Astra Aylesbury Hub
English (3BK9)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Astra SCITT
Financial support
Student finance if you’re eligible
Qualification
PGCE with QTS

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) will allow you to teach in state schools in England and may allow you to teach in other parts of the UK.

It may also allow you to teach overseas, though you should always check what qualifications are needed in the country you’d like to teach in.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021
Website
http://www.ahs.bucks.sch.uk/about-the-school/initial-teacher/

Contents

About the course

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 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.

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. 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 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.

Interview process

There are three 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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

How school placements work

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 You will be given the opportunity to express your placement school preference if your application is shortlisted. We aim for all trainees to experience two placements, although the main placement will be where the trainee is primarily based. Trainees will also be expected to attend an induction day with their main 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.

Fees

The course fees for UK students in 2021 to 2022 are £9,250

Financial support

You may also be eligible for a loan while you study – note that you’ll have to apply for undergraduate student finance.

Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.

Requirements

Qualifications

Essential:

  • At least Grade 4 (C) (or equivalent) for GCSE Maths and GCSE English.

  • Degree: 2:2 or above, although for QTS-only programmes we will consider applicants with a third class degree who can demonstrate an aptitude for teaching, dependent on the subject/specialism. Your degree should ideally be in or closely related to the subject you intend to teach.

Personal qualities

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.

Other requirements

The potential to write at Masters level is a requirement for PGCE candidates.

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.

About the training provider

As a lead Hub, we offer placements in a network across Buckinghamshire under the Astra ‘umbrella’. The Astra SCITT offers a talented and dedicated team of subject-based Mentors, a professional working environment and forward-looking technology systems for the 21st century teacher. We offer highly personalised support to all trainees from the moment of appointment to course completion, as well as a package of CPD opportunities beyond the training year. At Astra, we see you as an individual and as a leader of the future. We offer School Direct QTS salaried, bursary-led/unsalaried QTS or QTS & PGCE programmes in a wide range of subjects and phases. From the beginning of your training year you will be treated like a member of staff at your designated school, attending staff meetings, parents’ evenings and development days. During your training, you will be assigned a Mentor, subject Tutors and ITTCO; these colleagues, alongside a designated university tutor (for PGCE trainees), will monitor your progress and support you on your learning journey. Our staff are experienced teachers and are required to undertake a rigorous training programme. Weekly Professional Studies sessions take place every Wednesday, hosted at a range of our partner schools. PGCE sessions are also held on Wednesdays, spread across the year.

About the accredited body

The Astra SCITT is a diverse, supportive network of over 50 schools, founded on the core principles of ‘Excellence; Collaboration; Innovation; Support’. We are rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in all categories. Since 2016, we have recruited and trained high quality teachers for local primary and secondary schools. On average, our trainees achieve a 96% completion rate, with 97% of the 2017/18 cohort being employed within 6 months of gaining QTS, above national benchmarking. Trainees demonstrate excellent practice across all Teachers’ Standards, the majority judged as ‘outstanding’. For trainees doing the PGCE, six taught PGCE sessions take place across the year.

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.

Contact details

Email
abrigden@ahs.bucks.sch.uk
Telephone
01296388222
Website
http://www.ahs.bucks.sch.uk/about-the-school/initial-teacher/
Address
Aylesbury High School
Walton Road
Aylesbury
Buckinghamshire
HP21 7SX

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Location Vacancies Code
Astra Aylesbury Hub
Aylesbury High School, Walton Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP21 7SX
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