Learn to Teach at SJCR
What is School Direct?
An innovative training route into teaching managed by the National College of Teaching and Leadership.
Sir John Cass as a Lead School recruits, selects and trains its own prospective teachers along with other schools within its partnership in Newham, Hackney, Camden, Islington, Lambeth and Essex, working with top Higher Education providers, University of East London and the Institute of Education Trainees will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in high quality placements with experienced and talented mentors. Many trainees are then recruited as NQTs at these schools.
Routes We Offer
- Trainees receive a salary and training grant, dependent on degree subject and classification as well as an enhancement for training at a school with a large percentage of free school meals.
- Candidates need to have had between one and 3 years paid employment depending on the nature of degree and experience.
- The salaried route leads to the QTS award, but can also include an additional PGCE qualification for interested applicants.
- Trainees pay tuition fees, but bursaries of up to £29,000 are available for some subjects and trainees can take out a loan through Student Finance Check with Teaching Agency.
Assessment Route Only
- For experienced unqualified overseas trained graduate teachers.
Both schemes lead to QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) and can lead to the award of a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education), with Masters credits.
SKE – Subject Knowledge Enhancement Courses
These are available in many subjects, particularly for candidates who completed their degrees some years ago!
Why Train to Teach at SJCR?
SJCR as a Lead School in Tower Hamlets recruits, selects and trains its own prospective teachers, working with its partner schools, Sarah Bonnell and St. Angela’s in Newham, Parliament Hill in Islington, Stoke Newington in Hackney, Lambeth Academy in Lambeth, St Paul’s Way in Tower Hamlets, Maria Fidelis in Camden, Highams Park in Waltham Forest and Davenant Foundation School in Essex and more recently Marion Richardson Primary School. We have long standing and highly successful partnerships with the University of East London, Institute of Education, University College London and Goldsmiths College.
Trainees will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in high quality placements with experienced and talented mentors
Proven Success of Teacher Education at SJCR
We have had many years of successfully training teachers to gain QTS through the former Graduate Teacher Programme and PGCE placements, overseas teacher training and assessment only route training. Over 50 of our current teaching staff gained QTS with us, and are still with us, many in senior positions. 80 current teachers also completed their Induction year as Newly Qualified Teachers and are likewise still with us, again with many in senior positions including Deputy Head. We have many well qualified and experienced subject mentors (often former trainees) and the school is committed to training and ‘growing our own staff’.
What will training at SJCR be like?
You will spend one day a week at University, developing your subject knowledge along with other trainees, but most of the time you will be developing your skills and knowledge at SJCR.
- 2 hours of Professional Studies training a week, led by our experienced Senior School Professional Tutor and 3 Assistant Professional Tutors, and specialist staff such as our Literacy, EAL, SEN and G&T co-ordinators covering topics such as lesson planning, marking and assessment, pastoral issues, classroom management and different teaching and learning strategies.
- Weekly meeting with an experienced subject mentor focusing on developing your subject knowledge and skills.
- Working alongside experienced teachers, observing lessons, discussing approaches and participating through supporting students, teaching starters or plenaries and then taking responsibility for whole lessons building up your timetable, teaching across the full 11-19 age and ability range during the course of the year. (30% timetable in term 1, 50% term 2, 80% term 3).
- Lesson observations and feedback on how to improve, from mentors and other experienced colleagues.
- Guidance on building up a Portfolio of Evidence to support the Teachers’ Standards.
- Development of knowledge, skills and understanding to become a reflective practitioner.
- Full involvement in the life of the department and school, attachment to a Tutor Group and opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities.
- 4 week placement 2 at the partner school.
- QTS qualification at the end of the year PGCE qualification for training places and possibly of PGCE qualification with credits towards a Masters qualification for suitably qualified salaried trainees (self-funded).
What sort of School is Sir John Cass Red Coat?
