Olympus Academy Trust

Get Into Teaching

The Olympus Academy Trust Opportunities

For queries about our courses please contact enquiries@olympustrust.co.uk

Why train with us?

We work closely with Cabot Learning Federation SCITT to provide high quality Initial Teacher Training. We offer our own School Direct PGCE courses accredited by Cabot Learning Federation SCITT; the PGCE aspect of the course is approved by Sheffield Hallam University. Trainees on the School Direct programme will be awarded PGCE and QTS at the end of the training year, with perhaps the possibility of being employed by one of our schools.

We are committed to developing teachers to serve our local communities and reflects our passion for and expertise in developing teachers and support staff in our institutions and beyond; providing excellent Continuing Professional Development in teaching and learning, career development and leadership skills at all stages and levels of teaching and education.

Working together allows us to provide a wide range of placements for PGCE trainees in the North Bristol and South Gloucestershire area in both secondary and primary phases; we have schools which are urban, suburban and rural in nature – all are comprehensive. By applying for a place on the School Direct route you will be placed in one of our schools for each of your two teaching placements.

For any queries about our courses please contact admin@olympustrust.co.uk

About the programme


All our schools have decades of hugely successful experience working with ITT students and have employed many of them. We have worked alongside the CLF, the UWE, Bath Spa and the University of Bristol for many years.

The programme brings PGCE and QTS qualifications.

Unsalaried School Direct courses with the Cabot Learning Federation

  • Primary
  • English
  • Drama
  • Business
  • Geography
  • History
  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Art
  • PE ~
  • Product Design/Design Technology

~ We also offer the PE with EBacc route

Our Schools

Secondary Schools

Click to access school profile





Primary Schools

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School Direct to PGCE

Whilst the programmes for each subject and phase vary slightly, depending on which university is accrediting them, they all meet the basic requirements and expectations. 

Aspect of the School Direct PGCE Course Notes
Interview and offers of place on the course You will be interviewed in one of our schools by experienced, practising teachers
Subject Knowledge – how to teach your subject/primary Delivered at the Cabot Learning Federation or within one of the schools for Primary and all Secondary subjects. Subject knowledge will be delivered by practicing teachers who have been recognised for their subject expertise.
Academic Modules Set and marked by Sheffield Hallam University

Usually 4 modules (2 at Master’s level)

You will have an academic tutor

Professional Development

Generic aspects of being a teacher e.g. Safeguarding; behaviour management; meeting SEND; lesson planning; working with parents; assessment, marking and feedback

Delivered by very experienced, practising teachers at Olympus and CLF
Teaching Practice

Teaching in two different schools for a minimum of 120 days

You will be placed in our schools for both of your 2 placements

You will teach between 130-140 days across the two settings

You will have a mentor to support and advise you

You will attend the Cabot Learning Federation or one of our schools for the aspects related to teaching your subject or phase e.g. National Curriculum at Key Stages 1-2 for primary (including the teaching of phonics, numeracy and all foundation subjects) and Key Stages 3-5 for secondary (including GCSE and A level). These sessions will cover subject knowledge, pedagogy, resourcing and planning schemes of learning.

Sheffield Hallam University will set modules and assignments to complete, at least two of which will be at Masters level. Briefing sessions and support will be provided to support you through the assignments.

You will have at least 120 days spread over two placements in our schools. The School Direct route often sees these days exceed 135 days as we like to maximise your time in the classroom. Here you will plan, deliver and assess pupils’ learning and be able to fully participate in the life of the school including offering extra-curricular activities and being a tutor (in secondary schools). We pride ourselves on treating you as if you are a full member of staff while, obviously understanding that you are learning your craft.

In school you will have a named mentor. All mentors are excellent teachers committed to supporting your learning. All the teachers you will be working with are highly accomplished in their mentoring, teaching, coaching, feedback and observation skills. You will meet with them weekly to discuss your progress, celebrate your successes and set targets for your improvement. You are assessed against the teaching standards and your progress is reviewed regularly through observations and discussions. You will receive daily dialogue, masses of it, with specialist teachers who will be a vital source of feedback and advice. They will provide you with essential information on how to do the job, how to build your experience, and most importantly, how to become an outstanding teacher. We are very proud of the standard of training we deliver to ITT students.

