Head of Religious Studies
School Telephone: +44 (0)191 375 3297
Training Provider: University of Sunderland
Key stages trainees can teach: 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5
Subjects trainees can teach: Senior school subjects have included history, modern languages, PE, ICT, religious studies, classics, biology and physics.
Our trainees have applied direct to the University of Sunderland without having to go through the UCAS portal with its attendant problems after the school has interviewed them and considered them appropriate. The school has taken the initiative in selecting the trainees we want and this has been followed by an interview in the university. The university has covered topics like pedagogy, behaviour management, styles of learning, and subject specific topics. There is an excellent working relationship between myself and the university. I am on the strategic management group at the university, and thus play a part in the development of the programme. The original GTP qualification has now gone through the School Direct transformation, but now (for independent schools) it is an "Independent Schools GTP" which is offered.
The school has provided a weekly tutorial with a subject mentor as well as two per week with the generic mentor. At least one lesson observation per week is done by the school, and university observations have been done every couple of months. An interim assessment is done in February, followed by a final assessment in May. At both of these the school does the assessment and this is moderated by the university.
I have been working with the University of Sunderland for about 10 years, and many of our current staff (including our Pastoral Deputy Head) have trained through the GTP scheme with the University of Sunderland. We have had both primary and secondary trainees, and in the senior school subjects have included history, modern languages, PE, ICT, religious studies, classics, biology and physics.
Trainees have spent one day per week at the university (for seven weeks in each of the first two terms) and four days per week in school. During the course of the year they have to spend at least twenty days in contrasting schools, and we have sent them out on the Mondays when they have not been at the university. This has enabled us to combine meeting the requirements of the training programme as well as meeting the demands of our timetable. Trainees complete the same assignments as do those on the PGCE qualification, but they can opt whether or not to take the two Masters level assignments (there is an additional charge for taking these, but it means that the qualification is recognised outside the country, including in Scotland).