Programme structure

Expert training, ongoing support and lots of teaching. Designed to get the best out of you, this is how your two-years on our Training Programme will look.

Our Training Programme is a two-year commitment encompassing intensive training, classroom teaching, as well as ongoing mentoring and support.

Starting your training

Before you start in the classroom in September, you’ll attend our Summer Institute. This is an intensive five-week immersion into the theory and practice of teaching. Developed in partnership with the UK’s leading teacher training universities, it’ll give you the skills and knowledge you need to enter the classroom and find your feet as a teacher.

During our Summer Institute you’ll take part in a variety of sessions, events and activities. The majority of your training will be delivered by Teach First and our university partners, and will focus on curriculum knowledge, education theory and practice, and classroom management. 

You’ll also spend time in schools working with pupils, teachers and members of the local community to develop an understanding of local context. This will include observing teaching and developing professional relationships with your school mentor and university tutors.

You’ll spend the first four weeks of our Summer Institute in the local area where you'll be teaching. In week five you’ll come together in one location with all our other new trainees. Last year it ran from Sunday 23 June 2019 to Saturday 27 July 2019.

Heading into the classroom

You’ll start at your school as an unqualified teacher. Your progress will be continually monitored and you’ll be supported by your school, regional training provider and Teach First.

During your training, you’ll gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), a qualification which means you can return as a teacher at any time, wherever your career may take you after the programme.

In your second year you’ll teach as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT), and will continue to receive structured support. This includes mentoring and training, and events where you’ll come together with fellow trainees. At these you’ll share experiences, reflect on your development and examine ways you can accelerate your contribution and create lasting social change.

As part of the Training Programme, you’ll also gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE), an advanced and highly transferrable qualification in education and leadership.

The structure is slightly different based on whether you’ll be teaching early years, primary or secondary. Below is an overview of the programme, although this could change.

Early years or primary – first year of the programme

  • Early years trainees will be the main class teacher of a nursery or reception class. Primary trainees will be the main class teacher in either Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2.
  • Go to twelve training days (at least five in term one) further developing your subject and teaching knowledge. Nine of these require time out of school (including two Fridays), plus three additional Saturdays.
  • At the start you’ll teach a 60% timetable, increasing up to 80% once you’re more established (usually after the first half term).
  • Be supported by in-school mentors, university tutors, and a dedicated staff member from Teach First.
  • Earn your QTS at the end of the first year.
Key requirements for early years
  • Widen your experience by spending 20 days teaching in Key Stage 1, usually in the same school.
  • Spend a five-day placement with children aged 0-3 to increase your understanding of early child development.
Key requirements for primary
  • Spend at least 20 days teaching in an alternative key stage or school, within the 5-11 age range.

Early years or primary – second year of the programme

  • Continue working towards your PGDE and have access to a variety of development opportunities.
  • Go to five training days and eight evening sessions, further developing your subject and teaching knowledge. Two of these require time out of school, plus three additional Saturdays.
  • Early years trainees spend their second five-day placement with children aged 0-3 to increase their understanding of early child development.
  • As a NQT the number of lessons you teach will increase.
  • Continue to be supported by in-school mentors and Teach First.
  • Complete your PGDE at the end of the second year

Secondary – first year of the programme

  • Go to nine training days, further developing your subject and teaching knowledge. Six of these require time out of school (including two Fridays), with three additional Saturdays.
  • Start teaching a 60% timetable, increasing up to 80% once you are more established (usually after the first half term);
  • Most of your teaching will be in your QTS subject.
  • Spend five days widening your knowledge in a contrasting secondary school.
  • Spend one day in a primary school to increase your understanding of teaching younger pupils. 
  • Be supported by in-school mentors, university tutors and Teach First.
  • Earn your QTS at the end of your first year.

Secondary – second year of the programme

  • Attend five training days and eight evening sessions, further developing your subject and teaching theory knowledge. Two of these require time out of school, plus three additional Saturdays
  • As an NQT the number of lessons you teach will increase.
  • Continue to be supported by in-school mentors and Teach First.
  • Complete your PGDE at the end of your second year.
     
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