With changes to the ITE Core Content Framework and ITE Ofsted Inspection Framework from September 2020 the John Taylor SCITT central team across both primary and secondary routes set about re-designing our course.

We had two central ideas to the design of our curriculum. We wanted to move away from a reliance on the Teaching Standards and focus on how our own internal SCITT Assessment Framework can run throughout our course design and link to all areas of study over the course of the year. This is the warp of our programme.

The other central idea to our design was to ensure that the sequencing of our course was logical, progressive and would enhance trainee knowledge and understanding. The weft of our curriculum design.

Sessions are planned to link and recap to previous learning and connected through the strands of the SCITT Assessment Framework. In essence, we are modelling in our SCITT course the good pedagogical practice that we expect new and experienced teachers to implement in their curriculum design. Together the warp and weft of our programme design will construct an enhanced schema for our trainee teachers.

As a training provider working with many comprehensive schools in differing contexts across the East and West Midlands, we wanted to embed golden threads for students identified with SEND and those classified as disadvantaged within our course design. All of our training explicitly links to considerations and implications for SEND and disadvantaged students.

At the start of September, we welcomed our new cohort of primary and secondary trainees to the John Taylor SCITT at the National Forest Teaching School for their induction. Our induction programme is designed to create a concrete foundation on which to build over their subsequent weeks as they begin their school placements.

On their first day with the SCITT our trainees developed their knowledge and understanding of the educational landscape with expert input from John Taylor Multi-Academy Trust CEO and West Midlands Teaching Schools Council representative Mike Donoghue, an introduction to the required professionalism of being a teacher through the SCITT Assessment Framework: professional behaviours and their roles and responsibilities with regards to safeguarding in schools, e-safety and the Prevent strategy.

Over the remaining days of the induction period trainees were introduced to the other strands of our SCITT Assessment Framework: pedagogy, curriculum, behaviour and assessment with explicit links to learning theories, cognitive science and stages of child development.

Our professional study sessions acknowledge trainees as adult learners and our sessions utilise evidence-informed research to support the knowledge and understanding of new and potentially quite abstract concepts for those embarking on their first steps into the teaching career. At the John Taylor SCITT we are pleased to have strong connections with the Staffordshire Research School (https://researchschool.org.uk/staffordshire/) and are confident in saying that our trainees, within four days of starting their teaching careers, are developing a sound awareness of teaching in an evidence-informed profession and are developing as critically reflective practitioners.

The final session of our induction week was designed to seamlessly maximise their first two weeks in school placements by exploring strategies to enhance their learning from lesson observations and pupil trails. Our SCITT is led by expert practitioners. As all good educators do, we are confident in our approach to lead by example, even if that means dissecting a very cringey, 10-year-old video of their course leader teaching in the first term of their ITT year!

The John Taylor SCITT will be welcoming applications to train to teach next academic year from October 2020, Visit www.nationalforestteachingschool.co.uk for more information.

Mike Simmons is Deputy Director of the National Forest Teaching School and Secondary Programme Lead for the John Taylor SCITT.

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