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Alumni Profiles

Staff profile
Samuel Stones

Samuel Stones

Associate Leader, Norton College




I was also able to approach my PGCE interview feeling confident and knowledgeable, and in addition to this, I gained some excellent tips and strategies which made me feel better prepared when entering the classroom as a trainee. 

Teacher of the Year 2018

Sam Stones was named Teacher of the Year at the Pride of Malton and Norton Awards ceremony of 2018.​ The award recognised Sam's professional development and achievements which included studying for a master's degree in Education at Leeds Trinity, carrying out research focusing on the progression of white-working class boys, leadership of an international four-week residential trip to Borneo, recent publications in The Economics, Business and Enterprise Association magazine and the Student Teacher Perspectives Journal, along with recent examiner and moderator positions. All of this was in addition to a full-time job as Associate Leader in the Faculty of Maths, Computing, Economics and Business at Norton College.Sam, who has worked at Norton College from 2015.​

What made you choose to attend Leeds Trinity and what are your best memories from your time with us?

I chose to study at Leeds Trinity because of the University's reputation as an excellent provider of initial teacher training education. The University's outstanding employability figures furthered my interest in the Leeds Trinity PGCE Business programme, as did the option to study Level 7 Master's credits alongside the PGCE course. Choosing Leeds Trinity University was rewarding and fulfilling, and it allowed me to enter the teaching profession feeling confident and prepared within less than two weeks of qualifying as a teacher. Furthermore, meeting such an excellent network of peers and tutors was an excellent part of my time at Leeds Trinity University and is something I will benefit from for many years to come. 

How do you feel your time at Leeds Trinity has supported you in your career and life more generally?

As a Leeds Trinity PGCE graduate, I benefitted from a number of unparalleled opportunities that the university offers to its students and these opportunities allowed me to further develop the skills, confidence and knowledge required for my career. Regular individualised tutorials with my subject tutor resulted in bespoke targets which allowed me to continually reflect upon and develop my knowledge of both the profession and my subject, thus giving me a strong and robust foundation upon which I have been able to build my career. I also represented the PGCE Business course as Lead Representative on the Staff-Student Academic Committee (SSAC), and I attended development days with subject associations and examination boards. Each of these opportunities allowed me to develop knowledge and understanding of the profession and this in turn enabled me to approach my new career with confidence and a great sense of preparedness.  

What is the most enjoyable aspect of being a Teacher and what have been the highlights in your career so far?

So far, the most enjoyable aspect of being a teacher has definitely been the relationships I've managed to build with each of my students. Although basic, this was something I had never fully appreciated as a trainee, as training only involved working with other teacher's students and within the parameter of that teacher's routines. Embarking upon a teaching career and realising you finally get to inspire and engage your own students is an inspirational feeling and this was certainly a highlight of my first half-term as an NQT. 

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about becoming a Teacher?

For anyone thinking of pursuing a career in teaching, my advice is to experience classroom life and arrange as much school experience as soon as possible. For me, work experience placements cemented my desire to train as a teacher and subsequently gave me lots to discuss at interview. Having had such recent work experience, I was also able to approach my PGCE interview feeling confident and knowledgeable, and in addition to this, I gained some excellent tips and strategies which made me feel better prepared when entering the classroom as a trainee.   

What one piece of advice would you give to our current Education students who are about to become NQTs?

My one piece of advice for trainees would be to document all of their professional successes throughout their training. It is easy to forget an excellent strategy or idea, and having a documented bank of tips and strategies provides a stepping stone to planning for your first week of lessons as a newly qualified teacher. Finally, and most importantly, good luck: enjoy the experience and make sure you maintain that all-important work life balance!