This course will equip you with the skills to be an effective teacher and to have a clear understanding about how to engage learners in this subject.
Key skills you will learn include:
subject specific knowledge
how to plan effectively for different year groups and to enable progression
how to help all learners access learning, including those with SEN, EAL or other specific needs
how to ask effective questions and deliver insightful feedback
how to use assessment purposefully in the classroom
your role as a tutor and how to support learners outside of the classroom
knowledge of your legal duty in order to safeguard staff and students
how to apply for your first teaching post
You will spend the first three weeks of the course at St Mary’s University focusing on pedagogy and then every Wednesday throughout the training year. This allows you to receive excellent teaching and share best practice with other trainees in your subject. You will then have two school placements where you will be supported by a mentor. Whilst in school, you will also have Professional Studies sessions with our cohort of School Direct and PGCE students in order to share best practice and learn important skills.
The course leads to PGCE with MA credits.
You will have two school based placements which will run across the majority of the year. The foundation placement runs from September to December, and the consolidation placement runs from late January to June. All of our schools in the alliance are based in Richmond and Twickenham. These are:
Orleans Park School (lead school)
Hampton High School
St Richard Reynolds Catholic College
Turing House School
We are also working with Richmond upon Thames school and Twickenham School this year.
You will gain experience of KS3 and KS4 teaching in both placements, and have an opportunity to experience KS5 lessons in at least one of your placement schools.
Trainees will build towards having 6 lessons a week in the first placement, as well as having some periods for observation and supporting in lessons (potentially in another subject). In the second placement, this will increase to around 12-14 periods a week of teaching. You will have a mentor supporting you throughout this experience and they will provide both formal and informal feedback in order to help you achieve the teaching standards.
An undergraduate degree at class 2:2 or above, or equivalent.
Your degree subject should be in geography 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’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.
We’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English or maths.
Candidates will need to sit the St Mary’s University equivalency tests. We do not accept equivalency test results from any other provider and don’t currently offer tuition or short courses.
evidence at application of the ability to demonstrate a high standard of written English
successful completion of skills tests in mathematics and English prior to
commencement of course.
health and physical capacity to teach
an acceptable Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
Fees and financial support
The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £9,250.
About the training provider
Orleans Park Teaching Alliance is a relatively new alliance, however all of the schools in our alliance have a lot of experience in nurturing talent and getting the best out of you in the classroom. Our schools range from faith based schools, to newer free schools, as well as established and successful academies. And still being relatively small, it means that we can ensure your training is personalised to your needs so that you are able to progress confidently in the classroom at your own pace. Our mentors are well trained, supportive and excellent classroom practitioners in their own right. We believe it is vital that we place you with great teachers to help you ‘be the best you can be.’
Our lead school, Orleans Park, was re-awarded an outstanding grade by Ofsted in 2017 who described it as ‘an inspirational teaching and learning environment where pupils can flourish and excel.’ Moreover, they praised how seriously we took our staff training and our focus on ‘getting it right in the classroom.’ It is this which underpins our teacher trainee programme and we have vast experience of successfully training students in a range of different subjects; many who continue to work with us once qualified.
You will apply to OPTA directly and have two interviews. We will invite you into our lead school for an interview and a short subject knowledge activity, as well as giving you the chance to tour our school and meet key staff. You will also have an interview with St Mary’s University who accredit our School Direct programme.
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
We make it a priority to support all of our recruits with the necessary help to ensure they can thrive both in their training year and once qualified. This may include specific support from St Mary’s, for example extra support with assignments and directed tasks. Moreover, our sites are accessible for a range of physical, hearing and visual impairments; indeed we have many pupils with similar needs in our schools too.
Our mentors are well-experienced in providing emotional support and, when needed, we have provision in place for trainees who may experience difficulties.
Orleans Park School Richmond Road Twickenham Middlesex TW13BB
Support and advice
You can speak to a teacher training adviser
for free, dedicated advice. They are all experienced teachers who can give you one-to-one support with your application. They can also help you
get school experience, and find events where you can speak to training providers and teachers.
Call Get Into Teaching free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).