Applications for the John Taylor SCITT cohort of trainee teachers for 2023/24 opened this week and we were really pleased to receive a high number of quality applications on the very first day across a range of subjects and routes that we offer. As a provider of Initial Teacher Education since 2015 the John Taylor SCITT has now successfully trained over 200 teachers that are having a wonderful impact in their employing schools and for the students they teach.
Many of our former trainees have gone on to secure leadership positions in their employing schools and we are confident in our ability to expertly design our programme to ensure that trainees have a good experience whilst on the course but also with a resounding focus on setting strong foundations for them to build upon as the move throughout the early years of their careers. “Trainees are overwhelmingly positive about all aspects of their training. The programme prepares them well for their future careers” (Ofsted 2022)
Our course is designed so that all trainees are exposed to a range of contemporary educational issues and pedagogical considerations to directly benefit the learners they will teach through our Professional Studies sessions. The Professional Studies sessions are taught to the cohort as a whole and we see this as the Whole School Training where groups of trainees will consist of a mixture of our nine subject specific secondary routes. We believe it is important that trainees get the opportunity to learn together and question, with each other, how they can apply their learning to their emerging professional practice.
Our professional studies programme runs throughout the year on Friday mornings, and we utilise a range of expert practitioners from across our close partner schools to share their areas of expertise with the trainees. This includes a wide range of nationally recognised experts, headteachers and Multi-Academy Trust wide leads. All our facilitators care about developing trainees’ knowledge and understanding of their session material and offers support and guidance in abundance. This is summed up by our lead expert for Special Educational Needs who devotedly explains, “I am your SENDCO too” when meeting the trainees for the first time.
On a Friday afternoon the trainees on the secondary John Taylor SCITT programme break out into their subject groups for enhance subject pedagogy sessions led by their expert Subject Pedagogy Tutor (SPT), these are the Department Meetings of our provision. Within the subject pedagogy sessions, the SPT skilfully develops upon professional studies sessions through the lens of the subject expert to ensure the “ITE Curriculum prepare all trainee thoroughly in their subject” (Ofsted 2022) As our Subject Pedagogy sessions runs through the entirety of the academic year the trainees are exposed to over 80 hours of subject specific training as well as over 100 hours of professional studies sessions.
Our SPTs are a real strength of our provision. They are experts in their subject area, and many have or currently hold leadership responsibilities within their own employing schools. Just like any effective department lead they are often the first point of call for any emerging concerns both professionally and personally. Our trainees speak very highly of the subject pedagogy sessions and the SPTs themselves. As the leader of the secondary programme, I am proud of the excellent work the subject pedagogy tutors do to ensure, “the secondary-phase programme is consistently strong” (Ofsted 2022)
As I move into my tenth year of leading initial teacher education across multiple providers and an array of different routes into teaching, I am always so pleased to see the genuine and mutually respectful relationships develop between our trainee teachers at the John Taylor SCITT. We are blessed with a wonderful learning environment in the Training Centre of the John Taylor Teaching School Hub. There are dedicated training rooms for both the professional studies and subject pedagogy sessions but as a programme leader the lovely part of leading the fruition of the cohort is seeing the interaction in the Staff Room.
The Training Centre has a large break out space where trainees will congregate at the start of every training day and there is a genuine buzz of excitement and as I walk between the breakout space and the kitchen to make my first cup of tea of the morning it is delightful to hear the interaction between trainees as they share tales and stories from the week and offer each other support and guidance. I am led to believe that many trainees visit the “library” each week at the end of the training day too – although I am yet to join them!
The John Taylor SCITT believes in high quality teacher training, and we have long-standing relationships with our partner schools who share our vision to ensure that the best quality trainees are trained within the local area. We know our schools well, the children they serve and the challenges they face. Most of our trainees go on to find employment within our local area and continue to be the best ambassadors and advocates for our provision and the whole of the SCITT Central Team are equally as proud of them as they are to have been a John Taylor SCITT trainee.
If you are interested in training to teach then please do visit www.jtscitt.co.uk to find out more about our offer or you can sign up to one of our Teacher Training Information events here: nkd.in/eS3VGjcw . You can also read our latest Ofsted report here: 50180955 (ofsted.gov.uk)
Secondary Programme Leader – JT SCITT