About the course
Our school Direct route in to teaching provides practical and supported teacher training experiences in the schools from within our Alliance. Your training will include a minimum of 120 days in schools and 60 days of school and University based training. The majority of the 120 days in schools will take place in your 'Home School' but you will also undertake a block placement in a second school of a totally different context to that of your 'Home School'. Enabling you to have the opportunity to experience working in schools that widen your knowledge of educational provision.
The focus of our programme is School Direct (unsalaried), General Primary and successful completion leads to the internationally recognised Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) with Qualified Teacher Status. We do not offer any other route in to teaching and we ensure there is a consistent approach to the delivery of the Initial Teacher Training that we deliver.
We are looking for high calibre, articulate and deep-thinking graduates with a proven track record of academic success, who are committed to learning how to provide outstanding educational opportunities for all pupils that they work with.
Throughout your chosen route in to teaching you will be rigorously assessed against the Teacher Standards, which will be a vital element of all your training. With lots of support, advice and guidance, you will be required to produce a Personal Development Portfolio as you are training. This portfolio will be assesses on a termly basis to ensure that you are gathering evidence that demonstrates your successes against the Teachers' Standards. Whilst you are training in your schools and carrying out class teaching and learning activities, your practice in the classroom will be observed at least once a week, giving you more valuable guidance of what next steps need to be taken to ensure you are meeting all of the course requirements.
Whilst studying at BCU for certain elements of the course, you will also be expected to write three essays across the course of the academic year. You will complete one essay per term and each essay will be given a weighting of 20 credits, totally 60 credits across the year, with the final 40 credits being assessed whilst on school placement.
The School Direct Programmes start in the second week of September to ensure trainee teachers can be in school at the start of the academic year.
All interviews take place at Boldmere Junior School and generally the process takes half a day. After your application has been approved, you will be sent information regarding our interview process. When attending the interview you are required to bring your original GCSE and degree (if already obtained) certificates that you have listed on your application. You will also be asked to bring ID such as a passport or driving licence. Our interview process generally commences at 9.30am, the process will be divided in to two parts, with part one including the following:
- A General Knowledge Test, assessing the breadth of knowledge that the government and the university acknowledge is vital for primary practitioners who teach the whole curriculum. All questions relate directly or indirectly to Primary Education.
- A discussion task, assessing your understanding of some issues surrounding primary education and the challenges and rewards of the profession. In preparation for this task it would be useful to familiarise yourself with the Teachers' Standards (DfE 2012).
- Teaching task, you will teach an introduction to a lesson of no longer than 15 minutes. You will be asked to teach a maths introduction to 12 Year 3 mixed ability children.
- Written task, you will choose a topic in which you will demonstrate your understanding of issues within primary education.
Part two will include your interview, enabling candidates to draw on personal experiences, demonstrating their understanding of primary education, the role of the teacher and their attitudes towards learning.
How school placements work
We have several good and outstanding schools, as rated by their last Ofsted inspection and we use these schools as they have a proven track record of success, when placing our trainees. We have been working with a number of schools right from the very beginning of offering our initial route in to teaching. We have also added more schools as we have grown our number of trainees each year. The schools that we work with have their own unique individual context, each very different to another enabling us to ensure our trainees gain the vital experienced that is required to be a successful teacher.
This year we have successfully placed our trainees in the following schools: Newhall Primary, Boldmere Infant and Nursery, Boldmere Junior School, Penns Primary, Topcliffe Primary, Twickenham Primary, St Joseph's Catholic Primary, New Oscott Primary, St Nicholas Catholic Primary, Maney Hill Primary and Yenton Primary.
We have built up significant relationships with our schools and this year we had more schools wanting to host placements than trainees available, even though we recruited to our maximum number of trainees. Schools that have also had trainees previously and would have liked a School Direct trainee this year were, Walmley Juniors, Walmley Infants, Whitehouse Common Primary and Holland House Infant and Nursery.
All schools have had a consistent approach in ensuring all of our trainees experience the right support and this has led to a 100% of our trainees successfully passing the programme and gaining full time employment.
When selecting the school that you will have your placements in we try to meet needs of locality as we believe that you should not be wasting time making long and exhausting journeys to school. The average distance that you will be required to travel from home to school is normally within three miles, most of our schools are in the north area of Birmingham.
