Our ambitious ITT curriculum is built around seven core, and closely integrated, strands:
The spine of our training programme is delivered through weekly training sessions, which are run by a range of senior leaders within our Trust. By organising our curriculum into seven strands, trainees benefit from the expertise of high profile and highly qualified specialists overseeing these strands: our Head of Inclusion, for example, is a SEND advisor at the EEF.
These sessions are delivered through a hybrid model of online (remote) and onsite (face-to-face) training sessions. Some of these face-to-face sessions will be based in regional hubs in Hertfordshire and London.
Subject specific sessions are taught by expert subject leads, who largely write the curriculum that trainees are teaching. This provides a great forum for trainees to collaborate in small peer groups and receive immediate feedback on their upcoming lessons.
The course is delivered through weekly training during the academic year, from September to July. Trainees are also required to attend a two-week summer induction, usually held in July, before the start of the training year. The aim of the induction is to introduce trainees to foundational concepts that they will return to throughout their training and to initiate them in their main placement school.
Trainees are based in their placement school for the vast majority of the week in order to spend time co-planning with and observing expert teachers.
For the entire duration of the course with us trainees will:
- Train at one main host school for the majority of the course, supplemented by shorter placements to include a 6-week contrasting placement and a cross-phase placement, selected from our excellent network of schools.
- Receive weekly training from expert practitioners to include the trainee’s subject and professional studies sessions.
- Take guidance from carefully selected subject specialist mentors and expert practitioners who are trained in identifying specific, actionable feedback that will develop and move a trainee’s teaching practice forward.
We believe the most effective way to experience all aspects of school life is to be based in a school environment, where the trainee will be overseen by a subject specialist mentor, equipped with a detailed understanding of the trainee’s developmental needs. Through a rich school-centred approach, supplemented by practical, knowledge-rich subject and pedagogical training each week, trainees will be able to immerse themselves in observing expertly modelled classroom practice and reflect on the knowledge they have acquired before applying this into their own teaching practice.
Trainees will be assigned a school-based Subject Mentor whose role is to support the trainee in developing excellent classroom practice, subject knowledge and ultimately help the trainee to meet the Teachers’ Standards. All mentors are highly qualified and equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to support their trainee throughout the training year. The Mentor will meet the trainee once a week to set and review targets that stem from our carefully sequenced ITT curriculum. As a minimum, a mentor will formally observe the trainee teach once a week and provide informative written feedback. In addition to this, the trainee will be given formal written feedback at two key assessment points in December and June.
Placements are vital in providing trainees with the broadest range of experience to help prepare them in becoming outstanding teachers. Whilst trainees will spend the majority of their training in their own main placement school, we place value on providing a range of supplementary placements during the training year, designed to diversify and tailor the training experience against the trainee’s own individual development needs. These shorter, more focused placements include:
- a 6-week second placement during the Spring (second) term which will offer a contrasting experience within our network of excellent schools.
- a pre-age or post-age phase placement within a primary (for secondary trainees), or a secondary (for primary trainees) setting, in order to benefit from understanding curriculum progression across the phases.
A pioneering teaching curriculum and subject expert leaders
Future Academies has undertaken a pioneering initiative to develop a knowledge-rich approach to curriculum design, initially inspired by the impact on attainment of E.D. Hirsch's Core Knowledge Curriculum. Our curriculum has attracted national attention: Future Academies’ sponsors, which founded The Curriculum Centre, were part of DfE’s Curriculum Fund support schools with their curricula and its associated teacher-centred pedagogy. Several members of the team that led the development of our curriculum have served as advisors to the Department for Education on the reform of the National Curriculum, the review of the Teachers’ Standards and the Early Years Educator criteria.
Our trainees benefit from the Curriculum Centre through access to exemplar curricula resources and subject curriculum support. Not only do our trainees get access to these resources so they are only adapting resources, not planning from scratch, they also receive direct training from these experts during most weeks of their training.
Ongoing wellbeing support and developing tools for monitoring wellbeing are an essential part of our ITT programme. As part of our ‘wider responsibilities’, our trainees will receive expert input from current practitioners and external experts on ways of developing resilience and accessing ongoing wellbeing support.
This training includes the completion of the Place2Be mental health foundation course, providing trainees with tools to support their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of our students. In addition to the ongoing support available, we regularly monitor trainee wellbeing through surveys, school visits, and mentor discussions. Should trainees need further support, all our trainees are subscribed to the Education Support Partnership, providing a 24/7 service of professional support.
In addition, our approachable and supportive team have completed mental health first aid training.
Managing trainee workload is a key priority for our team. Future teacher training is committed to maintaining a manageable workload within its training year, as well as ensuring all trainees can develop fully in preparation for their first year as an Early Career Teacher (ECT).
We provide trainees with tools to review their time investment in any task against the impact they are having. We prioritise efficiency gains in three key areas of curriculum planning, marking and feedback, and trainee assessment. An example of this is ensuring that trainees are provided with exemplar curricula resources, designed by experts, instead of being left to plan from scratch.
We also work closely with our partnership schools to support trainees in developing good habits around workload management and to challenge practice against the impact that they are having.
PGCE (Level 7) training sessions
All of our training programmes offer the PGCE qualification alongside gaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is a 60-credit postgraduate qualification, studied at a Master’s Level 7 standard. Explicit delivery of the PGCE modules includes a series of subject seminars throughout the year, led by our PGCE provider, University of Sussex.
This also provides a good opportunity for our trainees to meet with trainees from other providers to improve subject knowledge.