Royal Society of ChemistryRoyal Society of Chemistry
The Royal Society of Chemistry is the UK’s largest non-governmental funder of chemistry education. And, as the world’s leading chemistry community, is committed to advancing excellence in the chemical sciences because of its belief in the fundamental importance of chemistry for life, society and the world.
The Royal Society of Chemistry invests in educating future generations of scientists – for the benefit of science and humanity – by providing advice, resources and practical support to learners and educators in schools, colleges, and universities around the world.
We believe that all children have the right to world-class chemistry education
If you’re passionate about chemistry and inspiring the next generation then we would love to help you on your way to becoming an inspirational chemistry teacher. One way that we are doing that is awarding £28,000 tax-free funding to talented individuals entering chemistry teacher training in England.
Teaching is an exciting, challenging and hugely rewarding career. No two days will ever be the same, but every day you’ll be sharing your passion for science and making a real difference to children and young people. It won’t always be easy, your patience and determination will both be tested, but if you become one of our scholars then we will support you through your training and beyond, with a range of fantastic benefits, as you grow into the excellent teacher we think you can become.
As well as £28,000 tax-free funding, Royal Society of Chemistry Scholars get a specialised support package, designed to help them during the ITT course.
The package includes:
• Mentoring by an expert chemistry teacher
• Free classroom materials including books, posters and a lab coat
• Chemistry specific training meetings with other scholars, and
• Free online courses on key concepts in teaching chemistry.
• Two year’s membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry, which includes arrange of further benefits
- Name: Harry Lord
- Role: Chemistry Teacher
- Joined: 2016/17
- University: University of Manchester
- Degree: Bsc Medicinal Chemistry
I’m a chemistry teacher. One that received D and E grades in chemistry 8 years ago. Thankfully, 7 years ago I had a teacher who spent countless hours after school with just me. I had to resit my science exams and needed to turn things round quickly. Her name was Miss Rogers. I got the GCSE’s required to go to sixth form. I then got the A-Levels required to go to university.
I remember emailing Miss Rogers on the good news. Her reply was: “You’re a star. I’m so proud of you. Keep working hard and never give up”.
As I approached graduating from Leeds, I applied for the RSC teacher training scholarship not hoping for much. When I was invited to attend an interview day I remember feeling so out of my depth. Everyone seemed to be joining teaching from industry or had much more experience than myself. I remember talking as passionately as I could about why I wanted to become a teacher, describing how Miss Rogers spent hour after hour helping me achieve what I could.
I received the scholarship and along with the money and amazing resources (all of which are incredibly useful), I found that the mentor I received (Kristy Turner), was much more useful than any of that. Kristy helped me so much throughout my training, with my first job interview and also continues to help me now. If for nothing else, the RSC scholarship provides you with an amazing mentor that is an expert in the field and also someone who will help you when you feel things are tough.
I never thought being a teacher would be so much fun. I love how I am able to share my life and experiences with so many amazing young people in my community. I also love how the pupils share their life and experiences with me. I find it a privilege to teach a subject I have a genuine passion for – more so now than I ever did. None of this would have been possible without Miss Rogers, who made the difference. I often remind myself of Miss Rogers whenever I’m feeling a bit tired at school. She reminds me that teachers do make a difference.
Miss Rogers ended her email with: “Knowing how successful you are makes my job and efforts worthwhile”. There are not many jobs that you can say that.
- Name: Sophie Holmes
- Role: Chemistry Teacher
- Joined: 2016/17
- University: University of Cambridge
- Degree: Chemistry (2:1)
Applying for a Scholarship
Receiving a Royal Society of Chemistry scholarship was crucial in my decision to train via the PGCE route. As well as ensuring that I was financially capable of another year of study, the RSC provided me with excellent training sessions throughout the year focusing on different aspects of Chemistry teaching. I was also able to meet and network with other Chemistry scholars and experienced teachers, which was invaluable in terms of sharing ideas and supporting each other through the course. The RSC also provided lots of resources for our classrooms, CPD opportunities online, and I am hoping to use my link with the RSC to organise school trips in the future. Application for the scholarship was straight forward; an online application stage followed by an interview and assessment day in London.
Why did you choose teaching?
Whilst at university, I helped with science outreach projects which I really enjoyed. I also volunteered during the summer working with vulnerable young people, as well as various child care jobs. I knew that I really enjoyed working with children, so I signed up for a “Chemistry into Schools” module in my third year at university. Initially disappointed that there were no places in primary schools, I nervously started a placement at a secondary school. I loved the atmosphere of a secondary school, as well as the more challenging concepts taught and the wider range of experiments you could do with secondary aged pupils. By the time I finished my Chemistry degree, I had decided that I wanted to become a Science teacher.
Tips for future trainees
If you are considering teaching (you should – its great), try and get experience of working with different age groups if you can. I initially was certain I wanted to teach primary aged children, but a placement at a local secondary school completely changed my mind. In terms of maintaining a work-life balance during training, my advice would be: plan something fun each week with friends/family, try and keep up a sport, never work on Saturdays and make the most of the holidays!
Applying for teacher training
I chose to complete my teacher training via the PGCE route, as I wanted to ensure that I was able to focus on pedagogical research as well as putting it into practice in the classroom. When applying, I used the Get Into Teaching website as well as speaking to recent graduates and former teachers about their routes into teaching. I enjoyed writing my personal statement and pulling together the experiences and reasons that had drawn me to teaching in the first place. I would recommend getting as much experience with young people as possible (both inside and out of the classroom), both to confirm whether teaching is what you want to do and to discuss in your application.
Your training Year
The most valuable lesson I learnt during my training, is that the relationships that you form with pupils is the most important part of teaching. Taking the time to build positive relationships (which can be challenging at times!) can transform the quality of teaching. I trained in two completely different schools, which was invaluable as it meant I had to learn how to adapt my teaching style early on. Time spent in faculty and carrying out research projects in school allowed me to really think about how children learn, and how we as teachers can best facilitate this in the classroom. Having time to reflect on my lessons allowed me to continually evaluate and improve my teaching practice.
Life as a teacher
I am currently completing my NQT year in a mixed inner city comprehensive. I teach seven classes, from Year 7 – 12 as well as being a Year 9 form tutor. Since starting in September, I have been able to put into practice teaching strategies I learnt in my PGCE year both at university and through the scholarship programme. I have also learnt a great deal from the excellent team of teachers I work with, and continue to receive NQT training as well as the guidance and support of a mentor. Although teaching can be stressful, it is incredibly rewarding to be a part of shaping young people’s futures, and inspiring the next generation of problem solvers!
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