You will be offered the opportunity to visit other schools e.g. primary if you are secondary (and vice versa), our special schools in the alliance and visit an offsite provision for pupils at risk of exclusion.

You will receive regular seminars from colleagues where you will focus on acquiring an understanding of how schools work, as well as on pedagogy and education theory. You will also be supported in developing your understanding of special educational needs and disability, as well as how learning support is provided. Other topics covered are safeguarding, working with parents and other agencies, behaviour management etc. These sessions are delivered by very experienced staff including a Deputy Headteachers and Headteacher, both of whom have many years of experience in delivering ITT. We also call upon experts in our schools to deliver lively sessions on a range of topics.

The programme recognises that teaching children is rewarding and challenging and aims to produce teachers who are creative, resourceful, reflective, and professional. Working alongside specialists, you will develop the skills to succeed in contemporary classrooms demonstrating a capacity to be creative and innovative. You will be supported in acquiring the skills you need to teach the National Curriculum at your chosen phase, linking in educational theory and research with your practical experiences. The course is designed to produce secondary teachers who are reflective practitioners and who are constantly learning, growing and questioning themselves.


Formal assessment for the PGCE is by coursework and reviews of progress throughout the year. There is no final written examination.

During the year you are required to complete the specified coursework assignments. These assignments involve a number of forms of submission including essays and oral presentations. In order to give you an opportunity to develop personal strengths and interests some flexibility is permitted in the choice and presentation of assignments, in consultation with tutors.

Alongside the coursework assignments, practical teaching is assessed regularly through the year, and formally reported on in four key Review Points.

Practical teaching assessment is directly related to the Teaching Standards. You will be graded as Inadequate, Requires Improvement, Good or Outstanding. Coursework assignments are assessed against a comprehensive range of criteria explicitly linked to the standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Successful completion of the programme requires passes in all assignments and practical teaching. Regulations allow for opportunities to be re-examined once in each of any failed element(s). The PGCE award is Pass or Fail.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree (usually at 2:2 or above)
  • Secondary: GCSE maths, English at C grade or equivalent
  • Primary: GCSE maths, English, science at C grade or equivalent
  • Appropriate numeracy and literacy skills
  • Evidence of school experience or a comprehensive and relevant understanding of state school life
  • Good references
  • Satisfactory Health and Safeguarding (DBS) checks

All applicants should also have GCSE grade C or above in mathematics and English language (and science for primary) or equivalent. The English qualification MUST be in English as a first language. If you do not currently have these qualifications you may still apply to us but must have these in place before you commence the PGCE course.


Normally a first degree, with Second Class Honours (Lower Division) or above, OR an equivalent qualification in a subject relevant to the proposed main teaching subject. Applicants should either have achieved, of be in the final year working towards their degree or an equivalent overseas qualification agreed to be of an equivalent level by ENIC. Applicants with overseas qualifications must present a ENIC certificate to the University PRIOR to Registration. www.enic.org.uk

Applicants should ensure that they clearly indicate their achieved or predicted degree grade and, if graduated within the past 5 years, at least one academic reference should be supplied.

Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE)

If you want to teach a subject that is not the same as your degree, or it is some time since you achieved your degree, you may wish to enhance your knowledge before you begin your PGCE. We discuss this with you at the interview stage.

If you think you may need to complete an SKE, it is worth applying early to allow for completion prior to the PGCE start date.

Click here for a full list of providers.

In our experience you will almost definitely need to complete an SKE if you are applying to teach DT/PD as you will need to complete relevant H&S training and learn how to teach the whole range of disciplines e.g. resistant materials, food, textiles, CADCAM, electronics, systems and control. 

If you have applied to do the PE with EBacc  you will need to complete an SKE in the relevant EBacc subject.

There are opportunities in some subjects at secondary to attend a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course before starting your PGCE. If you need to boost your knowledge prior to the start of the PGCE there are Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses that are fully funded and may attract a bursary.

Please discuss your needs with our team, contact admin@olympustrust.co.uk in the first instance.

Click here for a full list.

