Student Taster Online

A Teach First Taster programme participant.

Discover the thrill of teaching and supercharge your CV in just two days. For undergraduates and students with deferred offers. 

  • Get ahead in selection for our Training Programme
  • Experience what it’s like to teach
  • Receive tailored, one-to-one feedback
  • Gain skills that’ll help your CV stand out
  • Talk with teachers about their experience in the classroom
Duration
Two days
Join from anywhere in the world (participating in a GMT schedule)
Applications now closed for December start
Apply by midnight, 13 December for January start

Get teaching experience while exploring career options - it could be the ticket to your first job.

Benefits

Get ahead in selection for our Training Programme

Not only will you gain skills that’ll mark you out for selection for our Training Programme, you’ll be on a fast track towards it. You may also have the chance to fast track for Teach First opportunities whilst still at university.

Experience teaching

You’ll learn some top tips on teaching before trying your hand at it. With help from our experts, you’ll plan your own mini lesson and teach it to a small group of your peers.

Gain skills that’ll stand out

Communication, presentation, leadership - these are just some of the skills you’ll hone during this course. Not only are they needed for teaching, employers everywhere are desperate for them. What’s more, they’ll prepare you for future Teach First experiences.

Boost your CV in just two days

Nothing makes you stand out from the graduate crowd like proving yourself with a Times Top 100 graduate employer (that’s us). In just two days you’ll transform your CV and learn more about career opportunities and the path to becoming a teacher.

Find out about being in the classroom from Teach First ambassadors

Have any questions about being in the classroom? Our ambassadors are on hand to let you know the ins and outs of being in the classroom and how they found the Training Programme. They’ll also be able to talk about the incredible impact they’re having working in schools from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Why apply for Student Taster Online?

I hadn’t thought about becoming a teacher because I wasn’t sure how to engage students - but after the Taster, I think I could be one.
Ailsa Quinn,
University of Warwick
Participant on our Student Taster

Impact

Let’s make education fairer

Too many young people aren’t fulfilling their potential at school. We should, and can, do better.

Pupils from poor backgrounds are less likely to succeed in the classroom and less likely to go on to university or well paid jobs. The cycle continues from generation to generation, widening social inequality. It’s a cycle we’re determined to help break.

The stats are sobering

  • Pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are more than 18 months behind when they leave secondary school
  • 28.5% of pupils eligible for free school meals achieved five good GCSEs including English or Welsh and maths in 2017, compared to 60.8% of those who aren’t
  • The poorest pupils are half as likely to go to university as their wealthier peers.

Unlocking potential

Our challenge is to build an education system in which all young people thrive, regardless of their background. Schools in low income areas are already doing a brilliant job in tough circumstances, but with our support they can do even more to overcome the barriers they face.

There’s no quick fix. We work with schools for the long term, developing inspiring teachers and effective leaders, and connecting them to networks of support. We started in 2003 and some impressive strides have already been made:

  • We’ve placed more than 10,000 teachers in low income areas positively impacting over 1 million children.
  • Pupils in our partner schools improve their GCSE results by one grade overall.
  • Within two years of partnering with us underperforming school departments improve GCSE results from 9% lower than others in the same school to 16% higher, on average.
  • Our teachers are over seven times more likely to progress to senior leadership positions early in their career than those from other courses.
  • 63% of our former trainees who are still teaching work in schools in low-income areas

Behind every stat are thousands of lives

It’s easy to get lost in the numbers. They’re important and one way we can measure success. But teachers work with people. Every positive statistic represents young lives changed for the better. That’s where the real satisfaction is, giving pupils the chance to fulfil their potential.

Shaeera's story

One of my highlights on the Taster has been thinking of solutions to problems in education...it’s amazing how many different ideas you can come up with.
Grainne Martin-Wells,
University of Edinburgh
Two primary pupils sitting at a table

Course

You’ll take part in a packed two-day online event, building skills and then putting them into practice.

When are the next Taster Experiences held?

We fill up the earlier dates first, so keep this in mind when applying

Monday 14 – Tuesday 15 December
Thursday 7 – Friday 8 January
Monday 29 – Tuesday 30 March
Thursday 15 – Friday 16 April
Thursday 29 – Friday 30 June

Day one in a nutshell

You’ll start thinking like a teacher with the help of our experts but what exactly will you be doing:

  • A personal development session to reflect on your own skills with support from our selection team.
  • Work in small groups to debate current issues in education and come up with solutions.
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of educational inequality and how we’re working to end the problem.
  • Find out what makes a great lesson and begin planning your very own mini-lesson, fully supported by experts from Teach First.
  • Learn about Teach First opportunities from the ambassadors who’ve already gone through them. This is your chance to find out what being on the Training Programme is really like.

