About the course
This ITT course is school-based, a blend of school-led training, independent study and training provided by e-Qualitas. Trainees teach all three sciences at KS3 and biology from Year 10 onwards.
The training modules cover: planning for learning; managing pupils' behaviour; assessing learning; learning for all including high-attainers, EAL, those with special educational needs; overcoming barriers to learning; cross-curricular issues; effective teaching of the subject. There are two assignments: one on learning for all, one on effective subject teaching.
Our trainees spend most of their time in school. They move from co-teaching with experienced staff to independent teaching (with support and advice from other teachers). Most trainees are teaching about a 50% timetable by a third of the way through their course, rising to 60% in the middle term, and rising again in the final term. A 6-week placement in a contrasting school usually takes place in the middle of the training period. Trainees attend about 10 training days in central London (near Fenchurch Street). The course resources on our VLE are for independent study and to support the in-school trainers. A tutor from e-Qualitas visits for a whole day each half term.
Assessment is on-going, with self-assessment, 5-weekly assessment points for the in-school trainers' assessments and feedback, and tutor assessments. The final assessment for QTS is verified by an eQ tutor who has not been previously involved in the trainee's training.
The course adapts flexibly to trainees' circumstances because we have rolling recruitment: a cycle of training days starts each term for the group of full-time trainees starting then. This enables part-time trainees and any trainees who have to take time out of the course (eg because of illness) to attend the days that they need each term.
The first interview is by the school that is interested in having the applicant as a student teacher. If the applicant is successful, the school's feedback enables e-Qualitas to make a conditional offer of a place. This is confirmed after (a) the skills tests have been passed and any other conditions have been met, and (b) an e-Qualitas tutor has visited the school. The tutor checks that the applicant is indeed suitable for entry to initial teacher training, checks that the school will make appropriate arrangements for the in-school training, and works out the individualised training plan.
How school placements work
Schools that e-Qualitas has worked with are in London, the area around London, and further afield. As each trainee is based in one school for the majority of the training period, it is vital that the trainee and the school are a good 'fit'. Applicants should bear this in mind when being interviewed for a place with e-Qualitas.
We are happy to consider working with schools that are new to our partnership ie applicants can find a school that's local to them. Applicants who identify the school in which they hope to train must ask the school to contact e-Qualitas for a discussion about what their responsibilities will be and to explore their capacity to train the applicant well.
Most trainees focus on teaching the 11-16 age range for QTS assessment, though they should have some sixth form experience eg in the second school placement. A few trainees focus on the 14-18 age range, though they should have some Key Stage 3 experience too.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
The tuition fee has to have VAT added, unfortunately. e-Qualitas's student teachers are able to get a student loan of up to £6,000. VAT at 20% (ie £1,200) has to be charged to the trainee personally.
If the school wishes to receive a payment to contribute to its costs in providing the in-school training, the student teacher pays a further £2,000 as a disbursement (in three instalments).
We do not have an integral PGCE. So the course fee does not include a PGCE. Trainees who wish to gain a PGCE as well as QTS can do so with Leeds Beckett University, who charge approximately £2,000. The PGCE can be undertaken during the ITT training programme or afterwards - most e-Qualitas trainees choose to do it after they have gained QTS, for workload reasons and so that they can concentrate on becoming the best possible teacher during their ITT course.
GCSE grade C / 4 or better in English and mathematics. Higher grades are strongly preferred.
A bachelor's degree in biology, or related to the subject eg biochemistry. A 2.1 honours degree is preferred; those with a 2.2 honours degree are considered.
Applicants with less than a 2.2 honours degree are considered if there is strong evidence that the class of degree under-represents his or her capacity to become an excellent teacher.
The e-Qualitas course suits trainees who are independent learners who are self-motivated and able to manage their time well. They need to be reflective and analytical, with really good inter-personal skills. They have to want to become an excellent teacher so that the pupils they teach do really well at school.
We also look for the attributes that make for success in the classroom eg strong subject expertise, flexibility, purposefulness, creativity, the capacity to learn from experience.
Relevant work experience is helpful because it puts the applicant into a stronger position at the start of the training period.
DBS checks have to be passed, obviously, and referees should endorse the applicant's capacity to become a successful teacher.
Copies of the originals of all the applicant's qualifications certificates are held by e-Qualitas, together with ID documents (passport; photo driving licence or two utility bills or similar from within the last 3 months, showing the applicant's name and address).
About the training provider
We are a large SCITT, working with schools of all kinds (primary, secondary, special, independent) in the London area and across southern England. We have rolling recruitment, meaning that trainees can start in September or later in the academic year.
Our course suits those who are independent, self-motivated learners. An individual training plan guides each trainee, our VLE has extensive resources to draw on, training days complement the in-school training, and an assessment every 5 weeks ensures that each trainee knows exactly has been done well and what to focus on next. Each trainee has a visiting tutor who is a secondary subject or primary specialist. The tutor visits the trainee for a whole day each half term, to contribute to the training provided within the school and to ensure the trainee is making the best progress possible.
Our aim is that all our trainees become excellent teachers. Everything we do is focused on this. In each of the last 3 years, two-thirds of our trainees have been graded 'excellent' in the final assessment for QTS. Over 90% have been appointed to a teaching post in the school in which they trained or did a placement (a few take teaching posts in other schools).
Training with disabilities and other needs
Our course is designed to be flexible and responsive to individual needs. As a group of full-time trainees starts each term, trainees who aren't able to train on a full-time basis, or who become ill and need time off during the course, don't miss out on any training as they join in with the next group of trainees. Adapted tasks are available for students whose dyslexia makes it hard to write full essays for their assignments. Training day venues have wheelchair access, and cater for all dietary requirements. We ask trainees to let us know of any disability or other need, so that we and the partner schools can make appropriate arrangements.
Trainees who need a PGCE as well as QTS can add the academic award by registering with our partner Leeds Beckett University, and do the PGCE during their initial teacher training year or afterwards. As we do not have a compulsory integral PGCE we have great flexibility in meeting our trainees' individual training needs eg we can adapt coursework tasks for those who need individual arrangements, we don't have fixed coursework deadlines during the training, and our trainees can start the course when it suits them and their school during the academic year.
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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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