The Tommy Flowers SCITT Primary QTS and PGCE course devotes the majority of training time to school experiences. In our primary partnership schools, you will learn from outstanding practitioners, including your personal mentor. All primary trainees teach across the 5-11 age range with experiences in different year groups from EYFS to Year 6 and receive two qualifications: Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).
Trainees have two contrasting placements, a main placement from 1st September to 30th June, with a 6/7 week second placement in January and February. In addition, you will visit ‘specialist’ schools, developing skills specific to your needs. This enables you to experience a range of educational approaches and opportunities to work with the unique, dynamic and diverse communities Milton Keynes has to offer.
From day 1, you will be regarded as a teacher in your school. However, your teaching timetable will develop and grow to suit your own experience, pace and progress. Typically, trainees observe across their primary schools for the first two weeks, before starting to take parts of lessons, team teaching with their mentor and then whole lessons. By the end of the course, you will be the lead teacher for 80% of the timetable.
Every Friday is dedicated to training. You will join your fellow trainees at St. Paul’s Catholic School for a broad programme of training that Ofsted (December 2017) described as ‘exemplary’. Led by experts in their fields from across the city, the training programme follows three strands:
These sessions develop your understanding of the most effective strategies for teaching all subjects taught at primary level, equipping you to teach across the full age range from Early Years to Year 6.
During these sessions, you will explore the skills of becoming an outstanding teacher, learn how to support children with English as an Additional Language (EAL) or Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) and develop your pedagogical knowledge.
The Post Graduate Certificate in Education is an academic qualification at Masters Level. Click on the PGCE tab for further information.
Structure and support
Training to become a teacher is exhilarating but also demanding. We believe that the wellbeing of trainees is paramount and so a wide range of support is available.
Your school mentor is the person you will see every day. They are an outstanding teacher who will act as a critical friend. The mentor will support you in planning lessons, will observe and provide feedback on your strengths, progress and next steps and will have a dedicated weekly mentor meeting to help you develop further.
The Professional Tutor (often the Deputy Headteacher), is responsible for teacher training within the school. They will support the School Mentor and yourself, ensure that you are getting a broad experience and a range of opportunities.
Partnership Manager and Link Tutor
You will see your Partnership Manager and Link Tutor weekly at training sessions. Their role is to organise and co-ordinate the whole programme but are also there to provide advice and support where required. The Partnership Manager will also observe you teach and moderate your assessments.
Tommy Flowers SCITT trainees often make friends for life through the course. At the weekly training sessions, plenty of opportunities are given for trainees to share, talk through ideas and work collaboratively.
In addition to providing Qualified Teacher Status, the Tommy Flowers SCITT also offers a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). This is a Masters level qualification that provides 60 credits towards the 180 credits required for the awarding of a full Masters degree. The PGCE is accredited by Northumbria University.
The PGCE sessions are taught and assessed through the submission of written assignments.
The first focuses on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and allows trainees to work collaboratively before individually writing 1,200 words about a particular area of SEND need. This is due at the end of October.
The second assignment explores trainee’s classroom practice and enables trainees to develop their understanding of the theory and pedagogy of behaviour management and behaviour for learning. This runs from November to January, culminating in a 4,500 word assignment.
Finally, the reflect practice assignment, running from January to May looks at researchers’ viewpoints regarding a topical area of educational debate. This also concludes with a 4,500 word written assignment.
All applicants must meet the following entry requirements before applying to the Tommy Flowers SCITT.
You must hold a bachelor’s degree with honours class 2.2 or above from a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI), or an equivalent qualification. The National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC) can provide advice on the equivalence of overseas qualifications.
English language, Maths and Science GCSEs/O levels or equivalent qualifications at grade C/4 or above.
Although not compulsory, it is beneficial for you to have some experience in a primary school. This than gives you a really good idea of what teaching in a school is like. This could be voluntary work or employment, for example as a Teaching Assistant. It is good practice for this to be in place before you apply for a place on the course.
