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Classroom

Trainees 2023-2024

Want to know more about our trainees? Read on to find out what led our class of 2024 to choose teacher training with Prestolee!

As you will see, we have a variety of trainees from diverse backgrounds. Whether you are finishing university this year, have years of experience as a teaching assistant, or finally taking the leap to your dream career, we're here to help you start your journey! 

Patrick

PGCE with QTS, 5-11 Pathway

“I previously taught young learners in a Language Centre during my time in Hong Kong and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the children develop. I always thought about teaching as I wanted to make a positive impact on society but I have been anxious about working in a school. I have since moved back to the UK and finally picked up the courage to apply for the teacher training course to become a teacher as there is no better time than now. Prestolee has been very welcoming from the interview stage through to induction and they put me at ease with the support available and previous trainee success stories. I am both excited and nervous about the course and I look forward to working with my mentors and children and helping them to become the best version of themselves.”

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Claire

QTS Only, 3-7 Pathway

"I started my career as an Environmental Consultant working in Dubai. After 3 years I moved back to England to start a family. Once my son was born, I decided to concentrate on my role as a Mum. I loved learning how to help him develop and my daughter once she was born. When my son was in Reception and Year 1, I had to home-school him due to the Covid pandemic. I realised that I really enjoyed this and all the aspects of Early Years learning. I realised that Early Years are so important in a child’s learning journey and through personal circumstances that some children need additional support immediately. I decided that I wanted to train to teach in a Primary School as I enjoy learning about all aspects of the curriculum. I can see through my children the overlap there is between subjects and their skills. I applied to Prestolee after my daughter had started school and am excited to start this next part of my life’s journey."

Hannah

PGCE with QTS, 5-11 Pathway

“I always knew that I wanted to work with children, my Year 3 teacher had a huge impact on my love of learning and being in a classroom. She was my very own ‘Miss Honey’ and I wanted to be just like her. I studied Performing Arts at college and then became a barber. I was unsure what direction I wanted to take. I then applied to complete my degree in Early Childhood and Education and finally start the dream I had had all along. I have been a teaching assistant for five years and I have loved every minute of it. Being a part of a school environment only made me more passionate and determined to continue my own teaching journey.”

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Rico

QTS Only, 5-11 Pathway

“After studying business in school and college, I developed a keen interest in marketing, leading me to spend three years completing a marketing degree. During this time, despite enjoying it, I did not see myself working in an office, each day being the same as the last, and not making full use of my skills and hobbies in order to benefit my career. During this time, I began to find myself gaining an insight into primary school teaching, leading me to think more of my own experiences of primary school, the teachers I had, and how my time in primary school has later positively impacted my life. I spent time searching different pathways to suit me and found Prestolee SCITT. After applying, interviewing, and beginning the course, knowing how close I am to achieving what I know I want to do with my life, fills me with great excitement and I look forward to it all.”

Stephanie

PGCE with QTS , 3-7 Pathway

"Growing up I was forever drawn to creativity and expression, which led me to career as an actor-musician within theatre. As fabulous as it was, I started to want to put my roots down more and tour less. I realised the times that I had felt most fulfilled, was performing in interactive shows for younger audiences. Seeing them discover and experience the world around them was incredibly special. I had worked as a day-to-day cover TA in between theatre contracts and decided instead to try a long-term placement in a school nursery. Whilst seeing children there over time grow and flourish, I knew that applying to teacher training should be my next step. I am excited to go on this journey with Prestolee SCITT and was drawn to their personable approach. I want every child to feel heard and supported as we explore our journeys together."

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Jade

PGCE with QTS, 3-7 Pathway

"In 2002, I decided that I wanted to work with children. I studied at the local college, where I gained my level three qualification in Childcare and Early Years Practice. From this, I secured a role as a Nursery Nurse in a private day nursery. Two years later, I had my first daughter. This is when I decided to step away from early years for a while and instead, enjoy motherhood. Around this time, I secured employment within the financial sector. However, my passion was working with children. In 2010, I returned to early years and spent the following twelve years employed in various roles within the public and private sector.

During this period, I spent eight wonderful years at a large primary school that educates over six hundred pupils. I gained a substantial amount of knowledge and experience across the different age groups. I was employed in various roles within the school, such as: Cover Supervisor, Teaching Assistant, Room Manager (for the two-year-old provision) and Choir Leader. I covered classes across early years and key stage one. Whilst working at the school, I successfully completed my BA(Hons) Degree in Childhood Studies through Sheffield Hallam University. Now, armed with a variety of knowledge and skills, I have joined the PGCE course to become a successful teacher."

