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Jay’s experience, from Fast Forward to teaching
Another blog from a previous staff member, Jay.
Jay worked at Fast Forward from 2009 till 2015, when he left to become an art teacher.
Here he writes about how his experience at Fast Forward has prepared him for working in secondary schools.
My name is Jay Wardrop and I am currently an Art & Design teacher at Falkirk High School.
I have 18 years experience working in adult and young people services in various settings and roles, however my time working at Fast Forward would be the catalyst to where I am now.
I had a broad range of experience working with young people before joining Fast Forward in 2009 which I further added to over 7 years.
At Fast Forward I gained valuable experience in school and classroom settings, as well as in community and organisational settings. I was responsible for and planned, designed, delivered and evaluated educational inputs and resources. These addressed a wide range of issues and topics in the area of health and wellbeing for young people. At all times, I was linking this work with educational polices of Curriculum for Excellence and playing close attention to matching my work to educational benchmarks.
My highlights at Fast Forward would be contributing to the development of educational resources on substance use and risk taking behaviours for The City of Edinburgh Council. This led to a national two year partnership project with Enable to develop approaches and training for young people and practitioners on the issues of substance use and learning disabilities, as well as to a national peer education initiative with the No Knives Better Lives campaign. I also championed and led the development of Peer Education in Boroughmuir High School over 3 years and this work was featured as a senior exemplar by Education Scotland.
I have nurtured and sustained strong relationships with the management and staff at all the schools that I have worked, and this influenced me into going into teaching. Overall, my experience at Fast Forward was invaluable and gave me the solid foundations to make the smooth transition into teaching.
During my probation year at Annan Academy I worked with the Mentors in Violence Prevention programme training senior pupils to become Peer Mentors. Currently I work at Falkirk High and a part of my role is to develop the Broad General Education within Art & Design with an added remit of developing a specialised targeted curriculum, closing the attainment gap with young people with additional learning needs.
I will always be indebted to my experience at Fast Forward and am thankful that it was the spring board into my teaching career.