring and methodical influence when visiting and observing within school. Being a part of AdAstra Academy trust has enabled me to build connections across various schools and with other professionals and has enabled me to improve my teaching and share good practise, an invaluable method of developing, especially as an NQT.
To help visualise the support, and also my role within school I created a diagram that demonstrates this role and the links to support within school, and out of school involving AdAstra Academy trust.
Support within school:
My mentor within school I feel is always available for support and guidance. I always feel welcome at any time and to discuss any issues no matter how big or small. Feedback is provided promptly after lesson observations when convenient. Positives are always highlighted to discuss first then moves onto discuss areas to improve in a positive and motivational manner. Feedback is always manageable and specific and is guided by my mentor to make those next steps in my progression and continuously maintain the momentum in improving my teaching practise. A particular area I feel is a significant highlight of the NQT programme is the organisation of specific training within school such as: Dementia, AFL, Autism, SEN and safe guarding training, attainment and progress using o track and pupil progress, attachment theory training and play therapist, phonics from phonics champion, where the trust has utilised members within school to enlist specific training for NQTs within the programme. I feel the support as a whole school, of encouragement, motivation and also humour are great attributes for your initial year in the profession.
Support out of school – AdAstra:
In terms of support as an NQT from AdAstra Academy trust and Appropriate Body Hartlepool has been well structured, constructive and targets created have taken into account the aspects of new learning within lessons, progression and pace. Feedback has always encouraged me to reflect on the children in my class as learners on a continuous journey they are all unique and may take different routes on their individual journeys and to use clear AFL to maintain each child’s progress and attainment profile.
The wider NQT network in a range of schools within the trust (North East area, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool) has allowed meetings, training, discussions and communication to take place. Time was allocated to discuss good practice and offer advice, an area I greatly benefitted from and enjoyed participating in. For example, in a Year 1 AdAstra Trust meeting I adapted my phonics lessons to include phonics books to allow the children to apply their phonic skills, a method provided by West View. As a result of this, I created a NQT network group with Hartlepool AdAstra NQTs which currently is email based communication, moving onto meetings in each other’s schools to maintain the connection to discuss issues and areas of good practice to share.
Advice to refine NQT Programme for AdAstra:
Sophie Miller , 2017