We were founded by the city businessman, Sir John Cass in 1710. Every year on the anniversary of his birth, students go to the City of London to take part in an historical ceremony held in his memory, and wear a red feather a symbol of the quill pen with which Sir John signed his will.
We are a Church of England School with a strong religious ethos, but also a neighbourhood school with a multi-faith intake.
We are a Specialist Language and Business Enterprise College and are rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. We are in the top 1% of highest achieving school in the country with excellent examination results at GCSE and A Level.
We have a Sixth Form College of over 600 students where the majority of Year 13 students progress to University, including Oxbridge.
We are the heart of the vibrant East End of London with excellent train, tube and bus links, and many varied social, cultural, retail and gastronomic facilities.
We have excellent facilities, including swimming pool, fitness gym, drama studio theatre, recording studio and the latest technology throughout the school and are committed to staff well-being.
Our partner schools are equally successful schools, and provide contrasting school experience.
Ofsted graded the school as outstanding in the most recent inspection, highlighting the “very effective help and guidance given to staff new to the profession.”
What did Ofsted say about the Initial Teacher Education Partnership between the University of East London and East London Schools?
- The experience of University tutors in helping develop trainees’ subject knowledge.
- The quality of mentors supporting trainees in schools.
- The rigorous selection arrangements which ensure high quality entrants to the profession.
- Trainees who want to listen, learn and continually improve their practice and become highly reflective NQTs who often then go on to become subject mentors themselves.
What do staff from UEL (our partnership university) say?
“I have worked with the Modern languages department since 2007. They have provided excellent training and support for my Modern Languages trainees throughout this time. The ML staff consistently model good practice for trainees in their language lessons. The quality of ML mentoring is excellent as is the support and CPD training programme from the PCM”
Erica Cattle, Senior Lecturer of ML UEL
“SJCR provides outstanding support for the professional learning and development of trainee teachers. They are a proven training ground of good practice, team-working, highly effective mentoring and clear partnership working with the university. They provide specialist mentoring support, and through a dedicated team of tutors and observers are highly effective in the impact they have on trainees teachers’ development and progress. A wide range of structures and learning opportunities support this. This partnership with the university creates informed, reflective, open and informed professional learning.”
Warren Kidd PFHEA, UEL Teaching Fellow
“Trainees on the Secondary D and T PGCE programme are supported fully by a team of dedicated and hardworking teachers ,who offer strong support and guidance as well as encouraging the indivdual subject strengths of the trainees to develop. Trainees always enjoy the experience within the D and T department which has an number of ex UEL trainees working within it.”
Kate Hufton FHEA, Senior Lecturer D and T, UEL
“Every so often one gets an opportunity to stop and think about a particular moment and how special that moment was. Very recently I was stopped by one of my ex-trainee teachers when rushing home to work who then went on to thank me for the work done in preparing her to become a teacher. This led to me thinking about my past trainees and what an exceptional school Sir John Cass is. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of working with Jane Barnes at her wonderful school, Sir John Cass Redcoat – with a particular focus on humanities/social science teaching. I want to thank the school for providing an exceptional pathway of training (and education) for these future teachers (many of whom I am still in touch with today – as they have moved from novice to experienced practitioner). Sir John Cass is a magical environment in which to blossom as a teacher and it has been a real joy to work with Jane. Thank you to Sir John Cass Redcoat School and to Jane for providing an inspirational environment – and for the incredibly supportive work you do for the teaching profession.”
Dr Gerry Czerniawski PFHEA, UEL
What are we looking for in our Trainees?
- Graduates with a ‘good’ honours degree, 2:1 or above who have also obtained Grade ‘C’ or above in English and Mathematics and the ability to pass the literacy and numeracy skills tests.
- One to three years paid work experience for salaried places, depending on subject and nature of paid experience.
- Enthusiasm, resilience, interpersonal skills, capacity for hard work and willingness to listen, learn reflect and work professionally with other colleagues.
- Some relevant school based experience to be gained before starting the course in September.
What do our Trainees Say?
