Teacher training with South Cumbria SCITT: practical, theoretical, applicable.


What are the prerequisites?

You must have GCSEs in English and Maths (or equivalent) at grade C and above, and a degree relevant to your chosen subject at 2:2 or above. In addition, you must pass the Literacy and Numeracy tests before 1st July 2015.
We expect all of our trainees to have a minimum of 10 days of school experience in the phase that they will be studying before beginning the course. Ideally the majority of these are before application but we can be flexible.
You will be expected to undertake and clear an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check to ensure that you are suitable to work with children, as well as a fitness to teach assessment.

What's the difference between SCITT, School Direct and PGCE?

The main difference is the way in which you will study.  During a SCITT or School Direct course, you will spend more time in school than on a core PGCE course.  Most of your training will be delivered by school-based staff, although with the South Cumbria SCITT or School Direct you will also get academic input from university tutors.
At the end of the course, you will be awarded a PGCE with QTS and Masters Level credits.

What do the qualifications mean at the end of the course?

In order to teach in maintained school in the UK, you will need Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).  Having a PGCE means that you can, if you wish, teach in other countries.  You may also wish to study at Masters Level, and your credits will go some way towards that.

How do you fund yourself during the course?

Since you are studying a full time course, you may be eligible for a tuition fee loan, which you will have to repay in the future. 
Some courses (Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Languages, Biology, Primary, Geography, D&T, English, History) attract a bursary payment.  This payment depends on the subject and class of your degree, and is not repayable.  If you are eligible for this, you need do nothing.  You will automatically start to receive the money once you start the course.
Some subjects (Physics, Maths, Chemistry) are eligible for a scholarship payment.  You need to apply for this to relevant subject association.  If you receive the scholarship, you are not eligible for the bursary.

Can I work whilst studying on this course?

You can if you feel that you really need to - but you will need to be very organised!  Teacher training is a very intensive course which is not confined to normal working hours or days, and you will find that there are times when you will need to work in the evenings and at the weekend.

What is the catchment area?  How far could I be placed away from my home?

The area covered by the South Cumbria SCITT is large - across all of South Cumbria and in some cases north Lancashire!  This allows us to place our trainees in a wide range of different schools, but also means that you may have to travel from your home to a school which is further away.  We will always try to personalise your placement to give you the best possible training. We do take distance and personal circumstances into account but we cannot make any firm promises.  We try to ensure that your placement schools are within an hour's travelling time from your home; where this is not possible, we will try to ensure that you do one "local" placement.

How is the training split up?

The course is divided into two main sections: the initial experience placement and the sustained enactment placement.  These run from September to December and January to June.  During these placements, you will also have days of training either at one of the schools in the SCITT partnership or at the University of Cumbria based at Lancaster. 
You will also complete short placements in post-16 and primary settings, and in other educational settings such as a Special school.
The course begins on Wednesday September 2nd 2015 and ends on July 22nd 2016.
For further details, see our Course Dates page.

What kind of training will I get?

During the course, we will cover all of the essentials of outstanding teaching, including:

Do I have to write essays?

Yes.  There are 6 assignments during the course and these consist of a mixture of formative and summative assignments.  The assignments are designed to support you in your understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a teacher, and are based around theoretical perspectives linked to your classroom experiences.  Each assignment will be introduced through a taught session, and you will be able to ask for support if there is anything that you are unclear about.  You will receive formal written feedback on each assignment.

How many days will I spend at university?

You will complete one induction day early in September and then a number of subject knowledge days called Pedagogy for Learning days. In total we expect no more than 15 days spent at the University in total for the whole year.

How much teaching do we do?

By the end of the course, you will be teaching approximately 15 hours per week!  Don't worry - you will work up to that slowly.
To begin with, you will team teach with your class teachers, perhaps delivering sections of the lessons before building up to taking full classes.  Each trainee in each school is able to go at a pace which suits them, so you be may be teaching a different number of lessons to your peers at times.  Don't worry: this is perfectly normal.

What help do we get with planning and schemes of work etc?

Lots.  Your placement school will have schemes of work for you to follow, but you will be expected to write lesson plans.  At the start of the course, you will be taught what good lesson plans are and how to write them, and your subject mentor in school will help you with this as well.  As you get more experienced, we will show you how to plan schemes of work as well.

What support will I get?

South Cumbria SCITT provides our trainees with a great deal of support during the training year and beyond.  Each cohort has a "buddy" from the previous year who they can ask for help and advice. You will also have a Secondary Initial Teacher Training lead who oversees the whole course and who is able to answer questions and queries about the academic and practical aspects of the course.  They will lead many of the taught sessions, and will come to observe you teaching during the course.

Your university tutor will be an excellent source of support and advice about the academic aspects of the course, including the assignments.  In terms of subject knowledge, you will study with other trainees in your subject area on Pedagogy for Learning days, and your subject tutor will be able to advise you about subject-specific issues.

In school, you will have a subject mentor and a professional mentor whose roles are to support you in developing your skills whilst on placement.  From experience, we know that trainees get a great deal of support from each other, and we will encourage you to share ideas and experiences during our group sessions.

Could I be placed in a school in 'Special Measures'?

You cannot complete an assessed placement in a school which Ofsted judges to be requiring improvement.  However, we may carry out some of our training in schools which have not been judged to be good or better.

What opportunities are there for further development?

Our course prepares you for life as a teacher, and you will be encouraged to take advantage of the vast range of continuing professional development opportunities available to you.  We encourage you to become involved in your subject associations and to participate in subject knowledge courses with the Prince's Teaching Institute.  Past trainees have attended NATE and GA annual conferences, the Education Festival, training with the Royal Shakespeare Company and become actively involved in school field trips.

I've been accepted onto the course.  What now?

Your offer may have conditions attached.  If so, you will need to ensure that these are met by the date stated and that you provide us with evidence that you have met them. You'll need to attend our induction day on Friday July 10th. This is designed to  prepare you for the start of the course, as well as to allow you to meet the other trainees and some of the course tutors.
You will be given some pre-course tasks to complete during the induction days, so you will need to ensure that you have time to complete them.

How am I graded on the course?

There are four grading points during the year.  These grades are based on a combination of factors: lesson observations, meetings with school based staff and checking of your paperwork.
At the end of the course, you will complete a portfolio of evidence to show that you have met the teachers' standards.
You will also be graded for your PGCE academic assignments and these contribute towards your PGCE and Masters credits.

What happens if I am struggling?

Talk to your mentor.  All of the South Cumbria SCITT staff are experienced in their roles and will want you to make a success of the course.  If you feel that you need extra help, you should let us know.  If we are concerned about your progress, we will put support in place for you.


Interested? Start the application process here!