Ashfield School Initial Teacher Training

In partnership with the University of Sheffield and a wide range of partner schools, Ashfield School is offering Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programmes in secondary education for the 2024/2025 academic year. Available subjects for places are English, Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, History, MFL and Physics with Mathematics.

ITT Logo Small

Our vision as Ashfield School Direct is to become a centre of educational excellence. Our ethos is that every professional in our alliance should strive to be the absolute best they can be for the benefit of the wonderful students in our care. This places professional learning at the centre of all that we do and we see initial teaching training as integral to this. We believe that working with trainee teachers is a mutual learning experience and hope to learn from you as much as you will learn from us.

Based just a few miles from Junction 28 of the M1, Ashfield School Direct is a first-class choice for graduates looking for a successful career in teaching. What’s more, with the school boasting 2700 students, there are a wide range of opportunities available for trainee teachers that allow for creativity in inspiring a new generation of students.

It is because of this that Ashfield School Direct offers aspiring teachers a broad range of opportunities across subjects and key stages. Working with The University of Sheffield, you will shadow colleagues and learn about the teaching environment in a range of contexts across our Two Counties’ Trust. The placements in our partner schools will give you valuable insights into different contexts and challenges faced to prepare you fully for a successful career in teaching.

Furthermore, we will support trainees in the professional recruitment process should a suitable vacancy arise at Ashfield School or one of our partner schools.

The University of Sheffield is the accredited provider for this course. This is a Russell Group University which is respected internationally for their forward-thinking, research-led training. You will be working with the University to achieve a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) which carries 60 Masters’ credits. Ashfield School Direct is dedicated to working with the University of Sheffield to produce a high-quality training experience for students that will be just the first stage of a fulfilling and dynamic career in teaching.

We offer:

  • A partnership of good schools with high quality providers (PGCE with The University of Sheffield).
  • A high quality training programme for English, Maths, the Sciences, Modern Foreign Languages, Geography and History.
  • The University of Sheffield is a world top-100 university.  As a member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
  • The University of Sheffield are voted number one in the Russell Group for overall student experience for the fourth year running by the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2017.  The students’ Union was also voted number one in the UK for the ninth year running.
  • A course led by a highly skilled team of mentors and lead teachers.
  • A wide variety of opportunities to collaborate with other schools across our Two Counties’ Trust and gain experience in a broad range of school environments.
  • You will be part of Ashfield School staff from day one, which means we take a real interest in your development as a teacher, from training through to leadership.

We hope that you will choose to start your teaching career with Ashfield School ITT and help deliver an outstanding education for the benefit of the students in our care.

The Training Programme

Course overview:

The course is designed to prepare student teachers to teach pupils in the 11-19 age range in the schools of today and tomorrow.

Some key features of the University of Sheffield course are:

  1.  A small, dedicated team of tutors who provide excellent support for all students.  Our tutors work with you throughout the year on all aspects of your studies.
  2.  Excellent school partnerships.  Two thirds of the course is spent in school, and many of our partnership schools are closely involved in the university-based parts of the course.  Our longstanding relationships with schools enable us to ensure excellent continuity for students.
  3.  Constant innovation.  Ofsted (2011) commented on the innovative features of the training which contribute strongly to developing trainees who are reflective, self-critical and capable of working independently.
  4.  The chance to reflect.  Teaching is an intensive profession, and at the start of your career it is essential that you have the opportunity to develop skills as a reflective practitioner.  During your first placement, for example, you will spend every Friday in the University sharing your experiences from the week and considering ways in which you can develop your teaching over the next week.

The Structure of the PGCE Course

In the University based part of the course, students spend roughly 75% of their time in subject groups and 25% in cross-curricular Educational and Professional Studies (EPS) groups. Secondary school experience commences during October, with students returning to the university to share and reflect on experience. A longer period of school experience takes place from the end of January to the end of May. Students complete four assignments at Masters level, exploring issues and school experience through research investigations and critical reflection. In the summer term, students undertake an Enrichment or Enhancement Experience in a different educational context.

Sample Course Outline:

A broad outline of the course is shown below:


Week 1: Key Stage 2 Experience.

Weeks 2-7: University-based sessions including Curriculum Work, Educational & Professional Studies and School Induction Days.

Weeks 8-15: School Experience 1, which consist of university-based Curriculum Work and Educational & Professional Studies.


Weeks 16-18: University-based: Building on Experience, including Curriculum Work, Educational & Professional Studies and School Induction Days.

Week 19: School Experience 2 begins.


