Shire offers suitable trainees the opportunity to study in depth one of two core primary curriculum subjects, Numeracy and Science. Trainees are invited to apply for inclusion on either course once they have successfully been accepted on the main course.
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 NQT 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.
Potential candidates will be asked to submit a letter of application (500- 1000 words) stating:
• Their experience of the subject both as a student themselves and within the primary school setting.
• Why they would like to follow the subject specialism option.
• What they feel they could offer within the subject area and the ways in which they will champion the subject.
• Their philosophy of the subject – Why it is important within the primary curriculum and the advantages of having specialists within the primary age range.
A pre-course task will be set within the subject area.
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 12 days dedicated to their subject specialism – this will occur within the school setting.
The inclusion week in March will also include an opportunity to focus on the subject and its link to the Specialist subject.
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 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.
The trainees are responsible for organising their studies within the blocks and to contact the schools and liaise with them. Science is generally taught in the afternoons so there will be an opportunity to complete their written work in the mornings of the blocks. Facilities for this will be available to them. Expectations are clear in terms of coverage, clearly defined and embedded in the tasks to be completed.
The Tutor will also observe them teaching the subject in one of the schools or at their base school once in each school term.
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 a maths/science specialism.
THE SPECIALIST BLOCKS
Block 1: The role of the subject leader - working with small groups of children - progression in numeracy EYFS to Year 6 - practical numeracy - classroom organisation.
Block 2: Effective teaching and the use of resources to enhance learning - differentiation - inclusion - practical numeracy - assessment - misconceptions and barriers to learning.
Block 3: SEN/D within the subject.
Block 4: Working practically with classes of children - team teaching and paired analysis.