Out of our 2020 trainees…


felt well prepared for their first teaching job


would recommend this programme to others


felt that the programme had met their expectations


were employed within West Berkshire Schools

We aim to provide a programme which has at its heart 3 main objectives.

It is a programme which is:

  • Highly professional

Every part of the programme is aimed at preparing you to be the best teacher possible. Immersion into the life of the teacher and daily exposure to outstanding practice and teachers ensures you have the best possible opportunity. We are looking for trainees who display the potential to become outstanding teachers of the future.

  • Of consistent high quality

Central leadership of the programme, efficient communication between our members and guaranteed placements within our partnership schools ensure a high degree of consistency of provision through quality mentoring, and coaching and professional development.

  • Personal to you

Accurate assessments allow us to provide a differentiated training programme that not only builds on your previous experiences but also supports your specific needs and areas of development. Thoughtful and professional support and training ensure you receive relevant and timely professional development and classroom strategies. That means you won’t be teaching classes unsupported until you are ready

  • Training across three schools enables you to learn as much as possible and see and range of techniques.

  • Trainee

What makes us different?

  • This is an exciting opportunity to train to teach with a highly successful group of schools that make up our school direct partnership, located in the beautiful county of West Berkshire but close to Oxford, Reading, Winchester and London.
  • A wide spectrum of high achieving schools ensure a good range of opportunities including a secondary or primary placement  for all trainees.
  • The secondary in-school training is organised jointly by The Downs School, Compton, RG20 6AD; St Bartholomew’s School, Newbury, RG14 6JP, Kennet School, Thatcham, RG19 4LL and Park House School RG14 6NQ. The primary in-school training is organised jointly by the primary schools within our partnership.The Downs School is the school direct lead school; it has been judged outstanding in all areas by Ofsted.
  • Our course leads to both QTS and PGCE – professional qualifications are awarded by Oxford Brookes University so you get the best of both worlds – high quality school led training linked to a renowned higher education institution. In addition, our programme is flexible – you have a choice. If you feel the PGCE / QTS route is not for you, you can opt to take just QTS.
  • Our training programme is just the first step on your teaching career. There is a complete programme of training for your career development offered in West Berkshire from Early Career Teacher (ECT) to becoming a member of a Senior Leadership team, if you have the right skills.
  • School-led courses have very high rates of employment and, above all, of trainee satisfaction.

Further Information

You should apply for a school experience place at St Bartholomew’s School or The Downs School through the DFE school experience portal.

Some of our partner schools don’t run school experience days – you should contact them directly to see if they can accommodate a visit or contact us using the form below and we will pass on your query.

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