For many of our applicants, the thought of becoming a teacher and the prospective journey ahead is often a mix of emotions; feeling daunted, feeling excited, feeling nervous, feeling passionate about wanting to make a difference. At OTT SCITT, we truly believe that teaching is the most rewarding profession in the world and we are proud to have designed an innovative programme that supports our Associate Teachers (ATs) to develop the skills and confidence to fulfil their ambition of teaching. Our Associate Teachers benefit from an incredibly well thought out programme, a carefully sequenced integrated curriculum and team of passionate professionals supporting and guiding them along the way.
The beginning of the Associate Teacher journey starts with our fantastic induction in the summer. The induction consists of three in person training days in July as well as a series of online learning modules to be completed over the summer prior to starting the course. Of the three in person training days, two take place in the ATs’ chosen hub. ATs have the opportunity to meet members of the SCITT team, meet their peers as well as begin learning through our curriculum sessions. We explore key programme information, safeguarding, subject knowledge and emotional intelligence amongst many other things. In addition to the two hub days, ATs get to spend one day in their first placement school where they get a chance to meet their Mentor and other school-based colleagues ahead of September. This is an opportunity for ATs to ask questions and familiarise themselves with their placement school. The 5 online modules which then get completed over the summer further equip ATs with the confidence and knowledge they need as they embark on the course. These modules include how to observe lessons, how to use the programme handbook, how to use the evidence portfolio etc. The induction week has been meticulously crafted to ensure Associate Teachers get their training journey off to the very best start possible.
In September, Associate Teachers start the school year in their first placement school. This is a unique feature of our programme and enables our Associate Teachers to fully integrate in their placement school by starting at the same time as all other colleagues. They benefit from attending INSET days, get a chance to welcome the pupils back to school and crucially have the privileged opportunity to observe first-hand how expert colleagues set their classes up for success in September. Teaching does not start immediately; Associate Teachers initially spend the first couple of weeks observing, reflecting and getting to know their schools, colleagues and pupils. They attend curriculum sessions in their chosen hub which focus on creating a positive learning environment as well as thinking about presence and voice. When the teaching begins, it builds up very slowly and Associate Teachers feel ready and well prepared by this point.
Our programme’s delivery has been conscientiously divided into three developmental phases to support the Associate Teacher’s journey from novice to expert. Our curriculum and subject sessions throughout the year are a combination of online and in person training. These offer a huge amount of flexibility and ATs benefit from this hybrid approach. The sessions are always interactive and very rarely lecture based. ATs are introduced to key research and literature and have the opportunity to contextualise their learning continuously through discussions with their mentor, subject specialists, and peers. Discussions and expectations will always be in line with the developmental phase that the Associate Teacher is currently in. Excitingly, OTT SCITT was one of the first providers nationally to trial the use of digital approximations in teacher education and so Associate Teachers who train with us, also get the opportunity to learn through the use of digital approximations. This pioneering approach to teacher training coupled with the years of experience in the sector that we offer, make our training truly exceptional.
The support offered to our Associate Teachers throughout their journey is second to none. Given we are a School Centred Initial Teacher Training provider (SCITT), most colleagues working on the programme are still practising teachers and are therefore well placed to offer support, guidance and reassurance to our Associate Teachers. Our partnership mentors are all outstanding teachers of their phase or subject who have benefitted from superb mentor training. Together, we support our ATs throughout the phases of the programme right to the end to the biggest milestone of all: recommendation for QTS and graduation!
SCITT Deputy Director