Astra trainees on the English course are prepared to teach across the full 11-16 age range, including literature, drama, literacy, language, media, writing and the role of technology in education, along with Sixth Form experience, with a main placement in one school and a second placement in a contrasting school. The ITT course is structured around the ‘Astra Learning Star’, which satisfies and exceeds the requirements of the Core Content Framework as a coherent sequence to support trainees to succeed in the classroom.
Our Professional Studies programme focuses on the development of professional knowledge, values and practices of teachers and their importance in the classroom and in the wider school context. Astra’s principle is to develop trainees to be reflective, have strong practical classroom skills and excellent subject knowledge. Trainees learn how to use theory to inform their classroom practice and trainees gain detailed understanding of English as a school subject, secondary education, as well as outstanding skills in learning to plan and teach lessons which are creative and engaging.
In year one, part-time candidates are in school for two full days per week and spend one additional day attending Professional Studies with the Astra SCITT. In year two, they are in school for two full days per week . In year two PGCE trainees will spend an additional 5-6 days on PGCE studies.
Your progress against the Astra curriculum will be formatively assessed throughout the course with final summative assessment against the Teachers’ Standards. Assessment is based on evidence of your teaching, wider contribution to school life and the ability to reflect on and evaluate these experiences. Progress towards this is monitored through weekly reflections, objective setting, regular lesson observations and QTS assignments. Trainees pursuing the PGCE will also write additional two assignments designed to deepen reflections on school experience in the light of educational research.
Secondary subject studies will 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. Work in school will take a variety of forms including observing experienced teachers and team teaching, gradually taking responsibility for the learning of whole classes and getting involved in all aspects of school life.