Preparing for Teacher Training

There are several things that you can do to best prepare yourself for training to become a teacher.

Decide what to teach and get experience

It may seem obvious, but it is important that you decide which age group you want to teach before you apply. This can help you to focus and you can gain relevant experience to support your application. If you are undecided between age groups (see below) then doing some voluntary work or going on a taster course will help you.

You can get experience in a variety of ways:

  • Contact a local school/college to ask if you can shadow a teacher
  • Observe teaching
  • Taster Courses
  • Voluntary work with young people
  • Learning mentors, voluntary groups. scouts/Sunday school/sports coaching
  • Youth work in vacations
  • Private tuition

Preparing for ITT Application and Interviews - IoE (PDF 501K, Downloads file)

Get your references together

In most cases we ask for two references in a teacher training application. Ensure that at least one of your references is someone in the education field, for example a head teacher or head of department in a school/college. The second reference should be from an employer. Find out more about referneces and referees.

Make your application stand out from the crowd

Our teacher training courses are generally very popular and competition for places is high. Therefore you need to make your application stand out from the crowd.

Look carefully at any entry criteria given for the course you wish to apply for. If it specifies a certain amount of days or weeks experience required make sure you give us this information in your Personal Statement. Likewise if the course requires you to have experience of different key stages, make sure you let us know what experience you have.

Your application form is your opportunity to prove to us that you are ideal teacher material. There’s no point in going to the effort of gaining valuable experience and not telling us about it; chances are other applicants will have done.

Other attributes that could help you stand out are:

  • Enthusiasm and passion for your subject as well as sound subject knowledge
  • Experience of and commitment to working with young people
  • Professional attributes including leadership roles and responsibilities
  • Some personal rationale for wanting to teach
  • Good standard of written English

Subject Preparation Courses

The Institute of Education run Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses for those wishing to teach in Secondary Education.

Pre-initial teacher training subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses are intensive programmes for graduates who need to develop a greater depth of subject understanding prior to training for qualified teacher status at Secondary level.

Programmes are aimed at graduates who have been offered a place on a Secondary Education Teacher training course, with experience of the subject to at least A-Level standard.

This could be through holding an A-level in the subject, having an element of it in your degree course and/or occupational experience of the subject.

Please see the Subject Knowledge Enhancement page for further details.


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