Why Train with Us
South West Teaching School Alliance (SWTSA) delivers high quality school-led Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programmes for aspiring secondary teachers across the South West.
The School Direct programme is led by Ivybridge Community College, which has substantial experience of leading ITT and is one of the first 100 Teaching Schools in the country. The partnership of placement schools and Higher Education provider is committed to training and developing outstanding teachers for the future.
My Journey Into Teaching
"After having spent over ten years in a University environment, as a student, Researcher and Tutor, I made the leap in Spring 2015 to train to teach. I was pretty sure that I wanted to train through a School Direct route, rather than a university because I was eager to get into the classroom and learn on the job. After interviewing at Ivybridge, I was delighted to be offered a training position at such an outstanding school. I started in College in mid-September, and I can honestly say that my perception of the teaching profession changed dramatically and very quickly. Prior to starting, we trainees had spent two weeks in the Training Centre, learning the acronyms and buzzwords, and being taught the theory of Behaviour Management. During the first couple of weeks of observations and trying to pull apart the details of the lessons in light of this theory, my admiration for teachers went through the roof. I hadn’t appreciated the intricacies of the classroom, and how many, often conflicting, priorities had to be juggled to enable learning to happen.
Fortunately, Ivybridge provided me with an amazingly supportive environment, particularly at the start. I was able to begin teaching quickly, although the amount I took on initially was driven by me. I had a brilliant mentor, who gave me useful feedback, and really helped me to focus my goals. Often, it felt like as I was getting to grips with one of the teaching standards, another would trip me up, but over the course of the year my confidence, and ability to juggle the necessary elements of the classroom, grew. The support at Ivybridge came not just from the department, but also in terms of the professional development on offer. One advantage of Ivybridge being such a large school was the network of trainees, of different backgrounds, subjects and training routes who came together during these meetings, to share ideas, successes and failures.
After my training year I remained at Ivybridge as an NQT, and this sense of community has only grown. The Maths Department are a great team to work with and be part of, and the group of NQTs and the support of our NQT Coordinator has been priceless. As I continue to develop as a teacher, I couldn’t have hoped for a better route into this profession, nor a better place to train."