Trainee Stories

Sally Martin

“When I started my training, I quickly realised that I had struck gold. The support that I’ve received so far from my tutors and mentors has been extremely individualised.”

Sally has always wanted to work with children. When she left school she did an apprenticeship at a nursery, and worked there for four years, eventually becoming deputy manager. Sally gained lots of useful skills through this role, and developed a very good understanding of how children learn and make connections. Once Sally decided to become a primary school teacher, she went to university part time and acquired a foundation degree in Early years, and a BA top up. She then applied to Victoria Academies Teacher Training because she knew the programme offered a ‘hands-on’ approach to training, and would also allow her to train in her local area. 

Sally’s Story

Starting teacher training felt like a big step for me, so the induction process was very helpful. We were brought together as a group of trainees before the course started in September. We had an ice-breaking session with activities which helped us to get to know one other, which meant that from the first day of the course I was already surrounded by friendly, familiar faces.

We were also welcomed with open arms by the Trust (Victoria Academies Trust) from the very beginning, and were made to feel like part of the family. Senior leadership all came to introduce themselves, and everybody was very friendly and keen to support us. We were encouraged to ask lots of questions, and were told that there was no such thing as a silly question; this helped me feel confident and comfortable to ask if I was ever unsure about anything.

What I love about my training is that you train within Victoria Academies Trust, and you get to visit all the different schools within the Trust during your training year. Each school is unique, but they all share the same core values. There is a focus on family in all of the schools, which means everyone makes an effort to look out for one another. There is also a focus on immersive and purposeful learning within all of the schools. I’ve had the opportunity to observe many different teachers within the Trust, and I’ve seen lots of amazing examples of immersive and purposeful learning in lessons, which has helped me to develop my own practice. As trainees we are encouraged by to teach in creative ways, and to not be afraid to try out new approaches or activities in our lessons. If things don’t go quite as planned, we can learn from it; everything is a potential learning experience!

When I started training, I quickly realised that I had struck gold. The support that I’ve received so far from my tutors and mentors has been extremely individualised. I have been skillfully guided by my mentors to make the best possible progress in my teaching practice; I’ve been pushed where I’ve needed to be pushed, and supported where I’ve needed to be supported.

Since starting the course I’ve secured a job within Victoria Academies Trust for September. I’m really excited that I will be working within the Trust because of the focus on teaching an immersive and purposeful curriculum, and also because of the strong values that the Trust hold, which are central to everything we do.

The best thing about teaching is seeing how excited and enthusiastic the pupils are when they are truly captivated by their learning!

Watch Sally’s Video

More trainee stories

Find out what it’s like to train with Victoria Academies Teacher Training by viewing more of our trainee stories