What do most recent trainees think about their training at Sir John Cass?
Zubedha Hafiz – RE NQT (previously a Teaching Assistant)
Having spent a number of years as a teaching assistant, I soon realised that I wanted to be at the front of the classroom and not at the back. Approaching teaching through School Direct seemed the right way forward for me as I wanted to continue to learn by being in the classroom most of the time. SJCR offered me that opportunity and also gave me the support needed to ensure I can develop into a reflective practitioner. When I started this role I was extremely apprehensive and unsure whether I would be able to, but my university mentors encouraged me through every aspect and helped me to become the teacher I am today. To top it all off I was then offered a job at SJCR as an NQT!
Jubair Ahmed – Science NQT and Head of Physics
The level of support has been amazing from mentors and members of the department. The quality of the teachers here and feedback from previous trainees made the decision simple to choose Sir John Cass. The open and friendly environment is a great place to work and develop as a teacher with outstanding practices. I am very pleased to have been appointed as Head of Physics, as well as being a subject mentor.
Mohsin Yemani – Science Trainee
SJCR is my second home. I came here as a students and now I am back as a member of staff. The teacher training course is exceptional and unique from all angles. I consistently learn and receive support from outstanding teachers. Even though the training is challenging, the team made it feel like a walk in the park. I will be doing my NQT at St. Paul’s Way Trust. I would recommend SJCR because you will learn and have fun at the same time.
Martyn Cooper – English Trainee
Before learning to teach at Sir John Cass, I was and EFL teacher and examiner in Barcelona for six years. It was a logical transition to go into teaching and Sir John Cass has made this a wholly successful one. Led by the highly experienced and inspirational Professional Tutor, the training at Sir John Cass gives you everything you need to succeed in your training year.
Learning to teach has been enjoyable and relatively stress-free thanks to the supportive environment, lovely students and important sense of camaraderie amongst the trainees.
Although I would have gladly stayed at Sir John Cass, the staffing situation meant this was not meant to be; I will be taking my newly developed expertise to Holloway School in Islington. I will always look back fondly on Sir John Cass.
Nicholas Casey – History Trainee
I could not recommend SJCR teacher training more highly, more than matched my expectations! The format of the course is supportive with my professional studies session every week. In these sessions you can share best practice and be helped to master your teaching practice via reflection and discussions with peers at a similar stage of their careers. Within your departments you will have a specific subject mentor who can give you day to day guidance. Becoming a teacher isn’t easy but is hugely rewarding. At SJCR they are with you every step of the way. I am very pleased to be continuing at SJCR next year.
Laura Taylor-Burge – Maths Trainee
I was previously a Senior Data Analyst in Marketing and chose to change my career path and become and Mathematics teacher. I chose Sir John Cass as they are associated with UEL who offer the PGCE add on to Schools Direct Salaried Trainees. Being able to receive this extra qualification means I am able to work abroad in the future if I want to.
When visiting the school staff were warm and friendly, I had got a very good impression of the environment and the culture of the school and I was not going to be the only trainee, in fact there was a big team of us – a brilliant support network. Lots of trainee teachers meant we were able to support each other, share ideas, stories and tips.
Next year I will be teaching at Clapton Girls’ Academy.
I would definitely recommend the training programme at SJCR as it is well thought out and the school makes sure you have the support and time to develop your practice.
Cohort of 2014-15, NQTs of 2015-16
Thomas Glavina, Physics Teacher and Head of Year 8
“Previously an Operations Manager for a leading sports travel company, I worked on the supporter tours for the recent British Lions Rugby tour to Australia.
I had visited a number of schools made available to me through the UCAS application system and SJCR was by far the most professional and welcoming day that I experienced. SJCR School is an interesting and vibrant area of the city to work in (plus very close to Brick Lane for curry evenings!)
