As a school direct trainee you are based in one of our primary partner schools and from the beginning there will be a focus on school-based learning.
You will have a school based mentor who co-ordinates your classroom-related activities. They provide guidance and support and, as you develop your skills, judge when and how to increase your experience and responsibilities until you are ready to take on whole classes.
The Downland Alliance team co-ordinates activities relating to general educational issues.
You will also have individual tutor support from Oxford Brookes University.
This personalised approach means that you are supported throughout the course and you don’t have to worry about being thrown in at the deep end until you are ready.
Gradually you will begin to teach parts of lessons, and then short series of lessons. Before and after Christmas, almost all your time will be spent in schools, with a complementary placement at another local school arranged for approximately 6 weeks during February. There is also the opportunity for a cross phase placement.
We cannot guarantee your main placement will be in a particular host school - we do, however, take account of any specific requests and always consider any issues including individual travel distances. This forms part of the discussions which take place during the selection process. Above all, we consider which of the schools will be a “best fit” for you coupled with the mentor involved and where there are vacancies.
The majority of our training sessions, which are not school classroom based, take place in one of our partnership schools, although we may occasionally use an external venue such as Shaw House in Newbury.
PGCE sessions are delivered by Oxford Brookes University and generally take place at The Downs School.
What do our trainees say?
“Training across schools enables you to learn as much as possible and see a range of techniques.”
“Our mentors as well as the training staff are invaluable for their experience teaching wisdom and support. There is always someone to turn to if you feel your ship is sinking!”