About the course
You will join your host school at the start of September and this will be your base for the coming year. As this is a School Direct course the majority of the time is spent in school, with the rest of the time on campus at our Accredited Provider, Newman University. There are two university-based days per week in 4-week blocks at the beginning of the Autumn and Spring terms. In addition, fortnightly Friday reflection and study days in the first term support you with time to consider practice and academic writing. There are occasional days back in University during the year.
You will receive training in how best to deliver the curriculum for Biology, which will include subject knowledge, how to build pupils' investigative skills, how to promote learning in the classroom and manage behaviour. Lesson planning is a key element of what you do and you will also learn how to plan and implement student assessments. You will link your theoretical knowledge to what you see happening in school and you will reflect on how this supports your own learning.
Course Assessment includes practical elements, so you will get regular feedback on your teaching, as well as some formal observations. You will monitor your own progress through an online reflective journal and evidence files. Academic progress is assessed through two Masters level essays.
Our accredited provider has a strong reputation for teacher training:
'Trainees’ attainment is high, especially through the School Direct route, where around three quarters of trainees were judged outstanding’
(Ofsted Report, December 2015).
We welcome applications from candidates from abroad, although you must demonstrate sufficient spoken and written English proficiency to meet the demands of the course and to communicate with children in class and colleagues in school.
If you do not have a pure Biology degree, or you have been working in an ancillary field, you can enrol on a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course to supplement or update your Subject Knowledge. If taking a SKE course through our accredited provider, Newman University, the course will run on your University days and is therefore compatible with a School Direct course. On-line courses are also available.
We encourage trainees to engage with more than one science, so courses are designed to give you opportunity to teach other sciences where possible, as this is a potential asset when you seek future employment.
How school placements work
Our three partner secondary schools are in a range of locations across Sandwell and Worcestershire. You can find out more about the schools here: School Partners
All of our schools are accessible by public transport and we will work with you to select a suitable training setting, based on your circumstances, skills, experience and the school's training capacity. Our trainees have an average commute of 40 minutes.
On our secondary programmes you will be teaching children from ages 11-16, although we encourage you to gain an understanding of the phase before and after the one you teach.
The secondary School Direct training year at a glance:
- Base school for 2 and a half terms
- Alternative school for 6 weeks
- A site-specific professional experience programme in school
- Front-loaded Newman University sessions at the start of the Autumn and Spring terms to develop your subject and professional knowledge
- Additional University days throughout the year so you can continue to link theory to practice
- Teaching practice in key stage three and key stage four
- 5-day placement in Primary and engagement with 6th Form teaching
- Dedicated and experienced tutors from University and school who support your training
- Feedback on your practice from tutors and St Francis Xavier Teaching School teacher training
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
You will require a good degree in Biology, or degrees with modules in Biology, for example Biology with Zoology or Psychology or Forensic and Applied Biology. You should normally have a second class honours degree or above and your chosen subject should normally represent 50% of your degree.
If you have overseas qualifications, check your qualifications with NARIC first, then contact the Teaching School to discuss equivalencies.
In addition, you should normally have a good A level in Biology or the overseas equivalent.
We’re looking for applicants who are willing to learn about Biology teaching in the secondary curriculum and like sharing their knowledge and experience with others. You will have a flair for engaging and clear explanations and an ability to contextualise Biology subject knowledge in a manner accessible to students.
You will also have boundless patience, strong organisational skills and a sense of humour.
If you have had experience teaching children, or adults, about Biology in different environments or in different countries, this School Direct course will help you put your skills into practice in secondary classrooms.
You will need to undertake criminal record checks: an Enhanced Disclosure Check is required for entry to Initial Teacher Training. You must be able to provide a current DBS certificate before you start a School Direct course with the St Francis Xavier Teaching School.
About the training provider
St Francis Xavier Teaching School has been delivering teacher training to all faiths in Sandwell and Birmingham since 2013. We support teachers who want to work locally to train in the primary phase, or in a range of secondary subjects. Currently we have 10 primary partners and 4 secondary partners in Sandwell, Birmingham and Worcestershire. Our School Direct programme is supported by our accredited provider, Newman University. Find out more about us here: SFX
St Francis Xavier has a strong track record: 100% of Primary School Direct trainees obtained good or outstanding over the last three years. 100% trainees seeking employment found jobs. Many are now employed in local schools where they are already making a difference to children’s learning. Secondary School Direct is a recent and growing programme for St Francis Xavier with a 100% success rate, based on close school partnerships.
Advantages of training with St Francis Xavier:
- We are small enough to care for you as an individual; training is matched to your needs.
- We are experienced trainers; you train in different schools and you meet regularly with other local School Direct teachers so you can learn from one another.
- You will be part of a family of schools who welcome enthusiastic, committed and thoughtful teachers.
- ‘It means the best of both worlds: I still have lectures while obtaining lots of teaching experience’ (English trainee 2017-18, employed by her school).
- Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies, first year's tuition fees paid
Training with disabilities and other needs
All our school sites have Accessibility policies. Please contact us if you have any disabilities and we will arrange for you to visit a school before making a decision as to where you will carry out your training. The St Francis Xavier Teaching School will make necessary adjustments, however we also believe it's important that you are able to check that a school is suited to your own particular needs.
Our School Direct courses are run in conjunction with our accredited provider Newman University and part of your time will be spent training at the university. The site is accessible for a range of disabilities. Please follow the link for full details of how the university supports trainees with a variety of disabilities: Support page
Apply on the UCAS website. You’ll need to register with UCAS before you can apply.
Visit Get into Teaching for guidance on applying for teacher training.
When you apply you’ll need these codes for the Choices section of your application form:
Training provider code:
Training programme code:
Choose a training location
You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.
|Bishop Milner Catholic College, Dudley
||Burton Road, Dudley DY1 3BY
|Q3 Academy, Langley
||Moat Road, Oldbury B68 8ED
Advice and support
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
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