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 in two consecutive key stages, choosing to train either in Early Years and Key Stage 1 (ages 4-7) or Key Stages 1 and 2 (ages 5-11), but the qualification remains the same: 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 7 week second placement in February and March. In addition, you will have up to 10 days having personalised training at ‘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.
Tommy Flowers SCITT trainees receive a free Windows 10 tablet to support them with their studies.
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.
You will see your Partnership Manager 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 that makes a difference to pupils’ progress. 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, Maths and Science GCSEs/O levels or equivalent qualifications at grade C/4 or above.
QTS Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy. These can be taken after your interview. Once you have registered with UCAS, you should book your skills tests on the Department for Education’s website.
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.
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.
Progress standards file
This is a bundle of evidence showing your understanding of which pupils are making progress and why, It includes examples of your marking, feedback and data to show their development and a reflective commentary.
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 8-10 children
- A 5 minute presentation (the topic will be shared in advance)
- An unseen written task
- 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.