School Experience Programme

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In this section...

The i2i Teaching Partnership welcomes candidates on our School Experience Programme throughout the academic year. 

School Experience offers you the chance to observe teaching and pastoral work, and the opportunity to talk to teachers about day-to-day life in a school. 

We strongly recommend to everyone that they gain some school experience through the programme.  School experience will strengthen your teacher training application, give you observational experience prior to interview, help you decide if teaching is right for you and start you on your journey to transform, lead and inspire.

If you are unable to undertake school experience for any reason please read the Virtual School Experience section below where we recommend other ways to learn more about the teaching profession.

About the School Experience Programme

The role of a teacher is highly complex one. The i2i SCITT School Experience Programme offers you the chance to find out about the roles and responsibilities of a teacher and to help you answer any questions you may have about the profession as a whole.

During your day you will have the opportunity to observe teaching and pastoral work, and to talk to teachers and students about day-to-day life in a school. 

You should get the chance to see a range of different lessons and age groups being taught – but if you have any specific requests, you can talk to us about accommodating these. For instance, if you already have experience of observing lessons with younger secondary students, you might want to focus more on lessons with an older age group.

While your experience will focus on observation, we may be able to give you the chance to plan and deliver part or all of a lesson, depending on how many days you spend with us and whether you are making an application to us. Your time in a school might also include the opportunity to meet or shadow a member of senior leadership if that is of interest to you.

How To Join

You can book a School Experience Day on the events page of our website.

If these dates or locations are unsuitable then please email Tammy Cresswell ( or complete our Enquiry Form putting "School Experience Programme" in the enquiry box.

As part of your placement, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check may be required and this can take four weeks or more to complete.


Virtual School Experience

If you are unable to undertake school experience for any reason, the following guide suggests other ways in which you can gain some "virtual" school experience.

  • Contact anyone you know who works in the profession and arrange to have a phone conversation/zoom call with them. If you do not have any contacts within the profession, then please do get in touch and we can try and help you with this. Ask whomever you speak to about why they became a teacher, what they enjoy the most about their job,and what are the biggest challenges.You could also ask them to describe to you a typical day, and ask what skills they have that they think makes them a great teacher. You can then reflect on this; think about what you have learnt and were there any surprises? How does this make you feel?

  • Watch our A Day in the Life of a Teacher  video and hear from two current teachers about what a typical teaching day is really like

  • Get online and search for some Virtual Lessons to watch. Think about the techniques that are being used and what impact they have on the students. Look out for any challenging behaviours within these lessons and how they are managed, and think about what you can learn from such observations. If you have ever had any personal experience of working with children perhaps in a volunteering, church or sporting capacity, think about what you learnt from this experience and whether you ever witnessed any challenging behaviour and how it was dealt with.

  • Sign up for one of the many Virtual Information Seminars that the i2i Teaching Partnership SCITT are currently running. These will provide you with lots of information and the opportunity to ask questions to, and engage with the SCITT team. We also have several recorded webinars available - these provide invaluable insight into the world of teaching and can be accessed by emailing Krissy Taylor (

  • Have you had any opportunities to homeschool a sibling or relative, or have you ever worked with children in a sporting, tutoring or volunteering capacity? If so, spend some time thinking about these experiences and what you learnt from them, both about yourself and about the children you worked with. You could even plan and deliver a lesson to your household on a subject that interests you. Film it so you can watch it back and assess how you came across, and identify what worked and what didn’t work.

  • Read about any current educational news stories that interest you. Think about the role education plays in society and how this knowledge is helping you decide on your career in teaching. Read some of the numerous blogs out there written by current teachers. You can keep track of development in the education sector by reading the news and visiting government and educational websites such as the Department of Education, Guardian Education and TES

  • Watch one of the several documentaries available such as Educating Essex, Mr Drew’s School for Boys, or The Unteachables. Whilst the focus of these is often on behavioural issues, they will be a useful way for you to explore the environment in which you are considering joining.

Top Tips For Getting The Most Out Of School Experience

The role of a teacher is highly complex one; we recommend that you use your school experience day to find out about the roles and responsibilities of a teacher and to help you answer any questions you may have about the profession as a whole. You can do this by observing teachers teaching, talking to students and discussing the role of a teacher with the teachers that you meet. Below is a list of points to consider or focus on during the course of your day:

  • How is a teacher’s day/week/year made up or structured?
  • How do teachers prepare/plan their lessons? What resources are needed for each lesson?
  • What is taught in your subject and how is it taught (across the different year groups).
  • What activities or strategies do teachers use in their lessons? Why do they use these activities or strategies?
  • How do teachers communicate with the students in their care (both in lessons and around the school)?
  • What do students say they enjoy/find challenging about your subject?
  • What do teachers do at lunchtime or break time? What do teachers do before or after school?
  • What do teachers enjoy/find challenging about their role?

To help you get the most out of your school experience, you might like to read our article written for the ‘Get into Teaching’ team blog and watch the video below.

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