Initial Teacher Training

Initial teacher training

Thinking of training as a teacher? This year, Heathfield School will work with more than 20 aspiring teachers, and previous feedback shows that it is great place to start your career.

Why teach?

Here are a few reasons which surface again and again. If you want enormous job satisfaction, or to work closely within a team of dedicated professionals and help shape the future of the next generation, then quite probably teaching is for you. Trainee teachers refer to their training year as an extraordinary journey where you push yourself, and are pushed - quite often close to your limit. But there is also tremendous support all the way. If you are passionate about your subject and love the idea of working alongside young people, look no further than teaching!

Why Heathfield?

Heathfield is a vibrant school, and its unique atmosphere is often commented on by visitors. The role of performance art, with the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre and The Space, is matched by the high attainment across the school. Our staff love to teach here, and our students love to learn. You will of course find some interesting young characters at the school but behaviour for learning, the teaching and learning are all outstanding and trainee teachers play an integral role in this success. They are treated as part of the staff (by both staff and students) from their first day, and benefit from the considerable expertise and long experience we have with Initial Teacher Training.

Apart from sustained academic success, and the aspirations that go with it, there is a real breadth of extra-curricular opportunities for students at lunchtime and after school which shape the experience of life at Heathfield. For example students can write for the school magazine Impact, play an instrument or join one of the many choirs or orchestras; they can get involved with STEM workshops, or drama and dance at the state of the art Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, or with countless sports teams, Ten Tors and Duke of Edinburgh; they can 'buddy' younger students, join the student council, work on the Cafe Paramo project, participate in international visits and exchanges - and many more! And staff from across the school, from training teachers to the Head, whether teaching or non-teaching, are involved closely with each of these.

Learning is much, much more than just what takes place within the classroom - and of course this is as true for staff as well as students. We strongly believe that the ethos and ambitions for both students and staff, and the support you receive, make Heathfield a great place to start your teaching career.

What support would I receive at Heathfield?

The first thing to say is that you aren't just thrown in at the deep end, in front of a class of 30 children!

Whatever training route you choose, you will spend most of the year in a classroom observing and then teaching. Depending on your ITT provider, you'll spend about 20-30% of your time at university. The year is carefully structured, starting off with focused classroom observations, then planning small episodes within a lesson with the teacher, building up carefully to teaching whole lessons.

Reflection is at the heart of teaching (and this is true for all teachers). You will have your own subject mentor at Heathfield and you'll also work closely with the member of staff with whole-school responsibility for ITT. You'll have weekly meetings with each (sometimes individually, sometimes in small groups with other trainees) where you reflect on the week and set targets, discuss pedagogy and so on. There will be opportunities to see a wide range of lessons in all subjects and there is a programme of after-school workshops for all trainees and newly qualified teachers, delivered by staff from across the school. In fact, these are also popular with other staff.

Most important though is that support is fitted around the trainees themselves. You are not left alone to struggle on your own. We are all 'learners', whether adult or child and we learn in different ways and at different speeds. There is an emphasis on collaborative planning of lessons, shared observations and reflection. By the end of the year, and often long before, trainees at Heathfield are self-confident, able to explore concepts and issues with their students creatively and enthusiastically.

Training routes

This year, around 15-20 training teachers will complete placements at Heathfield, including from Exeter University, the Mid Somerset Consortium and the Taunton Teaching alliance.

If you would like to know more about Initial Teacher Training at Heathfield, please don't hesitate to get in contact.

Jeremy Backhouse
Director of Professional Development
01823 414168

The following is taken from website, and may be useful :

As well as deciding which age group and subject you would like to teach, you can choose from various types of teacher training courses depending on your qualifications, experience, and where you want to train. Courses are available across the country, so you have plenty of options when it comes to the location of your training. Before you decide which route into teaching you want to take, you should find out about the common factors that apply across all teacher training courses

We can help you decide which course suits you best – register for personalised advice and support.

School-led training

If you want your training to be based at a school where you can be fully immersed in the life of a teacher from day one, a school-led training course is for you. You're selected by the school and are based there during your training.

Across the country there are school-led training options for both graduates and career changers who want hands-on training in a school.

University-led training

Universities and colleges offer teacher training courses for both graduates and undergraduates. Universities work with groups of schools to offer at least two school experience placements as part of your training.

If you want your teacher training to be based at a university, this is the option for you."

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