Transform Case Studies: Teach First Leadership Development Programme

The Teach First Leadership Development Programme provided Nathan with the opportunity and support to build a career in teaching, whilst enabling him to unlock potential and build aspiration amongst his pupils.

TeachFirst company logoJoining Teach First, voted fifth in the ‘Times Top 100 Graduate Employers’, allowed Nathan to earn a salary and gain hands-on classroom experience from the offset. Nathan’s desire to take advantage of every opportunity within school allowed him to develop his teaching career and build a better future for his pupils.

Nathan, a Bristol graduate, is now a Science teacher in Bristol and has fallen in love with the city and the profession.

“I was placed at the Orchard School in Bristol, which was an incredibly diverse school with close to 30 different first languages spoken. There was a lot of different cultural aspects and issues that I had to deal with. For me, the biggest issue within the school was aspiration. The students didn’t believe they could do anything outside of their circle. Even talking about moving outside of Bristol was a crazy idea, some had not even visited Bristol city centre which was around a mile away. So, it was about trying to build their worldview and increase aspirations about things that they were able to do. There were some very bright students who were missing out because they did not understand what opportunities were available.

The Leadership Development Programme offered a great salary and support in the first year, as you get the opportunity to go straight into teaching and get straight into doing the job, rather than spending hours in university.

I think it was very helpful for my newly qualified teaching year as it wasn’t as big of a jump as it would have been if I had done the PGCE route. I took on the responsibility as Head of PSHE in my NQT year and I received a lot of support with that which I wouldn’t have been able to do the job without.

Bristol is an incredible city. My school was slightly outside of the city centre but because of the great transport that didn’t really matter. I still live in Bristol and I can’t see any reason for me to move as I’m very happy.

In terms of advice, for those about to join Teach First, I would say when you get placed, the key is to get involved in everything. Whilst I am on the programme as a science teacher, I have also been given the opportunity to teach some P.E lessons, run Duke of Edinburgh and run a residential this year.

What made my job easier was getting my face around school, seeing the kids in different areas other than the formal classroom. This helped me form relationships that enabled me to deal with the tougher behavioural issues. It is important to take advantage of everything you possibly can whilst you have the time early on in your career. This is when pupils will see you out of the classroom and respect you as a human and not just a teacher.”


A student in a navy basecall cap smiles with confetti superimposed over himFind out more about the TeachFirst Leadership Programme here.

TeachFirst is running an online employer presentation on Tuesday 8 March 2022, hear about their programmes, the application process and teachers who have trained with them, book your place here.

We provide opportunities for you to meet with employers throughout the year, search all employer presentations and promotional activities on mycareer here

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