ECT Experience

Our school provides excellent support for new teachers starting out on their careers.

We offer a range of benefits to new teachers, including:

  • an outstanding 2-year induction programme for Early Careers Teachers (ECTs), based on the new Teach First Early Careers Framework (ECF)
  • an experienced and supportive mentor and induction tutor for each ECT
  • a ‘Getting to Know Cardinal Wiseman’ induction programme for all teachers
  • outstanding results, at both GCSE and A level, from our well-motivated students
  • an IT rich learning environment
  • high quality facilities
  • an inner London location (with London Weighting salary benefits)
  • a warm, welcoming and supportive environment
  • an open door policy from an approachable Senior Leadership Team for guidance and advice

What do former NQTs think about their Induction at Cardinal Wiseman?

  • 'Mentors are fully committed in supporting their NQTs' and ‘did not mind giving as much time as needed to their NQTs'
  •  ‘Everyone has time for you’,
  • ‘Communication in the school is unbelievable’ 
  • ‘We are like a big family here that supports and truly cares for each other’
  • 'The atmosphere in the school is amazing' and the school is 'like a chain held together well' and 'functioning so well'
  • The working environment at CWCS is ‘so positive and [an NQT] could not choose a better place to start their teaching career. All staff are so supportive, generous with their time, resources and ideas’.
  • ‘All at CWCS genuinely care about the pupils’

Read the full 'NQT Induction Quality Assurance Report' here

Read the 2022 ECT Induction Quality Assurance Report here

Some of our most current ECTs from our 2023-24 cohort have described the benefits of the support they have received so far in their first year at Cardinal Wiseman:

Teacher of Chemistry

Miss Juma

The ECT programme at Cardinal Wiseman has given me the invaluable opportunity to grow and develop as a new teacher. My transition from trainee teacher to an ECT has been a seamless one, due to the unwavering support and guidance of the teachers in the Science department, but also those involved in the ECT programme. The well-structured ECT programme at Wiseman offers weekly CPD sessions, providing a chance for ECTs across different subject specialisms to share ideas and experiences collectively.

Even with the hardships and demanding nature of this profession, especially as a new teacher, I feel privileged to be a part of the Wiseman community here, and to teach the exceptional group of students that are brought up with the same values their teachers uphold.

Teacher of Psychology/Sociology

Miss Maxted

Being new to the school and teaching was initially overwhelming however, the consistent support I have received from the moment I started at Cardinal Wiseman has allowed me to fit straight in and adapt to my new role. My department have been a real help to me, answering any questions and providing supportive advice. My weekly sessions with my mentor has been another strong source of guidance in which I can reflect on my own practice and the observations means I am gaining valuable, constructive feedback in how to improve this.

The ECT training sessions have allowed me to share best practice with other ECTs as well as gain knowledge on how different teaching strategies can work for different students and year groups. Through these training sessions, I have also been able to gain an understanding of how the school works and it is evident through these training opportunities that continual staff development is at the forefront of what the school is striving to achieve. The warm welcome I have received since starting has continued, making Wiseman a respectful and supportive place to work and develop as a teacher and I look forward to continuing to do this here.

Teacher of Maths

Ms Han

Starting my journey as an ECT at Cardinal Wiseman has been incredibly rewarding, marked by a strong sense of community and unwavering support. The warmth and helpfulness of the staff, coupled with the diligence and empathy of the students, create an environment where I feel truly welcomed. Within the Maths department, I've found a cohesive team always willing to offer assistance and guidance.

Having a dedicated mentor who prioritizes my growth and development has been invaluable. Despite her busy schedule, she remains accessible and accommodating, providing invaluable insights and encouragement. The weekly ECT training sessions have proven to be a highlight, offering a diverse range of topics and activities led by experienced educators from various departments. These sessions not only enhance my skills but also provide a platform to connect with other ECTs, exchanging valuable tips and experiences.

Teacher of Art

Miss Ziniak

I can honestly say that the ECT programme at Cardinal Wiseman is structured to fully support the development of new teachers through many opportunities of growth in both knowledge and overall teaching pedagogy.

