Adapting to life during the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown of schools, at GORSE SCITT Hull and East Yorkshire we have come up with new ways to train our current cohort to ensure that they are continuing to build skills and knowledge in preparation for returning to the classroom. Here is one account from Bryony Cattermole, a Social Science trainee…

It’s safe to say a lot has changed recently due to the global pandemic. In the last few weeks life as we know it has ground to a halt, schools were suddenly shut for all but the most vulnerable and we are told to isolate ourselves at home.

Prior to all this I was working hard as a trainee Social Science teacher in a busy post 16 college. I was getting grips with lesson planning, marking assessments and leading revision sessions for students in the run up to their exams. Despite the significant changes I have been really pleased with the reassurances we have received and there is plenty for us to do.

During this time, I have received excellent subject knowledge support from my mentor and the other Social Science trainees who I was fortunate to meet on my last placement. This is important for us because the Social Sciences consist of so many subjects at the post 16 level and can be anything from Sociology and Psychology to Health and Social Care, Law and even Politics. It is therefore important that we secure knowledge in our chosen specialism and take the opportunity to learn other subjects which may be useful for our future careers. This therefore has two main advantages: Firstly, to develop our own knowledge and secondly to develop resources that students can use from home.

 Every Wednesday my 3pm we email the group with our chosen topic for revision which can be on any of the Social Science Subjects, and by Friday at 3pm we share with the group the resources that we have made. So far, we have been creating fun revision activities that students can use from home such as snakes and ladders with questions, subject knowledge booklets with activities and exam practice, quizzes and key word matchups. Now we have more time to focus on this area I have personally enjoyed learning about areas of Sociology that I didn’t know before such as the Sociology of Health which now seems more relevant than ever. We also have access to the online resource Seneca which takes us through the GCSE and A level Specifications for both Sociology and Psychology. This enables us to develop confidence in what students are expected to know and ensure we understand how they need to answer exam questions.

The best bit though has been our weekly Zoom meetings where the Social Science trainees catch up on our weeks so far, what we have been doing, how we’re getting on and how we can best support each other going forward. It creates a sense of normality in the odd times we’re now living in and keeps us motivated to keep working hard.

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