Here you can read case studies on current Valley Invicta Academies Trust staff who trained to teach with us. Just click on the names below.
Name: Chris Waters
Training: QTS achieved in 2013 and finished NQT training in 2015
Current position held: Lead Teacher KS5 Physics
What were you doing prior to becoming a teacher? Cyber Security Consultancy
Why did you choose to train through VITT? Having come to visit, the environment felt energetic and exciting, and the opportunity which was open to me to teach a subject I'm passionate about to students keen to learn resonated with what I felt I needed at the time. On interview I also got the impression of the school wanting me to work here, on other teaching interviews I did not get that impression but here the support and welcome was much more personable and engaging.
What motivated you to become a teacher? I was working in a job that although sounded exciting, was not engaging me in the way which I felt like I needed. I felt like I was in a dead end and very mundane job, working at a computer all day. I have been coaching football since I was 19, so I knew that working with young people was something I looked forward to each week and was rewarding, so teaching was a natural blend of working with young people and my love for my subject.
Thinking back from your initial training to where you are now, what have been the highlights to your teaching career? I have been in teaching for nearly 10 years...my highlights of my teaching career so far have been;
- Becoming lead teacher in my 4th year of teaching - having the autonomy to write my own scheme of work and implement this.
- Leading CPD for other teachers - it is so rewarding to be able to facilitate the sharing of good practice.
- Starting the Thinking Out Loud initiative and seeing this grow; students really engaging with the stories and passions which we as teachers have. Leading on to being invited to give a TED talk in London in 2020. Working in an environment where any idea is supported, and you are able to really make a mark.
Name: Amy Bond
Subject you are training in: Apprenticeship in DT with the University of Brighton
What were you doing prior to becoming a teacher? I have been working at Invicta Grammar School for 10 years since 2010, initially as a Creative Technician and then the past two years as an unqualified teacher of Food Preparation and Nutrition and Design Technology.
Why did you choose to train through VITT? – you can relate this question to the school you selected to train at. I chose to train with VITT as I wanted to do my teacher training through Invicta Grammar School, as I have been working here for so long and after I gain my QTS I want to continue working at the school whilst I continue with the Early Career Teacher training programme. I am looking forward to starting my apprenticeship which will give me the hands on experience of teaching as well as spending time at university and with other trainees learning the theorical side of teaching.
What motivated you to become a teacher? I was involved in after school clubs running a ‘Food Club’ and becoming more involved in the teaching side of lessons, this gave me an insight into the world of teaching and gain me the confidence to think about training to become a teacher. I want to pass on my passion for the subjects I teach to young people and encourage them to find their own passions and understanding of the world and the subjects I teach.
What are you most looking forward too, during your training year ahead? As I have been doing the practical side of teaching for a while I am now looking forward to gaining a more theoretical training, especially in different types of pedagogy.
I am also looking forward to my contrasting placement and experiencing a new environment.
Name: Konrad Eke
Current Position Held: Network and e-Safety Support and Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator
What were you doing prior to becoming a teacher? Working in e-Learning support at Invicta Grammar School and running the Duke of Edinburgh programme at the school.
Why did you choose to train through VITT? – you can relate this question to the school you selected to train at. I chose to train at Invicta because they provide a very high standard of education and believe in providing young people with an array of extra-curricular opportunities. It has been a great school to be part of in my role in e-Learning support and I look forward to working with the students at the school in a teaching capacity.
What motivated you to become a teacher? I wanted to become a teacher to make a real difference in young people's lives, to help them overcome challenges, learn new things and help to ensure that they have a positive school experience. I have already seen the positive impact that a motivated teacher can have on students through the DofE programme which has developed several students confidence and helped them to grow as an individual.
What are you most looking forward too, during your training year ahead? I am looking forward to teaching a subject I am passionate about, helping others to become excited about the subject and working with the school to provide opportunities for the young people who attend it.
Name: Nisha Newell
Training: School Direct Trainee 2019
Current Position Held: Teacher of English
What were you doing prior to becoming a teacher? Before becoming a teacher, I worked at Valley Park School in reprographics and reception.
Why did you choose to train through VITT? – you can relate this question to the school you selected to train at. As an existing staff member of Valley Park, I always wanted to complete my training through VITT. Also, from speaking to newly qualified colleagues, I was well aware of the fantastic support that Valley Park gives to its trainees.
