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Secondary Teacher Training Courses

In conjunction with the Gloucestershire Initial Teacher Education Partnership (GITEP) and awarded by the University of Bristol, our Secondary Initial Teacher Training course offers the unique option to train in both the comprehensive and grammar school sectors.  Our trainees have the opportunity to work with students across the full 11-18 age range and the long established relationships between our schools ensure the continuity of support between placements.  We are committed to ensuring that all our trainees are prepared to teach in all contexts.

In 2022/23 places will be available in the following subjects:

Art & Design, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, English, Geography, History, Modern Foreign Languages, Music, Mathematics, Physics, Physical Education and Religious Education

Supported by central training time with GITEP, your time will be in two schools, where you will learn to teach, be trained and supported by experienced School Direct teachers and mentors.  Pate’s Grammar School, recognised as the Sunday Times State School of the Year in both 2013 and 2020, Sir Thomas Rich’s School, Tewkesbury School and Barnwood Park School serve as the main placements schools for our secondary trainees.  Placement schools are chosen to match school requirements that best suit your needs.  All placements are selected to enable trainees to gain experience in a range of abilities and differing contexts and provide trainees with the opportunity to engage with their subject and work with the most able and academic students all the way through from 11-18.

Trainees work towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) through placements with Odyssey and their Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) through their time with GITEP. Throughout, our Odyssey Professional Studies cross phase programme, provides further training as well as the opportunity to help and support each other.

This is a unique opportunity to train in an alliance of exceptionally strong Gloucestershire based secondary schools, rated as outstanding or good by Ofsted.  All providing fantastic opportunities to get involved with wider school life though their vibrant and thriving extra-curricular programmes. 

In September 2021, 100% of our secondary trainees were employed, 40% by our Alliance schools. 

Further information about GITEP and our placement schools can be found at:

The Course

Following the same syllabus as all GITEP trainees, our secondary trainees also benefit from the fantastic experience of ‘life in school’ through three school based placements. These stimulating yet highly supportive environments help develop the professional knowledge and skills, alongside the personal qualities, required for a successful career in teaching and to facilitate confidence in the classroom. 

In each placement you will be supported by a subject specialist mentor and the school Teacher Training Manager.  Our mentors are experienced School Direct teachers, trained in mentoring and coaching, to ensure you have the personalised professional and personal support you need throughout your training year.  Throughout each placement, you will be given the opportunity to work with a range of classes, ensuring you receive a breadth of experience, topics and student abilities.

Alongside central training with GITEP trainees from across the country prior to the start of each placement, you will also benefit from specialist weekly training in your subject.  Our own Odyssey Professional Studies programme further supports both our primary and secondary trainees and are planned and delivered by active, experienced teachers, including those in senior school roles, and aim to facilitate and explore the practical application of educational theory.


There are no written examinations for our School Direct secondary trainees.  Passes in the three school placements (determined by the school Training Manager in conjunction with your mentor) and passes in all course work assignments are required to complete the course.


  • A degree at 2:1 or above
  • A standard equivalent to a Grade C or above in GSCE examinations in English Language, Mathematics and Science

Trainees who are likely to thrive with Odyssey will come from all backgrounds, will be professional, have excellent communication and organsational skills and demonstrate a commitment to working hard. The right candidates will have excellent subject knowledge and a strong academic record, prepared to challenge and support the most able students.  They will be passionate and enthusiastic about their subject and will relish the thought and challenge of working with students across the spectrum of ability and at the very highest level.  With the ability to establish good working relationships, they will be committed to engaging with and becoming a part of our school communities.

As part of the application procedure, candidates will be requested to take part in a rigorous selection process designed to assess their suitability to teach. Part of this process will be to evaluate your understanding your subject’s current curriculum and secondary education and the qualities required for teaching.


Trainees recruited to the School Direct programme complete a PCGE with QTS. The PGCE is an academic qualification and is awarded by the University of Bristol. QTS means ‘Qualified Teacher Status’ and is a requirement to be allowed to teach in state schools in the UK. A QTS only route with the exact same course structure while completing shorter academic assignments may be possible and can be discussed at application.