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“I have had a fantastic level of support” – View from NQT James

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James Boyd joined Iceni Academy in Methwold, Norfolk, part of the ATT family of academies, in September 2016 and teaches geography to pupils from year 7 to year 13. We caught up with James just before February half term to find out how his NQT year is going as he reaches midway in the Spring term and his plans for the rest of the year.

Having now reached the half way point of the school year I feel truly part of school life at Iceni Academy.

I have had a fantastic level of support from my department and the wider school community throughout my time so far. My mentor Nick Bedford has been an incredibly supportive role model for me to follow. I have continued to work closely with Nick to develop my classroom practice and grow as a teacher. I have also been working alongside the other NQT in my department, Dan Hester, as we develop through our NQT year. This has been useful for both of us to share ideas and experiences as new teachers.

I have been given the opportunity to promote geography as a GCSE option for the current year 8 cohort at a recent options evening and I am hopeful that I will have a good intake for GCSE next year. Speaking to parents and students about their options revealed that many students enjoy learning about geography at Iceni and it is a subject which many find accessible.

My year 9 and 10 students will be travelling to Dorset on their first GCSE field trip to the Jurassic Coast on the 10th of March to study this impressive coastal landscape. This will be a valuable experience for them as the new GCSE specification is closely linked with UK geographical features. The students will study the formations of Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and Old Harry Rocks over their weekend visit and have a chance to carry out some fieldwork investigation techniques. Organising this trip was a fantastic experience and I think it will be something the students will remember for a long time to come. I would like to increase the number of trips on offer to geography students at ICENI and this is something I plan to develop upon during the summer term.

I am currently preparing my GCSE and A Level students for their second set of mock examinations in March and I am eager to see the progress they have made so far under my teaching. I can sense that they are starting to feel the pressure as so many subjects are now finishing off their teaching and now turning to that horrible practice of revision!

The remainder of the spring term will be an enjoyable time as I prepare my students for their exams in May. The longer days will hopefully lift the student’s spirits and drive them on towards success.

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