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Harriet Dyke

Current Job

French and Spanish Teacher

King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham.

Key stages: 3, 4 & 5

Subjects: French and Spanish

Training Overview


King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham.

Key stages: 3 & 4

Subjects: French and Spanish

Training Provider: King Edward’s Consortium

Degree: French and Hispanic Studies - University of Nottingham

Training Experience

Looking back, the GTP (now School Direct) year was most certainly intense and work load was high. Balancing teaching for the first time with the demands of the theoretical side of the course was something that I had anticipated but still found challenging. Weekly lesson observations, meetings with my subject mentor, one half day a week with the other GTP trainees from across the consortium, termly written assignments, as well as thorough progress reviews where I was required to produce evidence against the teacher standards all had to be fitted around the regular demands of teaching.

That said, I have never learnt so much so quickly, and from such a range of experts. My own subject and pedagogical knowledge improved immensely as I leaned through teaching and with the guidance of my mentors.

My situation after a year in teaching

I have now come to the end of my NQT year. I spent the past academic year working three days a week at KEHS and two days a week at Elmhurst Ballet School, an associate school of Birmingham Royal Ballet. This has been a fantastic opportunity to experience a small and unique school environment, where students are gifted in and focused on dance. The academic department of Elmhurst is small, so I had the chance to be Teacher in Charge of French. Early on in my career, this has given me a greater level of responsibility in terms of leading my subject, making decisions regarding schemes of work, devising exams and assessments and delivering the GCSE course.

I have been very grateful to have the support of a strong Modern Foreign Languages department at KEHS during this time. Colleagues have advised me on a number of issues and I enjoy being able to share ideas and good practice with them.

That is why I took the decision to accept a full time position at KEHS as of this academic year. Whilst Elmhurst was a wonderful experience, I feel that I am still in need of further experience in a well established department. Also, working across two schools has certainly had its time pressures. I am now able to focus on contributing fully to the life of one school. By working full time at KEHS I have the chance to teach at A Level in both French and Spanish, as well as begin contributing to other areas of the curriculum, including A Level General Studies and debating, public speaking and PSHE at Key Stage 3 and 4 level. Pastorally, I am responsible for a Year 8 form. I am particularly enjoying delivering a pilot programme on wellbeing with this form group where time is spent each week exploring a range of topics such as courage, gratitude and resilience.

Engagement with wider school life

In terms of extra-curricular involvement, I am working with the school’s Comenius programme, preparing for a cultural exchange visit to Amsterdam. Community Service is highly important at KEHS and I am coordinating the school’s efforts this year in support of Children in Need as well as the sale of Valentine’s Day Roses for Breast Cancer Campaign next term.