Francis Highton is a former rower who is currently in his NQT year after studying at the Institute of Education, University of Reading.
The Geography specialism
Francis studied on the PGCE Secondary Geography programme. He knew he wanted to teach Secondary. After loving geography at school and taking it at undergraduate level, he felt it only natural to specialise in Geography.
"The ever changing nature of geography and needing to keep abreast of new developments and news items keeps it exciting. Geography also speaks to everybody. It interconnects with every subject - literature, languages, history, science, and physical education, all of it. Therefore, if young people understand geography they can understand the world. I'd like to help my students realise this and use this knowledge to make a real difference! "
"Both the schools were great. Being able to see the distinction between them allowed me to understand a little bit more how radically different schools could be. I was aware of this before but until I experienced it first-hand I didn't fully appreciate the extent.
Francis also had the opportunity to work in a different educational setting. He undertook a short primary experience and a 9 day enrichment opportunity towards the end of the course.
"I chose to work in a PE department which allowed me to build upon my other love which is sport. I felt the course really moulded to your needs in that way. I took everything I learnt there onto my secondary school. "
Francis found the sessions on behavioural management particularly insightful, and it has shaped his teaching style.
"One of the main things has been behaviour management and now the expectations I set at the beginning of the school year place me in a great position to run an engaged class with minimal disruption.
Supportive staff and community
"The subject lead for geography was absolutely brilliant. He really prepared me with a tool kit of creative ideas to implement in the classroom and make the lesson my own.''
During the course Francis also enjoyed meeting fellow trainee teachers.
" It's just been fantastic! The network of trainee teachers and teachers I met was amazing for sharing ideas and for general support."
Making an impact
It has been really rewarding seeing students I taught during training feedback on how things have clicked for them based on my lessons. I came into this profession to make an impact so it's nice to hear.
Looking to the future
Francis now works in a school in Surrey in the geography department. His aspirations are to continue to inspire the students he teaches and become a head of year group, while continuing to be involved in sport.