Head of Hall: Loreto College
School Direct Secondary: Religious Education
Post Graduate Certificate of Education and Qualified Teacher Status
Following his undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Danny returned to Manchester and initially worked in the banking sector. Danny was looking for a career more in keeping with his passion and therefore arranged some shadowing days with his former tutors at Loreto College. Following his experience days he decided that teaching was his next step and applied to Teach Manchester. He was successful in securing a place on the School Direct Religious Education course in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University.
When we asked Danny what he thought of his initial training and he replied “It was really good, the balance was right between school placement, training led by the alliance and the university taught sessions. It mixed theory and practice and although you spent most of the time in school there was also the time to step back and reflect. You were given responsibility very early, teaching sections of lessons and preparing resources; but this was with support. The tutors were very supportive, and because they’d undertaken the job were able to support with practical suggestions and ideas.”
Danny held a keen interest in the pastoral side of school life; from experiencing this during his training placements at St Peter’s and Loreto College and training sessions through to becoming a form tutor as an Newly Qualified Teacher. He found supporting the holistic development of a student as a whole person as well as the academic development through his subject both enjoyable and rewarding.
Danny applied for a Head of Hall position at the end of his second year of teaching. Heads of Hall at Loreto College lead a tutor team of around 12 people, encompassing around 300 students. They ensure that the tutorial resources are available as well as lead on more complex student wellbeing issues, working with pupils, families and external agencies and is also Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead. This role combines an approximately 50% teaching timetable with time to work on pastoral issues.
We also asked Danny for any advice he had for new trainee teachers; “Give it 100%, but don’t worry if you’re not sure about something. The mentors and tutors are very supportive and want to see you do well, so ask! If you’re nervous about starting teaching, just go for it. Mistakes are expected, but learn from them. Listen to feedback. It isn’t criticism of you personally, it is about developing you into the best teacher. Also; don’t be too precious about your own ideas. If it didn’t work, let it go and try something else instead.”