Specialism in Primary Mathematics,

                                      Science, Music and P.E.    


The Shire Foundation is pleased to be able to offer an opportunity for provider led trainees to undertake a specialism option in a range of subjects. On successful completion of this option the trainee will be awarded QTS with a specialism.  

The aim of the option is to develop trainee teachers who are able to enter primary schools with the following strengths in their chosen specialism area:

  • A strong and in-depth subject knowledge per se

  • An enhanced knowledge and understanding of the pedagogy of the subject across the 3 -11 age range, including the use of computing, creative practical resources, investigative work and the outdoor environment.

  • A strong teaching ability within the subject.

  • An understanding of what constitutes highly effective teaching and learning within the subject area, and aspire to this.

  • Skills which will enable them to be a future leader and champion of the subject within schools.

  • A well developed understanding of common misconceptions and barriers to learning within the subject, and an enhanced awareness of how to diagnose and then apply appropriate strategies to address these.



The objective of the in depth study is to enable the trainee to be able to in theory, lead the specific subject area after completing their training. For example trainees in previous years who have completed the specialism, upon appointment to their first school in their ECT year, have assisted either the subject leader or another responsible member of staff in their own role in their first year. Following that they have been in a position to take full responsibility for their specialism area and have in some instances, done so. There can be no doubt that trainees who have completed a specialism have this strength in their portfolio at interview following their Shire training year.

  • Trainees will keep a folder of experiences/development over the course of the training year. This folder will provide evidence that the trainee has completed specific tasks during the four specialist blocks. These tasks are linked to Teachers' Standards as appropriate.


  • An audit of subject knowledge and experience will be completed at the start of the training year and revisited at key points.


  • The Specialist will complete a total of nine days dedicated to their subject specialism – this will occur within the school setting.

  • The trainees are supported by online tutorials throughout the Specialism as well as face-to-face sessions at Shire.


  • There is also an opportunity in March to focus on the subject in a special needs setting, over a period of three days.


  • Within normal centre-based sessions the specialists will take a leading role (i.e. group leaders) and will be expected to share experiences. Specialists will also have the opportunity to team teach with the tutor in one specific Shire session usually with the emphasis on practical work.

  • As the year progresses the Specialist trainee will complete the tasks which can be submitted any time for assessment. At the end of each block the trainee's portfolio will be assessed with a view to supporting the trainee in their next block.

  • Expectations are clear in terms of coverage, clearly defined and embedded in the tasks to be completed.

  • Additional support will be provided by the subject co-ordinator within the supporting block school


  • On successful completion of the course.  They will be awarded QTS with the specialism.

Block 1: Up to three days experience in one of our training schools. The trainee will initially observe lessons, talk to fellow professionals and children and undertake learning walks in the school 


Block 2: Up to three days experience in another of our training schools. The trainee will add to their experience, and undertake some small group or team teaching with a colleague.

Block 3: Up to three days further experience in the third of our training schools, adding to their experience and teaching class science activities, working practically with children.