Imogen

PGCE with QTS, 5-11 Pathway

After completing two degrees in my favourite subject – English Literature – I still wasn’t sure where my path was supposed to lead. I went straight from university into a job in a legal office in 2016, which was never a dream or interest of mine. I had thought about teaching for many years before but always feared I would never be confident enough to pursue this and my shyness would hold me back. Following some tumultuous years losing my father, who was a well-loved teacher himself, I decided I needed to take a break during the 2020 nationwide lockdowns to discover what I really wanted and left my job as a paralegal. In January 2023, I became a qualified Children’s Yoga Teacher, knowing it would help me alongside my decision to go into Primary School teaching. I’ve always wanted a career that wasn’t just a job, but a lifelong learning career, which brought me to applying for Primary Teacher Training in November 2022.

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Moona

PGCE with QTS, 5-11 Pathway

"Having studied Law at university and completing my Legal Practise Course, I always envisioned myself as a successful solicitor, with dreams of owning my own firm and handling high-profile cases in court. However, the reality of the legal career did not align with my expectations. Realising the need for a change, I reflected on my true nature as a people-oriented, interactive, and extroverted individual. 

During the pandemic, I had the opportunity to work as a secondary school English academic mentor, and it truly ignited my soul. Witnessing the positive impact, I was able to have on these young students further fuelled my passion. Moreover, my nieces and nephews have been a profound source of inspiration, pushing me even more to mould young minds and foster a genuine love for learning."

Katie

PGCE with QTS , 5-11 Pathway

"My dream has always been to be a primary school teacher, working to inspire children to reach their own dreams. I first volunteered as a teaching assistant which led me to getting my first job. I have been a teaching assistant for 12 years and have absolutely loved it, watching the children grow into their own unique characters and knowing that I had helped with their education and development throughout school. I didn’t believe I was knowledgeable and confident enough to be a teacher but the older I got and the more experience I gained I thought maybe I might be able to do it especially after covering classes so much. I have worked in both KS1 and KS2 (mainly KS2) and enjoyed seeing how the curriculum changed and adapted the further up the school. I believe that I am now at a stage to be a qualified teacher and I am excited for the journey ahead to becoming one."

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Jessica

PGCE with QTS, 3-7 Pathway

"I started my journey by completing my A-Levels in Sociology, Psychology and English Literature and language. I quickly realised that I did not want to go to university straight away and wanted to work. I have always wanted to work with children and had thoughts of doing child psychology however, I decided to do my level 2 qualification as a teaching assistant. Once I started doing my apprenticeship I still wasn’t sure if it was something I wanted to do long term but I decided I was going to finish my qualification.

 

Halfway through my apprenticeship the school needed help and was struggling to get a 1:1 for a child who had a hearing impairment. They asked me if I would temporarily support him while they found someone which I did, I absolutely loved every minute and once the teachers and the head of the school had seen the relationship we had built they asked if it was something I wanted to continue doing which I did. For three years I worked as his 1:1 and worked closely with his family and outside agencies. After seeing the impact I had made on the child’s and families life I decided I wanted to do my teaching degree. I did my Early Years and Education degree for three years and I am now currently doing my PGCE. I am very excited to start my next adventure and make many more changes."

James

PGCE with QTS , 5-11 Pathway

"After finishing my degree in Sport, Culture and Society at Sheffield Hallam University I gained the job role of a primary school PE and sports coach for a private company. I absolutely loved this part of my career and became extremely passionate about the importance of PE and sport in primary schools, especially the quality of it for the children. Moving forwards this prompted me on the journey of creating and developing my own primary school PE and sport specialist business which I ran for 5 years. As the business grew, I naturally fell away from teaching/working with children directly in order to run the business successfully, which in turn resulted in me enjoying it less and less. This was the moment I realised that what I actually want from my career is to help children learn, develop and grow."

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Megan

PGCE with QTS, 3-7 Pathway

"After completing my A-Levels and finishing college the path I was going to take next was not completely clear. I began working in an office and I knew this was not what I wanted to do forever. After having my daughter, I then decided to start training as a teaching assistant, as the thought of working in a primary school really interested me after having an amazing primary school experience myself. I completed my teaching assistant training level 2 and 3 and continued to work in the school, for a total of 8 years, as a teaching assistant across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. However, whilst working as a TA, I always knew I wanted to progress into teaching.

