Astra trainees in English are prepared to teach across the full 11-16 curriculum. Trainees learn to develop their students’ abilities to create works in different media. The course includes the use 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 English as a school subject, as well as outstanding skills in learning to plan and teach lessons which are creative and engaging.
Subject studies are taught by a team of highly experienced practising classroom teachers who have worked with trainees over many years.
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, and PGCE trainees will spend an additional 5-6 days on PGCE studies.
All training and assessment leads to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by the DfE.
Primary and secondary trainees across all subjects are assessed against the Teachers’ Standards, based on the evidence of 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.
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 and the 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.