The Bitterne Park Teaching School Alliance is a growing partnership comprising a diverse range of secondary schools across Hampshire and Wiltshire which present dynamic and exciting training possibilities for those wishing to pursue a career in teaching. Working in partnership with the University of Chichester, we have developed a bespoke English teacher training package designed to produce reflective, analytical and effective classroom practitioners. During your training year, you will build upon your prior experience to gain the specific subject, curriculum and pedagogical knowledge that you need to become an effective and confident teacher of English. You will have the full support of the University of Chichester, including a university tutor and access to all facilities, but university-led training will take place at Bitterne Park School in Southampton, and you will not be required to travel to Chichester. The University of Chichester is recognised as one of the leading institutions in the country for teacher training, and successful completion of our course will lead to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The programme also contributes towards a Master’s level qualification.
As a BPTSA School Direct trainee, you will have the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in school life and will be treated like any other member of the teaching staff. This approach will allow you to experience all aspects of the role of a teacher, both inside and outside the classroom. The practical nature of our course, combined with the opportunity to work alongside and learn from experienced, outstanding practitioners, constantly reinforces the link between theory and practice. We aim to ensure that by the end of the course you can teach your subject confidently and successfully by developing your skills as a problem solver, and by encouraging you to explore theoretical ideas and their practical application in the classroom.
Our core training involves:
a four-week induction at the start of the programme;
a progressive training programme delivered throughout the year, including approximately 20 subject specific training days and 23 professional studies training days;
a half term second school placement in a contrasting school; and
a primary, sixth form and SEN school experience.
Throughout the programme, you will be supported by a highly skilled and trained curriculum mentor at your school, a professional mentor (a member of your school’s senior leadership team) and a university tutor.
Our partnership currently consists of 14 secondary schools, predominantly in Hampshire with two schools in Wiltshire. During your training year, you will have two school placements. You will be placed in a host school for your main placement, and will undertake a half term second placement in another school in our partnership. You will also be offered a primary, sixth form and SEN school experience.
You will have the opportunity to apply to a specific school on your UCAS application, or alternatively you can submit an ‘open’ application and discuss the various options available at interview. We are happy to arrange for you to visit any of our partner schools prior to submitting your application form.
Secondary Schools in the Bitterne Park Teaching School Alliance:
Bitterne Park School, Southampton – age range 11-19
The Burgate School, Fordingbridge – age range 11-19
Cams Hill School, Fareham - age range 11-16
Cantell School, Southampton - age range 11-16
Chamberlayne College for the Arts - age range 11-16
Matravers School, Westbury – age range 11-19
The Petersfield School, Petersfield - age range 11-16
Pewsey Vale School, Pewsey - age range 11-16
Priestlands School, Lymington - age range 11-16
Redbridge Community School, Southampton - age range 11-16
Regents Park Community College, Southampton – age range 11-16
St George Catholic VA College, Southampton – age range 11-16
Upper Shirley High School, Southampton - age range 11-16
Woodlands Community College, Southampton – age range 11-16
The minimum entry requirements are as follows:
You should have an honours degree from a UK university, HE institution or an acceptable recognised equivalent, with a minimum of a 2:2 or above.
The subject content of your degree should meet the requirements of your chosen specialist subject. (If you are unsure, please contact us.)
If you have an overseas qualification, you should apply for a NARIC Statement of Comparability to confirm its comparable level in the UK.
You should have GCSE grade C or 4 in English Language and Mathematics, or an acceptable recognised equivalent.
Personal qualities that we are looking for:
A genuine desire to teach and enthuse young people
A strong subject-based academic background
Good communication skills
Experience of working with young people
Energy, perseverance and stamina
Flexibility and humour
An ability to learn, reflect on your practice and act on advice
An ability to work collaboratively
Before you start our course, we will ask you to complete the following:
A DBS criminal records check to prove you have no criminal convictions that might prevent you from working with children or young people
A Declaration of Health questionnaire to confirm that you are physically and mentally fit to teach, and are capable of undertaking a course of study to become a qualified teacher
You should demonstrate the ability to:
communicate clearly and accurately in both written and spoken English;
cope with the demands and rigours of the profession.
As a School Direct salaried trainee you are employed by your host school. You will not receive a bursary while you train, but will be paid on point one of the unqualified teacher pay scale and issued with a 0.8 fte contract. The cost of your training to achieve QTS and PGCE will be covered by your employing school so you will not have to pay tuition fees. This route is open to graduates with three years’ career experience.
The Bitterne Park Teaching School Alliance and our partnership schools are not able to provide sponsorship for a Visa.
Fees and financial support
About the training provider
Bitterne Park School was designated a National Teaching School in 2012 and is the lead school for the Bitterne Park Teaching School Alliance, a partnership of 14 secondary schools working with the Universities of Southampton, Chichester and Winchester to provide a School Direct teacher training programme leading to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and the opportunity to gain 60 credits towards a Master’s degree.
We feel our School Direct training programme combines the best elements of a traditional university-led PGCE training model with the benefits of a school-centred approach.
We are proud to celebrate a 100% pass rate for trainees completing our programme, with a large percentage of our trainees continuing to have successful careers in the BPTSA family of schools.
Our alliance comprises a diverse range of schools across Hampshire and Wiltshire which present dynamic and exciting training possibilities for those wishing to pursue a career in teaching.
About the accredited body
The University of Chichester is recognised as one of the leading institutions in the country for teacher training, and has a long and distinguished track record of training teachers dating back to 1839. During your training year you will have the full support of the University, including a university tutor and access to all facilities.
All university-led training on this programme will take place in school and you will not be required to travel to the university site.
Once shortlisting has taken place, we will contact you to confirm whether you have been selected for interview. The interview process will consist of:
a formal interview with representatives from our partnership schools and the University of Chichester;
a written task; and
Depending on COVID-19 guidance at the time of your application, your interview may be online or face-to-face. If your interview is face-to-face, you may also be asked to teach a 20 minute micro lesson to a small group of pupils.
The selection panel will take evidence from all aspects of the interview into consideration when making their judgement.
If you are successful at interview, you may request a visit to the school where your main placement will be, so that you can meet the staff that will be involved in your training.
Unsuccessful applicants will be offered feedback on their interview.
Training with disabilities and other needs
If you have a disability or learning difference, we encourage you to get in touch before you apply so we can discuss tailored support for your individual needs. Disability access varies across the alliance sites, so you may wish to contact individual schools for further information. Successful candidates will be required to complete a pre-placement Health Declaration before starting our teacher training programme, and based upon the responses provided, may be invited to attend an assessment. This will assist us to make workplace adjustments, where possible.
The Bitterne Park Teaching School Alliance is currently comprised of the following schools:
Bitterne Park School Dimond Road Bitterne Park Southampton SO18 1BU
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