What motivated you to become a teacher? Working at Valley Park made me realise how much of an impact and difference teachers can make to a student’s life and I wanted to be a part of that.
What have been your highlights so far through your School Direct and your NQT training years?
- Achieving a grade 1 for my teacher training.
- Seeing the culmination of my students’ hard work and determination when they were able to present their published stories at the book launch.
- On results day, seeing the pride on students faces when they achieved the grades that they wanted.
- Walking with the whole school down to All Saints church to watch and participate in the Christmas Carol Service.
Name: Katie Palmer
Training: School Direct Trainee 2019
Current Position Held: Teacher of English
What were you doing prior to becoming a teacher?Prior to becoming a teacher, I was working as a Personal Banker for Natwest. My role involved meeting with customers to help them with their day-to-day banking needs; setting up new accounts, loans, mortgage quotes, etc.
Why did you choose to train through VITT? – you can relate this question to the school you selected to train at.Having been a student at Invicta myself, I already knew how much of a fantastic school it is! The school provided me with an amazing opportunity: having my degree funded and gaining first-hand experience of teaching at the same time.
What motivated you to become a teacher?I had always considered teaching as a career but, after dropping out of university, never saw it as a viable option without possessing a degree. But when the opportunity (as explained in my answer above) came up to train and work at Invicta, whilst studying through The Open University came up, I thought I would give it a go. I have not looked back since!!
What have been your highlights so far through your School Direct and your NQT training years?âCompleting School's Direct and NQT year during the middle of a global pandemic have been pretty interesting! My biggest highlight for School's Direct has to be my time spent at Valley Park - I loved being in a contrasting school and really enjoyed my time there.
Name: Callum Payne
Training: PGCE in 2013
Current position held: Head of Year 7 and Lead Teacher of Computer Science at SST Maidstone and Key Stage 5 Co-ordinator at Valley Park.
What were you doing prior to becoming a teacher? I graduated from the University of Kent after studying Computer Science for three years.
Why did you choose to train through VITT? I decided that with my knowledge, and vast range of experiences that I had undertaken during my degree with my love of education, I wanted a career in education. After researching many routes into teaching, I applied to VITTand began a PGCE year at Invicta Grammar School.
What motivated you to become a teacher? I have always enjoyed showing people how to do things when I was young, particularly things related to technology. When a relative or friend wouldn’t know how to do something, I would enjoy helping them and troubleshooting. This made me think a career in teaching was something that I would enjoy. I also had an IT teacher who helped me fall in love with technology and made the lessons really interesting.
Thinking back from your initial training to where you are now, what have been the highlights to your teaching career? Completing my first year in teaching was an amazing highlight. The thought of knowing I was now able to teach solo lessons and help students achieve academic success is something I don’t take for granted. I am still thankful for all of the astounding teachers who supported me. Also, being a Head of Year and working with an amazing year group who are absolutely brilliant!
Name: John Salsbury
Training: School Direct Programme 2015, NQT in 2016
Current position held: Teacher of Maths (2nd in Department) Head of Year 10
What were you doing prior to becoming a teacher? I worked in logistics industry for over 12 years, managing large accounts for a large global company before becoming the Operations Manager for a pallet pooling company, growing the turnover from 7m - £25m per year.
Why did you choose to train through VITT? Invicta Grammar School part of VIAT has an excellent reputation, it was clear that I would be supported during my training year and having had a parental association with it, it was an easy decision.
What motivated you to become a teacher? I needed re-motivating at the stage in my career I was at and thought it would be good to give back some of the professional and life experiences I have picked up, whilst still at an age where I could still climb the teaching career ladder. I am someone who needs to learn and feel I am getting better every day I come to work, and teaching gives me that opportunity.
Thinking back from your initial training to where you are now, what have been the highlights to your teaching career? It is a privilege each and every day to teach the students we have at VITT. The real highlight for me is seeing the difference you can have on a young person’s life. This has been in the classroom, pastorally and around the wider school.
It was lovely to win the Mathematics Teacher of the year award, however it means more when students and parents acknowledge your role in the progress of their daughter.
I have been proud of the GCSE results I have delivered whilst at the school and is a great feeling to be able to contribute to the success of the school.