From the start I have been welcomed by a fantastic Expressive Arts team, where I continuously receive support, guidance, and advice throughout every step of the way. I feel incredibly privileged to be part of a department that places such importance on nurturing creative expression in learners and where my own discipline of art is valued. Along with being embraced by a wonderful team, the ECT programme pairs you with an incredibly supportive mentor. On a weekly basis, I have a dedicated meeting with my mentor to discuss lesson planning, helpful feedback on progress and beneficial advice from a subject specialist. The support extends beyond weekly meetings, she accommodates any of her free time to offer guidance, answer any queries as well as providing useful advice to any issues or challenges that arise.

The programme provides weekly ECT training sessions to continuously support the development of teaching and learning. The sessions have really contributed to my growth as a teacher as you gain knowledge of expert teaching strategies from a variety of experienced teaching staff. The training sessions give you the opportunity to share with other ECTs tips, ideas and experiences creating a great supportive network within the Wiseman community. Overall, there is a real sense of whole school community from staff members to students creating a respectful good-natured environment to work in.

I feel truly fortunate that my first year of teaching is at Cardinal Wiseman and feel appreciated as a valued contributing member of the whole school community. I look forward to my continuing teaching journey at Cardinal Wiseman.

These are comments from previous ECTS:

Teacher of PE

Ms Bartlett

The ECT programme at Cardinal Wiseman provides the best opportunity for new teachers to grow and develop their knowledge and capabilities. I can honestly say that from my very first day I have felt completely guided and supported through every aspect that comes with this profession. All members of staff here at Wiseman are welcoming and willing to help you in any way they can, which is everything you wish for when starting a new job or career.

Through this well-structured programme, ECT’s have weekly CPD sessions that provide the opportunity to share ideas and experiences with those from other subject areas. This has allowed me to enhance my knowledge of a large variety of teaching methods. Personally, I feel my confidence as a teacher has grown through my exceptionally supportive and encouraging mentor who always makes time for me when I need any extra advice outside of our weekly meetings. Additionally, I feel privileged to be a part of an exceptional PE department, from whom I gain a lot of expertise and never ending support, which has contributed to my positive experience as an ECT.

I look forward to my future here at Cardinal Wiseman.

Teacher of Drama

Ms Malcolmson

Taking on teacher training during the pandemic was sure to be a challenging experience, one that has allowed me to become a resilient and forward-thinking teacher. However, after I finished my training, I was concerned that this was only the start of the real challenges. The ECT programme at Cardinal Wiseman has allowed me to face these challenges with confidence. 

It has been an extensive and worthwhile experience from the start and I have felt supported thought-out. The staff and students are a huge credit to the school.  My mentor and induction tutor have been wonderful, providing detailed and extremely helpful feedback on my lessons and lesson planning. Whenever an issue or challenge arises I feel as if the whole school is there supporting me, as there is a great teacher support culture at Cardinal Wiseman. 

My department is exceptional and I feel very at home here after such a small amount of time. My mentor always takes the time to help me understand complex material and involves me in every aspect of the department, allowing me not only to gain a great understanding of my subject but also how the department works. 
I feel incredibly lucky to have my first year of teaching at Cardinal Wiseman. I genuinely appreciate the whole experience and I look forward to the year to come. 

Teacher of Business Studies

Mr Corden

Cardinal Wiseman is widely considered to be an outstanding school. This is also the case for the comprehensive programme that has been put in place to support and develop me as an Early Career Teacher as I transition from my training year to the role of a full-time teacher.

The programme is led by a member of the SLT, and the network of support provided extends across the whole school. It starts with my dedicated mentor, and includes the rest of the Business Studies Department, other teachers, and support staff who have made me feel a part of the Wiseman team from day one. Nothing is too much trouble and everyone is generous with their valuable time to provide me with the constructive advice and feedback that I need to become a better teacher.

The weekly training programme is a chance to spend time with colleagues, reflect upon my self-study, and share ideas on how I can develop my skills and build what I have learnt into my lessons.

