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Schools Direct at President Kennedy School

Schools Direct at President Kennedy School

Welcome to the President Kennedy Initial Teacher Training (ITT) information site.

My name is Aidan Jenkins and I am the Initial Teacher Training Lead for the Futures Trust and am based at President Kennedy School in Coventry. Within my remit I perform the role of Professional Mentor. This role can be summed up as to ensure that the trainees or NQTs who we receive here are supported to the highest standard in order to allow them to become the best teachers their potential allows. I identify the best mentors, train them, and then support them in their main role which is to support you.

Supporting staff is a very personal job, so a little about me! I came into teaching in my thirties. I was lucky enough to come to President Kennedy for my second placement in my PGCE and I am still here many years later. From the first welcome I was sold. I felt supported, professionally challenged and a sense of belonging.

I came to teaching having already had experience in a variety of careers. None of those roles rewarded, excited, or stimulated me as working at President Kennedy does.

I gained the responsibility of Lead Practitioner for Initial Teacher Training. This gives me the chance to be the person supporting and challenging new staff at President Kennedy just as I was too many years ago!!

Recently I gained the role of Initial Teacher Training Lead for the Futures Trust which now allows me to drive the support of all trainees across our trust of schools

Within my time in role, I have forged links with many universities; I meet regularly with the Coventry SCITT and also Warwick University, who recently very kindly audited our provision and sent this feedback. “The quality of your skill set, your collegiate approach, which is both prominent in staff and trainees comments, and your professionalism when dealing with the university as a stakeholder, is exemplary.”

In September 2018 we are looking to support the training through Schools Direct for:

Computer Science






Please do have a read through the rest of the information which hopefully will show why The Futures Trust and possibly President Kennedy School itself are well worth an informal visit.


At the OFSTED OUTSTANDING President Kennedy School, we belong to a Trust of schools called “The Futures Trust” this trust contains Secondary and Primary schools, within this trust everything we do is focused on Building Brighter Futures for our students, staff and Community. We are proud of our “no barriers” approach to education, ensuring children of all abilities and all backgrounds are encouraged to set high goals and work hard to achieve them.

We work together in a productive and challenging manner to provide a vibrant and engaging learning environment that ensures every student achieves his or her potential. This school is about ensuring our students feel supported and happy. If students are happy they will flourish and achieve.

Our school endeavours to achieve its aims by encouraging:

  • High academic attainment


  • A caring environment where all individuals are equally valued


  • A thirst for study and investigation


  • Respect for the beliefs, opinions and needs of other people


  • The ability to work independently and with others


  • A sense of fairness and responsibility


  • Pride in oneself and our school


  • An appreciation of art and culture


  • Pursuit of a healthy lifestyle


  • An awareness of issues that affect the world including the environment


  • The professional development of our staff


    “Students achieve exceptionally well and above national averages by the end of Key Stage 4. The progress that students make in English and mathematics is much better than the progress of students in most schools.” Ofsted 2013


In 2017, President Kennedy School’s GCSE results remain well above average with 62% of our students achieving the important measure of 5 GCSEs graded grade A*/9-C/4 including English and Maths.

This year, Maths and English GCSEs have been graded using the new system of 1 to 9 (9 being the top grade). Students made outstanding progress across both subjects with a good number achieving the very top grade.

Every single student (100%) secured at least one GCSE and a greater number of students than ever achieved top grades A* and A plus grade 8 or 9 in English and Maths. On average, in each subject, our students achieved half a grade higher than would be expected nationally. This is an excellent achievement considering the recent changes to the curriculum which have made these exams more challenging.

Based on these results, President Kennedy School will again be one of the top 1% of state schools nationally for academic progress. The vast majority of Year 11 students will progress to President Kennedy School’s Post 16 to study Level 3 courses.

At A Level, across all subjects, 27% of our students achieved the very top grade of A* or Distinction* and 41% achieved at least grade A / Distinction or higher. The average grade achieved by students studying vocational A levels was Distinction* which is an outstanding achievement. An impressive 40% of grades secured by President Kennedy students studying academic A levels were A*-B.

Our A level results are especially pleasing as President Kennedy School is highly inclusive and welcomes a very high proportion of year 11 students to study in Post 16.

Given the strength of these results, all our students who applied to join Higher Education courses succeeded in securing an offer, and the vast majority secured their first choice place. Students who have not chosen to go on to Higher Education have gained places on high quality apprenticeships or positions in employment.

Staff Training

President Kennedy is proud of its staff training programme. All staff are involved in mixed subject working groups on whole school matters and also coaching sessions. As a trainee teacher you will be supported by a weekly meeting with your subject mentor.

A whole school professional mentor will also ensure you have the maximum support possible. Through close collaboration with other secondary and primary schools within “The Futures Trust” A support network including all NQT’s, Schools Direct staff, Teach First, Premier Pathways and PGCE trainees meet regularly to discuss areas such as planning lessons, behaviour for learning and assessment for learning.

As an OFSTED Outstanding school we know that only by investing time in our staff will we continue to drive our pupil’s progression.


