Why teach?

Sarah McHugh, former Oxford student and now Assistant Headteacher for Teaching and Learning and OTSA Teaching School Director explains why it is the job for her:

Teaching isn’t predictable, no two days are the same and that variety has kept me interested for the last sixteen years; I never thought I could do one thing for that long! Teaching is stretching – even though you are only teaching up to Year 6, GCSE or A’level there are often things you have never come across before and understanding them well enough to teach is really difficult as is thinking about how you teach them. It might sound corny but you are also making a difference (to the kids!) and that sense is there even after a difficult day. Nothing beats the feeling of the seeing a child’s face as they finally understand something or become confident in your subject for the first time or working with a child who is too cool to like school but is suddenly loving the learning in spite of themselves. I don’t want to be too self-congratulatory but other teachers make the job fun too. People go into teaching for good reasons – because they want to make a difference to young people to narrow the achievement gap between rich and poor and because they like learning. Being around like-minded people is fun. Finally, and it would be disingenuous not to include them, the holidays are great. Even though you might work long hours in term time and some holiday days too you do get thirteen weeks when you don’t have to get up first thing, when you can take big trips and just enjoy some ‘you’ time.

So, if you like being around young people and want to empower them, enjoy thinking on your feet and like the idea of being off for a quarter of the year then this may be the career for you!

Why train with us?

Oxfordshire Teacher Training – a dynamic, schools-led organisation that is committed to delivering exceptional and inspiring Initial Teacher Training programmes. We work with nursery, primary, special and secondary schools across Oxfordshire and are led by a dedicated central team.

Since forming in 2013, we have worked hard to create an initial teacher training programme that secures excellence for pupils across Oxfordshire by ensuring that our associate teachers have access to the highest quality training. Tweaks to traditional programmes – like being in school from September to be part of the beginning of the year and watch whilst experienced practitioners ‘get to know’ classes – sets us apart as does the flexibility to train with or without the PGCE element, full or part-time and on salaried or tuition-fee courses.

Our commitment to social justice shapes everything we do as we focus on preparing our trainees to work in the state sector – preferably in Oxfordshire. Indeed, one hundred per cent of the OTT associate teachers are employed at the end of the training year – most in Oxfordshire – and all of them would recommend the OTT course. As part of OTSA (Oxfordshire Teaching Schools Alliance), a network of nearly all the schools in the county, we are then to maintain the relationship with our newly qualified teachers and support them with continued professional development up to the headship and beyond.

In December 2017 we were graded as Outstanding in all areas of our provision. OFSTED recognised that the team at OTT are “committed to excellence” and that the associate teachers “develop into highly reflective, resilient and skilled teachers, whose work has a palpable impact on pupils’ progress”. They highlighted the mentors’ “superb day-to-day support and feedback “ which leads to the associate teachers feeling “completely supported and challenged”. Support is important to us and we have invested heavily in our pastoral provision which prepares associate teachers “extremely well for a career in teaching”.

Our success means that we are training more and more teachers against the backdrop of a national decline in applications for ITT. From 2019/20 we will be training people on three sites – centrally in Oxford, in the North in Banbury and in the South in Henley (right here at Gillotts). We hope that this more varied offer will attract applications from a wider geographical area – allowing us to better meet the needs of our diverse county.

Getting experience

If you are interested in teaching then you need to get experience and we can help you with that because at OTT we believe in supporting people throughout their career – from getting current, relevant experience in the classroom right through to headship and beyond.

Currently we offer:

  • For undergraduates – paid summer internships (in their penultimate year at University) interested in teaching Maths and Physics at secondary level.  We hope to extend this this year to other shortage subjects.
  • Post degree – School Experience Programmes (SEP) at schools across the county.

If you are interested in teaching or just want to chat about the possibility of it, please do not hesitate to contact Sarah on teachingschool@gillotts.org.uk.


How to find us

Gillotts School
Gillotts Lane

01491 574315

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