Astra trainees on the PE course are prepared to teach across the full 11-16 curriculum, which includes team and individual sports, examination PE and the role of technology in education, along with Sixth Form experience.
The Astra approach has at its core the principle of developing trainees as reflective professionals who have strong practical classroom skills and excellent subject knowledge. Trainees learn how to use current theory to inform their classroom practice and attention is paid to ensuring that trainees have a detailed understanding of PE as a school subject, as well as outstanding skills in learning to plan and teach lessons which are creative and engaging.
Astra full time trainees spend four days per week in their placement schools (minimum of 120 days across the year). All training and assessment will lead to the award of Qualified Teacher Status by the DfE. Additionally, the optional PGCE qualification includes 60 credits at Masters level which is the equivalent to one third of an MA.
Astra trainees on the part-time route spend 120 days in school, spread across two academic years. In year one, candidates are in school two full days per week and spend one additional day with the Astra SCITT. In year two, they are in school for two full days per week.
Your curriculum will follow the core content framework, with final assessment against the Teachers’ Standard, based on evidence of your teaching, wider contribution to school life and the ability to reflect on and evaluate these experiences. Progress is monitored through weekly reflections on progress, objective setting, regular lesson observations and two QTS assignments. Trainees pursuing the PGCE will also write two assignments designed to deepen reflections on school experience in the light of educational research.
Weekly QTS Professional Studies will develop understanding of education essential for entrants to the teaching profession, providing consideration to whole-school issues, such as behaviour management, special educational needs and educational theories that contextualise the teaching of your subject. Secondary subject studies also focus on the teaching of each subject, including its place in the National Curriculum; what is taught; how it is taught; how it is assessed; providing for young people with different backgrounds and abilities; teaching in accordance with examination specification requirements; and using ICT effectively to facilitate learning.
Fee-funded or bursary-led trainees are always supernumerary.
We endeavour to match the right trainee to the right partner school for their main placement based on their initial preference, geography / distance from home, and areas of specific interest. This course is offered at the locations shown on our website https://www.astra-alliance.com/402/scitt-and-school-direct-itt-places-2021-22
You will be given the opportunity to express your placement school preference if your application is shortlisted.
We aim for all trainees whether on a full or part time route, to have two placements. On the part time route, Year 1 will be spent with one school and Year 2 in a contrasting school. Trainees also attend an induction day with their first placement school ahead of the September course start.
Secondary trainees will teach across the 11-16 age range (14-19 yrs for Business Studies ).
QTS studies take place with the SCITT every Wednesday, with the other four days per week being spent in school (approximately 120 days across the year). If doing the PGCE, these sessions (approx 6 taught sessions) will be spread across the year. Bursary-led / unsalaried trainee timetable allocations is approximately 30% in the first term, rising to a maximum allocation of 75% in the final placement out of the four days in school.
Astra has over 50 partners signed up to the SCITT Partnership Agreement which demands that each school supplies dedicated and high quality one-to-one Mentor support and in-school Professional Studies to complement the core QTS programme offered by the SCITT each week. Trainees will also be expected to attend events such as parents’ evening and contribute to report writing during the year. While there is no guarantee of permanent employment with placement schools, a considerable number of our trainees do go on to secure NQTs positions within our partnership.
An undergraduate degree, or equivalent.
Your degree subject should be in Physical Education or a similar subject. Otherwise you’ll need to prove your subject knowledge in some other way.
Grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths, or equivalent qualification.
We will not consider candidates with pending GCSEs.
We’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English or maths.
Candidates should use a third party provider for equivalency tests.
Candidates should have the potential to become outstanding teachers, demonstrated by strong subject knowledge; ability to communicate with enthusiasm about learning; ability to reflect on experiences of working with young people, and knowledge of the curriculum and educational issues.
Other requirements include being ambitious to teach at a good or outstanding level; highly motivated (with the ability to also motivate students); high professional standards; a willingness to play a part in the wider school life; commitment to professional development, and strong communication skills.
