Overview of the Astra SCITT

What is the SCITT route into teaching? (http://tinyurl.com/k2wblyv):

  • A SCITT (School-Centred Initial Teacher Training) is a network of schools, with a lead school that has gained accreditation from the DfE to deliver and award Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The training course lasts from September to June and combines school-based classroom practice with theoretical learning.

  • Training is led by experienced practicing teachers and school leaders, as well as tutors and external speakers / coaches

  • Teaching practice takes place in two or more schools, with a main placement and a shorter second placement in a contrasting phase or school

  • Assessment is through classroom observations, weekly reflections, e-portfolios, reports and written assignments

  • A PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) is an optional qualification which can be obtained in addition to QTS.  Its award comes with 60 Masters credits through a Higher Education Institute (which can be later converted into a full Masters) and involves five days face-to-face learning at university, plus assignments.

What makes the Astra SCITT unique?

Astra is one of only 87 national Teaching School Hubs, accredited by the DfE to offer support within and beyond the training year. 

Please look at our prospectus to find out more about the Astra SCITT.

Collaboration; Excellence; Innovation; Support

Led by Dr Challoner's Grammar School in Amersham, we are proud of our collaboration with a wide range of over 50 partner schools in the secondary (11-16 yrs) and primary phases, across both grammar and non-selective schools, including Pupil Referral Units and a Special School.  Such a wide network of schools also makes employment within the alliance more likely after the training year.  In addition to Dr Challoner's, we have another two 'Lead Hub' schools, Astra Aylesbury Hub (based at Aylesbury High School), and Astra Marlow Hub (based at Sir William Borlase's Grammar School), who lead ITT recruitment in the Aylesbury, and Marlow, areas respectively. 

We will also endeavour to place applicants at the training schools of their choice for first and second placements, and ensure they feel 'part of the team' before they start. 

Excellence is a fundamental feature of all of our programmes and operation, both core QTS and subject / phase specific.  The quality of our mentoring, training and assessment is outstanding,  and  our current partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London, also demonstrates our commitment to excellence for the PGCE part of the course, if trainees wish to pursue it.    

Innovation comes from a forward-thinking approach, both inside the classroom and across our training partners.  Each Astra trainee will be trained on our on-line systems which will be used for reporting, monitoring and assessment throughout the course.  Our weekly core QTS training programme is framed around the government's Core Content Framework, with final assessment against the Teachers' Standard, and includes a focus on how to effectively use technology in the classroom.

Finally, we are committed to supporting you every step of the way, even before your training starts, because we understand that training can be challenging as well as exciting.  Our dedicated SCITT leadership, management and administrative team is there to assist you with any aspect of your course, including the application process via DfE Apply.  We recognise that each trainee is different, and therefore offer bespoke support, as required

Safeguarding is at the forefront of all our selection processes, decision-making and on-going training.