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Train to Teach testimonials

Warlingham School & Sixth Form College has a clear commitment to Initial Teacher Training (ITT). We offer an opportunity to train to teach in a nurturing and safe environment; we value trainees and place importance on integrating them so they feel part of our staff team. 

We provide bespoke, professional development for those undertaking ITT with us, which allows trainees to share experiences and knowledge with other trainees.  Our mentors are experienced and professional and take pride in developing trainees into successful teachers.  Trainees meet with mentors on a weekly basis but also work with other professionals to support the training.  As a school, we have a strong record of training teachers, often leading to permanent employment. Read a selection of testimonials below from our trainee teachers. 


Rebecca Adams - Physical Education 

Course Studied 

  • Secondary School PE Qualified Teacher Status and Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • Unpaid route to teaching with Roehampton University

I chose Schools Direct Initial Teacher Training through the South East Learning Alliance (SELA) as I had read many successful reviews and spoken to past candidates who offered positive feedback. They informed me that their experiences were both rewarding and challenging through working within an exciting training environment which ensures diverse and unique opportunities with successful outcomes. 

I chose Warlingham School & Sixth Form College as my lead school in the South East Learning Alliance as it was important to me that my core values aligned to those of the school. I wanted to be part of a school which provides a caring, supportive environment for staff and students alike. At Warlingham, staff have high expectations of their students who are happy, safe, stretched and challenged to reach their full potential and be the best that they can be.

My chosen career stemmed from the excellent teaching and support I received myself as a pupil at Warlingham School & Sixth Form College. I was not only inspired by my motivational teachers, but I also independently began to develop my knowledge and experience as a swimming assistant that led my interest into teaching and coaching swimming, trampolining and outdoor activities through the Girl Guiding Association and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. I am keen to give back to my community some of the opportunities I have been lucky to experience, and I would like to act as a role model to students to encourage them to maintain healthy, active lifestyles, whilst promoting new experiences to sustain life-long participation in sport and physical activity.

Working alongside excellent PE practitioners at Warlingham provides me with freedom to develop my subject specific pedagogical knowledge to provide meaningful Physical Education experiences for my students. I find it rewarding to work in a supportive environment to learn through invaluable practical and theoretical opportunities. Working and studying concurrently is enabling me to develop my own personal style of teaching with the support and guidance of an exceptionally skilled mentor, and my outstanding PE colleagues in school have been ready and willing to provide constructive feedback so that I can continually progress and learn more about the efficacy of my own teaching practice. My experience has been consistently positive, as I have worked to achieve the targets of the course and I have found the support from all members of staff at Warlingham to be wholly reliable and current, enabling me to develop with my aspiration of becoming an outstanding PE teacher.

I have been immersed in training, and progressed through observing a wide variety of inspiring and innovative lessons at both Primary and Secondary schools, underpinning and adapting my skills by teaching different sports, subject specific lessons and levels in PE throughout Key Stages 3 to 5. I have also benefited from engaging with the extra-curricular programmes of swimming, netball and Duke of Edinburgh, extending my teaching skills to outside the classroom, where I have been able to develop my experience to nurture positive qualities of the students through competition, fair play, team building and winning and losing.

Through this programme, I study one day per week at Roehampton University. The knowledgeable and experienced university subject tutors provide comprehensive lectures and challenge me to stretch my abilities through my theoretical assignments, whilst the practical observations provide me with valuable feedback which is vital to me becoming a successful teacher.

As part of my training, I have also been offered complimentary training with SELA and professional development at Warlingham. Nurtured by the SELA team who have a wealth of knowledge, I am also able to network with colleagues not only in PE but other subjects too, which underpins the benefits of the Schools Direct programme. The training I have received through the Schools Direct programme with SELA has been beyond my expectations and I am grateful for the opportunities afforded to me. I am challenged every day and completely immersed in building my knowledge, developing my skills and achieving my PGCE to become an excellent PE practitioner

Rachel DEMMEN - Art & Design and Photography 

Course Studied 

  • Secondary School Art & Design and Photography Qualified Teacher Status and Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • Unpaid route to teaching with Roehampton University

I have been fortunate enough to be a School Direct trainee through the South East Learning Alliance programme this year at Warlingham School & Sixth Form College, teaching Art & Design and Photography. It has been such an amazing and inspiring experience and Warlingham has supported and guided me every step of the way. My time as a School Direct trainee has been the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life in its contribution to my professional development as a trainee teacher.

I chose to become an Art and Photography teacher because of the engaging and inspirational teachers that I had when I was studying for my GCSEs and A Levels. Since studying Art and Photography from a young age, I spent the majority of my time in the Art department where I was able to give advice and feedback to younger students on how to develop their work and ideas.

The School Direct route stood out me personally because it allows you to learn how to teach in an educational environment, as well as study one day a week at Roehampton University. The programme provides excellent support and guidance from mentors so every student teacher has the potential to become an outstanding teacher by the end of the training year. Additionally, you get the chance to build and work on positive relationships with the staff and students.

This route has enabled me to experience a unique and exciting training experience where I have been able to observe and learn from expert colleagues, teach across all Key Stages, and participate in weekly pedagogical training sessions. These sessions are planned and delivered at exactly the right time of the year to benefit my development and works in cohort with the university courses. There is also the invaluable support of a high-quality mentor who guides you through every aspect of the training. 

At Warlingham, I have had the opportunity to observe a range of colleagues delivering a variety of inspiring, creative, challenging, and highly effective lessons across the curriculum and all Key Stages – which has enabled me to learn more about efficiency and productivity within my own teaching practice. A highlight of my time at Warlingham was being recognised by other members of staff for the ‘Would I like to work with a colleague like me’; I was excited and overjoyed to be part of a school where teaching and learning is deservingly recognised and noticed by other members of staff. Warlingham poses new challenges and opportunities on a daily basis, as well as being consistently recognised for your efforts.

My mentor has been constantly providing me with excellent support and advice with my lesson planning, assessment grading, behaviour management and the overall training programme. Moreover, she consistently made time to guide and teach me throughout the busy times of year. I have been able to develop my own teaching style under the guidance of a committed, highly skilled, passionate, and experienced mentor, as well as learning from a wide range of exceptional teachers across Warlingham School & Sixth Form College.

Even though the training year is demanding, the encouragement and support I received from my mentor and other teachers within my department, as well as others, have helped me to meet deadlines and to continuously improve on my teaching practice.