About the course
Schools Direct training will be delivered by Specialist Leaders of Education and Senior Leaders from our alliance schools and this will be enhanced by training and support sessions provided by Kingston University on a selection of Fridays throughout the year. Please note: you will be in your allocated base school from September to July. You will not be based at the university, but instead viewed as a member of the school community.
Our mentors are outstanding teachers and are also required to undertake training to develop their mentoring skills. This includes coaching, effective classroom observation and feedback skills. The level of guidance and advice that trainees receive is of an exceptionally high standard and we pride ourselves in the successful relationships we foster with each student.
In addition to this, you will be part of a strong team of students who will meet regularly to train, share experiences and build on good teaching practice adding a support network accessible throughout the year.
During the course of your training, you will gain experience working within different settings and with children of differing abilities. This will ensure that you receive a broad understanding of the range of teaching required to suit the differing needs, ability and socio-economic backgrounds of the pupils.
We are fully aware that the majority of our applicants may never have stepped foot in front of a class, so we aim to make the interview process as relaxing for everyone involved as possible.
The interview process involves between 1 and 3 head teachers from our alliance schools, alongside the alliance Teaching School Director or secondary lead.
You will be required to deliver a lesson; the age of those pupils will be dependent upon the experience you have laid out within your application. You will also have an interview with the panel and be asked to reflect on the lesson you delivered. There may be additional elements required by the school, which you will be informed about on invitation to interview.
How school placements work
As stated, you will be given a base school once accepted onto the programme. This is usually confirmed with you in the June prior to you starting in the September. You will be a member of the school team for the full school academic year - September to July. Within this time, you will have 1 additional placement in another school. You will also have to opportunity to visit other schools and provisions for days within the year.
Your salary will be calculated using the Unqualified Teachers Scale (Outer London Weighting) and will be discussed further at interview, should you request it.
Financial support isn’t available for this course because it comes with a salary.
If you choose a course without a salary, you may be eligible for financial support while you study, including bursaries, scholarships and loans.
In order to be accepted onto the programme, you will require Cs or above at GCSE level, in English, maths and science. You will also need a degree at a 2:2 level or above.
In addition, you will have needed to have passed your QTS skills tests by the start date of the course. Please note: you do not need to have already passed the skills tests in order to apply to the programme.
We are looking for trainees who have a genuine interest in young people and how they learn best and who demonstrate passion for wanting to help them achieve.
Candidates should be enthusiastic about their subject, have effective communication skills and an ability to understand, speak and write clearly in standard English. You should be creative, open to new ideas, be able to share best practice and to able to review personal progress. Above all we are looking for ambitious and motivated trainee teachers who have a real desire to work with young people of all abilities.
Applicants should be able to provide evidence of skills and attributes they have developed from another job or profession, over approximately a 2 year or more period of time.
Applicants who can demonstrate some recent and meaningful experience working with young people, will have a much better idea about what makes an effective teacher and a less effective one. This doesn't need to be paid work but any kind of helping activity, classroom observation or learning support.
You will also need a DBS check, carried out by your base school at the start of the programme.
About the training provider
The Valley Teaching School Alliance, in partnership with Kingston University, provides bespoke, school-based teacher training with exceptional levels of support and guidance for all our trainees. We are one of the only teaching school alliances who offer a PGCE with QTS as the accreditation for all school direct students, whether salaried or fee-paying trainees and who base their students in school for the entirety of the academic year. We create an environment in which staff, pupils and trainee teachers all feel valued and supported and this leads to a culture of enthusiasm, commitment and outstanding achievement.
Our alliance of schools is led by Chipstead Valley Primary School and comprises a mixture of large and small, urban and rural, special and mainstream, and both secondary and primary schools. We provide a unique opportunity to experience a diverse and contrasting range of teaching and training experiences across our local area.
Our outstanding practitioners have a proven track record in training and professional development and all our trainees receive the highest level of continual support throughout their training. This covers all aspects of teaching life including behaviour management skills, planning and assessment, subject knowledge, professional enrichment, SEND, inclusion, pastoral care and a wide range of pedagogy. All students have the opportunity to work closely with an experienced, trained mentor and will become part of the school ethos from the first day of entry.
100% of students we have trained agreed that if they were to do it again, it would be with us!
Training with disabilities and other needs
Two of our alliance schools have Enhanced Learning Provision Units (ELPs) for pupils on site, which means that we have full accessibility for those with physical disabilities (ramps, wheelchair access, refuge areas, lifts etc).
We can provide modified materials for those with dyslexia or visual impairments and are happy to support all other disabilities in any way necessary. Please contact us to discuss the needs you would have and we can discuss how we can provide you with tailored, specific support.
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Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
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