Our Secondary Teacher Training Programme is full time and runs for one academic year. Learning will take place in many locations and in many different modes. We expect you to take the lead in managing your own learning, but will provide guidance and support from trainers at the ITT Centre and in our partner schools.

Your Secondary Training Year

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The Star Teachers programme kicks off with an intensive, centrally delivered, two week introduction to core aspects of the school curriculum: features of effective learning and teaching; how children learn and how teachers facilitate learning; behaviour management; pupil assessment; planning effective learning for all children, including those with special needs (SEND); English as an additional language (EAL); and planning differentiated learning that meets all young learners’ needs.

During this time, there will be a focus on developing the trainee group, sharing and disseminating practice together, collaboration and teamwork in learning, planning and teaching. You will undertake audits of your skills, experience and knowledge in relation to the course requirements and the Teachers’ Standards. These will be used to build a personalised learning plan that you will update and maintain throughout your programme.

Our secondary programme is structured to offer training across the 11-16 age range, with teaching experience in each of the age ranges 11-14 and 14-16.

In recognition of the fact that certain teaching approaches must be secured before a teacher can bring about good or better pupil progress as a result of the lessons they deliver, we adopt a graduated approach to ensure the systematic development of our trainees.

In Term 1 you will begin to develop the foundations of teaching practice, relating educational theory to classroom practice. The placement will enable you to build your teaching from small group teaching and 1:1 pupil support, through to co-teaching with a teacher and solo teaching of groups.  As your skills develop, you will take on increasing responsibility for the classroom planning, teaching and assessment and progress to full class teaching.

In Term 2 you will be placed in a contrasting school.  You will be expected to build upon the basics from your first term and start to develop a deeper understanding of effective pedagogical practice.

In Term 3 you will return to your placement A school, which you were working in during Term 1.  During this phase you will master a repertoire of teaching practices that ensure outstanding learning and practice.  This placement will enable you to see the progress that pupils make throughout the year and the impact you have had in securing positive outcomes for young people.

In Term 3 you will continue in the second placement. During this final phase you will master an extended repertoire of teaching practices that ensure outstanding learning and progress. The extended placement will enable you to see the progress pupils make throughout the two terms and the impact you have had in securing positive outcomes for young people.

You will undertake a short placement in a Primary school setting (Ages 9-11, school years 5-6) and a second placement in a sixth form or college to gain Key Stage 5 experience (ages 16-19, school years 12-13). This experience will complement the sessions centred on transition and ensure you fully understand the expectations, curricula, strategies and teaching arrangements in the age group immediately before and after those you are trained to teach.

You will gain experience in a Special School to focus on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). This will build on learning already undertaken during the centre-based course and develop a keen appreciation of the needs of diverse children and how to support their learning.

You will gain experience of working with pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL) to further enhance your training.

Trainees will lead small-scale research projects throughout the year in the following areas:

  • Pupil progress
  • SEND
  • National priority areas, eg, behaviour for learning, mental health, etc
  • Subject specific pedagogy and subject knowledge development
  • Reading research

The projects provide opportunities for critical reflection, scholarly activity and to develop an appreciation for research-informed practice.

The school-based programme is underpinned by a structured taught course which provides deep insight into the required subject knowledge and the appropriate pedagogy to inspire effective learning in children and young people and secure progress. The programme focusses on:

  • Pedagogy and progression
  • Curriculum, assessment and progression
  • Subject development
  • Personal development, behaviour, and welfare, including anti-bullying and Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)
  • Behaviour for learning
  • Literacy and numeracy across the curriculum
  • Safeguarding, including the Prevent, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) duty
  • Special educational needs and disabilities
  • Character development, including Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC), PSHE and British Values
  • Reflection and self-development

Throughout the first and second term, the programme will provide the underpinning for training foci and activities in the timetabled opportunities provided in school.

The programme will also include additional inputs from the Manchester Metropolitan University to support trainees who have elected to work towards a Postgraduate Certificate award in Education.

During each half term, trainees will be expected to undertake independent study to supplement the taught programme.

Throughout the programme, you will benefit from a wrap-around team who will provide personalised guidance support and mentoring to secure your success.

In order to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you will need to demonstrate that you can fully meet each of the Teachers’ Standards by the end of the course.

The training programme will operate within a coaching culture where you will maintain a personalised professional development plan and agreed coaching plan to support you throughout the course.  This will be designed to meet your needs as a trainee teacher and will focus on what you need to do to become an outstanding teacher and reach the required standards.

You will take an active part in assessing and promoting your own professional development and you will be supported in this by weekly reviews with your subject specialist and personal tutors at the Centre and with your Subject Coaches in your school. You will be continually assessed through lesson observations and your progress will be formally reviewed at 6 points during the year.

Our assessment and support tools include:

Application Interview

Your first assessment will occur at interview.  Feedback from the process will identify the immediate areas of development in subject knowledge, experience or skills.  A preparatory Reading List will be provided alongside any suggestions for further experience prior to commencement of the course.

Record of Professional Development

During the Induction programme, you will audit your subject and curriculum knowledge.  These audits, reviewed by our team, will identify your development needs and form the beginning of your Record of Professional Development (RPD).  Using the RPD, you will plan and track your progress towards demonstration of the Teachers’ Standards for the award of QTS.

Formal Lesson Observations

You will be formally observed each week by your Subject Coach.  These observations and feedback will form the basis of weekly review discussions.

Work Sampling

Half-termly reviews will focus on work sampling with a view to reviewing marking, homework and their impact on pupil progress.

Personal Development Plan

A Personal Development Plan, updated in line with weekly review meetings, will record agreed targets, actions and support needs.

Planning Documentation

You will be required to keep detailed planning notes for your lessons, supported by half term plans of overall directions and learning outcomes for their pupils, individually and in groups.

Written Assignments

If you wish to gain a PGCert, you will be required to complete additional written assignments linking your day-to-day teaching experience to educational theory.

In this final week, you will continue to analyse and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and begin planning your development as an NQT. You will have opportunities to meet with NQTs and RQTs and learn about the continued development opportunities provided through the Star Institute.  An awards ceremony will mark the beginning of your first steps into the teaching profession.