Course structure

The course begins with an orientation experience in mid-September in both a primary and secondary school of the intern’s choice.

This is followed by the first week in the Department. The rest of the autumn term is made up of ‘joint weeks’; initially three days are spent in the university and two days in school and later in the first term this changes to two days in the university and three days in school. The spring term consists primarily of school experience and for the summer term, interns move to a second school so that they have the opportunity to consolidate and extend their understanding and experience of teaching and learning.

Interns are attached to the same school for much of the year, which makes it possible for them to get to know teachers and pupils in the school and to understand the school’s policies and practices.

This structure of the course reflects the internship model in that it is designed to:

  • enable trainees to become fully integrated into one school over a long period
  • enable trainees to learn about their own teaching in the context of the wider school,

rather than focusing initially on their own classroom and only later widening their view

  • allow schools to offer coherent and challenging professional development programmes over the course of the long placement, and in the short placement focus on preparation for continuing professional development
  • enable school-based tutors to see trainees’ development from the start of the course to a position of competence
  • offer trainees the opportunity to encounter a new school context at a time of the course when they are ready to make critical comparisons.

School teachers and university tutors contribute their particular expertise to the interns’ learning and professional development. Interns, therefore, are presented with differing perspectives and points of view. The course is not seen as an apprenticeship scheme in which interns learn to teach like their mentor, nor is it a theory-into-practice scheme in which ideas taught in the university are put into practice in school. Instead, the emphasis is on interns as critical learners, thinking about different perspectives and testing out ideas for themselves in their practice. This process of reflection and experience underlies the whole course. As they become increasingly competent as teachers, interns are encouraged to take responsibility for their own professional development and develop their own philosophy of teaching and learning.

In the most recent OFSTED inspection the Oxford Internship Scheme was awarded the highest grades in all categories. To view the report, click here.

Page last modified: October 13, 2016