Pilot Teach First Early Career Framework (ECF) programme
As part of my NQT (newly qualified teacher) training with Northern Education Trust this academic year, I have been lucky enough to take part in the pilot Teach First Early Career Framework (ECF) programme. This programme has been designed, in line with guidance and quality assurance from the Department for Education, to provide extra support and training for teachers in their NQT and RQT (recently qualified teacher) years.
The programme is made up of two years, each one consisting of six core modules which are delivered across the course of each half term. Whilst this sounds like quite a commitment, as a participant you are granted some level of flexibility in terms of how and when you interact with the resources provided.
The majority of the training is in the form of independent study of the resources online, which include articles and short videos delivered by expert practitioners, as well as key summaries of the content delivered and pre/post module quizzes to assess knowledge acquired. As a result, you can choose to complete a module either in small increments over each half-term, or condense your study hours into 1-2 sessions, depending on what suits you best.
During the second week of each module I have targets for development that are set with my mentor, based on the relevant material. Module 1, for example, dealt with creating effective learning environments and this encouraged me to set a target on providing precise praise in my lessons. This not only helped me improve levels of student motivation in lessons, but it allowed me to focus on how precise praise was being used in other lessons during observations, and appreciate the impact of the praise culture in our academies.
There are two compulsory seminars to attend each half-term, which focus on two key aspects of each module. They provide you with an opportunity to discuss in detail with your peers (across different subject disciplines) how you may integrate part of the training provided into your practice in future. For example, Module 4 focused on feedback and assessment, and one seminar was centred on the design, implementation and use of hinge questions. It was really useful to speak about how hinge questions were used across different subjects and stages, and in particular, how to design them in a way which would not only collect rich data about knowledge acquired in a lesson, but also about any misconceptions that may still exist.
In summary, I have found that the ECF programme complements the existing infrastructure of support and training provided by Red House Academy, and has had a measurable impact on my practice, guided by the targets set. I look forward to engaging with the programme in my RQT year.
Rachael Stockman, Northern Education Trust Red House Academy