 

Throughout my time as a teaching assistant, it became apparent how much I enjoyed making a difference in children’s lives, being a constant support system for them and having a huge influence on their early years of life. After going back to work as a TA when my maternity leave ended with my son, I decided to begin my degree in Early Years and Education in 2019 and graduated with a first-class honours degree in 2022. I then decided to have a year away from studying and to complete my last year as a teaching assistant, until my youngest child started school, ready to begin my teacher training in 2023. I was drawn to Prestolee as I believed the style of their program would be perfect for me. I am enormously looking forward to the year ahead!"

Amanda

PGCE with QTS , 5-11 Pathway

“Having done work experience in a primary school after my music degree, I realised this was something I wanted to look into further. That’s when I got a job as a teaching assistant through an agency. This suited me for a while as I got to visit lots of schools, gain experience in different classes and experience school life. During this time I had a baby and spent my maternity leave having as many baby cuddles as I could but being off work also meant I had some time to think about my next steps. This was when I decided that I wanted a profession in education and I would pursue my teaching career.”

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Mathew

PGCE with QTS , 5-11 Pathway

"I have a wide array of work experience in many different fields over the years since I graduated from university in 2008. Namely my play work with Parktastic in 2009 where we worked at playschemes, parks and schools using play as a tool of engagement for the children. A short-lived role due to government funding however a profound job experience working with children which was never again intrinsically met by other career paths I chose following this. I have volunteered at my old youth club and helped with football coaching in my free time before I decided to go travelling for a few years. I always knew deep down I should work with children and since my son Bobby was born in 2017 this again highlighted my want to work in this profession. Therefore, after years of procrastination and world lockdowns I have taken the leap into what I know is the right career path for me by teaching and leading our future generation and to support my family with a long and prosperous career being the best teacher I can be."

Rachel

QTS Only, 3-7 Pathway

"I’ve always been indecisive about what I wanted to pursue as a career. The only thing I consistently enjoyed from being a child was sports but as I was very academic, I was always pushed to follow the typical maths & science route in school. Outside of education I still participated in sports and began coaching as well. When applying for university I was very indecisive, and it took me 2 subject changes & a gap year to pick something I could see myself sticking at for 3 years. After graduating I became stuck in the same position I was before attending university, so I decided to study for a Master’s degree to give me an extra year to decide what my path was. Throughout this year I went through a lot personally and ended up dropping out and being offered a new role as a recreational gymnastics coach. This job and the children I taught were the only things that got me through the past year, and made me realise how much I enjoy teaching – I thought, if I love it this much, why not make a career out of it? I applied days before the deadline for Prestolee SCITT, started my training the week after & I’m loving every minute of it."

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Jennifer

PGCE with QTS , 5-11 Pathway

"After achieving my degree in English, my teaching career took another pathway and due to personal reasons, I instead found myself employed as an adult learning tutor for a local council teaching English to the adults of the local community. After this I continued within the FE sector and worked as English intervention and an English Lecturer in two colleges. However, from the day that I became interested in teaching, I knew that deep down I really wanted to teach primary education (5-11 years) and the opportunity presented itself through Prestolee SCITT. After a moment of hesitation and doubt that I was too old to re-train, I was over the moon to find out that I had secured a place and am now on my way to achieving a life-long goal."

Leah

PGCE with QTS , 5-11 Pathway

"Since being a child, I knew working with children was always something I wanted to do because I love to care for people and do whatever I can to help others around me. Since leaving high school I have a had a variety of jobs but no matter the number of jobs, teaching and making a difference has always been in the back of my mind. Initially, I thought I wanted to be a PE teacher. I went to college and university to study Sport. I realised soon after completing my degree that it was younger children I wanted to work with. My younger brothers and sisters had an influence on me. Also, I really liked working in a school. I worked in a primary school in year 2 class for just over a year and I knew it was something I wanted to do. Realising I wanted to be a primary school teacher wasn’t always straightforward for me. I barely had any confidence in myself, and I always told myself “I’m not good enough to be a teacher”. Looking back over the past few months before starting at Prestolee I have told myself to just go for it and not to be in fear of the unknown. Having support of great family, friends and partner etc has made me realise I can do anything I put my mind to as long as I believe in myself. That mentality has led me to where I am today."

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Taylor

PGCE with QTS , 5-11 Pathway

"I have always enjoyed being creative- but had never found the right pathway for my career. After attending drama school, I felt a little lost and started working in office environments. It seemed a steady career choice and was supporting me, but I had the gut feeling that I was not doing something because I loved it! I had previously enjoyed tutoring at a local drama school, then during the covid pandemic I became a mum! I realised how much I enjoyed watching my little boy develop. Being able to teach him and use all my creative passions is what gave me the nudge to apply for the SCITT training. I am excited to continue my learning journey and help children along theirs!"

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