On 17th July 2018 we celebrated 84 trainees, including three who started last year on the part-time course, completing their training to gain Qualified Teacher Status, making them the largest cohort for GITEP SCITT ever! This was a year that had seen us receive 20% more applications and 50% more acceptances than the previous year, giving us our largest ever subject groups for English, maths, biology, geography and languages.
Together with their partners, subject leaders, the staff of GITEP and the headteachers from the SCITT Management Committee the trainees celebrated their success at the Manor by the Lake in Cheltenham, in the beautiful ballroom, which was lit with an abundance of fairy lights. Unlike last year, when it rained non-stop, and the year before, when it was too hot to be indoors, we couldn’t have picked a better evening for our award ceremony.
Chiquita Henson, Chair of the SCITT and Headteacher at Cirencester Deer Park School, was the first speaker of the evening and explained that they “have that ability to inspire our young people” and the new teachers’ challenge was to make sure they gave children the skills and confidence they’ll need in the future – whatever curriculum they were working with. She also pointed out that they would be the topics of conversation (and speculation) for their pupils!
Richard Whincup, a Sports Business Lecturer and rugby coach at Hartpury College and Speech Trainer with the McGuire Programme gave a heartfelt talk about his journey from being a non-communicator, disabled by stammering, to being a dad, husband, university lecturer, rugby coach, motivational speaker, course instructor and staff trainer. He explained that he challenges himself constantly because “outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens”.
After receiving their certificates the trainees were able to let their hair down, relax and enjoy food cooked al fresco on the terrace while catching up with each other and comparing experiences. We wish them luck in their new careers and look forward to supporting them in their NQT year and beyond. They are now preparing to embark upon their new careers, most of them already having teaching posts with the majority in our partnership schools.