School experience

The OAKS ensures that you are well trained to teach in the 11–16 age band (Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4) of secondary schools and academies. However, we will also ensure that you have some post-16 experience too.

During the programme, you will be allocated two secondary placements, preferably offering a different type of training experience. You may well be placed in contrasting schools – an inner city or urban setting followed by a rural based school or vice versa, for example, or one school may have a sixth form and another may be 11–16.

We have over 70 secondary schools, based in Cheshire, Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham and the Black Country, Norfolk, Shropshire and Suffolk. One of them will be perfect for you!

The OAKS offers a diverse and exciting range of experiences which should enable you to gain valuable experiences to take to your first job.

We feel strongly that to become an expert practitioner in the age group you have selected, you must have a secure knowledge of the type of learning that takes place in the child’s previous phase. With this in mind, we also have an initial placement in a partnership primary school where you can experience the teaching of phonics, literacy, and numeracy.

In addition, you will gain an understanding of how your own subject specialism begins and what transition and progression arrangements may be put in place.

At The OAKS you will also gain other vital school or education-related experiences. You may:

  • visit a pupil referral unit (PRU)
  • spend time in a special school for SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)
  • have a MAPP (multi-agency placements) entitlement, eg. welfare officers, etc.
  • explore EAL (English as an additional language) in multi-cultural partnership schools
  • undertake an overnight residential, the aims of which are:
    • to consider the logistics of running out-of-school trips and residential fieldwork activities, and their planning implications
    • to assess the potential of out-of-school work, associated with related work in school for all curricular courses
    • to welcome you, and for you to get to know your peers in an external setting
  • take part in an outdoor educational trip, with a focus around behaviour management and wellbeing

The OAKS offers a very diverse and exciting range of experiences which should enable you to gain valuable experiences to take to your first ECT placement school, i.e. your first job! We will keep in touch through this year and offer even more continuing support.

Work experience

You can also apply for work experience in one of our schools. Visit the UK government’s Get school experience website for further information about this.