Herne Bay Junior School
"One chance, let's get it right"
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Student and ECT Mentoring Programme

Student and ECT Mentoring Programme


Overview of the school 

Herne Bay Junior School is a four-form entry school situated in Herne Bay.  We work closely with Canterbury Christ Church University and are proud to be a lead partnership school in mentoring students. Over the past couple of years, we have also worked closely with the University of Brighton. The school supports between 4-8 placements per year across a range of routes including School Direct.  

During the 2022-2023 academic year, the school hosted one School Direct placement, four Year 2 students, one Year 3 placement and one PGCE placement. We also supported two Early Career Teachers (ECTs).  This year, 2023-2024, we are hosting one School Direct placement, three Year 2 placements, one Year 3 placement and have two ECTs.   


Approaches to ITT at Herne Bay Junior School 

Students are warmly welcomed into the school and are encouraged to become an active member of our staff and school ethos. Each student is placed in a class with a mentor as their class teacher.  Mentors are fully trained and are supported by the Lead Mentor. They work closely together on a day to day basis, offering informal feedback, support and training during each student’s placement. Mentors work with the student in order to develop their pedagogy, knowledge of the children and assessment of the class and individual pupils in line with the guidance from their university.  

Mentors meets with their student weekly and work to ensure that they are developing and moving towards meeting the teaching standards. Regular formal observations take place of their teaching providing written feedback in line with guidance from the university. From this, mentors will set clear targets for progression and will write reports across the year in discussion with the student teacher. 

The Lead Mentor has responsibility for all mentors within the school. A key role of the Lead Mentor is that of quality assurance. As part of the quality assurance process, the Lead Mentor carries out joint observations with mentors, supports in writing reports, offers feedback to the mentors and acts as an additional source of opinion and support when necessary. 

The Lead Mentor and mentors also co-ordinate placement-based training that is offered to the student teachers. CPD includes support with assessment, subject specific training, behaviour and phonics. Link Tutors regularly visit to support mentors and students and to observe. 



Feedback from current and past students:   

Student 1 -  

I am currently completing my School Direct placement with Herne Bay Junior School. Throughout this process, I have received weekly mentor meetings and been provided with regular productive feedback on how to improve my practice. My mentor’s support and guidance has been invaluable! All staff have embraced my new role with open arms and have supported and encouraged me at all times. I am looking forward to developing my knowledge and skills further throughout the rest of the year and moving onward with my teaching career. 



Student 2-  

As an ECT1 employed at the same school where I undertook my teacher training, my experience has been overwhelmingly positive and enriching. From the outset, I felt welcomed and embraced by both colleagues and pupils, fostering an environment conducive to growth and learning. 

Throughout this journey, the support and guidance from experienced mentors and colleagues have been instrumental in my professional development. Regular feedback sessions and collaborative planning meetings have allowed me to reflect on my teaching practice and refine my approach, leading to noticeable improvements in pupil outcomes and classroom management. 

Experiencing success, both big and small, has been incredibly rewarding. Whether it's witnessing a struggling student make significant progress or seeing the entire class enthusiastically engage with a challenging topic, these moments reaffirm my passion for teaching and motivate me to continue striving for excellence. 

Moreover, the positive feedback I've received from both students and colleagues has been incredibly encouraging. Knowing that my efforts are making a difference in the lives of my pupils and being recognised for my contributions to the school community has boosted my confidence and reaffirmed my decision to pursue a career in education. 

My experience as an ECT in such a supportive school has been nothing short of transformative. The varied teaching experiences, coupled with ongoing support and positive feedback, have laid a solid foundation for my future growth and development as an educator. I am grateful for the opportunities afforded to me and look forward to continuing my journey in the field of education with enthusiasm and dedication. 



Student 3 –  

I am now well underway in my second year as an ECT, and my progress and development continue to be supported by Herne Bay Junior School. I now have bi-weekly mentor meetings, which gives me an opportunity to discuss how my learning from the ECF course is progressing, as well as receiving guidance in implementing this learning into the classroom. I have attended local and regional ECT conferences, which have allowed me to network with other ECTs in the area and beyond. Both of these experiences have been extremely valuable. Herne Bay Junior School pride themselves on supporting aspiring teachers and I would urge anyone who is thinking about becoming a teacher to consider this wonderful school.  



Student 4 - 

Over the last 12 weeks, I have been lucky enough to complete my final placement at Herne Bay Junior school. From my very first day, I was made to feel so welcome by every member of staff at the school. Throughout my experience, I was hugely supported within all my teaching and planning, which allowed my confidence to flourish and helped me discover my own teacher identity. I have learnt more over the past 12 weeks than I have at any other stage of my teaching journey thus far. I was made to feel like part of the team at HBJS and I am entirely grateful for all the time and guidance I received throughout. 


As a lead partnership school with CCCU, we were recently visited by colleagues from The Gambia. These included 2 Principal Education Officers for In Service Education and Training, a Director of Early Childhood Development and Inclusive Education and a Vice Principal. Accompanying them was a representative from World Bank, which supports and funds education and training across the world.   

 The purpose for their visit to Herne Bay Junior School was to gain an understanding we work with CCCU to mentor students and how students are mentored by teachers. The visit provided the colleagues with a chance to observe how a mentor meeting is structured. We were honoured to be able share our successes of our mentorship programme with them and also to hear of their experiences of teacher training in The Gambia.