Week A

The wide range of training opportunities is… used very effectively to enable teachers to develop their skills. Teachers are very positive about the quality of the training and support they receive.

Ofsted, May 2015


Are you a graduate who is considering a career in teaching?

No matter how long ago you graduated there is an opportunity to apply and learn new skills in a teaching career. Come and have a chat with us at Highdown. Our dedicated Professional Tutor and Initial Teacher Training team will support and guide you through the decision-making process as you make those initial steps into the teaching profession. We can help with applications, providing observation experiences and unpicking what makes great learning and teaching  to give you that head start. 

Information about all the possible routes into teaching can be found here.


Book a visit to Highdown

Every year we welcome over 40 potential new members of the teaching profession to undertake up to two days observation and participation in the Highdown community, working with staff and students and gaining a valuable insight into the profession.

If you are considering a position on one of the many routes into teaching and would like to visit Highdown, please do not hesitate to contact the main school office to discuss further (office@highdown.reading.sch.uk).

Routes into teaching include school direct or university PGCE courses. For more general information about getting into teaching, please visit the DfE Get into Teaching website.


Core PGCE 

We work with a wide number of ITT providers and would be happy to answer any questions relating to our partnership with them, the provision, and direct you to the appropriate contact(s) and information events. We have a broad and successful alumni who would be happy to support with further insight about the nature of the qualification.


School Direct PGCE

Highdown School and Sixth Form Centre has been an associate partner school with the Wokingham Federation for School Direct places for a number of years. Places are available in the following subject areas: English, Mathematics, Science, Modern Foreign Languages, Design and Technology, History, Geography, Art, Religious Studies and Physical Education. Use this link to obtain the latest places available http://wokinghamfederation.co.uk/school-direct/.

We have much experience of initial teacher training and work closely with Reading University and other University providers such as Oxford, London Institute of Education, Portsmouth, and Brighton. We are committed to working with and supporting new teachers.

How to apply:

1. What should you do?

2. What happens next?

For further information or to arrange a visit please contact Dr Andy Love, Professional Tutor, via the main school office: office@highdown.reading.sch.uk


Apprenticeship Teacher QTS (with optional PGCE)

We work in partnership with TES to support this route into teaching. Contact us if you would like more information about this pathway. Successful applicants gain a dedicated mentor and is a salaried role.


Assessment-only routes to QTS

If you already have at least two years' experience as an unqualified teacher working in an education setting you may not have to complete any further training, instead, you may be eligible for the assessment-only route into QTS. This route can take up to 12 weeks. We run this in conjunction with University of Reading and have a wide variety of colleagues who have been successful in gaining QTS through this route. Please contact us if you would like furthe information.


Initial Teacher Training Support Programme at Highdown School

ITTs at Highdown School will benefit from a dedicated support programme, including the following:

  • Two hour weekly Professional Studies sessions led by 30+ members of Highdown Teaching Staff
  • Weekly meeting with subject mentor
  • 33-50% teaching commitment as the course progresses
  • 33-50% planning and preparation time
  • Access to designated ITT facilities in the Professional Learning Hub
  • Part of a large cohort of ITTs enabling further peer support and development
  • Link to full staff Joint Professional Learning programmes on Tuesday 3.30-4.30pm
  • Weekly TeachMeet on Wednesday morning 8.30am
  • Dedicated Professional and Assistant Professional Tutors
  • Access to Highdown Sport and Leisure (Gym, Pool and Leisure facilities) 
  • Access to wide range of supportive resources, including Tom Sherrington's Walk Thrus

In the early stages of my profession; I can't ask for a more supportive environment than Highdown School.

Music NQT, March 2019