Further experience of working with children, for example helping with a youth/sports club is desirable.
For secondary trainees on the 11-16 programme we require the ability to teach up to A Level in your subject.
Candidates will be required to have an Enhanced DBS check, and health clearance. Requirement to complete a funded Subject Knowledge Enhancement course will be determined at the point of offer.
Hard copy evidence of all required academic qualifications will need to be provided before an unconditional offer can be made.
Fees and financial support
The course fees for UK students in 2022 to 2023 are £9,250.
The fee for the two year part time course is £12,000 (£5,000 for the first year and £7,000 for the second year).
About the training provider
At Astra, we see you as an individual and as a leader of the future. Our SCITT is a diverse and supportive network of over 50 schools, founded on the principles of ‘Excellence; Collaboration; Innovation; Support’ and offering a talented and dedicated team of staff as well as a professional working environment and forward-looking technology systems. We are rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted (2018) in all categories for ITE and offer School Direct QTS salaried, bursary-led/unsalaried QTS or QTS & PGCE full and part time programmes in a wide range of subjects and phases.
From the very beginning of your training year, you will be treated as a member of staff in your placement school, attending staff meetings, parents’ evenings and development days.
Your main placement school will be in one of our networks across Buckinghamshire or Hertfordshire. See our website, www.astra-alliance.com, for a list of our schools.
Professional studies training will take place every Wednesday and will be hosted either online or at local venues, including partnership schools. For unsalaried trainees doing the PGCE, six taught sessions take place across the year.
During your training, you will be assigned an in-school Mentor and an ITT Coordinator. Secondary trainees will also have a Subject Tutor. These colleagues, alongside a designated university tutor (for PGCE trainees), will monitor your progress and support you on your learning journey, framed around the government’s Core Content Framework. All Astra staff are experienced teachers and are required to undertake regular and rigorous training.
There are three Teaching School Hubs operating on behalf of the Astra SCITT for both primary and secondary recruitment across our network of over 50 schools:
Astra SCITT/Astra Amersham Hub - Amersham and surrounding area
Astra Aylesbury Hub - Aylesbury / surrounding area
Astra Marlow Hub - Marlow / Maidenhead
Candidates should apply via either UCAS or the GOV.UK ‘Apply’ route, to their preferred Astra SCITT Hub, which will then coordinate the recruitment process. If your application is shortlisted, candidates will be invited for a first stage interview at one of our Hub locations.
The application and interview process for each hub is identical and is quality assured by the leadership team at the Astra SCITT. It will take one of the following formats:
Stage 1 will be conducted remotely and consist of a panel interview, delivery of a short presentation, and some written tasks. If successful at this stage, you will be invited to attend a Stage 2 interview, which will, where possible involve a visit to your potential main placement school to be observed leading a teaching activity with a small group of students; you will be told in advance about the content of the lesson you will need to plan, and the age group you will be teaching.
Stages 1 and 2 will both be conducted remotely, with you being asked to ‘teach’ part of a lesson to the interview panel following the main panel interview
You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:
guidance on the UK equivalents of your qualifications
a free statement of comparability once you’ve submitted your application (if we ask you for this)
Training with disabilities and other needs
Astra trainees will be assessed through our Occupational Health service before starting the course in order to ensure they meet the “Fitness to Teach” requirements. This is also to help us identify any additional needs which will require support during the programme.
We are experienced in making necessary adjustments to help facilitate trainees with disabilities and other conditions, including dyslexia (eg making training slides available in advance where possible), physical, hearing and visual impairments (eg providing handouts on specific coloured paper; supporting the use of specific software); and mental health conditions, to ensure they are not disadvantaged in any way. If a preferred main location was not fully accessible for a trainee, we would find an alternative wherever possible.
Astra gives all trainees full access to an Employee Assistance Programme which can provide access to counselling and other support and advice where appropriate.
Dr Challoner's Grammar School Chesham Rd Amersham Buckinghamshire HP6 5HA
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