School experience is the heart of the course. Prior to coming to the University, you will begin the course by spending time in a primary school close to where you are living. Your primary school experience gives you the opportunity to understand the curriculum for 7-11 year olds, and how the basis of your teaching subject is built into the early years of schooling. You will assist in an experienced primary teacher’s classroom, helping individual pupils and small groups to do the work set by the teacher, assisting with activities which suit your skills, and generally observing, assisting and analysing teachers and pupils.
Once you arrive at the University, you will concentrate on secondary schooling. In the first phase of the course (October to January), you will spend time in a secondary school working with experienced teachers. You will undertake a planned programme of observing and assisting experienced teachers designed to develop your confidence in working with pupils. You will spend the whole of the following ten weeks in that school on a block teaching practice, gradually increasing the amount of teaching you do as your skills and confidence grow. You will then spend one week in a special school in order to learn more about meeting complex needs.
In the second phase of the course (February to June), you will follow a similar pattern but in a different secondary school. During this phase, you will undertake another teaching practice of eleven weeks. As during your first teaching practice, you will be given full support during your second practice and helped to develop and evaluate your own performance. In phase 2, you will gradually learn to experience the full responsibilities of a teacher.
Both of these long teaching practices will be in secondary schools which have signed a contract with the University to deliver teacher training as part of the Loughborough Initial Teacher Training Partnership. These are known as Partnership schools. We work with over 60 Partnership schools across 14 Local Authorities (LAs).
The vast majority of partnership schools are normally within 40 miles (one way) from the University.