The National Modern Languages School Centered Initial Teacher Training, also referred to as the NML SCITT, provides a unique and exciting way to learn how to teach modern languages. They offer high-class, subject-specific training for budding language teachers in a wide range of leading schools across England.
The SCITT teaching programme is the only national course specialising in the training of modern language teachers. It is run via a network of geographical hubs across England, including London, Manchester, Sheffield, Oxfordshire, Lincolnshire, the East Midlands and Humber. The programme is designed to provide a personalised approach as you train to teach. It includes regular day schools, online modules and in-classroom experience to help you reach Qualified Teacher Status.
The aim of the NML is to produce a new generation of outstanding Modern Foreign Language (MFL) teachers, and that is exactly what they achieve.
We spoke to the team at the NML SCITT to gain more insight into their courses, the journeys of trainees over the last year and what makes their programme so successful and special.
Q. Why do people choose to complete their training with the NML SCITT?
With alternative teacher training providers to choose from, we wanted to know what makes the NML SCITT stand out. Their reasons included their friendly, approachable and supportive team, their superb network of partner schools nationally and their general approach to school-centred training. It was particularly interesting to hear the resounding reason to be their mutual love of languages.
“We are the first choice of many applicants as we are gaining a reputation for being a supportive, school-based training provider which a unique programme rooted in the classroom. Our trainees come from all walks of life, from recent graduates to filmmakers, lawyers and actors. What unites us all is our love of languages.” Catherine Juyol – NML SCITT Dulwich Hub Leader
“The SCITT trainees love the element of in-school training and being trusted to teach as soon as they and their mentors believe they are ready to do so.” Joe Spence – The Master of Dulwich College
“We are linguists who are keen to share our love of languages and to train the next generation of MFL teachers!” Christophe Fico – NML SCITT Course Leader
“All trainees are linguists and tutors are linguists too! We all share the common love of languages” Ailsa Watkinson – Hub Leader for Sheffield SCITT/Teacher of MFL
Q. What are some of the benefits of teacher training with the NML SCITT?
Those who choose to train with the NML SCITT can expect to spend a considerable amount of time in schools in good MFL departments, gaining unrivaled experience from day one. Trainees join qualified teachers in their classrooms from the first day of the school year and become part of the teaching staff.
“We have an experienced team of colleagues from across the UK working together to give every trainee the best possible start to a career in teaching languages.” Julie Garrow – NML SCITT Administrator
“Trainees receive mentoring from experienced and inspirational practitioners who are themselves still in the classroom and improving their craft.” Joe Spence – The Master of Dulwich College
“The training is delivered by linguists for linguists. Trainees are part of a supportive cohort of like-minded professionals. Trainees have the opportunity to teach across the age and ability range in both state and independent schools.” Catherine Juyol – NML SCITT Dulwich Hub Leader
Q. What has the last year been like for trainees on the course?
We’re particularly interested in finding out about trainees’ journeys over the last year. Training to teach can be demanding at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic. We wanted to know how the NML SCITT’s trainees have found the course amidst COVID-19.
“Challenging but rewarding. They have been lucky enough to have been teaching in school, hybrid teaching and teaching online full time since September. I have been very proud of the way our trainees have stepped up to the challenge and have supported their departments and pupils throughout this difficult time.” Catherine Juyol – NML SCITT Dulwich Hub Leader
“Challenging but hugely rewarding at the same time – we are particularly proud to have kept all our trainees in placement schools despite the situation.” Christophe Fico – NML SCITT Course Leader
“Challenging and interesting. They have made progress and had experiences in areas that other trainees in the past would not have had e.g. teaching online and hybrid lessons, adapting resources to the challenges of the socially distanced classroom, supporting pupils pastorally, and gaining an appreciation for the importance of mental wellbeing.” Katrin Sredzki-Seamer – Director
“Extraordinarily successful, all things considered. The move to online delivery of the course has appeared remarkably seamless.” Joe Spence – The Master of Dulwich College
Q. What would you say to any prospective trainees about why they should train to teach with the NML SCITT?
If you’re considering training to teach modern foreign languages, the NML SCITT could be the perfect match for you. We asked the team what they’d like to say to anyone who is considering joining the profession via their course.