Weeks 19-28: School Experience 2 continues; External Examiners’ visits and March Review.

Week 29-41: School Experience 2 continues and students complete May Review.

Weeks 40-42: Enrichment/Enhancement Experience, arranged by students, taking place in an educational setting outside of mainstream schooling. University-based Further Professional Development, including structured analysis, reflective debriefing and preparation for NQT year.

Partnership Schools

The University of Sheffield work with over 40 schools in and around Sheffield, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.  These schools are nearly all comprehensive in the secondary age range, with some upper schools, sixth form colleges and tertiary colleges for post-16 education. In addition to Sheffield itself, Ashfield School have partner schools in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. This range of inner-city, suburban and rural contexts provide rich opportunities for diverse and balanced experiences in schools.

“I couldn’t have chosen a more supportive school than Ashfield. Despite the size of the school, there is a real community feel and I was made to feel incredibly welcome from day one. I was given lots of opportunities to try out new ideas and the feedback offered by my mentor and host teachers was invaluable. I would definitely recommend Ashfield to anyone who would like to go into teaching.”

Seely Knighton

Tanesha Macleod

“The support I received at Ashfield School was second to none throughout my placement. There was always someone happy to help with any queries or problems, regardless of their subject specialism. It is this sense that you quickly feel like a valued part of the team. The ITT course at Ashfield is extremely broad with regular meetings discussing a wide range of topics, from practical teaching strategies to use in the classroom, to how to achieve a functional work/life balance. Ashfield and its staff are extremely nurturing and encouraging, which continues throughout your training year and beyond. If you want to train to teach in a school where you feel valued, supported and inspired, then Ashfield is the place for you.”

Tanesha MacLeod

“Ashfield School gave me great support during my PGCE year and this support has continued now that I am undertaking my NQT year at Ashfield as well. Obviously with Covid it was an extremely strange year but even during lockdown I had regular conversations ready for September. The size of the school ensures that I had the chance to see lots of different styles of teaching and every person was able to give advice and support about my own teaching. The staff across the school are extremely welcoming and encourage everyone to get involved with all different activities which is brilliant. Ashfield School offers great support and is a brilliant place to start your teaching career”.

Danny Rich

Danny Rich
Rosy Heeks

“Training at Ashfield was truly excellent. Despite the large size of the school, I was well supported by my department, other ITTs & my tutor. The students were lovely to teach & every member of the school community was a pleasure to work alongside. Training to teach isn’t easy but training at Ashfield never felt like a chore. I thoroughly enjoyed my placement & I’m sure you will too!”

Rosy Heeks

“I felt incredibly well-supported whilst on placement at Ashfield School. Due to the size of the school, I was able to observe a wide range of teachers and teaching styles and was encouraged to use new ideas that I had with my classes. I would wholeheartedly recommend Ashfield School to train to teach; you’ll really enjoy it!”

Jack Helan

Jack Helan
Fran Telford

“Ashfield School is a thorough and supportive placement throughout the year. I was encouraged to partake in a range of opportunities encompassing both pastoral and faculty areas, which resulted in a broad and secure foundation for my career as a teacher. The support I received during my training has continued beyond the completion of the course and it is testament to the training year how many trainees elect to stay at the school in employment.”

Fran Telford

“Training to be a teacher is by no means an easy task and can be a daunting prospect, however I was supported at each stage of my course by staff at Ashfield School. Not only was I provided with a plethora of CPD opportunities, I was also able to observe a wide range lessons in a variety of different subject areas – all of which inspired and enriched my own classroom teaching. The ever-evolving nature of the school makes it a truly excellent place to start your teaching career.”

Sam Henstock

Sam Henstock
Daniel Mountain

“Training as a teacher at Ashfield School has been hugely rewarding. Colleagues take a close interest in my development and are always ready to help. At the same time, I am encouraged to grow into the teacher I want to be. Training at Ashfield School is definitely to be recommended”.

Daniel Mountain

While training to be a teacher can be an extremely daunting prospect, it is also a significantly rewarding experience which I wholehearted recommend to anyone considering it. Training at Ashfield school gave me a wide range of opportunities to build relationships with a large cohort of students and staff and allowed me to access a high level of training and support. The tutors and mentors who run the programme and the wider staff base offer constant and high-quality support and advice in order to make the experience as smooth, informative and enjoyable as possible. I would definitely recommend training with Ashfield School!

Ellie Ford

For further information or enquiries regarding Ashfield School Initial Teacher Training, email