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Tobias Deakin – University of Reading

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  • Tobias Deakin

    Primary School Direct

Tobias Deakin

tobiasTobias was incredibly interested in becoming a teacher ever since leaving University in 2013. He undertook a few different roles, including some teaching assistant jobs before starting the Primary School Direct course in 2019.

" The main attraction of School Direct was being based at my chosen school whilst also having central training from the University."

Tobias found university sessions made it easy to understand how theory could be used effectively in the classroom.

"Some sessions were subject specific and some were on overarching areas such as Behaviour Management. It was really helpful to be able to put what I had learned in these sessions in to practice back at school."

The course was essentially split in to four blocks across the autumn, spring and summer terms. This meant teaching was built up in increments.

"In the first term you are working your way up to teaching the equivalent of two days over the course of each week. Everyone's starting position is different. I started just taking 15 minute segments of lessons before building up to teaching full lessons. In December, I then moved over to my second school placement for two weeks until the end of term. This is a super helpful period of time and allows you to fully adjust to being in a new environment with a new class."

Tobias continued:

"In January you have more time in your second school. This runs up until half term and you want to be aiming to teach 50% of the week here, but don't worry, you still get time out of the classroom for preparation, planning and assessment. After this, you head back to your main school teaching a different age group. At this point, you're working up to teaching three days per week and the central training sessions are less frequent. This period runs up until Easter. Then you're on the home stretch, back into the class you were with in the Autumn and building up to teaching four days per week with responsibility for the whole class to leave you in good stead for the NQT year. In the last few weeks of the course you have your assessment as well."

One of the highlights of Tobias's training year was his second placement.

"I found it such a lovely period before Christmas to help out and get stuck in and just get to know the school. Also the last two blocks were great as at this point you really feel as if you're hitting your stride teaching most of the lessons."

Being embedded in the school team also supported Tobias's development.

"It was helpful to my development as obviously being part of a school team will be such a crucial part of your NQT year and your career, so starting that process now and getting used to it was really helpful."

Tobias now has a job starting in September at his main placement school.

"The training year just flew by, feels like only yesterday I was getting ready to start this course, but I'm really looking forward to the year ahead."

Overall of the programme Tobias would say:

"The beauty of the programme is that it can be bespoke. My training experience is different to someone else's and so on. This enables you to work with the University and your school to put in support if needed and develop targets which will be beneficial to you."

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