SJCR is a very focused academic school, where student’s, parents and teachers are all motivated to succeed. I find the attention given to each students progression to be rewarding, as well as the clear sense of community that the school generates. From a training perspective, it has been very fulfilling to slip into an environment where outstanding quality teaching is happening all around you. It has been exhausting, but rewarding year.
I am delighted to say that I will be taking up a permanent position in the Physics department at SJCR. I aim to go as far as I can through the school management, the variety of options is one of the great things about a teaching career.
The main thing about SJCR is how much respect is given to the Schools Direct/ PGCE trainees and how much support they are afforded by all colleagues. There is a universal ‘buy-in’ from all staff to the principles of school-based training, as so many of the teachers here are ex trainees from this school. Being part of a community of trainees means that there is always a multitute of people in the same boat as you, experiencing the same highs, the same lows and always able to lend an ear for advice.”
Rimina Yasmin, Psychology Teacher
“Training as a Psychology Teacher at SJCR has been an invaluable experience. I have been able to develop my skills as a teacher whilst learning on the job. The support and encouragement I have received from the Social Sciences Department, the School Professional Tutors and my University Mentor have been excellent, I have now completed my NQT year at this fantastic school.
I would, without doubt, recommend SJCR to anybody looking to train to be an outstanding teacher.”
Mazada Begum, Geography Teacher and Head of Year 7
“I have just completed my NQT year as a Geography teacher at SJCR, and my previous positions were as an Academic Tutor and then Trainee Teacher at SJCR.
After graduating from King’s College London, I decided I wanted to gain some experience in working in a school before deciding to do my teacher training. I was lucky to get a job as a Geography Academic Tutor at SJCR, and did this for two years before getting onto the School’s Direct training course. This job confirmed that I wanted to pursue a career in teaching. I knew I wanted to do my training at SJCR because there is a very strong support network. The learners in the school are eager and enthusiatic to learn and their behaviour is impeccable.
The training and support provided by the school is excellent, you are well looked after by your mentor who is able to provide you with subject specialist knowledge and tips, and the schools staff are friendly and have many tips and advice to offer, helping you to become a reflective practitioner.
I was fortunate to be offered a job at SJCR as an NQT, so will be here for another year still!
I would highly recommend training at SJCR, as you will have the opportunity to develop subject knowledge and teaching skills in a high setting with experienced and talented mentors and members of staff. You will also be fully involved in the life of the department and school and will have several opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities.”
Pippa Testar, History and Law Teacher
“I came to teaching after 5 years as a barrister and was slightly daunted by such a big career change. I chose to train at Sir John Cass because the application and interview process was so supportive and I was right to predict that the whole training experience would be the same. I would highly recommend training through the School Direct Programme as I don’t think there’s any better way to learn than by actually being in the classroom.”
Sophie Lording, English Teacher and Head of Media Studies
“I was previously a producer at BBC and Hay Festival, and currently I am also a trustee for the Tuberous Sclerosis Assosiation.
I selected SJCR School based on its exceptional training record. The biggest strength of the SJCR programme is the support on offer through subject mentors, fellow trainees and Jane Barnes. I have completed my NQT year, and going forward I hope to become a lead practitioner.
I would recommend training to be an English teacher at SJCR. The importance they have placed on my professional development and the external training opportunities available have been invaluable.”
Rubina Begum, Chemistry Teacher
“As a former student, I decided to do my PGCE placement at SJCR School. I was privileged to teach alongside some of the teachers who once taught me. This transformed me as a person and enabled me to pick up outstanding practice. I was provided with immense support by my mentor and my PCM (Professional Co-ordinating Mentor) which was very essential to my professional development. I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement at the school and completing my NQT year. My relationship with the school is like that of a magnet and an iron nail.”
Mariam Anjum – Mathematics Teacher
“I started working at SJCR as a Mathematics Academic Tutor, and felt myself becoming a part of a strong community of educators and making a noticable difference to students. With the encouragement and support of my managers, I found myself applying for Teacher Training at SJCR.
