Become A Teacher

Get School Experience

Need school based experience for your School Direct/ PGCE application?


School experience is essential if you are interested in becoming a teacher.  You’ll need to gain as much experience in the classroom as possible in order to strengthen your application and prepare you for potential interviews. Getting some experience in a school before you apply for teacher training will provide you with an invaluable insight into what teaching is really like through observing classes and shadowing teachers.


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School Experience Programme at Thomas Estley

Spend between one and ten days in a secondary school environment and benefit from a carefully crafted programme of opportunities and input. Thomas Estley Community College is the Lead school for the TELA School Direct Initial Teacher Training programme.

The School Experience program will allow you to spend time in a subject area, shadow a class and find out about all aspects of school life and a teaching career.

Days One and Two are flexible and will give you experience in your chosen subject department and an opportunity to meet a tutor group.

These days can be booked on a variety of dates over the academic year via the get into teaching website.

Our 8 day program is days Three to Ten and are offered as a fixed block of dates and cover the following;

  • Student experience tracking and today’s curriculum.

  • Focused lesson observations and paired discussion.

  • Departmental activities and a chance to plan a lesson to teach.

  • Pastoral issues, safeguarding and student experience tracking.

  • Inclusion: focus on SEN and our embedded special school.

  • Time with a class tutor and a tutor group

  • Planning, next steps in teaching and a chance to teach a class.

Days 3 to 10 are eight consecutive full days and we strongly recommend attendance at all 8 days


  •  Considering a change of career?

  • Wondering if secondary school teaching is for you?

  • Wanting to apply for a place on a PGCE course but need time in school?

Who is eligible?

  • Applicants must have maths and English GCSE at Grade C or above (or equivalent)

  • Applicants must have, or be predicted to achieve, a minimum 2:2 in a degree which is relevant to the subject they wish to teach (or sufficient A Level qualifications to enable them to progress their teaching training application with some subject knowledge enhancement support if appropriate).

  • Applicants must have had less than 10 days school experience in an English state school in the past 12 months


There is an administration charge of £25 for the School Experience Programme at Thomas Estley Community College, irrespective of how many days you attend. Our finance team will invoice you once your booking has been received and payment will be required before the placement takes place. If the SEP day is cancelled within 7 working days of the planned date, this charge will be non-refundable.

We will always do our best to rearrange a SEP day where a day is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstance for example illness.

All attendees attending the 8 day programme required a DBS check which will cost £44.00. Please note this fee is non-refundable.

The cost for attending the 8 day programme is £150.00 however for shortage subjects within the TELA alliance the cost of the programme will be subsidised and may be free if you meet the criteria (please contact us for details). This must be paid 7 days before the start of the program.  Please contact Jo Robotham for confirmation of subjects that are subsidised as this can change due to recruitment needs across the alliance.


All applications must initially be made through the Department for Education’s School Experience Programme website. Please follow this link to find instructions on how to register for the School Experience Programme. Once you have registered, please search for events at Thomas Estley Community College; you can apply for an initial day or the 8 day block programme on the website. The website will advise that you are only registering for one day, but as soon as the Department for Education informs us that you have registered on 6 March or 17 May (which are the dates of the 8 day program) we will contact you to confirm the full 8 day School Experience Programme.

We offer experience in the following subject

  • Maths

  • Physics

  • Chemistry

  • Modern Languages

  • Geography

  • Biology

  • English

  • History

  • Design & Technology (please confirm your specialism)


Our next School Experience fixed 8 day programme are available;

Monday 6 – Wednesday 15 March 2017 (Closing date for bookings 27 February 2017)

Wednesday 17  –  Friday 26 May 2017 (Closing date for bookings 08 May 2017)

The school experience programme is very popular so please book your place as early as possible as numbers are limited. 


To book you can register at the Get into Teaching website  or email Jo Robotham @ :





Secondary Thursday 18 May 1:20 – 4:00 pm

Primary Monday 12 June 1:3 pm – 3:00pm

  • Talk to school leaders about teaching in a Secondary or Primary School

  • Find out how to get into teaching

  • Observe a lesson and focus on teaching and learning

  • Find out how TELA can train you to be an outstanding teacher

  • Understand how to make a successful UCAS application

  • Have a cup of tea and cake

  • Find out how to get more experience in school

Secondary at Thomas Estley (LE9 6PT)

Primary at Badgerbrook Primary School (LE8 6ZW)

To book your place or to find out more information please contact Jo Robotham on 01455 283263 ext 222


 Quotes from our School Experience Visitors

“I can genuinely say it was all fantastic and really provided an excellent insight into teaching. It has made me even more determined to want to be a teacher. Everyone at Thomas Estley was so very welcoming and the support provided throughout was superb.”

“Any small doubts I had about wanting to enter the teaching profession were removed through this experience. Not only was the visit invaluable in giving me the experience I required, but the way we were all welcomed into the school was fantastic. This helped create a great sense of teamwork within our group, which enhanced this experience further.”

REGISTER your interest for the School Experience Programme for 2016/17

6 – 15 March 2017

17 – 26 May 2017

Due to the nature of the programme limited places are available for the 8 day programme so book early.


Interested in finding out more about School Direct Initial Teacher Training ? Register to attend our Information Evening? Monday 3 April 6 – 7:30 at Thomas Estley CC



Secondary Wednesday 22 February 1:20pm-4:00 pm

Primary Thursday 30 March 1:15pm – 3:30pm

Secondary Thursday 18 May 1:20 – 4:00 pm

(See full below)

Working in partnership with the University of Leicester, Warwick University and Loughborough University (for PE) to offer Primary and Secondary PGCE accreditation including Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and Master level credits

Subjects available for secondary ITT: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Modern Foreign Languages, English, History, Geography, Drama, D&T, Art & Physical Education  

Join us to find out more information about the programme, guidance on applications and our selection process.

Meet and talk to teachers and University colleagues from the Alliance as well as our previous and current TELA School Direct students.

To register your interest for the 2017/18 please emailing confirming if you are interested in primary or secondary or call Thomas Estley 01455 283 263 ext 222 and ask for Jo Robotham