Insight Into Teaching | The Careers Service Insight Into Teaching – Oxford University Careers Service
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About the programme

Insight Into Teaching provides students with the opportunity to spend a few days in a local school with a full programme of lesson observation, perhaps a chance to try out some teaching and join in with activities, and a session of reflection and feedback. If you are thinking about a career in teaching then spending time in school is extremely important, not only to help you to decide whether teaching is for you, but also to enhance your teacher training application – whether you are considering a PGCE, School Direct, Teach First or another route into teaching.

Locations across Oxfordshire and beyond

Most of the schools we work with are in Oxfordshire, though we do work with schools in other locations in the UK too. You will have the opportunity to specify a location preference in your application.

Insight into Teaching North

Alongside the regular Oxford-based Insight into Teaching programme, the Careers Service is also working with a number of schools across the NE and NW of England to give students the opportunity to spend three days of 9th week Trinity Term…

  • Experiencing a region of the UK that you might not know
  • Gaining experience in the public sector
  • Seeing first-hand the impact of education policy on schools
  • Gaining insight into the school environment to help inform your career choices
  • Raising aspirations of pupils in regions relatively underrepresented at Oxford

Insight into Teaching North is particularly suitable for Crankstart scholars (formerly known as Moritz-Heyman Scholars) who are eligible to apply for funds to cover travel and accommodation costs, but any current matriculated Oxford University students are welcome to apply.

Feedback from past participants

‘An invaluable insight’ – 2018 participant

Some of the teachers’ stories were amazing, and the experience was incredibly fulfilling.’ – 2018 participant, City of Oxford College

‘Was placed with a brilliant teacher who was really inspiring. Really enjoyed the opportunity to talk to an NQT about what teaching is like.’ – Maths, St Gregory’s the Great School

‘I found it really interesting observing lessons and useful to watch different teaching styles and feel like I gained a lot from it.’ – Geography, Wood Green School

‘The teachers were very willing to talk to me about what they did and gave me more insights than I can list. I was surprised at how many did other things before teaching. – Maths, Magdalen College School

‘It was a fantastic experience and I feel like I can now make much more informed decisions about what I want to do after university.’ – Music, Matthew Arnold School

How to apply

Insight into Teaching runs during 9th week in Hilary and Trinity terms each year, preceded by a 1-hour pre-placement seminar in 8th week.

Applications will open in 1st week of the relevant term.

Successful applicants are allocated to schools on a first-come, first-served basis, until the closing date at the beginning of 5th week. You are advised to apply early (particularly for popular subjects such as History and English) to avoid disappointment.

Any current matriculated student of Oxford University is welcome to apply.

If you are a research staff member please contact us to ask about availability.

After applying
  • Your application will be reviewed by the Careers Service. If we have any questions about your application we’ll get in touch with you.
  • We’ll let you know as soon as we can whether we can offer you a place on the programme, and let you know which school.
  • Once you have confirmed that you would like to take up the place we’ll let the school have a copy of your application form. They will then contact you directly to finalise the arrangements for your placement.
  • All participants attend a pre-placement seminar at the Careers Service.
  • Please contact us if you have questions about Insight into Teaching.

Child protection policy

Please note that participating schools are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.  In accordance with their Child Protection Policy we are unable to process applications without a fully completed application form. Schools may obtain List 99 clearance (a police check) on successful applicants.

FAQs

Who is eligible to apply?

Any current, matriculated University of Oxford student (undergraduate or postgraduate) may apply.

If you are a research staff member please contact us ask about availability.

How will applications be assessed?

Applications will be considered in the order in which they were received (i.e. first-come, first-served) on a rolling-basis until the closing date. We will review the statement included in your application form, so we encourage you to explain your reasons for wanting to participate in the programme, as well as any intentions you have for pursuing a teaching career. We encourage you to apply even if you are unsure whether or not teaching is for you – experience in schools is one of the best ways to help you decide!

Is accommodation provided?

We are unable to provide accommodation during your placement. As many colleges require students to vacate their rooms at the end of 8th week, we suggest that you approach your college for a vacation extension as soon as you apply to Insight Into Teaching. Do not wait until your placement has been confirmed. You may also specify alternative locations outside of Oxfordshire, if you would prefer a placement close to your home address. We will do our best to find you a placement within a reasonable travelling time from your location.

Will my travel or food expenses be reimbursed?

We are currently unable to reimburse any expenses you incur as part of the placement. However, if you are placed at a school outside of the city of Oxford and the cost of travel to your placement is a concern then please do get in touch with us.

On what days will the placement take place?

Your placement will be from Tuesday until Thursday (inclusive) in 9th week of term. You must ensure you are available on all three of these days.

Will there be an opportunity to gain teaching experience?

Insight Into Teaching is primarily a work shadowing programme (see here for different types of work experience). Some schools may offer the opportunity to teach a lesson, but this is not guaranteed and will ultimately be up to the department and the teachers you observe. Full details of the programme will be outlined at the compulsory pre-placement seminar. If you are specifically interested in pursuing teaching and education related positions, make an appointment to see Abby Evans or Julia Hilton, our Careers Advisers specialising in the education sector, to discuss your options.

I have applied to the programme previously. Can I re-apply?

You may re-apply to Insight Into Teaching whether or not you were previously accepted on to the programme. However, if you have previously participated in Insight Into Teaching, there may be other teaching experience that would be more beneficial in order to give you a wide range of teaching experience. Make an appointment to see a Careers Adviser or see our career briefing on Teaching in Schools.

I am unable to attend the compulsory pre-placement seminar.

We have an arrangement with our partner schools to meet all the students we place with them. Therefore it is important that if you will be unable to attend the pre-placement seminar, you contact us to make alternative arrangements.

My question is not answered here!

If you cannot find the answer to your question, please email us.

Other ways to get teaching experience

If you want to build up your teaching experience or simply need to organise some lesson observation please read the ‘How do I get experience’ section of our Teaching in Schools webpage. In addition, you may like to read more about the Oxford City Learning partnership as they work with the majority of Oxford city state schools. You can contact them to find out more here: info@oxfordcitylearning.org.uk

There are a number of partnerships, similar to Oxford City Learning, in regions across the UK that provide School Direct places and who may offer you the opportunity to build experience. It is worth doing your research to find school partnerships for both the state and independent sector, to avoid emailing a high volume of schools individually. Other examples include United Teaching who work with 39 schools and academies nationwide and the Gloucestershire Initial Teacher Education Partnership.

This information was last updated on 02 September 2019.
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