St Polycarp's Catholic Primary School

St Polycarp's Catholic Primary School St Polycarp’s Catholic Primary School

FAQs

Can I speak to someone who has recently completed this course?

See our Success Stories where we have recent trainees who give their thoughts and honest opinions on our course. 

What is the basic structure of the course and what hours are involved? How long will I be in school for each day?

The programme is integrated to give you time in school and time learning from expert professionals with an opportunity to implement this into your own classroom practice immediately. See the sample timetable in the e-Brochure which outlines the days in school and university. Whilst in school, you will discuss your own school’s expectations and class teacher mentor’s working routines. We advise that to get the most out of this course and to enable as much time with your mentor as possible, you bring your attendance in line with these expectations.

What books do you recommend I read to get ahead?

Once you’ve been accepted onto the course you’ll be sent a reading list, however in the meantime we recommend the following:

Principles of Instruction by Rosenshine

How to be an Outstanding Primary Teacher by David Dunn

About our Schools by Tom Brighouse and Mick Waters

Spin: Time and Task Management in Teaching by David Gumbrell

How will I be supported in class/school?

You will receive day to day practical support from your mentor, who will provide you with daily informal feedback and guide you to improve your classroom practice. As a lead school, the team at St Polycarp’s will regularly communicate with you through bulletins, so you know what to expect and observe you in class to support with the feedback process. Reading University will also provide you with a personal tutor (to discuss any pastoral needs and questions about the course) and support tutor (who regularly observes you and provides feedback in relation to your classroom practice).

What is the expectation in terms of teaching within the first term?

You will not be expected to teach anything that you have not been able to observe in practice. We recognise that everyone has a different starting point on the course and have the flexibility to be able to personalise your timetable to suit your individual needs. By the end of the first term all trainee teachers should be aiming to teach 40% of the timetable.

Can I earn while I’m training?

As a teacher training provider, we are able to offer salaried positions to those candidates who apply with a pre-existing relationship with a school, committed to supporting them financially.  You will not find our salaried route on the DfE Apply site but we are able to offer this. Please contact us at traintoteach@stpolycarps.surrey.sch.uk to discuss.

Do I have to go into one of the partnership schools listed on the website or can I choose one of my own?

The partnership schools listed on our website are those that we have a strong existing relationship with, who we know have experienced mentors in place to help you. However, we regularly work with new schools who trainees have a preference or prior relationship with. In these circumstances, we will visit these schools, train mentors as appropriate and ensure all expectations are clear prior to the start of the course in September.

I have no experience of teaching. Can I still apply?

There is no requirement for you to have any experience of teaching before you apply for teacher training. We would encourage you to spend some time in school before the September start, and we arrange this for you if you wish.

How can I enhance my application?

The best applications for teaching that we receive are those who demonstrate a real commitment to teaching and demonstrate consideration of the kind of teacher they aspire to be. Having many different experiences which relate to learning will support you with your interview answers.

If I can’t meet all the requirements, can I still apply?

Yes. All offers are conditional as requirements such as DBS need to be in place by September, therefore candidates who do not fully meet the requirements at the point of application, have until September to comply.

Candidates who have not met the GCSE requirements can undertake an equivalence test through Reading University by clicking HERE

Are you a SCITT?

No. SCITTs are based exclusively in school, rather than University. St Polycarp’s offers the best of both worlds, where the trainee is based in school for the entirety of their training, but part of their training will be delivered by subject specialists at Reading University, and the other part by outstanding practitioners in school.

How many placements will I have?

Across the year you will have the opportunity to have 4 different placements across the minimum of two schools. This provides a breadth of teaching opportunities across a full range of year groups. We also offer SEND placements, days in KS3, EYFS and other specialist environments.

What can I expect at interview?

We welcome candidates to an interview at St Polycarp’s School where our aim is to understand your reasons for pursuing a career in teaching. As children are central to our values as a school, candidates are asked to undertake a small teaching task of their choice with a group of six children. There is also a short written task, but candidates are not required to sit any additional skills tests.