“You will be among like-minded language enthusiasts who have a lot in common and understand each other’s challenges. You can support each other and will challenge each other to be the best when it comes to creating a passion for languages in the classroom and beyond.” Katrin Sredzki-Seamer – Director
“Teaching gives you the opportunity to have a real impact on the lives of young people. Being able to speak a foreign language is a vital skill for the future of our country and our children. Every day you make a difference.” Catherine Juyol – NML SCITT Dulwich Hub Leader
“You are joining a network of like-minded linguists. You will never look back! ” Christophe Fico – NML SCITT Course Leader
“Come and learn from teachers who love your subject and can transmit their passion for it and your own abilities (and confidence) as a teacher will be enhanced.” Joe Spence – The Master of Dulwich College
“As Hub Leader I am responsible for their pastoral care and I love to work with the trainees and make sure they have the best and most supported experience ever. We are all inspired by languages and want to spread this in the classroom and across schools.” Ailsa Watkinson – Hub Leader for Sheffield SCITT/Teacher of MFL
Q. Can you tell me about some of the success stories from trainees of the NML SCITT?
It’s clear from the NML SCITT’s feedback that the trainees enjoy the course and find it rewarding, but what about their success once the course is complete?
“We have past trainees now mentoring our new trainees. We have trainees who are now heads of departments or heads of year.” Katrin Sredzki-Seamer – Director
“There are many! From last year, two trainees got jobs in the same school on the same day. The school emailed us to tell us that our trainees got jobs (the school also had their own SCITT programme and had an MFL trainee who they did not appoint!). The school thanked us for the excellent training we had provided them.” Christophe Fico – NML SCITT Course Leader
“It is great to see how many trainees obtain teaching positions, and how well they perform in interviews. Many of our trainees have been offered jobs within our partner schools.” Julie Garrow – NML SCITT Administrator
Q. Is there anything else you’d like to say about the NML SCITT?
A couple of the team members wanted to add a few final words before concluding the interview.
“I am proud to be involved in such a forward-thinking and supportive programme that trains the next generation of teachers.” Catherine Juyol – NML SCITT Dulwich Hub Leader
“We love what you love – languages – and are the best organisation to help you be the best you can be in the MFL classroom.” Ailsa Watkinson – Hub Leader for Sheffield SCITT/Teacher of MFL
Finally, we’d like to end with some fantastic testimonials from trainees of the NML SCITT.
“I just wanted to let you know that Sheffield Hallam [University] got in contact with me a couple of days ago to tell me I had won an award for highest attainment across the SCITT programmes they work with. I think that is a testament to the high quality of teaching and support available through the SCITT and I feel very fortunate to have benefitted from it!” Alexandra Chell – Trainee Teacher
“I’m very lucky to have been trained so well! It’s a bit of a shock to find that I can plan and deliver good lessons, manage behaviour, deal with SoWs and exam specifications. All the things you’re frightened of as a trainee, but you realise you’re well set up to do when in the job. It’s hard work, but I’m loving it, and I hope I’m doing justice to the SCITT!
… I’m very proud to be a SCITT graduate!” Christopher Leffler – Trainee Teacher
“It has been a great pleasure and a true joy to be part of this training programme and it was definitely the best choice. Many thanks for all your hard work and for supporting us so well throughout the course and beyond.” Jelena Kolos – Trainee Teacher
“Just a shout out to the programme in general for the emphasis it places on taking care of ourselves and each other physically and emotionally. I know that not all programmes do this or do it well. And it’s so important.” Lucy Timms – Trainee Teacher
“I am very grateful for all your advice, guidance and support throughout the course and especially, at Day School. I’m very excited to begin my career in a school in which I will be both challenged and supported to become an outstanding MFL Teacher.” Thomas Maguire – Trainee Teacher
“I love the day schools! They always lift me up and leave me feeling reinspired (even despite the limitations of being there virtually!). Thank you for your positivity, enthusiasm and contagious humour.” Ilona Dul – Trainee Teacher
We thoroughly enjoyed speaking with the team at the NML SCITT. It’s clear why they have received such a great name for themselves! If you’re keen to learn more about their programme, we strongly recommend reaching out for an informal chat. It might just be the best decision you’ve made! Contact the NML SCITT here.