Numeracy and Literacy Skills

You will be required to display good numeracy and literacy skills. The DfE have recently changed the requirements and you will no longer need to sit centralised skills tests: your skills will be assessed by the application process before you begin the course.

School Experience

Ideally, you should be able to demonstrate recent experience of observing or supporting teaching in your subject area. This must be conducted in a Secondary school (around 10 working days or two weeks equivalent within the last three years). However, getting school experience is sometimes quite difficult. The Olympus Academy Trust offers some School Experience Days through the year in both primary and secondary settings. Please see this link for details.

We operate this programme through the Get into Teaching School Experience Programme – click here to sign up. If you have significant experience working with young people in other fields, such as Duke of Edinburgh, Scouting, sports coaching etc. this will be of interest to us.

How to book

Book your school experience through the Get Into Teaching Site. You will need to register and then book your place on the system.

Each day will start with a brief introduction, to ensure you get the most out of your visit, and then you’ll be in class for much of the day. We try to arrange for you to see different teachers throughout the day. There will be ample opportunity for you to ask about teaching as a career, your application etc.

Please note, anyone can apply to visit our schools but we only offer more days to those who have applied to the Olympus Academy Trust for a place on our School Direct PGCE courses.

One-to-one discussions

One-to-one discussions are intended for anyone who is thinking of becoming a teacher – both primary and secondary. You are welcome to arrange a call or meeting with our ITT lead if you would like to discuss your situation.

These are informal sessions. Please book your place via admin@olympustrust.co.uk

How to apply

You can apply through Get Into Teaching. There are a limited number of places for the programme, so you should apply as early as possible to give yourself the best chance of obtaining a place. We will close the course once we have filled all available places.

Please read through the Get Into Teaching pages carefully for guidance on how to apply.

Your application* will include your:

  • Personal Information (DoB, Address etc.)
  • Academic qualifications
  • Experience to date
  • A personal statement
  • Two references

For support with your application we advise you attend either a School Experience Day with us or arrange a one-to-one

The selection process

In accordance with Department for Education regulations, we interview all shortlisted candidates prior to making an offer to train with us. If you are invited to interview you will be expected to be familiar with key issues and developments in secondary schools – especially those in your subject area or phase. It will help you to read the educational press and to talk to teachers and those currently undertaking teacher training.

Please remember that the purpose of interviews is for us to get to know you better and for you to have the opportunity to present your strengths to us. If possible, it would benefit you to have undertaken a minimum of two days’ observation in a secondary or primary school so that you can talk about your experiences. However, this is not essential.

You will also have plenty of opportunity to ask questions about the programme and about teaching. The interview is designed to help us feel confident that you are a suitable candidate for the teaching profession, and to help you feel confident that you are well-enough informed about the challenges you will face.

School Experience

The best preparation, (and an expectation), for interview is a visit to a school. If you are considering a career in teaching this is one of the first steps you should take. Even if you left school only recently you will be surprised at how different it is when seen from the perspective of the teacher.

You should be able to demonstrate recent experience of observing or supporting teaching in your subject area. This must be conducted in a Primary or Secondary school. Around 5 working days or equivalent within the last three years is ideal, but two days is the minimum. However, getting school experience is sometimes quite difficult. The Olympus Academy Trust offers some School Experience Days through the year in both primary and secondary settings. Please see this link to School Experience Programme for details.

When you visit a school be sure to talk to teachers and students and participate if you are encouraged to do so. Try to evaluate what is being learned and the way in which the teacher encourages this learning. You will be expected to discuss your observation visit at interview and to be able to go beyond a mere description of what you have seen by analysing the experience and showing an understanding of the deeper processes. It may well help to take notes and to refer to these at the interview.


We look at all application forms. If your academic qualifications are appropriate, your personal statement is convincing (and accurate in terms of spelling and grammar) and your references supportive you will be called to interview. Interviews will take place in one of our schools. Typically, an interview day will consist of:

  • working with a group of school students
  • the opportunity to talk with students/staff
  • various interview tasks to complete
  • an individual interview
  • the opportunity to demonstrate subject knowledge

Sometimes we also include:

*a tour of the school by our students

*a group (peer) discussion

*giving a presentation (probably with peers)

This may seem a rigorous process, but we want to choose the best candidates to train at the Olympus Academy Trust. We want prospective teachers who are enthusiastic and passionate about their subject, committed to a career in teaching and ready to face the challenges of the training year.