I felt privileged to be accepted on to the Training Programme in such an organised and supportive institute. The year flew by and I felt the development of my skills as a teacher as well as my personality. The school has been encouraging at every step and it is difficult to complete the year without firm confidence in yourself as a person and a professional. I am delighted to stay on at SJCR to complete my NQT year under the supervision and support of Mrs Barnes. The school have been encouraging in every aspect and you find yourself consistently aspiring to achieve your best. Observing outstanding teachers who have trained at SJCR is inspiring and it feels great to be a part of this experience community.
SJCR offers opportunities and a stable support system, which is essential when growing within a tough profession. I am very excited about continuing my development next year and hope to see many new faces joining us!”
Annabelle Huang, Business Teacher and BTEC Co-ordinator
“I had been working in Marketing/PR, Sales and Product Management sectors before I became involved in teaching Business Studies. I started SJCR School as an Academic Tutor; this led me into thinking about pursuing teaching as a career. I chose to stay at SJCR for my teacher training because the support that the school provides for trainee teachers is incredible. It is a very good training school with a very systematic way to help trainee teacher progress and reach our potential. I was very happy to be able to stay at SJCR for my NQT next year, and I am looking forward to it. I would willingly recommend SJCR to anyone who is interested in training to become a teacher.”
What do some of the staff who have trained at Sir John Cass Redcoat in the past think about their training and the school?
Saeed Deen (Maths Teacher) and Khalida Deen (Second in charge of ICT)
“We have been at SJCR for almost fourteen years, and were really fortunate to have such an amazing beginning to our careers. We were given valuable feedback to help us develop into confident teachers and our mentor was always approachable, supportive and willing to help. There is a great family atmosphere amongst staff and students. We were so impressed with the teaching and learning as well as the values and respect for all faiths promoted at SJCR that we decided to have our own children educated at the school.”
Mohammed Abu Naser – Mathematics Teacher (Former student, now a teacher, student mentor and KS3 Math Co-ordinator)
“Sir John Cass is a friendly, sociable environment where people at all levels work together; so you will never feel alone. I did my teacher training at SJC and am currently doing my NQT in Mathematics. The training I received was very encouraging and supportive.”
Oliver Marshall – Social Sciences Teacher and Assistant Professional Tutor
“I completed my placement at Sir John Cass while I was training to be a Sociology teacher. I am now currently employed full time at the school. In terms of teacher training, Cass provided me with fantastic support, guidance and also enough freedom for me to develop my own teaching style. By way of example, the NQT support programme has kept me up to date with recent political and academic developments. The sixth form as a whole, fosters hard work and continued professional development. I continue to enjoy my time working at Cass, and am now an Assistant Professional Tutor, helpin to train others to become teachers.”
Mohammed Jahidur Rahman – Head of Economics
Trained 2013-2014. NQT 2014-2015
“My dream of becoming a teacher was one that I knew would be challenging, but a journey that I always wanted to make. Studying at SJCR has really made that experience enjoyable, educational and with all the support and facilities in place, the transition from trainee to teacher was almost seamless. I started off with an aspiration and dream to become an outstanding teacher and practitioner, and at SJCR this has been made a reality. It really is a one of a kind school!”
David Corbishley – English Teacher, Subject Mentor and Key Stage 5 Co-ordinator (former student of the school) Trained 2012-13, Newly Qualified Teacher 2013-14
“John Cass has provided an excellent environment in which to train. The staff are welcoming and supportive and the facilities are excellent. Not to mention, the strength in depth of the English department; members of which have always been available for advice and support. I am now an English subject mentor, helping to train others to become teachers.”
What do some of the 2015-16 cohort think about their training?
Name: Chris James
Occupation etc before applying to School Direct:
Prior to training to teach I worked in the charity and international development sector. For 7 years I worked on programmes that sent volunteers to Africa and Asia, which took me to lots of amazing places around the world. After doing a Masters, I spent a couple of years working on some great programmes that supported disabled children in East Africa, before finally spending 2 years in developing and management programmes that supported homeless young people in London.
