Francesca Frazer

PGCE Religious Education (School Direct Route): 

“As a School Direct trainee, we’re at our placement schools from the first day of term, so it feels like you’re another member of the staff.”

 About My PGCE: 

My desire to teach was inspired by my secondary school RE teacher. Her enthusiasm, commitment and approachability encouraged me to develop a thirst for deeper knowledge and the confidence to explore my potential.

Francesca Frazer

I am passionate about the importance of my subject, RE, for young people in our multicultural society. For many students, school will be the only arena in which they can access unbiased information about views different to their own. Learning about other religions lessens the fear and mistrust engendered by ignorance and encourages tolerance, respect for different viewpoints and dialogue.

Having studied and taught teaching in higher education for a number of years, I wanted this to be a very different experience. As a School Direct trainee, we’re at our placement schools from the first day of term, so it feels like you’re another member of the staff. I chose Rivington School Direct because there’s such a variety of schools in the Alliance, all of which are in my local area, so I was excited to know I’d be able to experience contrasting schools, but also work with young people in my own community.

My professional and subject mentors at my placement schools, Turton High School and Sixth Form and Westhoughton High School, have been excellent, encouraging and supporting me throughout this experience. They gave me so much confidence and allowed me to teach at all levels including GCSE and A Level. Preparing students for their final exams is daunting but so rewarding – you really feel like you’ve been through it with them and in some way you’ve contributed to their results.

Being a trainee means you are constantly researching new and innovative teaching strategies, something that as a full-time teacher will probably be too time-consuming. I‘ve especially enjoyed having the freedom to try new things, being able to experience such a variety of different schools and educational approaches.

Not only do we have the support network of our fellow subject trainees, and the trainees at our placement schools, but we have the extra support of our alliance. Throughout the year we’ve all met up for Rivington training sessions, including a Leadership course. The trainees have become great friends and we’re so supportive of one another. It’s lovely to be able to discuss teaching strategies and to offload with people who know what you’re going through. It’s a hard year, but so worthwhile.

I am very lucky to have already secured my first post, teaching Religious Studies and Classics at Bolton School Girls’ Division. I’m excited for the new challenge this brings. I hope to enthuse and inspire my students, and to encourage them to reach their full potential, just as my teachers did for me.

I am very lucky to have already secured my first post, teaching Religious Studies and Classics at Bolton School Girls’ Division. I’m excited for the new challenge this brings. I hope to enthuse and inspire my students, and to encourage them to reach their full potential, just as my teachers did for me.