Hillcrest School and Community College

Initial Teacher Training (ITT)

At The Link Academy we have long standing relationships with several HEIs in the West Midlands area; Newman College, Ninestiles School, Wolverhampton University and Worcester University. All departments in school have taken trainees from PGCE (including flexible PGCE), GTP and undergraduate courses, thus showing we are committed to the training of new teachers. Many of our staff are actively involved in this training through the provision of weekly training sessions and 'hot lessons'. All of our staff have also received training on mentoring and coaching, so they may support trainees in their subject areas. This is in addition to the training provided by the HEIs for the subject based mentors.

Once trainees have begun their teaching placements they are offered weekly training sessions, which are specifically aimed at those in the initial stages of their career. This training is provided in order to develop the trainees' professional attributes, knowledge and skills and includes sessions such as: effective planning, differentiation, inclusion, voice control, motivational tools and effective use of ICT. These sessions are compulsory during the trainees' time in school and they are delivered by our SLEs and experienced members of staff, including members of the Leadership team. Each department also offers what we call 'hot lessons' - these are lessons that are placed on the weekly staff bulletin and are examples of best practice. Trainees are encouraged to attend at least one 'hot lesson' per week so they can witness a range of lessons in a variety of subject areas. This is also another way we include our mainstream staff in the training that goes on.

Trainees have rated the provision made at The Link Academy highly. The evaluations that take place also allow us to adapt and improve the programme of support year on year, so that we take into consideration the trainees' opinions and needs.