For a career changer the fear of training to teach in a London school is huge – you hear horror stories! But the fact that SJCR took the time and effort to find out about me, show me round the school, explain what support I would get, showed me that it would be a supportive, yet challenging environment to train in.
What have I gained? Why recommend SJCR?
School Direct provides you with the opportunity to learn quickly and in the classroom, which for me is imperative. The more time you spend in the classroom the better and all the support and guidance is always there, but freedom is given to you early on. Because of this, I have gained all the skills, knowledge and confidence to continually improve as a teacher.
Name: George Shoesmith
Subject: Science (Biology)
Occupation / training /study before applying to School Direct:EAL teacher
Why did you choose SJCR for your training?
I chose SJCR because of the excellent reputation it has for training and also for the flexibility they provide in terms of helping you cope with the workload at your own pace which led to very individualised development. Also, having a salary meant that teacher training was a much more viable option than it would have otherwise been.
What have you gained from the training, why would you recommend SJCR to new potential applicants?
The support provided is second to none, with some really excellent mentors who assist you every step
of the way. I would recommend SJCR to anyone who wished to develop themselves and become the best teacher that they can.
Towhid Hamid – English Teacher
“Training at Sir John Cass has been a very fruitful experience. The English department is very well-resourced, welcoming and collaborative which has aided me in my professional development. I have thoroughly enjoyed teacher training sessions where I have developed myself as a teacher and received immense support. I really have felt valued here in the school and I’ve had the privilege of being trained by and working alongside a band of really passionate and creative teachers! I am sure that their talents really contribute to the reputation of the school as well as having influenced a lot of the good practice that I have adopted as an English teacher. I would highly recommend training at Sir John Cass as the school has the ability to nurture outstanding teaching.”
Pinkie Ojha – Mathematics Teacher
I was looking for a school with a solid reputation managed by experienced and supportive teachers and professional tutors that could turn me into a confident and competent teacher. Sir John Cass Red Coat is a school which offers excellence in secondary teaching. SJCR’s aim is to deliver exceptional educational experience for their students, but are clear about the specific needs, challenges and issues facing their pupils. It allowed me to come back to education and re-live my freams of teaching. I really appreciate the fantastic support from all of the staff and more importantly thier inspiration and motivation especially from Jane (senior professional tutor) and Abu (my departmental tutor).
How do I Apply?
- Select Sir John Cass as a Lead School
- Contact Jane Barnes, Senior School Professional Tutor on 020 7791 4965 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to organise a preliminary visit or discussion or email email@example.com. We welcome and encourage visits to the school prior to applications or interviews, to ensure that the potential applicants have a good feel for the school and can make informed decisions on training here. It is a great opportunity to meet departments, observe a few lessons, see the school day in action and talk to forner trainees.
- Please ensure that your referees are aware you are using them and try to chase them to ensure that your application goes through UCAS as soon as possible. The school does NOT receive any applications unless BOTH completed reference have been received.
The selection process will include the following:
~ A tour of the school
~ Time with the relevant departments
~ Time to prepare a lesson
~ Observation of a lesson taught to a group of students
~ Written tasks
~ Marking students work
~ Formal interview with Head of Department, School Professional Tutor and Head Teacher
~ Successful completion of skills tests
~ Formal interview with university of East London staff
For more information, any help or to arrange a visit, please contact Mrs Jane Barnes, Senior School Professional Tutor or one of the team (Oliver Marshall, James Davis or Khalida Deen) on 020 7791 4965 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Apply through School Direct, selecting Sir John Cass Foundation and Red Coat School & Sixth Form College as the Lead School.
Jane Barnes with the Trainee Teachers 2013/14 and NQTs 2014/15
Peer Learning – Science experiment lesson taught by NQTs to trainees
Professional Studies Sessions – These are fun!
Professional Tutor Team
You haven’t taught…until you’ve taught with us!