Inspirational journey into teaching….
We look forward to welcoming Olivia O’Brien as a Teacher of Science in the summer term. Here she shares her whirlwind, inspirational journey into teaching through an Excalibur teaching internship.
“In 2020, I started my Environmental Science Degree at Bournemouth University and as part of this I was required to do a five-week placement. I was unsure about what this would consist of, but what I did know is that I wanted to choose wisely. A career I have always been interested in is teaching and this led me to look for placements that included teaching. As if by magic, there was a post in my village Facebook group that advertised a DfE funded STEM teaching internship at St Johns Marlborough; I emailed my CV and secured an interview for the end of that week!
Throughout the internship we were introduced to PGCE training sessions including: careers in teaching, behaviour management, how to plan lessons and teacher identity. My favourite out of these was behaviour management. I felt I could use the skills, tips and tricks that I learned within this session and put them into practice through my time as an intern.
Throughout my internship I was lucky enough to be working between two Excalibur schools – St. John’s and John O’Gaunt in Hungerford. At John O’ Gaunt we ran two projects including a Primary Project. We led different STEM sessions, which involved a maths code breaking session and mathematics code breaking skills to find out who murdered a teacher!
The primary students were enthusiastic and hardworking and seemed to enjoy the code breaking tasks. Whilst I also really enjoyed it, the internship definitely highlighted to me that I wanted to work with secondary school students. This is therefore a great opportunity for anyone interested in training to teach after university, to suss out exactly what is right for them.
I then went back to Bournemouth to complete the final year of my degree. I decided to apply to the School Direct course with Excalibur in January 2023, after attending a New Year Reunion with some of the other summer interns. The support that I received from Excalibur during my internship was amazing, and the community feel of the schools was exactly what I was looking for.
Once I had decided to apply, I received so much support and advice, including a helpful bursary. Once I had sent in my application and completed the interview, it was suggested that I complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course to ensure my knowledge was up to date before starting in September. This was also funded by the DfE, and I was lucky enough to still live in Bournemouth, so completed most of it in the sunshine!
My training is going really well; I am enjoying every single day. When the course began we had three intensive weeks at Bath Spa University (this is who the course is in collaboration with) learning the theory of teaching. We then went into our first placement, with mine being at John O’ Gaunt. The community feel of this school is really special and is not something that I have experienced before. The support that we gain on the school direct course is also unmatched. All the trainees travel back to St John’s on a Tuesday for a seminar, and this is a lovely opportunity for us to come together and share our experiences whilst receiving support from our wonderful mentor.
I have enjoyed my first placement at John O’ Gaunt, so much that I am very lucky to have secured the role as Teacher of Science starting in July! I am super thankful to Excalibur for supporting me on my teaching journey so far and I am very excited for all the wonderful experiences to come.”