Sheffield and Peak District Hub
Lead School: Silverdale School
Our founding hub is in Sheffield, with over 8 schools in both Sheffield and the Peak District offering placements.
At the core of the Sheffield hub is Silverdale School, an accredited provider of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and an outstanding secondary comprehensive with a long history specialising in modern languages teaching. This year the Sunday Times awarded Silverdale Top School of the North in its annual Good Schools Guide.
Within this hub we have a strong network of existing primary and secondary schools in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire. The network has been built through School Direct and is now one of the largest in the country. In light of this success, the NCTL accredited Silverdale School as the National Modern Languages SCITT.
Sheffield/Peak District Hub Leader, Ailsa Watkinson
Originally from Northamptonshire, Ailsa studied French, Russian and German at the University of Sheffield in the early 90s. She completed her PGCE in MFL at Hallam University, and then immediately took up her first teaching job at Oakwood School in Rotherham in 2005.
Ailsa has taught German and French in the state sector in several different schools and has 14 years’ experience of teaching MFL in Yorkshire. She currently works at Silverdale School where she is Subject Leader for German as well as being the Sheffield Hub NML SCITT Subject Lead.
Ailsa loves both languages and teaching. She loves travelling and discovering new cultures, however this has become more challenging since having a family! She is a keen runner and also enjoys walking with her family in the Peak District.
About Sheffield and the Peak Distrct
Sheffield is the fourth largest city in England and one of the greenest in Europe. Its vibrant cultural and leisure attractions, and proximity to the countryside of the Peak District, make it one of the most popular university cities for students staying on and making it their home after their education. It is certainly an excellent place to start your teaching career.
Sheffield is also safer than other big cities. The UK Peace Index 2013, a study using Home office data, found Sheffield to be England’s safest major city. As well as being a friendly city, Sheffield is one of the cheapest to live for students.
Sheffield is on the doorstep of the Derbyshire Peak District and National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty.
You can find out more about the Peak District and what it has to offer at:
From Radio Producer to Trainee MFL Teacher!
Radio producer, Lissa Cook, decided to switch careers and train to teach languages in secondary schools.
She joined the National Modern Languages SCITT in September 2018 and her main school placement has been at Hope Valley College in the beautiful Peak District. It’s an area she’s very familiar with, given she was previously the News Editor of High Peak Radio, a local station.
She has also written frequently for ‘Derbyshire Life’ magazine, and this month she is published again, describing her journey into the world of teaching. You can read the full article about training to teach languages with the National Modern Languages SCITT here.
Lissa isn’t the only one of our trainees who has decided to switch careers to then train to teach languages. Previous jobs of trainees include: finance analyst; stockbroker; administrator in the car industry; digital marketer, and many more.
Others have had roles that seem more of a natural progression: au pair; foreign language assistant; teaching assistant; private tutor; teaching mentor, and camp coordinator.
So why throw everything up in the air to retrain and start afresh in a new career? It’s often down to a desire to make a difference. Teaching can be extremely rewarding; you can influence a young person and their future, generating interest in subjects they may not even have been aware of previously. If you already have that passion for languages, then it can be so fulfilling to see that passed on to the next generation.
There’s been a lot of media coverage recently about the decline of modern languages teaching – but that’s exactly why we need passionate, committed new teachers joining the profession. And that’s why the government is putting extra funding into supporting their training. You can get up to £28,000 in scholarships and bursaries when you train on a postgraduate course such as ours.
You will have to commit to a one-year course but, if you choose a route such as our National Modern Languages SCITT to train to teach languages, you will get a fantastic mix of hands-on experience in the classroom, combined with both academic and professional training. As well as perfecting your language skills, you also learn more widely about topics such as: curriculum development; behaviour management; parental communication; child development; special educational needs, and many more.
You also train with other modern languages trainees, meaning you share a real understanding of your particular subject. Add to this the fact that we bring in experts in how to teach languages, and you have the perfect preparation for life as a modern languages teacher.
Our course is also unique in that it is a partnership between state and independent schools. You get two placements, so you could choose one from each sector, which potentially opens up further career opportunities down the line. It also means you are learning from a range of professionals, each with their own experiences, insights and skills. They will all be committed to supporting you through your journey to becoming the best teacher possible.
Starting a new career may be a big step but it, if you train to teach languages, it could be the most rewarding one you ever take.
Hub partner schools
If you train in this geographical hub you could have a placement in one of our partner schools.
Where are they now?
News about alumni to follow.