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Highdown School
and Sixth Form Centre

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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]


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.

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.


School Direct or University Led

Highdown School and Sixth Form Centre is currently a partner school with Reading School for School Direct places for the 2015/16 cohort, working with 15 training teachers in the following subject areas: English, Mathematics, Science, Modern Foreign Languages, Design and Technology, History, Religious Studies, Physical Education and Business Studies.

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


How to Apply:

What should you do?

  • Check availability of School Direct places through UCAS, Reading School or University of Reading.

  • Register with the teacher information line (0800 389 2500) or visit the DfE Get into Teaching website.

  • Check if you are eligible for a scholarship at the Get into Teaching website.

  • Submit your application through UCAS.

  • You have to pass a professional skills tests in numeracy and literacy before you begin your teacher training. Book your test with Learn Direct Ltd.

    What happens next?

    For further information or to arrange a visit please contact Dr Andy Love, Professional Tutor, via the main school office:

    Information meetings at Reading University:

    The University of Reading hosts monthly information meetings to explain School Direct and other routes into initial teacher training. Although not an application requirement, we do recommend that all those wishing to apply for initial teacher training attend one of these open meetings where there is an opportunity to find out:

  • General information about training to become a teacher

  • Information about the School Direct scheme

  • Structure of courses

  • Entry requirements, deadlines and how to apply

    Throughout the presentation, there are opportunities to ask any questions you may have.

    Information Meetings start at 4.00pm and the formal part of each meeting finishes by 5.30pm. There are then further opportunities to ask questions of a more individual nature.

    All Information Meetings are held the London Road campus of the University of Reading, 4 Redlands Road, Reading RG1 5EX (RG1 5AQ for Sat Nav). Please do not enter the room before 3.45pm as there may be other classes taking place. If you arrive early, you can visit the cafe 'Eat and Drink'. Regrettably, parking on the campus is normally for permit holders only.

    If you wish to attend a meeting on one of the dates below, please e-mail to book your place stating your preferred date.  If you have any specific requirements with respect to a special need please advise us in your e-mail.

    The details are on the Reading University website.

    You may also wish to find out more about Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses for teaching outside your area of specialism from the Get Into Teaching website.

    Initial Teaching 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

  • Weekly meeting with subject mentor

  • 33-50% teaching commitment as the course progresses

  • 50-33% planning and preparation time

  • Access to designated ITT facilities

  • Part of a large cohort of ITTs enabling further peer support and development

  • Link to full staff Joint Professional Development programmes

  • Dedicated Professional and Assistant Professional Tutors


In the early stages of my profession; I can't ask for a more supportive environment than Highdown School.  [Music NQT, March 2019]