Liz Harris, Former Gateway Alliance Trainee 2017-2018
As a ‘career change’ candidate, when I was first researched teacher training options, it was important for me to find a programme that felt professional and offered a positive atmosphere to support what would be a huge change to my entire life.
At the very first interview with Gateway, I met Helen and Lisa, who immediately made it clear that supporting trainees to transition from a professional career back into University and training was a real strength of the organisation. There were such a diverse group of people working for and training with Gateway that I never felt that I was behind due to not being a TA or having years of education experience. This was important to me as I had never worked in a school before.
The additional training and support you receive from Gateway is a huge benefit and bonus. I loved training through the School Direct programme; the focussed additional training Gateway offered was invaluable to me personally as it is targeted to key areas and complemented the University input well.
It was from a Gateway training session that I realised I wanted to work more with EAL children. We had an amazing training session in a wonderful school that was majority EAL children, and I think about elements of that session most days in my classroom now.
After I completed my NQT year, I moved abroad to teach in an International School so I could develop my skills and knowledge of teaching EAL children – now my whole class is EAL and it is so much fun developing new ways to support them and we have so many wow moments based around language! When I return to the UK , I hope to work in a school with a lot of EAL children and my ambition is to become a lead in this area.
I strongly believe that the supportive approach of the Gateway School Direct route enabled me to secure my position in an International School before I had even finished my NQT year. Showing them evidence from the extra training sessions and the amount of hours I had taught for in school during training gave me so much more confidence to follow my dream of working with EAL children.