Croydon school to feature in BBC documentary Tough Young Teachers
Oxford graduate Charles Wallendahl learned his teaching skills at Archbishop Lanfranc school (Picture: BBC)
A Croydon school features in a fly on the wall documentary which lifts the lid on life for trainee teachers.
Archbishop Lanfranc School, in Thornton Heath, is one of the secondary schools involved in the six part BBC documentary Tough Young Teachers.
The series follows trainee teachers on the Teach First scheme, a charity which looks to put bright young graduates in schools where many pupils are from ‘low income communities’.
Teachers get six weeks training before they are thrust into the hustle and bustle of the classroom.
Lanfranc has two teachers who feature in the series.
Charles Wallendahl, who studied religious education at Oxford University and is now an RE teacher, and geography graduate Chloe Shaw are both learning their trade at the secondary school, which was classed as inadequate in its latest Ofsted inspection.
Mr Wallendahl, 23, who also studied at the prestigious Charterhouse school, is shown having to deal with all sorts of issues including unruly teenagers.
Archbishop Lanfranc has a high proportion of students where English is not their first language, with many students coming from minority ethnic groups.
In one of his first lessons, Mr Wallendahl taught a student who had just arrived from central Africa and was unable to speak English so he used Google Translate to communicate with the girl.
David Clark, head teacher at Lanfranc, said the school has been involved with Teach First for more than 10 years which was one of the main contributory factors of being invited to take part in the documentary.
He said both Mr Wallendahl and Miss Shaw have grown into very good teachers as part of the scheme.
But Mr Clark added he was personally disappointed with the episodes he had seen, saying there was not as much focus on the actual development of the teachers.
He said: "My reaction to the series is that it was not the series we thought they were going to produce and that it fails to shed any realistic light on what the Teach First programme is about.
“I think it is a bit of a failed opportunity really.
“It does not show the work that is done by schools to ensure that Teach First trainees make the sort of progress we want to see them make.
“It is not something that happens by accident. It neglects the routine things and the mundane things that happen. It focuses too much on having public appeal.”
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