This programme is available to applicants and is based at St John Bosco Arts College. This programme will allow you to gain experience in a School prior to applying for an ITT Course. You will be given the opportunity to observe lessons  and will also attend a number of presentations linked to Teaching and ITT Routes.

What to expect?

This programme will allow you to gain experience in a School prior to applying for an ITT Course.

You will be given the opportunity to observe lessons and will also attend a number of presentations linked to Teaching and ITT Routes.

There is a fee of £50 per placement per day.

Structure of the Programme:

  • Welcome and introduction to the School by the Director of the Teaching School
  • A walkabout around school visiting a number of lessons
  • A timetable of lessons to observe and structured lesson observation forms to support you in your initial observations
  • A presentation outlining available ITT options and offering advice and guidance
  • A timetable of lessons to observe and structured lesson observation forms to support you in your initial observations.
  • After the initial day, time will be spent within the subject area.

Additional Information:

Your visit will be subject to a criminal clearance check, you will be given information regarding this check on application.

Please bring: 

DBS Certificate

Driver's Licence or Passport

Routes for ITT

St John Bosco Arts College has an excellent track record of working with our HEI partners to provide high quality training for trainee teachers and excellent educational experience for our students.

As a Teaching School it is important that together with our strategic partners we remain at the forefront of this training ensuring that all ITT across the partnership reaches the highest standard and contributes to the raising of standards.


The PGCE is a one year Post Graduate Certificate in Education. Your training takes place through an ITT provider and you will complete two school placements.

We offer PGCE placements across all of our subject areas and trainees are supported by experienced mentors. PGCE students are also offered additional support via our Professional Studies sessions which cover a wide range of different topics/themes.

When PGCE trainees begin their placement they will complete a school induction.

This includes:

  • An introductory session covering health and safety, school expectations etc.
  • A tour of the school with our teaching school leaders.
  • A ‘pupil trail’ – this involves trainees following a classes timetable for the day. This allows trainees to observe lessons across a number of different departments.
  • An induction day – this involves trainees completing focused observations and sessions.

Trainees will also be given an induction booklet which provides key information needed and covers all aspects of school life.

As well as continuing our established partnerships we are delighted to have been allocated School Direct places.

Teach First

We also train prospective teachers through the Teach First Programme which has allowed our trainees to spend more time in the classroom developing their teaching and learning strategies.

For more information, visit:



I was first attracted to the School Direct programme due to the focus that is given to spending as much time in the classroom as possible. This focus on in-school experience allowed me to be present at my Home placement from the very first day of term, as opposed to joining the school midway through a term, as is the case with the standard PGCE route.

The experience I have gained due to this has been invaluable. Currently, I am teaching the same amount of lessons as an NQT and my abilities as a teacher are growing day by day. Despite the heavy focus on in-school training, the theoretical side of our training is still adequately catered for with numerous subject and MA days placed throughout the year at Hope University.

St. John Bosco have provided a wide variety of CPD sessions that have allowed me to consolidate what I am learning through my classroom practice with a sound theoretical context.

Having the opportunity to return to your Home placement for the summer term I believe is a unique opportunity to complete your training where you began.

Overall, what I would recommend about School Direct is the amount of teaching experience you gain compared to that offered on the standard PGCE programme. Coupled with the necessary theories, the practical experience I have gained has given me a more realistic insight into what life will be like as an NQT.  Jack Murray


It has been a very challenging experience, with lots of variety in terms of the schools and placements we have the opportunity to do.

I  have enjoyed the SEN placement thoroughly, that was an eye-opening experience. Also getting the opportunity to go to university and meet people who are on the same sort of course as myself.

It gives you the opportunity to settle into the school straight away, and makes you feel more like a member of staff.

It’s a tough year, but stick it out! The rewards are worth the hard work. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice, as there is large network of support in your schools, and also from the university. Use the year to develop your own skills and don’t compare yourself to anyone else as everyone progresses differently.

I was offered a job in March for Rainford High School in St. Helens, where I will be taking on a Humanities role in September 2015. I am very excited to be starting in my first teaching role.  Imogen Kent

I have found the programme to be extremely rewarding; both in terms of my teaching experience and practice but also in terms of building relationships with fellow teachers and support staff.

Teaching is definitely one of the most enjoyable experiences of the programme. Being able to build relationships with the students and having that moment where something clicks and they learn what you have been trying to teach, or the moment you realise that you have truly made a difference.

It most definitely helps starting earlier than PGCE students. The students assume you are just another member of the teaching staff and you are given much more respect earlier on. It also gives you time to find your feet, being able to read the school policies and observe them in action from the beginning. I was put in a Year Seven form group and helped them through the transition between Primary and Secondary school and seeing them change and become more independent over the time I was there was really worthwhile.  Jennifer Avery

In September 2014, I was lucky enough to start my teacher training at St John Bosco Arts College. I have had placements in two schools within the Liverpool area and I have had an excellent experience at both. Both schools have been extremely welcoming and supportive and I have received excellent support and opportunities from St John Bosco, as a Schools Direct provider.Spending more time at school than a traditional PGCE course meant that I gained invaluable experience in the classroom early on and this has really increased my confidence.  I have had a fantastic year and I would thoroughly recommend a Schools Direct course at St John Bosco to anyone who wants to start their teacher training.  Emmma Fairclough

