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St Thomas More

Catholic School

School Direct Testimonials


M. Nelken  

Ms Nelken – Teacher of English/Pastoral Assistant

“I think the School Direct route is the most effective route for those with previous experience in a school setting. Being in a school from September to July prepared me well for what was to come and I found the transition to my NQT year very smooth. At the same time, it is also a relatively flexible route, which takes into account each individual trainee's strengths and weaknesses.” – 2016/2017

C. Thomas 

Ms Thomas – Head of Year/Associate Senior Leader

“I completed the School Direct route into teaching at St Thomas More Catholic School and I would highly recommend it! I was supported throughout my training year by my mentors and all members of staff. I got hands-on classroom experience and was an active member of the school community from September to July. Gaining my QTS at St Thomas More prepared me well for my teaching career.” 2013/2014

L. Wood 

Mr Wood - Head of Year/ Lead Teacher – Psychology

“It was in September 2013 that I began my teacher training with St Thomas More Catholic School via the School Direct route. I opted for the School Direct training course so that I could gain valuable insights into daily school life, to enhance my overall teacher skills and to maximise my learning experience.

From September, I worked directly in the classroom with the support of knowledgeable and helpful mentors. My lessons were planned thoroughly with designated planning time. I was then able to deliver creative lessons aimed at supporting pupils learning by implementing different learning strategies.  Throughout the year, my mentors and I met to discuss and reflect key developmental points. This was vital in enabling me to understand personal progression throughout the entirety of the course.

My training was diversified in that I was given appropriate time to observe outstanding practice from colleagues in other subject areas. This enhanced my ability to understand and practice pupil management using school specific behavioural policies, to differentiate tasks to engage all learners, and to see the impact of outstanding pedagogy on pupil progress.

Within the school I was further supported on the course by constant feedback from my mentors combined with exponential growth in my professional development. Each week, trainees attended sessions at St Thomas More Catholic School Training Centre. The sessions were aimed at critical areas of school life, ranging from organising time management skills, to understanding safeguarding responsibilities. The school was conscientious to organise and provide sessions to be delivered by a different internal or a guest speaker each week. I found it extremely beneficial as it gave me a great opportunity to discuss issues and ideas with people in the same position as myself, as well as sharing our real-life classroom experiences.

At different points throughout the course, I attended Canterbury University to meet with fellow trainees along with my psychology mentor. Subsequently, I was able to receive and give feedback for specific areas of strength as well as areas that needed improvement. I felt adequately supported by fellow trainees as we were able to share our experiences and to think critically about how we could solve pertinent problems that arise within our classrooms.

My training through the School Direct route was further enhanced during my NQT year. Fortunately, I remained within my placement school. As a result, I had a strong sense of continuity in my professional development as a teacher. Even more satisfyingly, I was able to continue to help and improve students which I had previously worked with the year before. ­ Thus, I was given an opportunity to truly impact student achievement and progress during the course of my development.” 2013/3014