Above all however, it is the school itself and the values that it represents that create an environment of respect and rapport, that make the pupils such a rewarding group to teach.

Teacher of Science

Ms St Ledger

From the day of the interview, to my first day, to today I have been continually impressed with the warm, welcoming and friendly staff and engaging, polite students here at Cardinal Wiseman School. All staff are happy to help no matter the question and I have felt completely supported and welcomed since starting.

The department is incredibly well organised which dramatically reduces the potential stresses and workload of being an ECT. The teachers are happy to share their resources and ideas, as well as their time, which makes planning lessons a less time consuming task. The CPD opportunities have been excellent with weekly training sessions, whole school training and departmental weekly meetings, in which we share ideas.

The whole ECT process is also structured brilliantly. Its organisation means you are learning weekly from other ECT’s, experienced staff members and from the reading material we complete. The sessions are incredibly valuable; not only do you learn great techniques for in the classroom but you are also given the opportunity to discuss your thoughts with other teachers and develop important skills such as data analysis and how to monitor and record student progress.

Cardinal Wiseman School is an excellent place in which to complete your ECT year and a fantastic place to work. The school really does feel like a community where everyone supports each other, wanting the best for both staff and students. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a school in which to complete their ECT training.

Teacher of Science

Ms Ramsay

Two words spring to mind when I think about the start of my ECT years here at Cardinal Wiseman; Community and Support. Staff are friendly and helpful and the students are hard-working and caring. The Science department is a great team full of people ready to offer help, guidance and ideas; I feel completely at ease seeking out any member of the team to ask questions or gain advice.

Despite being new to both the school and teaching, my contribution to departmental meetings still feels valued and appreciated. As an ECT, I also have a mentor with whom I meet weekly - she is very supportive and accommodating, no matter how busy her own day might be! The weekly ECT training sessions are also particularly beneficial and there is a fantastic variety of topics and activities, with experienced members of staff from a variety of departments leading. The training sessions are also a chance to meet up with all the other ECT’s and share any tips we might have picked up over recent lessons. I genuinely look forward to contributing more to the community here throughout the rest of my time here.

Teacher of Psychology and Sociology

Ms Mimouni 

My experience as an ECT has been a steep climb up hill. The start of the term has been challenging considering all the deadlines, schemes of work, whole school policies, briefings, emails, chasing, marking, assessing and reflecting. However, I have fitted straight in and adapted quickly because my department and other staff around me have gone above and beyond to provide me with the support I need. There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel for me as a new member of staff, overwhelmed by all the new responsibilities.

Here at Wiseman, my Head of Department as well as my colleagues in Social Studies have been guiding me in the right direction, by allowing me to observe their lessons and promptly answering any questions I have. Even during moments when I feel overwhelmed, there is always someone to talk to, which is reassuring as an ECT. Moreover, the ECT program is so well run by the school; I have had weekly meetings with my mentor, weekly observations and weekly ECT training sessions. These sessions have been truly supportive and a useful guide to support my weekly practice. They have allowed me to meet with other ECTs to discuss theory and to reflect upon different teaching strategies.

I have formed a close professional relationship with my mentor Mr Rahman who has provided me with support on a daily basis; from answering general queries to providing me with very constructive feedback and offering me tangible targets and guided instruction on how I can achieve them. Ms Murphy, the program leader and Mr Rahman have been truly respectful and professional and without their encouragement and guidance I don’t think i would have progressed so well in such a short period of time.

I entered the teaching profession knowing how hard and stressful teaching can be. I knew that no career is easy but as long as it’s something you enjoy you will succeed. However, I also understood that working in a kind and respectful environment is equally as important as having passion for that career. I have been lucky enough to encounter just that here at Wiseman; staff enjoy their work and go above and beyond for the students.

Going forward, I hope to continue to grow as a teacher here at Wiseman. Cardinal Wiseman enables and encourages ECTs to become the unique teacher they strive to be rather than fitting a generic mould.