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 Post subject: Re: Dean Academy
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:47 am 
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Posts: 8056
capers123 wrote:
A school that is being turned around is probably a good place to work for a trainee teacher - it's on the way up and will, I imagine, have outside help giving extra advice.
One hopes that a Teach First placement trainee would be getting some support but I am not at all sure that is always the case with this particular scheme. I would advise your daughter to look very carefully at what exactly is being offered, Tree. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Dean Academy
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:00 pm 
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There was a very interesting programme following Teach First trainees through their first year - I think it was on about a year ago. They all seemed to be parachuted into "difficult" schools (assumedly because the school couldn't recruit easily and they were a cheap alternative), and all appeared to be given the groups that no other teacher wanted to teach - not the most auspicious introduction - and the "support" was a bit patchy - more like "relief" from the mainstream staff that that particular group was no longer their problem. The other Teach First trainess seemed to be the main source of support. I think they followed about 4 trainees - the ones who showed the most promise all left teaching. It wasn't the best advert for the scheme so I would echo Amber's advice - check exactly what is being offered.


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 Post subject: Re: Dean Academy
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:19 pm
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Location: bucks
We also watched the TV programme on Teach First, I think it is probably not best to judge it on this as i'm guessing its been "dramatised" up a bit and i reckon having TV camaras is not going to improve kids behaviour.

The head teacher is a teach first graduate and very positive about its principles and dd is very positive and enthusiastic about the whole philosophy. So hopefully she is starting on the right footing.

We shall see I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: Dean Academy
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:01 am 
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I remember reading your daughter's journey a few years ago Tree, very emotional and inspiring. Congratulations to her!
Dean Academy used to be Whitecross school. I knew a few pupils from there and they were lovely (as were the families!). Unfortunately if a school has a bad ofsted the process now is to re-brand, usually into a larger MAT which I think has happened to Dean Academy. Not that this is a bad thing, but in reality you are still dealing with the same cohort.
My first school (after a 1 year pgce) was very similar to Dean Academy, and guess what? I survived! Just as your daughter will do. Yes it was hard work, yes there were days when I thought I couldn't do it, but in the end I stayed there for four years! Mainly because it was so rewarding, so much fun, and such a good learning experience. Knowing that you made a difference to a child is the best feeling in the world, especially children who may come from families who don't necessarily connect with education.
The biggest support was from the other members of staff as we were all mainly young, would let off steam together on a Friday evening, and the senior team were also brilliant if there was a problem.
With regards of an area to live: lots of colleagues I work with travel from Chepstow and even Newport to Gloucester/Cheltenham. It depends on your daughter's interests, but I would suggest Gloucester is a fairly good place. Although the commute can be long at morning rush hour, it is usually from the forest going into Gloucester that gets clogged up. If your daughter is travelling to Lyndey (and most teachers in my experience prefer to be in early) she would actually be travelling against the main flow of traffic and before it gets snarled up. Again, as the school day finishes early, she could leave to avoid the evening rush hour. There are really nice villages such as Highnam, Newent etc which are closer too.

Please feel free to PM if you'd like any more information on where to live, or anything else from a local teacher 20+ years in!! Happy to help in any way :D
Good luck, I'm sure she will do a grand job!


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 Post subject: Re: Dean Academy
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:08 am 
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Tree wrote:
We also watched the TV programme on Teach First, I think it is probably not best to judge it on this as i'm guessing its been "dramatised" up a bit and i reckon having TV camaras is not going to improve kids behaviour..
I did not watch it and would never make a judgement on something like this based on a television programme even if I had. TF does divide opinion as I am sure your daughter is already aware.

I hope it works out well for her. :)

Ah just seen your post CoT. Now I know which school it is (hadn't realised it had changed name) and yes I have experience of it. The children I met were lovely too and from lovely families; that said, I would say that it will have its challenges, but that is what TF is all about.


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 Post subject: Re: Dean Academy
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:09 pm 
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Location: bucks
I know this is a very old post but thought people might be interested in the outcome - my dd is loving being a teacher she particularly is very passionate about working in state comprehensive in challenging areas as this means that she feels she can offer the most and get the greatest reward. I think in the end she felt teach first was a bit cultist but generally supportive. She is staying in teaching but moving schools to be nearer to her partner who has also just finished TF now in Plymouth at another school in special measures but with a new head and positive outlook but as head of maths.

As some of you may remember she failed the 11 plus went to a comprehensive and then oxford to study economics she recently went back to oxford with some of her students on an outreach programme and i think her tutors were surprised that she had stuck it out and not yet become an investment banker like all the oxford economics graduates.

I'm not sure what the future brings but she is really happy which i guess is all that a parent wants after all.


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