Saffron Livesey -2022/23 cohort

When considering starting my PGCE, choosing the Learning Futures Partnership was a ‘no-brainer’ I already had a connection with one of the partner schools, and after doing some preliminary research, the whole application process was a breeze!

I chose the LFP as the support you get from them is like no other course provider. My cohort is of a smaller size, which is extremely beneficial, because of the bespoke support in which I receive from my subject tutors and mentors.

The LFP allows you to to go on placement 4-5 days a week to experience a genuine feel for how a school runs and what goes on behind the scenes. All placements are local to the alliance, which is good not only in terms of transport, but also because you may already know the area and the needs of the pupils.

My first placement is at Winstanley College, and I am loving every minute of it! My subject is music and already, after only six weeks, I am working with Year 12 and 13 ‘A’ Level students- as well as directing the musical ‘Rock of Ages’! It’s more than I ever wanted and more in a PGCE course, and I am so glad that I chose this route.

As well as providing a ‘hands-on’ school experience, the LFP is attached to the University of Cumbria which gives a theoretical underpinning to the PGCE. There are set days where I must attend university-based training at the Lancaster campus, and again, the support from the tutors there has been fantastic. The academic teaching is superb, and the communication and guidance has been second to none. I simply could not ask for more. It is fair to say that the course is challenging- it is a combined QTS and PGCE with master’s credits- but already I have learnt so much since September.

But I think one of the best things about the LFP is the community feel we have as a small cohort of students, especially when we get together for our school-based training at Hawkley Hall High School in Wigan. Everyone is so friendly- fellow trainees, teachers, and mentors- and we have very quickly formed strong bonds with each other. I’m not sure that this always happens on larger, university ‘core’ courses.

I am so glad I chose the Learning Futures Partnership, and I can’t wait to progress to being a fully qualified, well-rounded professional teacher of music.

Mr M Reece, Science teacher at Hawkley Hall High School and School Direct trainee.

Communication with other trainees, sharing ideas and experiences helped me on the journey to becoming an outstanding teacher.

Miss A Smith, Geography teacher at Hawkley Hall High School and School Direct trainee.

Hawkley Hall has the most supportive staff members that guide and support you throughout the most rewarding yet challenging year. Expertise in the school is second to none, I feel that the success of my training year was also down to the mentoring and advice given from Hawkley. I am now in my 2nd year of teaching and still loving every moment.

Ben Eckersley

Before starting my journey on the School’s Direct course I was a Level Two Teaching Assistant working in Year Six. I loved being in the classroom as that’s where the magic happens! This was why Schools Direct was perfect for me, you learn by doing, working with children and watching their learning unfold.

As I mentioned above, the Learning Futures Partnership was the natural fit. If you’re like me and feel you get the most out of doing rather than just listening: this is the course for you. We’ve also been fortunate enough to work with some outstanding teachers who have done immersive subject workshops, looking at everything from maths to design technology! Their knowledge and experience has been invaluable and gave us a multitude of ideas for when we’re in front of the class.

The course is a mix of lots of time in the classroom and training days. The training days are fast paced and like I mentioned they leave you chomping at the bit to try them out yourself. In terms of support I can’t understate how well looked after we’ve been. Our PPL has been with us each step of the way, along with our class mentors who made us feel welcome and valuable! It’s a truly special course and I’m confident I’ll be a better teacher for it.

Jevon Birchall

Before I started the PGCE course with the Learning Futures Partnership, I worked for the Electronic Monitoring Services. After attending an induction date I knew that this course was the one for me and with all the training opportunities on offer, I felt confident that this course would deliver the most thorough teacher training. Choosing this course has been the best decision I’ve ever made. All training sessions are delivered by specialists and I have gained a vast amount of expert advice, learning lots which I have been able to apply into my own personal practice. I would highly recommend this course to anyone looking to embark on a teaching career. Choose the Learning Futures Partnership.

Katie Webster

I graduated from Lancaster University with an English Literature degree in July 2016 and then worked as a Year 4 Teaching Assistant from September 2016 to July 2017. My time as a TA cemented my love of teaching and made me realise how passionate I was about pursuing it as a future career.

I chose the Learning Futures Partnership because I thought that the School’s Direct approach would be more beneficial in the long run. With School’s Direct, although you are not teaching from day one, you get to know the school and the children straight away. This meant that when I started my placement I felt reassured and confident in the school’s ethos and policies. I also loved the fact that there would only be a small number of students on the course rather than the hundreds that are usually on typical university-based courses. As a result of this, all the students are given the specific support and attention that they require for their individual journeys.

Overall, the training has been extremely useful and varied. Teaching is definitely a profession where the best learning experiences happen in the classroom but it’s been incredibly valuable to have subject leaders come in every week to share their expertise. All of the workshop leaders are actual teachers and therefore they can give honest, reassuring advice which is always relevant. I was quite nervous before starting the course as I only had a year’s worth of experience but all of the mentors are extremely knowledgeable and approachable which has definitely helped to alleviate my worries. It has been so helpful to hear from and be mentored by experienced teachers who can relate to our experience and pass on their own stories from their careers.