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English (Secondary)

English (Secondary)

Prepare for a career teaching English at key stages 3, 4 and 5 levels, with subject practice at the heart of your experience.

At a glance

Subject / Phase
English (Secondary)

Course Length
1 year

School Placements


Academic Award

Professional Award
Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

Masters Credits

Partnered With
Sheffield Hallam University

Why Train to Be an English Teacher?

An amazing thing about teaching English is that you get to be a link between the generations before you and the generations that follow. You pass on many of the novels, plays and poetry you were taught but you can choose how to do that - and you feel a great sense of privilege and legacy in doing so.

Richard, Head of English department

Teaching English is an opportunity to pass on your passion for literature, introducing students to thousands of different worlds, stories, views and ideas. It is a vital subject at the core of the curriculum, one that can be integral to young people’s long-term prospects and success. That’s why schools need the very best professionals and graduates to bring their skills in English to the classroom.

What is Life Like as an English Teacher?

You will usually be part of a large department, providing you with support and guidance as you introduce students to a range of texts, including poetry, drama, novels and non-fiction. You will design lessons and set assignments which will allow students to develop skills, such as reading, discussion, creative writing, traditional essays, performance and analysis.

Many teacher help with activities beyond the classroom, such as encouraging student journalism, organising trips, supporting the school’s theatrical productions, and encouraging home reading. By developing students’ skills in English you will be supporting their achievement in many other areas, ensuring they are equipped for life – as well as hopefully developing a love of reading.

What Skills Do You Need to Be an English Teacher?

Your training will have a strong focus on helping your pupils to become effective written and verbal communicators. You will learn teaching methods and strategies to help them hone their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, standing them in good stead for the future. Naturally it helps if your skills in these areas are well developed! A good understanding of spelling, punctuation and grammar, plus a love of books and communication in general will serve you well.

What Do We Cover in English Teacher Training?

You will be trained to teach English at key stages 3, 4 and 5.

This includes training in university, via STSA’s professional learning courses, and as part of your school placements, as detailed below:

At University

Our academic partner is Sheffield Hallam University, whose course is rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted. At university, you will have the opportunity to hone your Engish skills via seminars, workshops, lectures, group work, directed tasks, written assessments and practical work. You are assessed through supportive, collaborative means, helping you to grow and improve.

In STSA Professional Learning Courses

We run a number of STSA professional learning sessions throughout the year. These days are a great opportunity for our trainees to come together, catch up and share their experiences. Our trainees tell us this is a highly valued part of our course.

Examples of topics covered include:

  • The Professional Teacher
  • Safeguarding
  • Lesson/scheme design
  • Assessment: marking and feedback
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Barriers to learning
  • Organisation of self
  • Knowledge of consecutive key stages
  • Role of SENCO
  • Behaviour management
  • Building resilience
  • Child development
  • SEND and inclusion
  • EAL and new arrivals
  • Collaborative team teaching
  • Communication with parents
  • Planning for transition
  • Careers

The STSA team are on hand throughout the course to help you with any issues or questions you may have.

During your School Placements

Our course includes high-quality placements in two of our partner schools, providing experience in contrasting settings – which is part of the Department for Education (DfE) regulations for Initial Teacher Training (ITT). Your main placement is approximately 24 weeks over the academic year, whilst your complementary placement is approximately 6 weeks. You also have a 2-day experience in a primary setting.

You will have your own mentor in each school, who will meet with you regularly and provide support and advice. They will also assess your teaching in school.

You can find out more about what to expect on our course here.

Career Development

You will always be developing as a teacher and could progress to a head of subject role, or even head of a department or faculty. Some teachers decide to specialise in pastoral work, taking on a head of key stage/year group role. From middle management, you could then progress into senior leadership as an assistant, deputy or head teacher. With multi-academy trusts growing in number, there are also new opportunities working across a number of schools, taking on responsibility for your particular subject.