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‘I needed something more meaningful’- 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. Originally from Northern Ireland, James now lives near Swaffham with his partner, where he spends his spare time managing his farm. In his first blog, James tells us about his journey to becoming an NQT and his plans for this year and beyond.

From a young age, I loved geography  so I chose to complete my degree in the subject at Queen’s University Belfast in 2011. From there, I had a varied set of jobs, working as a field sales instructor in Dorset before moving to France to become a children’s ski instructor when I was given the opportunity to remain in France a full time as a logistics co-ordinator. This gave me the chance to travel throughout ski resorts in France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy, and really enjoy one of my passions in life.

I loved my job but I didn’t feel I was working towards an end goal. I met my partner in France, and after two years, I realised that I needed to do something more meaningful, and I just knew I wanted to continue to work with kids.

In 2015 I moved back to the UK to do a School-Centred Initial Teacher Training course in Norwich, completing my training at Terrington St Clement’s High School and Fakenham Academy, where I first met Gee Cook, the Principal at Iceni Academy.

I met Gee during a teacher training day in Norwich and she told me the academy needed a geography teacher. A few days later, I went to look around the academy and I felt that I connected with the staff and pupils from the beginning. Needless to say, I took the job.

My first day was quite daunting but my colleagues made a huge effort to make me feel at home and so far I am really enjoying it.

In terms of what I am looking to achieve in my new role, I would love to see more pupils taking up geography for their GCSE’s. One of my long term goals is to organise an annual geography trip outside the UK. I feel this would give pupils the chance to gain a real life experience, and it would certainly bring geography to life. However, my key focus for the year ahead is to guide the year 11 and 13 pupils through their GCSEs and A levels. I want to do them proud and support them through this final hurdle of academy life.

Look out for future blogs from James as we follow his journey through the NQT year.

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