‘Classroom ready. Classroom confident’. This is our ambition for successful applicants. Every element of our course is designed with this in mind. At Yarrow Schools Alliance (YSA), we are proud of our profession and want to ensure that its future is in the best hands.
We know the best place to train is in a school and so trainees spend the academic year in school with two 5-month long placements - one in Key Stage 2 running from September to the end of January and a Key Stage 1 placement from February to the end of the year. Trainees spend much of the week in class supported by their Class Mentor as well as a Link Tutor. All placements are secured by YSA and take place in member schools whose Governors and Headteachers are fully committed to school based training.
To complement trainees’ practical experience, regular and compulsory theory based training underpins the practical work being done in school. Theory based training is timetabled so that trainees can go straight back into the classroom and put what they have learned into practice.
Training sessions, held either in Skelmersdale (where our accreditors are based) or in Chorley, are led by expert practitioners, all of whom currently practise in their field. Training is designed to develop professional knowledge of national statutory curricula and current national priorities as well as enhancing understanding of theoretical principles of teaching and pedagogy.
Assessment takes the form of regular teaching and learning reviews each with defined focuses. Following each review, personalised targets are set for trainees to work and build on. To successfully achieve QTS, trainees must demonstrate that they have met all Teacher Standards.
Over the course of the academic year, trainees have the opportunity to look at provision in different settings eg schools where for a high number of pupils English is an additional language; small schools or special schools. Such experiences can be organised by the YSA and are undertaken in addition to the trainees’ Key Stage 1 and 2 placements.
All trainees are expected to keep an up-to-date planning file containing planning, evaluations and lesson observations. Throughout the course of the year, trainees complete a series of short written observations in relation to the Teachers’ Standards allowing them to reflect on their experiences and progress. Full guidance on this is given as part of the induction process and in subsequent training sessions.