Emel and her colleagues – nine of whom are fellow Middlesex graduates – mentor students undertaking BA and PGCE placements and Schools Direct courses at Rhodes Avenue Primary.
“We greatly value the partnership and relationships we have built with Middlesex University," she says. "We believe that we have a duty to train the next generation of teachers.”
Aspiring teachers on placement at Rhodes Avenue Primary benefit from the support and dedication of the school’s talented staff; but the students aren’t the only ones learning from the experience.
“We feel that the contributions made by trainees enrich the life of the school and boost the confidence of all staff members, as staff feel valued for their expertise,” Emel says.
“Even experienced teachers can learn a lot from trainees; it helps them to reflect on their own practice. Trainees come to us with enthusiasm and innovative ideas, and we encourage them to try out new approaches that they may have read about or been learning about on their course.”
Rhodes Avenue Primary has invested much into its trainee programme, particularly over the last three years. With 12 experienced mentors currently on staff, the school is looking to expand its offering even further. Regular review of its provision, along with consultation and guidance from Middlesex, allows mentoring staff to expand their knowledge and advance their skills.
“Every year, we perform an audit of our training and look at where we can improve,” Emel says.
“At our most recent audit, we identified an area that needed improvement, got in touch with Middlesex and had their team come and train us at our location. It’s reassuring to have access to specialised training custom-delivered for our needs.
“The training element is very important for us,” Emel adds. “Without a well-trained mentor, the trainee won’t be the best that they can be.”