School experience programme

OTSA School Experience Programme

Teaching is more than just a job; it is a vocation but it is not for everyone. The best way to decide whether or not teaching might be the right career for you is to get some classroom experience.

Sign up for the OTSA School Experience Programme. We work with schools across Oxfordshire to offer interested applicants a chance to get into state schools and see what life in the classroom is really like.

Placements are typically three days* long with the majority of the time being spent in the classroom in lessons. On the first day, there will be some time to think about how to observe lessons effectively as well as some information on the different training routes.  After that you will be able to watch a range of subject lessons taught to different age groups, observe tutor time (part of the pastoral programme) and talk to teachers about their experiences of day-to-day life in school.  As well as giving you invaluable insight into whether or not teaching might be right for you these placements also provide you with relevant school experience to support an application for teacher training.

I have been teaching for fifteen years in Oxfordshire state schools and despite the undeniable pressures of the job, I know I wouldn’t do anything else!

Sarah McHugh

Teaching School Director

*Day one of any SEP is important because we offer guidance on how to maximise the benefits of your time in school. However, it is anticipated that not all prospective candidates will be able to do three days in a block  so there is flexibility to do just one or two days.

Dates confirmed:

Bartholomew School (English, Maths, Science, Geography, History, Art, D&T. Religion and Philosophy)

15h January 2019
12th February 2019
19th March 2019

Cherwell School

New dates tbc

Didcot Girls School

New dates tbc


5th – 6th November 2018
10th – 11th December 2018

King Alfred Academy

5th – 19th October 2018
26th – 30th November 2018
3rd – 7th December 2018
28th January – 1st February 2019
4th February – 8th February 2019
11th March – 15th March 2019 (observing years 7-10 only)
7th May – 9th May 2019 (3-day week) (observing years 7-11 only)
13th May – 17th May 2019 (observing years 7-10 only)
17th June – 21st June 2019 (observing years 7-10 only)

The Oxford Academy (Maths, English, Science and Humanities)

20th – 21st November 2018
12th – 13th March 2019

Oxford Spires

New dates tbc


17th – 18th January 2019
20th – 21st March 2019
22th – 23th May 2019

Wheatley Park (English, Maths, Science, DT – Textiles, Drama, Geography, Music, PE )

3rd December 2018
21st January 2019
11th March 2019
1st April 2019
24th June 2019


If you are interested in attending, please email and confirm which dates you are interested in along with:

Full Name:
Email Address:
Contact No:
Interested subject(s)
Have you already applied? If so, who to?
If not, who is on your short list?

Please also confirm that you are happy for your information to be shared with participating schools and OTT for marketing purposes so that we are able to process your SEP application and keep you up-to-date with our initial teacher training (ITT) provision.

For Primary Experience Programme enquiries, please contact

We look forward to hearing from you

How to find us

Gillotts School
Gillotts Lane

01491 574315

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