Rachael: Second School Placement
Within the first term of training, I felt at home in my placement school, joining in with PPA, teaching small groups and whole class lessons and generally becoming immersed in school life. Then, after Christmas, I was sent to my Second School Placement… A completely different school, with different procedures, in a different year group with entirely different children! I was nervous to say the least.
The placement is only six weeks long and there is a lot of ground to cover during this half-term. I know of many trainees who have questioned why there is a second school placement and why they have had to leave the comfort of their original placement school.
There are so many reasons why the second school placement is fundamental to the success of the SCITT. The most noticeable benefit is that you get to experience a wider breadth of school life and that experience is invaluable in guiding you towards the type of teacher that you want to be. You get the opportunity to teach a different year group and to experience a different leadership. In some cases, there is a contrasting demographic, as may be found in a town school versus a village school.
In my case, the second school placement highlighted some areas for personal development, such as pace of lessons and the difference between teaching styles in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, however, it also showed me where my strengths were. I expanded my knowledge of the curriculum and experienced a different style of teaching and behaviour management to the systems used at my base school.
As a trainee teacher, it is useful to meet as many teachers as possible as there is always something that can be learned from their experience in the classroom. On a practical level, each of my schools use different resource packages and schemes. I found the exposure to different programmes useful as it has enabled me to develop ideas for planning and the way in which some lessons could be taught.
Whilst the prospect of the second school placement was daunting, I am grateful to have experienced it. What the second school placement lacks in duration is more than made up by the impact of the experience on teacher training and professional development.