About the course
Why train with us?
We aim to provide a programme which has at its heart 3 main objectives.
It is a programme which is:
- Highly professional
- Of consistent high quality
- Personal to you
Developed in conjunction with Oxford Brookes University, the programme covers a range of activities relating to important educational issues and practical classroom strategies.
Every part of it aims to prepare you to become the best teacher possible. Immersion into the life of a teacher and daily exposure to outstanding practice ensures you have the best possible opportunity to reach your full potential.
We are looking for trainees who display the potential to become outstanding teachers of the future.
As one of our trainees, you are attached to one “host” school for much of the year, mainly in one subject department. This makes it possible for you to get to know the school's teachers and pupils really well and to understand its policies and practice.
The core training package provides:
- a main placement in one of our partner secondary schools
- a second placement of 6 weeks in a contrasting school
- a primary cross phase placement in one of our linked primary schools
- 6th form experience
- the possibility of experience in a special setting such as a Pupil Referral Unit
Training modules will cover:
- motivating and engaging learners
- creative lesson planning and design
- behaviour management
- assessment for learning
- special educational needs and disabilities
- subject knowledge and curriculum development
- inclusion and differentiation
- understanding school data and its use in the classroom
- attachment theory and working with young people
- working with parents/carers
- safeguarding and Child Protection
Assessment is through a combination of written academic assignments and successful completion of two teaching placements with classroom practice observation and feedback from your mentor and tutor.
You’ll be part of a team from the very start, receiving intensive support from experienced teachers and mentors so you won’t be teaching classes unsupported until you’re ready.
Our training sessions are held in schools within our partnership. Some PGCE sessions may be held at Oxford Brookes University.
What do our trainees say?
“All the schools are excellent nurturing supportive environments and the training staff are engaging and informative; crucially the majority are senior leaders in the three schools so their expertise is up to date and hands on.”
How do we select our trainees?
You should be very clear in your personal statement about why you want to become a teacher, the skills involved and what you can bring to the profession.
Your application will be shortlisted from your application form and references.
If shortlisted you will be invited for interview through UCAS and by email at one of our partner schools. You will be sent all the details of what will be involved before you come along to a selection session but it could include the following:
- Meeting students and staff with some time spent in the classroom
- Tour of the school
- A subject specific presentation by you
- Individual interviews
- Lesson observation and a teaching task
- Written task
You will be judged by the criteria:
- Appropriateness of your subject qualifications and the relevance to subject teaching
- Your capacity to continue professional learning
- Awareness of the role and responsibilities of the teacher
- Any school experience
- Ability to communicate effectively
- Your enthusiasm for and commitment to teaching
- Awareness of your personal strengths and weaknesses
You will be expected to be familiar with key issues and developments in schools – especially in your subject area. You will be judged on your ability to communicate clearly and on your engagement with the audience whether students or staff.
The programme for the selection process includes a collaborative approach between Oxford Brookes University and our partner schools.
How school placements work
From the beginning our trainees have a focus on school-based learning.
All our trainees have a mentor who co-ordinates your classroom-related activities. Your mentor provides guidance and support, and, as the year goes by, judges when and how to increase your experience and responsibilities until you are ready to take on whole classes.
Another experienced teacher in the school (the ITT coordinator) co-ordinates activities related to general educational issues.
You will also have individual tutor visits from Oxford Brookes University in school.
This personalised approach means that you are supported throughout the course and you don’t have to worry about being thrown in at the deep end until you are ready.
Gradually you will begin to teach parts of lessons, and then short series of lessons. Before and after Christmas almost all your time will be spent in schools, with a complementary placement at another local school arranged for approximately 6 weeks during February.
What do our trainees say?
“Training across three schools enables you to learn as much as possible and see a range of techniques.”
“Our mentors as well as the training staff are invaluable for their experience teaching wisdom and support. There is always someone to turn to if you feel your ship is sinking!”
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
The fees of £9,250 include both PGCE and QTS.
The option can be available to undertake QTS only in which case the fees are £7,250.
You need to have a degree (or equivalent qualification). For equivalent qualifications, you’ll need to confirm your qualification is equivalent to a degree.
If all or part of your qualifications are from outside the UK - you will need to get formal recognition through UK NARIC.
You must also be able to show that you can communicate effectively in both spoken and written English.
You’ll need to have GCSE grade C / 4 (or standard equivalent) in mathematics and English.
All teacher training applicants must successfully pass the Literacy and Numeracy skills tests before they start the course in September.
You should have a commitment to education and young people and be passionate about making a difference.
You'll need to:
- Be enthusiastic about your subject
- Have a keen interest or hobby
- Work on joint projects - successes in team working are important
- Take part in discussions and respond to written materials so interpersonal, communication and writing skills are important.
- Have organisational skills, a good work ethic, a positive approach to your own learning, resilience and a sense of humour!
- Have the perseverance required to complete your training and become a member of the profession
You will need to have a “Fitness to Teach” declaration. This is to ensure that our trainees have the health and physical capacity to teach and will not children and young people at risk of harm. It will be arranged before you start the programme.
Statutory guidance, Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education, requires us to ensure that all successful applicants have been subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and criminal records check.
Having school experience may help you make a strong application, but don’t worry if you don’t have any – it isn’t a mandatory requirement.
About the training provider
This is a unique opportunity to train with a highly successful group of schools that make up our partnership, located in the beautiful county of West Berkshire but close to Oxford, Reading, Winchester and London.
A wide spectrum of high achieving schools ensures a range of opportunities including a primary / secondary placement and 6th form experience for secondary trainees.
The secondary in-school training is organised jointly by The Downs School, Compton, St Bartholomew’s School, Newbury, and Kennet School, Thatcham.
Our primary training is organised jointly by our primary partners. These include Beedon CE Primary, Compton CE Primary, Lambourn C of E Primary and Chaddleworth and Shefford CE Primary.
The Downs School is lead school; it has been judged outstanding in all areas by Ofsted.
Our course leads to QTS and PGCE - both professional qualifications are awarded by Oxford Brookes University so you get the best of both worlds – high quality school led training linked to a renowned higher education institution.
Our training programme is just the first step on your teaching career.
There is a complete programme of training offered in West Berkshire from NQT to becoming a school leader, if you have the right skills.
School-led courses have high rates of employment and, above all, of trainee satisfaction.
Every part of our programme is aimed at preparing you to be the best teacher possible. Immersion into the life of the teacher and daily exposure to outstanding practice and teachers ensures you have the best possible opportunity.
Training with disabilities and other needs
We welcome applications from all sectors of the community including if you have a disability or other needs with a disability.
We will make any necessary arrangements to help you attend for interview and your training. Please ensure you let us know by contacting our Teaching School Manager for further information.
Schools within the partnership have partial disabled access and Oxford Brookes University has full disabled access.
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.
||The Downs School, Compton, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 6AD
Advice and support
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
For advice about teaching
For advice about teaching or teacher training you can call Get into Teaching on Freephone 0800 389 2500 or chat to an adviser using their online chat service between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday.
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