Features of our bespoke programme:
- A flexible, responsive training programme which meets your needs
- An engaging school-led approach that immerses you in a school setting right from the start with expert Mentors to guide and support you
- A masters level PGCE in partnership with Bath Spa University.
- Weekly core training facilitated at a choice of two training hubs - Weydon School in Farnham and Reigate School in Reigate, both Ofsted Outstanding secondary schools
- Specialist subject studies throughout the training year
- Primary, Sixth form, PRU and SEN enrichment placements
- A dedicated team to support you through your training year
- One-to-one mentoring by experienced and passionate teachers
- A network of schools offering stimulating experience in contrasting settings
- A network of trainees to collaborate with
- High potential for a career within the partnership - employment rates on our programmes are high and career progression is embedded into our culture
- Access to our Employee Assistance Programme which promotes positive employee health and wellbeing
What Our Trainees Say
‘You are involved in school right from the beginning’
Our trainees are involved in the induction process for our new Year 7 tutor groups in July, before we even begin the training programme in September. They are a part of our school ‘new staff induction’ in August, meaning they have a head-start on school systems. They are part of the school INSET days in September, which set out the strategic direction of the school. All of these experiences are important in becoming a fully-fledged member of the team. This pays dividends later.
‘Our particular programme means we are taught the pedagogy in small chunks each week, as opposed to having it front-loaded’
Trainees have weekly professional studies that prepare them for the challenges they are about to face in their school-based placements. If you are about to start planning and delivering a number of starter activities with some of the classes you will be eventually teaching, this will be reflected in what you are learning and reflecting on that week. Because you will be back in school the following week, there will be time to reflect on the experience you gained with professional tutors and also peers on the programme. The weekly programme can be flexible to reflect the need of individuals in a particular cohort.
‘The support system in placement schools and training is amazing’
We believe that because schools are looking to employ those training with them, the investment in your training will be high quality. Having practising teachers leading the training means it is absolutely relevant to the needs of our trainees. Teachers leading the training are outstanding practitioners themselves and are highly engaged with the most up to date research on effective pedagogy. This is being continuously tested in their own classrooms.
‘Building relationships with staff and students from day one’
Having a main placement school that you train with means trainees forge relationships over a period of time. They will be a co-tutor from day one, meaning they have equal responsibility for their tutees with an experienced member of staff. Being a tutor is a crucial role in schools and so this experience is valuable preparation for when trainees take their first steps as an NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher). Trainees will have a 6-8 week placement in a second school, but many maintain communication with parents of tutees in their ‘lead’ school even during the time they are away. They know that they will return here after the placement and will be picking up where they left off!
‘Everything I am learning can be placed in the context of a live school environment’
Even an informal discussion before a session begins is made relevant. Recently, our trainees spent a week in a primary school. Before the weekly training session began, they were discussing how calm the atmosphere was in the primary classroom. This led to a discussion about how as a teacher in a secondary school, we might find ways to create the same atmosphere, despite the whole school systems (such as moving between lessons) that might make this more challenging. The discussion was immediate, relevant and focused around actions that could be taken the next day if appropriate.
‘Direct, continuous contact with experienced teachers providing guidance, advice and support is invaluable’
Our programme is led by practising teachers and by being a genuine part of the school team, you will have access to a high level of support from the whole team.
‘Having the opportunity and challenge of teaching on a daily basis at an early stage, means new skills can be immediately put into practice and developed’
Professional tutors who visit us from other teacher training institutions often comment on how our trainees have the capacity, and are considering, advanced aspects of pedagogy at an early stage of their training. This may be because the trainees have been exposed to schools from day one. Their observation phase of the programme may have started a considerable time before others, who will join us from different routes. They may have begun teaching before some have even stepped foot in a school.
‘Your teachers are still learners themselves and can give you current examples’
Trainees are exposed to the continuing professional development that we all benefit from. We all value and embrace the ongoing process of learning how to be the best teachers possible and our trainees become part of that culture of self-improvement. We are all trainees at a different stage of the journey!
‘The idea of learning a new skill e.g. behaviour management and being in a position to implement it straight away with a class I am teaching’
We learn in the same way as the students in our classes. If we don’t practise something straight away, we are likely to forget it. Weekly training sessions, followed by immediate practise back in schools support embeds great practise and allows for reflection and improvement.
‘There are so many members of staff I can turn to for support’
Due to the positive relationships created through all of the aspects of school life trainees are involved in, from Year 7 induction, tutor teams, INSET, staff development and social activities, they have built a network of support that goes beyond the curriculum team they work with most closely. This is very difficult to achieve on shorter placements which may start part way through a year.
‘We are in school four days of every week with one day of training: we are immersed in the teaching experience’
Being immersed in the teaching experience is regularly mentioned by our trainees. Having regular, quality time to reflect is equally important and weekly training sessions allow for this.
‘The students in my classes – I get to take them through the whole year!’
Trainees clearly value the fact that the relationships they build are not temporary.
‘Meeting each week with others who are experiencing the same highs and lows! The support network is brilliant’
A really important aspect of our programme is the fact that trainees regularly meet each other at the weekly training sessions. This means a genuine network of support is created which often extends beyond the programme and into working life, bridges the gap across schools which may not have had such relationships in the past.