Work experience (Salaried only)
Candidates applying for the School Direct (Salaried) route, should have gained a minimum of three years’ work experience. This may or may not have been within school settings.
Fundamental English and maths skills
Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers are expected to make an assessment of the English and maths knowledge of a trainee before Qualified Teacher Status is awarded. The following guidance demonstrates the fundamental skills required to be a teacher. The interview process assesses a candidates strengths in these areas. Once accepted onto one of our courses, it is the responsibility of trainees to fill any gaps before the end of their training year.
Speaking, Listening and Communicating:
- Identify key information and main points from discussion or presentations.
- Demonstrate effective listening skills and the ability to follow a line of thought.
- Use a range of questions appropriate to purpose and context.
- Communicate information and ideas clearly, adding appropriate detail.
- Speak with Standard English grammar and clear pronunciation, using vocabulary relevant to the situation.
- Manage discussions effectively.
- Extract key points and more specific information from texts.
- Recognise that different texts convey information, opinions and ideas in different ways
- Accurately comprehend meanings in texts.
- Use dictionaries, glossaries, internet searches and other reference materials in your own work.
- Know how to use organisational features of texts to rapidly locate and retrieve information.
- Be able to identify different points of view from reading material and distinguish fact from opinion.
- Demonstrate a range of sentence constructions and punctuation in written work.
- Use Standard English grammar in written work.
- Spell common and everyday words that a professional would be expected to know.
- Ensure written work conveys meaning clearly, coherently and effectively using appropriate detail and length.
- Use a range of organisational devices in written work, ensuring the text is coherent and cohesive
- Use legible and clear writing appropriate to the situation and audience.
Data and Graphs:
- Describe simple mathematical relationships between two variables.
- Analyse data in a table and draw conclusions from the information provided.
- Make sense of statistics and graphs in the news, in academic reports and relevant papers.
- Identify and interpret anomalies and outliers in data tables or on graphs.
- Calculate using whole and decimal numbers.
- Make changes to an existing mathematical formula to carry out calculations.
- Work out percentages of amounts, express one amount as a percentage of another and calculate percentage change.
- Order, approximate and compare decimals, fractions and percentages.
- Understand and calculate using ratios, direct proportion and inverse proportion.
- Carry out simple budgeting by calculating amounts of money, percentage increases, decreases and discounts.
Solve Mathematical Problems:
- Solve mathematical problems by breaking them down into a series of simpler steps and selecting appropriate operations.
- Make general estimates of calculations to be able to judge the reasonableness of an answer.
- Know how to use a variety of strategies when counting, measuring or estimating.
- Calculate using units of time.
The Tommy Flowers SCITT is an evidence based programme. You will have to demonstrate that you have met each of the Teachers’ Standards and will be assessed half-termly. Assessment components include:
This is a form of continuous assessment; over the year you will collect evidence from all areas of the course to demonstrate that you have met the Teachers’ Standards to achieve Qualified Teacher Status by the end of the course. This will include lesson plans, resources, observations and evaluations.
This is evidence of your learning over the year, including notes from training, subject knowledge development and evidence of meeting Part 2 of the Teachers’ Standards.
These are bundles of evidence showing you will collect half-termly to demonstrate your experience developing your skills in behaviour management, teaching phonics, planning sequenced lessons and assessing pupils.
The interview process
If called to one of our selection days, you will be sent full information via email. The selection days are an opportunity for us to get to know you but also for you to find out more about us and the course.
The selection day includes the following:
- A presentation from us to you about the course
- A tour of the school hosting the day
- A 20 minute task with a group of 8 children
- A 5 minute presentation (the topic will be shared in advance)
- Literacy tasks
- An interview
The selection process will usually last approximately half a day. Further information and resources for this will be sent out when you are offered an interview and we are always willing to answer any questions you may have before the selection day.