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" I have had very positive experiences at my two placement schools, and I am excited to begin my ECT job at my A placement school in July. I have had the opportunity to teach a range of texts and topics throughout the year, including three Shakespeare plays; two 19th century texts; the modern play ‘An Inspector Calls’; a range of poetry to both upper and lower school; as well as creative and persuasive writing." Katie G, English Trainee


Course Overview

(Curriculum intent for English)
 The English ITT programme seeks to develop your skills as an English teacher. These skills will include how to deliver lessons to ensure students understand how to analyse literature as well as analysing writers' intent and shaping their written work for effect.
English teachers need to able to teach Shakespeare and adapt these lessons so that students can understand and analyse these works. Trainees need to be able to analyse poetry and be able to use the language of comparison. Trainees need to be able to understand modern prose and shape essays in the discussion of the themes and characters involved. Trainees need to be able to understand and deliver the English Language curriculum, which examines structure, language features and word choices.
As a result, it is intended that English trainee teachers will be able to:
  • Develop their subject knowledge to a depth and breadth that enables them to teach their subject at KS3-KS4 with confidence and competence 
  • Understand the pedagogy of their subject and be both deliberate and judicious in their choice of methods and approaches
  • Be able of the curriculum requirements for the age range they teach and have awareness of how content is chosen to be broad, balanced and deliberately sequenced
  • Understand how learning happens in their subject and be able to use a range of approaches to ensure that knowledge is more likely to be retained
  • Learn about the statutory assessment arrangements for English and be able to guide and prepare students for both internal and external assessment
  • Anticipate and address common misconceptions within planning and lesson delivery
  • Develop students’ hinterland knowledge and intellectual curiosity
  • Use a wide range of subject terminology and be aware of strategies to help students use these terms for themselves
  • Provide learners with actionable, motivational and manageable subject specific feedback in order for them to make progress in their learning
  • Create classroom climates that are inclusive for all learners regardless of ability or background through an awareness of potential barriers to learning and how to overcome these
  • Learn how to activate hard thinking in their subject as a result of a deliberate approach to structuring, explaining, questioning, interacting and embedding knowledge

Entry Requirements

A degree in English or a related subject, at class 2:2 or above
Maths and English GCSE at grade 4/C or above
Involvement with young people in some capacity
An awareness of issues in English Education

Reading List

Below are the essential texts you should read:
  • Six principles for supporting reading and writing (Making Every Lesson Count series), by Andy Tharby (2017)
  • A Practical Guide to Teaching English in the Secondary School (Routledge Teaching Guides) by Annabel Watson (2021)
  • The Complete Guide to Becoming an English Teacher by Stephen Clarke (2009)
The following texts are not essential reading but would be worth becoming familiar with:
  • The Art of Writing English Literature Essays for GCSE, by Neil Bowen (2020)
  • Getting the Buggers to Write by Sue Cowley (2011)
  • English Teaching in the Secondary School: Linking theory and practice by Mike Fleming (2015)
  • Teaching Shakespeare: A Handbook for Teachers (Cambridge School Shakespeare) by R. Gibson (2016)
  • What Does This Look Like In The Classroom?: Bridging The Gap Between Research And Practice, by Carl Hendrick (2017)
  • Reading Reconsidered: A Practical Guide to Rigorous Literacy Instruction by Doug Lemov (2016)
  • MasterClass in English Education by Sue Brindley and Bethan Marshall (2014)

Course Funding

For 2024-2025, if you are eligible, you will receive a bursary of £10,000 to train in English. To find out more about financing your teacher training, click here

Course Codes

QTS with PGCE, full time or part time - 2B2T

Lead Subject Tutor

Melissa Dunne

Melissa attended the University of Maynooth in Ireland obtaining a double honours degree in English and French Literature with a minor in Photography. Melissa has taught English and Media at Hedingham School since 2009. From 2012, she introduced Photography as a subject to the Sixth Form.

Melissa was previously the LST for Media but has switched to English as she has more of passion for this subject. She was second in department for English for four years before moving on to her next role.

She has been a head of year for seven years as well as the deputy safeguarding lead. Her main interest is promoting student voice where she has established a peer-mentoring system, run the Jack Petchey Speak Out as well as student council.

Melissa Dunne

Melissa Dunne