About the course
The course attracts candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds. You may be a recent graduate in Social Science (or in a degree with a substantial element of Sociology). An experience of the world of work will have provided you with an opportunity to see how work is structured and how it impacts on family life, a key topic in Sociology. Whatever your background, you will have a love of Sociology and be keen to make the subject accessible and interesting for students.
Sociology is a living subject and often deals with sensitive and controversial subjects which may be personally real for your group, so techniques in teaching those topics will be discussed. It is an exam subject at GCSE and A Level and you must ensure that the skills of analysis and evaluation are always part of the way the subject is taught. You need to bring the outside world into the classroom through visual stimuli, such as Youtube, films, documentaries as well as extracts from published research. It is essential that students understand how theory influences research techniques and when Qualitative or Quantitative systems are selected. There is a new emphasis on sociologists being able to handle statistics and this may prove challenging to some students.
Most schools will need you to have a lower school subject which could be some form of social studies or be an A level you particularly enjoyed. The Health and Social Care Diploma will be covered in the course and this is a different form of assessment. In the lower school you will need to be able to follow the data tracking systems that are in place and develop your whole class control. You will be largely assessed on key stages 4 and 5.
To sum up, the course aims to help you become a competent, professional and, above all, creative teacher, capable of developing the imaginations and abilities of the young people with whom you have the privilege of working. C Wright Mills (1959) advocated the importance of developing a burgeoning’ sociological imagination’ and that teachers should open the students’ minds and stretch their learning in a way that will help them to critique social norms and expand their understanding of how groups function in a modern society.
These sessions are delivered by a Subject Expert in School, therefore you are required to travel to East Cheshire for the sessions.
Our selection process is a two way process where you can find out if the OAKS is the training programme for you and we can decide if you can potentially become a good/outstanding secondary teacher. We always carry out our interviews in one of our partnership schools, where you will be expected to teach either a class or a small group of their students for 15 minutes. The students give us feedback on your lesson, which we share with you during a formal interview. This focuses on your lesson, your subject knowledge and your commitment to teach. There are also written tasks for you to complete; these include a written subject specific activity and a generic writing task. The whole process should take no more than half a day at the school. You are interviewed by partnership school staff and OAKS tutors, who will talk through the programme and school placements. There will always be plenty of time for you to ask questions and the decision as to whether you are accepted on to the course is usually made on the same day (this may vary depending on the subject/time of year).
We want the interview to be a very positive experience for you. Please arrive promptly and formal dress is expected. We look forward to meeting you!
How school placements work
We will send you to two secondary schools where you will receive an 11-16 experience; the time spent in both of these placements is the same. Hopefully they will give you two very different experiences; one maybe in a small town or rural setting the other could be inner city. We make sure that you also receive a pre and post phase enhancement so you will be placed in a primary school for one week and gain experience in a post-16 environment (possibly in one of your secondary placements). We are very proud of our alternative education placements that we arrange for you on our programme. Hopefully you will gain experience in an EAL school, pupil referral unit (PRU), special school and maybe an independent school.
Travel to and from your placements is always a key concern and we make every effort to make sure that you can easily commute to your schools. We have a very large partnership in over five counties; one will have schools close to you. We guarantee that you will never have to travel more than 75 minutes. In fact, most of our trainees travel well under an hour to their teaching experiences. When we visit our EAL schools we put on mini buses so nothing could be simpler.
Many of you will have applied to one of our 5 hubs (geographical zones); this usually dictates the schools that you will be placed in. Through evaluations all of our partnership schools are deemed to be at least "very good training experiences" for our trainee teachers. We train and then monitor all of our school based mentors and the quality of our school’s provision annually; so rest assured that you will have a good teaching experience with us at the OAKS.
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
With The OAKS there is a pre-course fee which covers
- Enhanced DBS check
- Fitness to teach
- Purchasing of Bristol Guide (reduced cost from The OAKS)
- Residential trip.
In 2019/20 the total price for the above was £115, at this moment in time we are unable to confirm the price for 2020/21, but do not foresee this increasing dramatically.
There is also a possibility of undertaking a First Aid course and / or a P4C (Philosophy for Children) course, these are optional and may incur an additional fee.
Entry to the programme is conditional on the following:
o achievement of at least a 2:2 and preferably a 2:1 honours degree (or recognised equivalent);
o passes at GCSE in English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above (or recognised equivalent)
o successful completion of The OAKS internal tests in Literacy and Numeracy (please note these replace the online Professional Skills tests which were withdrawn in October 2019);
- Highly motivated individuals who want to make a positive contribution to the education of young people.
- Trainees who are passionate about their own specialism subject, with very good subject knowledge.
- Who are able to inspire their learners and create an environment where everyone wants to succeed.
- Candidates that show enthusiasm and a willingness to participate in the all aspects of the training course.
- Robust, resilient applicants who want to make a difference in the classroom.
- People who want to become good or outstanding classroom practitioners, with a desire to improve themselves and their student's.
- a medical report which is deemed satisfactory;
- a completed DBS enhanced disclosure which is deemed satisfactory by the The OAKS;
- a successful completion of a minimum of 10 days teaching experience in a secondary school/college during the last two years. This could be either before or after selection (undertaking this before the selection process commences will strengthen your application).
About the training provider
Brine Leas School is an outstanding school who are committed to teaching future professionals. We work within a Hub of schools, within the East Cheshire region, these are:
Brine Leas School, Alsager School, Congleton High School, Shavington Academy and St Thomas More School.
Programme Data from last year
94% successfully completed the programme
90% trainees gained employment
100% of the cohort achieved ‘outstanding’ or’ good’
96% rated our teacher training programme as ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’
We work closely with The OAKS as our accredited provider this is a genuine partnership between our hub of schools, The OAKS and Keele University, which ensures relevant and up to date training. The OAKS and the Brine Leas Hub of schools believes that we are an extremely caring and friendly organisation and will, at all times, provide help, encouragement and support, whenever it is needed. At the end of the programme you will obtain QTS from The OAKS and a PGCE Academic Award from Keele University.
You are important to us and many support structures are in place for this challenging, but very rewarding course. It is our aim to produce highly motivated, creative, successful and reflective teachers. Such teachers, we know, will be in great demand both in the local region and nationally.
You will be placed in two placements, where you will put theory into practice. In addition, The OAKS also gives you the opportunity to observe teaching in alternative educational settings such as EAL, PRU, Special and Independent Schools.
About the accredited body
The OAKS is an Ofsted Outstanding (2016) and innovative SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training programme) which links Keele University and OAT (Ormiston Academies Trust) with a long established partnership of schools in five local authorities: Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent, Shropshire, Birmingham and Cheshire.
The OAKS course is based in the beautiful green campus of Keele University and all trainees will qualify with a Keele University PGCE and QTS from The OAKS.
Our programme was rated 17th out of over 200 Teacher Training providers across the country in the Good Teacher Training Guide 2017.
Training with disabilities and other needs
We have a dedicated support tutor, who supports our trainees with disability or any other need. It is important to state that they do not assess your teaching performance, this gives you the opportunity to speak honestly about your needs, but also enables the support tutor to have the freedom to help you and visit you; whether you are in placement school or here at The OAKS. This includes signposting through to developing individualised learning plans, which may extend beyond the course date to enable you to successfully complete the programme.
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.
Congleton High School
Box Lane, Congleton, Cheshire CW12 4NS
Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
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