You’ll have lots of opportunities to work in small groups throughout the day and get to know everyone on the programme. If you’d like to spend time with everyone more socially, we’ll be hosting a quiz at the end of the day too.

Day two in a nutshell

You’ll take on our teaching challenge. Flex your teaching muscles in front of your peers, using everything you learnt on day one. You’ll get individual, actionable feedback from your peers and a Teach First facilitator on your lesson.

There’s more to the day than the Teaching Challenge:

  • A personal development session to reflect on the skills you’ve built over the two days.
  • Support planning your next career steps.
  • Learn about career opportunities with Teach First and our business and charity partners.  

What students say about Taster Online

young pupil writing
taster participant sitting with a young pupil

Eligibility

Who can apply?

If you’re an undergraduate student or a student with a deferred offer to university, you could be eligible.

You need to be in your first, second or penultimate year of studying an undergraduate degree. Before applying, be sure to check the eligibility for our STEM Online Experience – if you’re eligible for our STEM experience, then you won’t be eligible for Taster.

You can also apply if you’ve accepted an offer to study at university (starting your degree in September 2021), but you’re currently taking a gap year.

The nitty-gritty on eligibility

Whether you’re an undergraduate or a gap year student we ask that you have the following to apply:

  • A grade C or above in GCSE English and Maths.
  • Your degree or A-Levels meet our Training Programme curriculum requirements.
  • Be currently studying an undergraduate degree OR have accepted a deferred offer to start university in 2021. You'll have to show proof of your deferral if you get a place on the course.
  • If you're currently studying an undergraduate degree, you must either be in your first, second or penultimate year of study. If you’re in your penultimate year, make sure you’re not eligible for our STEM Online Experience – if you are, you won’t be eligible for Taster.
  • If you are in your first year of study, to be eligible we look for 120 UCAS points (new tariff) or 300 UCAS points (old tariff). However, if you have 96 UCAS points (new tariff) or 240 UCAS points (old tariff) we’ll accept your application form but expect your answers to be exceptionally strong.
  • If you are in your second year of study or above you need to be predicted a 2.1 degree or above (2.2 degrees will also be considered).

What if you have non-UK qualifications?

You can still apply to Student Taster Online experience – but if you apply to another one of our programmes you will be asked to show evidence of your qualifications and a right to work in the UK.

Who we're looking for

Our aim is to find people with the potential to be great teachers. That doesn’t mean we need you to be the finished product, but you do need to have the basic qualities needed to get there, and ideally a passion for teaching and an interest in taking part in our Training Programme.

When we assess your application we’ll be looking for these key teaching competencies:

  • humility, respect and empathy
  • interacting with others
  • understanding and motivation
  • leadership
  • planning and organising
  • problem solving
  • resilience
  • self reflection

You may not have all of them just yet. But if we think you’ve got what it takes to develop them on Student Taster Online and our Training Programme, we’ll give you the chance to.

Participant on our Student Taster
Group of people talking

Apply

There are two parts to your online application:

  • A written section for your details and the specifics of what you’re studying. There’ll also be questions that give you a chance to display the competencies that we think make a great teacher.
  • A three-minute video you’ll need to film of yourself, answering questions that further explore the competencies.

Our tips for a great application:

For the written section:

  • Go slowly and read each question carefully. Some are divided into more than one section, make sure you answer all of them.
  • Take breaks. There’s no need to do it in one go. 
  • Do your research. There’s lots of useful information about us and our mission on our website.
  • Structure your answers to competency questions using the CAR framework:

Context: what was the situation and what needed to change?

Action: what did you do and why? Write in the first person (eg 'I did') and be clear about how you demonstrated the competencies.

Result: what positive outcome was achieved? If it was negative, what did you learn? If the result was measurable, show us the numbers.

  • Base your answers on real-life situations. Give as much detail as you can about what happened.
  • Check your spelling and grammar! Copy your answers into a Word document and use spellcheck, but don't rely on it. Always proofread thoroughly.

For the video:

  • Look directly at the camera, speak clearly and film yourself in a quiet place. We need to hear you. Using your phone or a webcam is fine – we’re not expecting a professional shoot!
  • We’re looking for the competencies we think make an amazing teacher, so  demonstrate them in what you say and how you say it. We love great communicators who are enthusiastic about Teach First.
  • Act natural. We want to see your true personality, so don’t script what you say too much.  

Think you're ready to get a taste of teaching? Sign up below:

Apply now

Have more questions?

For further help with your application, click below:

Ask us a question

Participant at a Teach First Student Taster
taster participants working together round a table
If there's one key skill I learnt at the Taster, it’s confidence. Confidence that my ideas are relevant and that I can actually have an impact.
Jeremy Porter,
University College London

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