How we select

The general selection criteria are:

  • good academic qualifications
  • good subject skills and knowledge in a relevant subject for secondary – any subject for primary
  • good understanding of the place of the school curriculum
  • up to date awareness of effective teaching and learning
  • interest in and awareness of what working with young people involves
  • commitment to teaching in the state sector

*strong skills, appropriate to teaching, in the following areas:

  • Communication
  • Critical analysis
  • Inter-personal skills
  • Organisation
  • Reflection
  • Resilience

The selection criteria will be assessed initially using evidence from the written application and, if called for interview, from the range of activities on the interview day.

What we are looking for

We are looking for creative and dynamic individuals who can motivate and inspire young people.

We are looking for ambitious trainee teachers who are passionate and enthusiastic about wanting to become teachers and have a desire to work with young people of all abilities in your chosen age range. Resilience and determination, self-awareness and willingness to learn through success and mistakes are essential personal attributes for a career in teaching.

In your application you should demonstrate that you have had meaningful experience of working with young people of primary age. For example, you may have been involved with some work with young people in previous jobs or on a voluntary basis. You may have direct experience in schools through visits which you have organised or through some other scheme. We will also expect you to be able to write in your application about what interests you in teaching, what you think you have to offer and what you think you have to learn.

We will expect you to show a commitment to teaching and demonstrate an enthusiasm ad desire to be around young people. Your first degree can be in any relevant subject – for more details of this you should contact us if you are unsure of the suitability of the degree subject you have studied. We will expect you to have some basic ICT skills to build on but will not necessarily expect these to be directly linked to how ICT is used in teaching that will be part of your work on the programme.

We expect applicants to come from a wide range of backgrounds and, therefore, with a wide range of skills. This is a strength of the programme as it allows us to use your differences so that you can learn from one another. Some trainee teachers will be coming straight from a first degree, some will be making a fairly early career change, some will be returning to study and work after spending time bringing up children and some will be changing career later in life. All are very welcome and we believe our School Direct Programme is enriched by this variety.

 Charlotte's story - A case study

I began my career in the hotel industry, running conferences and events before moving into office-based management. I then decided that teaching was what I really wanted to do.

To qualify as a teacher, I gave up work to become a full time student to complete my PGCE. As I was a scientist, I got a bursary to assist financially. Being a full time student was amazing – I was worried about being the oldest one, but my PGCE cohort was a vibrant and fun mix of all ages and backgrounds!

I finished my PGCE and I secured a full time, permanent post. I put myself forward for opportunities that were available, and as I result I was able to progress quite quickly. I am now an Assistant Headteacher: being able to evidence my skills and experience in my pre-career teaching career was a huge help in securing my position.  Leadership of people is the same set of skills in any sector, and highly valued in education.

6 years after qualifying, I am earning more than I ever did pre- my career change, and my job satisfaction is so much higher.  I feel challenged, motivated and rewarded in my job, and every day am grateful I made the move into education.

 Frequently Asked Questions


We are unable to provide accommodation

Child Care Facilities

We are unable to provide child care facilities but may be able to signpost towards local provision.

Disability Access

We are able to provide full access and support for disabilities – please ask for further information.

How much will I get to train?

There are three types of funding available for teacher training – depending on your circumstances, you could receive all three:

  1. Tax-free bursary or scholarship (up to £29,000) depending on subject
  2. Tuition Fee Loan (up to £9,250) and Maintenance Loan 
  3. Extra financial support if you’re a parent, have an adult dependant or a disability

In some cases, you could even earn a salary whilst you train.

For more information about finances, go to https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-my-teacher-training. 

Public Transport

There are good public transport links around our centres and they are close together. Further information can be provided on request. Maps are available on the institution websites.

Special Features

There will be an opportunity to spend time in other schools and some trainees may also visit other institutions, such as special schools or colleges of further education. 


Study Facilities

There will be space for trainees to study within a school setting and all trainees will also have access to the library at the university which is close at hand. Much of the training time will be spent in the specialist areas in the schools.