 I have always wanted to be a teacher, so all I really had to decide was which route into the profession was best for me. I chose the School Direct course because I loved working as a Teaching Assistant and wanted a more hands on experience of working in the classroom. My PGCE year was probably the hardest thing I've ever done but also the most rewarding: you learn an incredible amount, develop new skills and see first-hand the impact teaching has on young people. My mentor at St John Bosco was brilliant and a massive help during my placement; the entire department was really supportive of the trainees there. I'm starting as an English teacher in Alsop High School and can't wait to take what I've learnt and put it into practice. Tom Vincent

I always knew I was wanted to teach, I was just a little uncertain as to what subject I would like to specialise in. It was following a conversation with my brothers, about how they disliked English and found it boring that I knew I wanted to change young peoples' opinion towards English as I have a real passion for the subject, I wanted to enthuse, motivate and challenge students helping them to realise that anybody can achieve, regardless of their ability and background.

I chose to apply for my teacher training at St John Bosco because I wanted to endeavour on a course, knowing I was going to get the best from it. This is exactly what I have done, I have chosen a school where I have learnt a substantial amount. I feel I would not have had the same experience had I applied for a university based PGCE. I have developed an awareness of what a school is all about, I have experienced a whole year of seeing all the roles and responsibilities of a teacher and developed these in my own practice.

St John Bosco's training programme, has given me vital experience. The guidance and support has allowed me to achieve 'outstanding' teaching practice.The Director of the Teaching School, Jane Kennedy, played a significant part in helping me to develop from a postgraduate to an outstanding teacher.

I am really excited to be beginning my career at a South Liverpool school. My aspirations for the future are to make a change and have a positive impact on the school, my colleagues, but most important of all my students.

I cannot recommend the teacher training programme at St John Bosco highly enough. The team are extremely proactive, dedicating their time and making a huge effort in giving you the best experience and training that is essential for your teaching career. Amy Williams


I have always been passionate about sharing my love of Spanish which stemmed from my own experience of learning Spanish at school. For this reason I wanted to go into teaching to encourage young people to love languages in the way I do. I started my teaching career with the Teach First programme and was lucky enough to be placed at St John Bosco Arts College. The support I received from my subject mentor and other colleagues in the school made my first year in teaching an enjoyable one. From then on I have been offered great opportunities at the school and have been supported every step of the way and encouraged to further my career into middle leadership. Laura Seed


I'm so pleased that I made the decision to train at St John Bosco, and to take the School Direct route. Seeing routines and relationships develop during those first two weeks of the new school year was invaluable, something you wouldn't necessarily experience on a normal PGCE teaching placement. Furthermore having that extra bit of time to let the culture and policies of the school sink in has been crucial. 

 My own mentor and department quickly made me feel that I was part of a team, and are not only fantastically supportive and welcoming, but insightful and constructive as educators as well. Being in a large cohort of fellow trainees from day one has forged a strong bond between us, and any stress incurred by the job so far has been absorbed by the support we give each other. Moreover, the leadership team at the teaching school have helped me to land on my feet here and make sure I never feel overwhelmed by it all. 

The school itself is amazing. You couldn't ask for a better environment to learn in; the students are wonderful (ev, the access to technology is unparalleled and the building has an atmosphere I look forward to coming into every day.  Charlie Lashmar


At first, I was indeed apprehensive about starting the schools direct route as it was not the stereotypical 'norm' for trainee teachers however, I have not looked back. Choosing school direct has allowed me to feel fully immersed in school life. Whilst it does throw you in the deep end and the learning curve is dramatic. I do feel that I have progressed massively during such a short amount of time. Choosing the direct approach has allowed me to have more time in the school, building positive and important relationships with both staff and, most importantly students. It has not only provided me with the opportunity to understand and familiarise myself with the schemes of work and the subject curriculum quicker but has allowed me to develop a fuller sense of how they are applied in schools and how topics are taught.

In addition, choosing St John Bosco as the destination formy teacher training has been a decision that I have not shown one ounce of regret over. The schools ethos is outstanding and there is a true sense of community, something which I now feel I am part of. The staff have made me feel extremely welcome and, the history staff in particular have helped me developand progress as a future teacher. Tom Gibbons


I applied for the Schools Direct programme after undertaking a short placement at St John Bosco Arts College. I absolutely adored the school, its ethos, and the students. At the time, I wasn’t clear about the different routes into teaching, and this was a big change in career for me, so I needed to be sure I was making the right decision. Jane Kennedy Teach School Director clarified everything I was unsure of, and the programme quickly became my first choice.

Having now gotten well underway with the course, I can honestly say it was the best decision I’ve ever made. You are immersed in a classroom environment almost immediately, and learn so much even in the first couple of weeks observing and gradually building up to teaching solo lessons.The support available both from my subject mentor in school, the university tutors, and especially the programme leader Jane, is fantastic. Even in just one short half term I feel like I have developed and learnt so much, both professionally and personally, and have found the experience to date incredibly rewarding. Charlotte Waters

Teaching School Contact Info

Mrs Jane Kennedy
Position : Teaching School Director
Phone : 0151 235 1620
Email :

Teaching School Contact Info

Mrs Mary Houghton
Position : Teaching School Manager
Phone : 0151 235 1620
Email :