The main expectation of all trainees is that they become reflective practitioners. In short, they will take responsibility for their own professional development by providing evidence of reflection, evaluation and action planning. Your most important contact will be your school-based subject Mentor. S(he) will have regular meetings with you, help organise your school timetable, observe your lessons and provide feedback. Your Mentor will also discuss your progress, targets and help you link theory with practice. The Professional Tutor in each school maintains overall responsibility for trainees and will be involved in delivering the Professional Studies programme. Each subject has a Subject Leader who is usually a senior member of staff in a Swindon school. They are responsible for the subject training on Thursday afternoons and will assess your subject assignments. Subject Leaders are supported by Subject Consultants from the University of Bath or Swindon L.A. who are involved in moderating assignments and also in delivering some training sessions. The dates given below are given for illustration only. The course is under continual review and the final programme for next year has yet to be confirmed but you can assume that it is a 36-week course starting in early September and finishing (depending on school timetables) in early July.
Induction week - second week in September Central Training at St Joseph's Catholic College, Swindon.
Weeks 1-12 -Trainees in first placement schools progressing from observations and working with class teachers to taking responsibility for whole lessons or sequences of lessons. Final plans for the extended educational study need to be agreed by the end of this term. One day per week will be spent at St Joseph's Catholic College participating in the lectures, seminars and tutorials of the professional studies and subject specialist programmes.
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Weeks 15-21 - 8 weeks spent in a second placement school focusing on agreed targets identified by the teaching practice report at the end of the Autumn Term. To allow for continuity during this shorter placement there are no Central Training days.
Weeks 23-26 Return to first placement schools to follow an extended timetable and focus on agreed targets from a second teaching practice report. Professional Studies and subject tutorials will resume at St Joseph's Catholic College. During this term many trainees begin applying for their first teaching posts.
Weeks 27-36 Continue in first placement schools. Emphasis now on developing higher level teaching skills, personally planning, teaching and evaluating an extended sequence of lessons and collating evidence to demonstrate all standards have been met. The educational study needs to be completed and presented for assessment at this stage. The course would normally end in the first week of July but all trainees need to be aware that any time lost in teaching practice through illness etc. may need to be made up at the end of the course.
The Swindon SCITT course may lead to two awards.
(a) Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) This is a formal requirement for registration with the National College for Teaching and Leadership without which it is not possible to be employed as a teacher in the majority of schools. To be awarded QTS trainees must compile a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate that they have met all the national standards laid down by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.
These portfolios will be checked by Professional Tutors, Mentors and other verifiers. Trainees are encouraged to begin to build up such evidence from their first week into the course and progress is monitored at regular intervals. In addition to meeting these standards all trainees must pass skills tests in Literacy and Numeracy. These are taken on-line at designated centres. You can find out more by using the link to the National College for Teaching and Leadership website below.
(b) Professional Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) or
Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)
Please note that the above titles reflect national changes in the qualifications awarded to trainee teachers for courses beginning in September 2008 onwards.
The Professional Graduate Certificate of Education will be a qualification in which assignments will be written and assessed at Honours degree level (H Level)
The Postgraduate Certificate of Education will be a qualification in which assignments will be written and assessed at Masters level (M level).
Swindon SCITT will offer trainees the opportunity to gain a PGCE at either Honours or Masters level. Trainees wishing to opt for the Masters level PGCE for their final two assignments will need to demonstrate their ability to be successful at this standard to the satisfaction of course tutors.
These are assessed by written assignments which are moderated and graded by Subject Leaders and Professional Tutors. A subject based task (about 2000 words) is set at the start of the course. The longer subject assignment (about 5000 words) is submitted in the Summer Term. In addition an Educational Study (about 5000 words) is also submitted towards the end of the course.These studies must include collection and analysis of data, research of academic literature and reflection and evaluation. Educational studies are assessed by Professional Tutors but subject to moderation and review. A 'satisfactory' grade in both assignments is the minimum requirement for the award of PGCE.
The final subject-based assignment and the educational study of trainees opting for Masters level qualification will be assessed using higher level criteria than those opting for Honours level.
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