Teacher Training

United Teaching

As part of United Learning, North Oxfordshire Academy offers teacher training through our Group-wide programme, United Teaching, a bespoke teacher training course, run in partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London, who award the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

United Teaching offers you the opportunity to train while you teach. This way you can get the teaching qualifications you need without going back to university, and without delaying the start to your career. You can train for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) on its own, or you can go for a PGCE as well, earning 60 Masters-level credits along the way.

United Teaching is led by Paddington Academy. The staff who deliver the teacher training at Paddington are the very best classroom practitioners. They have trained at Paddington themselves and lead national initiatives in pedagogical research and development. Paddington Academy is supported by our Northern Hub school, Stockport Academy. Primary training is led by Guildford High School and Hanwell Fields Community school.

The course starts with a two-week summer school in August based in our lead schools, Paddington Academy and Stockport Academy. You will then spend your academic year in your host school (where you train throughout the year) with additional training one afternoon each week at your lead school, complete a second placement, and attend up to three conferences. Assessment will continue throughout the course, based on your classroom experience and achievement measured against the DFE Teaching Standards, while your academic PGCSE study will comprise of two academic assignments, assessed by Goldsmiths.

Why United Teaching?

Our guiding philosophy, the best in everyone, enables us to set the standard for excellence in education that we expect in United Learning schools. Just as importantly, it brings out the best in you as a teacher. We value you, work with your talent and passion, and challenge and stretch you. Which means that together, we can provide genuinely excellent education. Our schools, leaders and colleagues progress. And our students leave us with the qualifications – and the character – that they need to succeed. For you, the best in everyone means learning of a much greater depth. With United Teaching, you gain more than just QTS: you will receive the skills and qualifications to begin your career as a teacher within United Learning.

Where to train

As well as training at North Oxfordshire Academy, United Learning has over 50 schools across the UK, at any of which you may apply to train.

To find out more about United Teaching, please visit our website. 


The more traditional PGCE route is still popular and, here at North Oxfordshire Academy, we have close links with both Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University.  Training, depending on your University provider, is split between University and school placements.  A formal weekly meeting takes place that covers range of topics recommended by the University and according to the particular school’s context.


The assessment only route or AOR is an intensive 12 week programme normally offered to those already employed within the school as unqualified teachers or cover supervisors.  The AOR requires that applicants have 3 years or more school based work experience and no formal training is provided by the University – hence ‘assessment only’.  NOA has worked with Worcester University, Reading University and Canterbury Christ Church University to support candidates through this model of teacher training.

NQT provision.

North Oxfordshire Academy has always embraced the recruitment of teachers new to the profession: NQTs bring energy, new ideas and enthusiasm to a school.  The NQT Induction programme supports NQTs to meet the required standards to achieve QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) and even to allow those trained abroad to meet QTS in the British system. 

However and through whichever route you join us you will be entitled to:

  • A Professional Tutor/Induction Coordinator dedicated to ensuring that provision is right for you.

  • A full induction to school policies, procedures and systems as well as teaching and learning advice.

  • A dedicated subject mentor

  • Regular supportive observations and feedback

  • Access to whole school Continuing Professional Development cycles (including a teaching and learning blog and youtube channel)

  • The opportunity to join weekly sessions dedicated to meeting the needs of your career stage run by school based experts

  • Help to find accommodation if needed plus local tours

Teacher Training


The main provision I have received is from the allocation of a mentor with whom I have weekly meetings and the NQT sessions which are also run every week. The NQT sessions at NOA have attempted to cover every aspect of the life of a teacher. We have had sessions on resources and time management, such as using the whiteboard software and managing emails, as well as classroom practise workshops on questioning and designing seating plans. Although this covers a wide range, there is the opportunity to discuss these ideas further with the convenor, head of faculty or your mentor in your next weekly meeting.

I have found the mentor meetings to be a great way to check your progress throughout the year. You have the opportunity to focus on just one target at a time, which you can discuss in a really honest and informal way. My mentor has been brilliant at popping into my lessons and making notes which can act as a focus for next week, or can be the springboard for discussions in our meetings. I get observed more formally by a member of SLT once a term. From these, I get more detailed and target related feedback, and have the opportunity to see how my teaching fits in with the aims and ethos of the school.

-Jonathan White, NQT

I found the training here to be spectacular. Particularly when compared to the experiences of friends at different schools. I have found that the school, department and training program have been so structured, that I found I was teaching my full timetable without really realising I had got there. Mentors have always been ready and willing to help and answer any questions I might have, and help me out with planning any lessons that I might be struggling with. The CPD program has also been useful - both the PDP sessions specifically designed for trainees, as well as the wider school sessions.

-Katherine Graham, PGCE student

My training year at North Oxfordshire Academy has been one of the most useful and challenging of my life. Every day, I've been presented with new situations and issues to overcome, from bad behaviour to outstanding homework, and the staff here have been on side every moment of every day to make sure I have been equipped with the skills and knowledge to deal with them. The support from my department has been phenomenal. There isn’t one member of the team who hasn’t shared their resources, answered my questions, given me advice or offered to show me their way of doing things. As NOA is so focused on staff training and development, I've benefitted from a huge range of training experiences: team teaching, INSET days, workshops, observing outstanding practice and drop-ins with staff. All of these experiences have allowed me to develop and grow as a teacher, learning as I go. I couldn’t’ve asked for a more supportive environment to train in, or a school that encourages staff to set consistently high expectations for themselves and students alike.

-Sara Neal, Schools Direct

I have found that the NQT provision here has been fantastic. I always have the support that I need from both my department and from SLT. The science department particularly has been great, it feels like everyone is my mentor and everyone is always on hand to help. The NQT meetings have been very useful for my teaching and I really feel that I have been invested in as teacher here.

Emma Waller, NQT

I am now halfway through my NQT year at North Oxfordshire Academy. I have found the NQT provision I receive to be the most valuable form of CPD. In weekly NQT meetings we cover a range of subjects - effective marking in line with school policy, behaviour management, effective parents evening meetings and general classroom management, to name a few. These have been very helpful in my development as a teacher. The sessions are often focused around NQT's sharing ideas on a subject, which has been pivotal in establishing the NQT group as a learning community, and has extended to outside of these meetings - often I will ask a NQT for advice on a particular subject, or vice-versa. 

It is also a great comfort to me knowing that my Induction Coordinator (Leanne Mills), is always on hand for advice and discussion on all matters pedagogical, a service I have used on a number of occasions, with consistently positive results. Leanne's approach is always a friendly one, and I feel I can discuss any matter relating to school life with her.

James Stevenson, NQT



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