Due to the number of schools we work with we are able to offer the 3-7 age phase or 5-11 age phase route in to teaching and you will experience one placement in each of these.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
For more information regarding fee details please do visit the website of Birmingham City University. More details can be found regarding the course fees and what you are entitled to on this website.
In order to obtain this information please search Birmingham City University, School Direct Tuition Fees. This should enable you to find all related information to make an informed decision of this route in to teaching.
In order for you to be considered for our route in to teaching, you will need the following entry requirements:
- GCSE (or equivalent) to Grade C (Grade 5) or above in English, Mathematics and Science.
- Relevant degree awarded at 2:1 or above (in exceptional circumstances, applications from candidates awarded a 2:2 will be considered).
- Passing the professional skills test in English and Maths is a minimum requirement. If possible, you are advised to have passed these prior to submitting an application. However this is not essential and applications will be accepted to then obtain the skills tests.
Although not absolutely essential, it would be preferable if you have some recent and relevant experience of volunteering/working in a primary school. As we feel this is an important aspect of demonstrating your desire to become a teacher. This vital experience will allow applicants to be fully aware of the aspects and challenges that the profession of teaching really does have. This vital experience may also allow you to obtain a reference from someone in education, which will be incredibly beneficial when submitting your application. We desire applicants that demonstrate a real hunger and passion for teaching through their experiences.
All successful applicants will be subjected to the appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks before commencing the course, so that we are reliably informed of your suitability to work with children.
The appropriate Health Checks will also be carried out prior to commencing this route in to teaching.
About the training provider
The Boldmere Teaching School Alliance (BTSA) is a partnership of outstanding and good schools in the north area of Birmingham. Boldmere Junior School was assessed and designated a Teaching school in March 2013. Since our designation we have had the privelege of training over 40 students through our incredibly successful School direct route in to teaching. We are incredibly proud that 100% of our trainees on our previous cohorts have passed their academic award and also obtained Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which is an essential element of our delivery.
All of our trainees have also secured their first teaching post by the end of our programme, with 100% of our trainees in full time employment as a Newly Qualified Teacher at the start of the academic year.
Our Alliance is made up of 20 extremely successful, unique and individual primary and special schools.
The training we provide will equip you with the educational knowledge, skills, understanding, high expectations, empathy, teamwork and resilience that characterises what is expected in the teaching profession.
We certainly do have a proven track record of success and we will be recruiting students to our training programme who demonstrate a real hunger and passion for teaching. The academic demands of our programme require an ability to study at level 7, which is a slightly higher requirement than most degree classifications.
You will be able to select your preferred route in to teaching as we are able to offer ages 3 to 7 or 5 to 11.
About the accredited body
BCU is incredibly experienced in delivering innovative School Direct programmes with providers such as us. BCU trains more teachers than any other university in the West Midlands, it is the 10th largest teacher training provider in the UK.
BCU is rated as 'Good' by Ofsted for their teacher training provision, this is an essential element of our partnership that allows us to enjoy the successes that we have created together.
Through our programme we will work with BCU to provide a school based training route that will fully prepare you for the enjoyable, challenging, demanding yet satisfying profession of teaching.
Training with disabilities and other needs
Throughout your training with ourselves and BCU you will be formally supported in school by a proven designated class teacher/mentor and allocated school based tutor. All training providers have attended training to ensure consistency of provision for our trainees, whatever their individual needs may be. You will also be able to access support as and when required from BCU personal and partnership tutors. Access is also available to a less formal but a strong, effective and valuable network of support within in your home and second placement schools.
Previous School Direct trainees with disabilities and other needs have been successful on our route in to teaching, as we also encourage trainees to form very effective professional working relationships, which lead to bespoke support opportunities throughout the duration of your training.
The BCU School of Education is conveniently located in the centre of Birmingham and offers unrivalled facilities and excellent teaching informed by research and evidence for students of all disabilities and other needs.
Trainees will also have access to the 'Student Academic Partners' scheme which teams up students and staff to find ways to make the teaching and learning provision even better at BCU. This support has been recognised and has won a Times Higher Education Award for 'Outstanding Student Support'.
In addition, you will receive weekly group training sessions provided by expert practitioners from our Alliance schools. As facilitators they clearly understand the need to cater for all disabilities and any other needs to allow you to be successful.
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