Meet Sebastian

Sebastian left the University of Manchester in 2013 with a degree in English Literature and initially decided to spend two years in the classroom as a higher level teaching assistant (HLTA) to establish whether a career in teaching was for him.

In 2013, Sebastian was offered a position at Alder Community High School – a school within the Altius Alliance – and enjoyed the work so much that he decided to go ahead and train to be a fully qualified teacher. He tells us why he opted to take the School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) course with Altius.

“I fully researched the options open to me to complete teacher training. I chose the SCITT course with Altius as I felt this would harness and enhance the experience I had already amassed during my time as a teaching assistant.

Staff at Altius initially audit your skills and then specifically tailor the course around what you already know and understand, both in terms of subject knowledge and behavioural strategies.

The Altius course has certainly boosted my confidence for when I begin my first teaching job as a NQT as it’s ensured that I’m not going to enter the classroom blind.

Altius are also extremely supportive in helping you find a job. Staff send you an email alert highlighting advertised roles that they feel would suit your skill set and personality. When a teacher of English position came up at CHHS I jumped at the opportunity to apply and was interviewed, along with another trainee teacher and four external candidates. I was thrilled to be offered the role and being awarded outstanding at the end of the course was the icing on the cake! The number of Altius trainees who gain a teaching position immediately after completing the course is very impressive; the SCITT course achieved 100% in 2016.

I’m really looking forward to receiving the schemes of work for the next academic year and getting to know the English department better. It’ll be all about finding my feet and embedding myself into the classroom. The pupils have already established that I have a sense of humour and we enjoy witty banter – great for getting them on side and enthusiastic about English. My absolute passion is extoling the variety of ways there are today for getting into reading; it’s not just about picking up a novel.”

Sebastian, surprisingly, is renowned at Altius and CHHS for founding the Gracie Fields’ Appreciation Society.

“It all began with a high school drama project on the second world war when we were tasked with researching singers during this period. Gracie was an inspiration and sweetheart for the troops, but when I came across her singing Ave Maria, I couldn’t believe this was the same voice of the woman who sang songs such as Sally Pride of our Alley. It soon became an obsession and I now have the largest private collection of Gracie Fields memorabilia. Somehow the media picked this up and I’ve been featured sharing my love of Gracie’s music on the One Show and more recently on Radio 4.”

“I fully researched the options open to me to undertake teacher training. I chose the School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) course with Altius as I felt the school led route would harness and enhance the experience I had already amassed during my time as a teaching assistant.”