About the course
This is a non-salaried primary specialist (3-7 years) course, leading to QTS with a PGCE. It prepares applicants to teach within the Early Years Foundation Stage as well as the full range of national curriculum subjects across Key Stage 1.
The vast majority of training takes place in schools. Each trainee will be given at least two placements across the partnership, during which they work closely alongside experienced teacher tutors who demonstrate outstanding practice and can provide daily coaching and support. More information about the school placements can be found below.
In addition to the school-based training, trainees attend weekly core training sessions at a range of venues and schools across the partnership. These usually take place on Fridays and provide a detailed programme, closely linked to the Teachers’ Standards, Early Years Foundation Stage and national curriculum, as well as covering areas such as safeguarding and e-safety.
These weekly sessions, along with post-session tasks enable trainees to develop a deeper understanding of key issues and pedagogical thinking by encouraging them to critically reflect on research in relation to their own classroom practice. They also provide an opportunity for trainees to compare notes with peers working in other schools and share experiences within a supportive environment.
In addition to the core (QTS) training, trainees on this course attend approximately 9 PGCE workshops with Oxford Brookes University (usually in Buckingham). On successful completion of three modules, trainees gain a PGCE with 60 Masters’ credits.
Trainees are assessed against the Teachers’ Standards and their progress towards these standards is reviewed at regular intervals throughout the course. A wide range of evidence is used when making judgements such as observations, half termly reports, evidence bundles (collated by trainees on a half- termly basis), assignments and the trainees own reflections and self-evaluations.
The focus of all assessment activities is developmental -with the clear aim of helping trainees to further improve the quality of their teaching.
A final assessment takes place in June and will consist of a paired observation, scrutiny of evidence against the Teachers’ Standards, a formal interview and a final report from the teacher tutor.
A detailed and rigorous assessment procedure is in place, which is transparent, understood by all partners and consistently implemented. It has also been reviewed in line with the government’s workload initiative, ensuring that the collection of evidence is both meaningful and manageable.
It is our aim to recruit the highest quality applicants into the profession who have the capacity to become outstanding teachers.
For this reason we carry out a rigorous three-stage selection process.
Stage 1: An application sift is carried out by course leaders to check for minimum academic requirements as well as strong references.
Stage 2: Applicants are invited to a selection day at Bedgrove Infant School where they will take part in a range of activities including a presentation, group task, written task and a short teaching activity.
These tasks enable us to identify applicants who possess the desired characteristics and interpersonal skills.
The interview panel comprises the course leader, a member of the Bedgrove Infant School Senior Leadership team and sometimes a headteacher from the partnership.
Stage 3: Formal interview.
This interview lasts approximately 20 minutes and consists of a series of questions which enable the applicant to share more information about their previous experiences and to elaborate of the skills they bring to the profession.
Throughout the whole selection process we look for evidence that the applicant has a thorough understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a class teacher and what this entails on a daily basis.
Following a successful formal interview a conditional offer is made. This offer is conditional on the applicant obtaining any pending qualifications (including the literacy and numeracy professional skills tests), an Enhanced DBS check and a ‘Fit to Teach’ health assessment.
How school placements work
Trainees will have two school placements during the course: a main placement and a second placement. They will work in these placement schools four days a week (Monday-Thursday), giving them approximately 140 days in school.
Main placement: This is the school in which the trainee will spend two terms in an Early Years (nursery or reception) class. By remaining with this class for a large proportion of the year, trainees develop a secure understanding of pupils’ progress over time, how this is tracked and used to inform teaching.
Second placement: This takes place in the spring term and provides trainees with the opportunity to teach in a KS1 (year one or two) class and to experience a contrasting setting.
Enhancement Visits: These visits are built into the core training programme so that trainees are given regular opportunity to spend time in different schools and settings, enabling them to focus on specific areas such as behaviour management and transition from pre-school to school as well as KS1 to KS2.
The aim of these placements and visits is to further enhance the training programme, equipping trainees with the knowledge, skills and understanding to teach in a wide range of contexts.
Bedgrove Infant School arranges all placements on behalf of trainees. A second familiarisation week later in the autumn term, also provides trainees with an opportunity to spend time in their new school, prior to the placement commencing in January. This enables trainees to receive a thorough induction, form positive relationships with colleagues and pupils and familiarise themselves with planning, helping them to maximise their learning and progress during this vital phase of the training programme.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
In addition to the fees, you will also be required to cover the cost of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application (Approx.£60), which is a prerequisite for working in schools.
- A British Bachelors Honours Degree, or equivalent qualification (Second class or above).
- GCSE grade C/4 or above in English language (or equivalent qualification)
- GCSE grade C/4 or above in mathematics (or equivalent qualification)
- GCSE grade C/4 or above in science (or equivalent qualification)
- literacy and numeracy professional skills tests
If you studied outside the UK you should consult the National Academic Recognition Centre (https://www.naric.org.uk/naric) to find out whether your qualifications are of an equivalent level to the required UK GCSEs and undergraduate degree.
We aim to recruit individuals who can:
- demonstrate a passion for teaching and a genuine concern for children's welfare
- demonstrate good subject knowledge and interest in early years education
- show resilience and perseverance
- be adaptable, creative and patient
- work under pressure
- proactively seek opportunities to enhance their training
- communicate clearly and accurately in standard English
- form positive relationships with colleagues
- support the values, attitudes and ethos of our partnership schools
- maintain a high standard of professionalism
- reflect on their own practice and act upon advice
- Fit to Teach assessment
- Enhanced DBS check
- Prohibition check
Before starting the course we recommend that applicants gain a small amount of experience within a an Early Years or KS1 class. This will provide a small insight into the role of a teacher and may help to strengthen their performance at our selection day. However, this work experience is NOT a requirement and applications will still be considered from candidates without such experience.
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