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Course notes

NQT Peter Mockeridge feeds back on a counselling course

Name Peter Mockeridge, 35, science teacher, Bretton Woods community school, Peterborough.

Course Counselling skills with Pauline Maskell.

Provider Key Stages (www.key-stages.co.uk). Tel: 01487 711880.

Venue Novotel, London Tower Bridge, May 2003.

Cost pound;170 + VAT, paid by the school.

How did you find out about the course?

My head of department received a flyer.

Why go?

As an NQT, I felt counselling was important. I used to be a financial administrator - not the ideal job for cultivating counselling skills.

What did it promise?

A chance to "learn about and practise counselling skills and to develop ways to use these skills in your professional life".

Did it deliver ?

Yes. I uncovered ways of communicating that I'd never thought about.

Highs and lows

There was one game where you stick paper to your back and everyone writes something nice about you - it made me feel good about myself. But the instructions on how to get there were terrible. I got completely lost.

Course leader

She was quiet, though she told us she had toothache. Her activities did the talking.

Message, motto or mantra

Children can find it hard to articulate their feelings - your job is to help them.

Practicalities

Good food and hotel, and thorough resources, so no need to make lots of notes.

Best advice

Games are a great way to explore feelings without creating an intimidating situation.

Has it made a difference?

I'm more confident, and I think children feel more comfortable talking to me.

Coming your way?

Key Stages counselling skills courses will be held on November 27 in London, December 3 in Birmingham and December 10 in Manchester.

If you've been on a course that others should know about email jill.craven@tes.co.uk

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