Former trainee teacher Dani Knight, started her trainee teacher scheme in August 2017 and qualified in May 2019. Here she tells us why she applied for the scheme and what her experience was like.

Dani Knight photo

​​​​​Name and current position:

Dani Knight

Head of PE and Sport.

TiC A Level Practical PE and Sports Leadership Awards


A Levels: I was a student at Esher College and studied PE, Economics and Geography

Higher Education: BSc Applied Science from Loughborough University and MRes Sport Science from Nottingham Trent

Date that I started/completed the Trainee Teacher scheme:

August 2017 – May 2019

Why I applied for the Trainee Teacher Scheme:

As a professional wanting to take a side step in career path, it was an exciting prospect to retrain under the Teacher Trainee scheme and study while on the job and still earning. I felt that I had enough experience and subject knowledge behind me to complete a PGCE at the same time as teaching and had the confidence to challenge my skill set while doing so.

My experience of the Trainee Teacher Scheme:

In my first year completing the Trainee Teacher scheme, I had a limited teaching timetable to allow me the time to ease in to the department, understand the specifications (I started with content that I was most confident with) and adapt teaching resources to suit the style of teaching I was learning. The second half of my timetable was within the Learning Support department, holding timetabled group sessions, as well as in-class one to one support. The time I spent with Learning Support was invaluable in my training as it offered the opportunity to gain a direct insight in to the way students learn differently, as well as the chance to observe a range of different teachers and teaching styles. Lastly, once a week I met with a mentor to discuss my experiences and share ideas. As my mentor was from another department, I was able to gain a different perspective on some of my more practical challenges and take a variety of approaches back to my lessons. During the second year, my department timetable was expanded to take on more lessons, content and responsibility for modules/units on both the A Level and BTEC courses.

The PGCE course, was overseen by very experienced, and approachable, module leaders who offered a great wealth of knowledge and support. The coursework was manageable, split through the two years, and the feedback given aimed to enhance practice. It also provided fantastic opportunities to collaborate with others from a variety of education settings and subject specialisms.

The challenges:

I applied for the Trainee Teacher scheme with no expectations of what it would involve or how I would be supported throughout, and although challenging, it was a fantastic experience and well worth the late Monday night PGCE sessions!

What I’m doing now:​

Since qualifying, I have continued to develop my reflective practice by completing my QTLS as well as increasing the responsibilities I hold. Currently, I still teach on both the BTEC Sport and A Level PE courses, as well as holding responsibility for A Level Practical and the Community and Higher Sports Leaders courses we offer.