Ready to teach

The Astra School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT), led by Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, has recruited 50 new trainees for the 2016-17 academic year in a wide range of secondary subjects, as well as in primary and primary with PE or Maths. Training placements are across a diverse range of 22 partner schools, including Chesham Grammar School, the Amersham School, Alfriston Special School, the Aspire Pupil Referral Unit and Gerrards Cross CofE primary school.

As the lead school in the Astra SCITT, Challoner’s now has the same status as a university for teacher training, and is anticipating increasing its training numbers in the coming years to meet the demands of schools and to aid recruitment, especially in shortage subjects such as Maths and Physics.

Speaking about the opportunity to train with the Astra SCITT this year, one new teacher said that she felt, 'confident and motivated' by the support they had been given to become an outstanding practitioner.

On Wednesday 7th September, Challoner’s opened its doors for the first SCITT conference day, facilitated by Mrs Rodgers (SCITT Director) and Mrs McShane (Teacher Training Manager). Speaking on behalf of the SCITT, Mrs Rodgers commented that she was, 'immensely proud and excited by the calibre and enthusiasm of our new trainees'. Mr Atkinson, also added his support to the excellent new training programme, which includes specialist training on behaviour management and special educational needs by the Aspire Pupil Referral Unit.

During the conference day, trainees were given a practical session on making a strong personal impact, as well as a session on behaviour management and meeting the Teacher Standards to an outstanding level. Other sessions throughout the year include marking and assessment, lesson planning and subject specific training days led by Astra’s Specialist Leaders of Education.

Train to Teach

Recruitment for the next intake of Astra SCITT trainees for 2017/18 opens via UCAS in October 2016 with interviews being held across partner schools throughout the year. A full list of these schools and more information can be found at or by searching,‘Train to Teach’.

We will be hosting an open afternoon on Wednesday 5th October from 2-4pm. There is also an open afternoon at Aylesbury High School on 7th November between 1-3pm. Bookings for both events can be made by emailing Gill Byrne ( or telephoning 01494 787573.

Alternatively, you could attend the National Train to Teach event at the QE Centre in London on Saturday 26th November.