In September 2018 we are looking to support the training through Schools Direct for:

Computer Science






Postgraduate or Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) (Including Schools Direct)

Higher education institutions (HEIs) throughout the UK offer courses leading to a PGCE. The courses usually last one academic year if completed full-time. You will attend classes at the university or college where you're based, and will also spend a minimum of 24 weeks on placement in at least two schools. Placements are arranged by the HEI with their partner schools.

President Kennedy is a partner school for Warwick University, Birmingham City University, Newman University, Bath Spa University, Wolverhampton University, Leicester University and also Edge Hill University who recently send this glowing endorsement of our support.

“I wanted to express my thanks and gratitude for the support that you’ve shown this trainee in a time of great need.  I have recommended you and PKS for special recognition status from Edge Hill and I hope that we may work together again in the future.”

Our role in the partnerships with the universities is a very proactive one. We sit on steering groups to help reflect and shape the quality and content of training carried out at many of these universities. President Kennedy also holds training for the universities at our school. Warwick University has sent both individual subject trainees and also their whole cohort of trainees to us every year for well over ten years for training run by President Kennedy specialists. Leicester University has also now started to do the same.

President Kennedy has an outstanding record of support for their trainees. Instilling a sense of belonging with the trainee, ensuring their induction into President Kennedy from their very first day on site is personal and comprehensive. You will be allocated an experienced subject mentor, who along with the rest of your department will help support you through your journey with formal weekly meetings and as many informal chats within the week as required. You will have my support as the professional mentor; I am the Lead Practitioner in Initial Teacher Training with many years’ experience having supported over 180 trainees in my role. My links to the universities, the wider whole school picture, the Leadership Group and other schools, will enhance my support with you and ensure a there is quality moderation of standards across President  Kennedy, other schools and with the universities.

In 2016 Warwick audited our provision and gave some glowing feedback “Staff and trainees spoke highly of you, particularly regarding the way that you carry out your role, your engagement in the process, your expertise, responsiveness and innovation. All these were highlighted regularly both on the day and in trainee feedback that we have received through evaluations. As someone who meets many PM’s in many schools I hope you can accept this praise as a reflection of both mine and Warwick’s significant regard for the work you do. The quality of your skill set, your collegiate approach, which are both prominent in staff and trainees comments, and your professionalism when dealing with the university as a stakeholder, is exemplary. “

Whether the pathway is Schools Direct, PGCE, Teach First or any of the other pathways we support, the key to our trainee’s progression, academically, through pedagogy and pastorally is by the mentoring support in school. Some testimonies from previous trainees and showing their progress through the school are given below to highlight the outstanding support you will receive here.

Sabon Hare on being a PGCE trainee at President Kennedy

While doing my training at President Kennedy School I found that the staff were all very supportive and encouraged creativity. Being a trainee is always daunting but all the staff around President Kennedy made me feel at ease and were all very approachable, this was very important if I ever had any questions. I was delighted to have secured a full time job here at President Kennedy and am now in my third year of teaching. I can highly recommend either training or becoming a mentor here as the school offers such a strong environment to help everyone to become the best teacher possible.

Liz Wright on being a Schools Direct Trainee at President Kennedy

“I completed my teacher training through schools direct (non-salaried) in the first year that the programme ran at Warwick University. I began working as a teaching assistant 3 years before my training at PK and then decided to train to be a Psychology teacher. PK offered me a training place which was great. The support the school offered me during the training year was fantastic as were the university tutors. It was a tough year and I am still very grateful for all the support and guidance from my Subject Mentor and the Lead Practitioner of ITT. Two years after my training and I am now Leader of Psychology and hope to progress in my career even further at PK in the future.”

Luke Hodson on being a Teach First trainee at President Kennedy

“I started at President Kennedy at the beginning of September beginning my PGCE as part of the Teach First programme. 24 months later and I can say I have had a stimulating, challenging and yet enjoyable year.

One of the benefits (and yet was demanding at the time!) was starting on a high timetable load and having full responsibility for initial classes. This has helped me to develop really quickly throughout the year and means that going into my NQT year in September I already have the experience of setting in expectations with new classes. I also feel I have really been able to stretch myself mathematically this year teaching everything from very low ability year 8 to A-level at year 13. What has helped enormously this year has been the support of my subject and professional mentor, BCU, Teach First, and the maths department. At PKS there have always been many people to support if and when needed, and the school is interested in making you the best teacher you can be.”

Jo Alexander on being a GTP trainee at President Kennedy

I came here 9 years ago as a Teaching Assistant. After 2 years TA experience, the school supported my training at Wolverhampton University in order to complete my GTP.

 Training here was beneficial for me as CPD was on the increase. In my experience it has been clear that our CPD training is targeted every year for both student, staff and school priority needs. The constant reflection that we undertake in our school ensures that each year I am a developing teacher, and I am never at risk at becoming complacent. Because of these CPD opportunities, both inside and outside departments, early in my career I became part of the Year 7 Bridge team where I was responsible for Character Development. This college experience has now led me to another opportunity to be Bridge Director, allowing me to apply all that I have learnt in the Year 7 college, to my own college. 

 Training at President Kennedy has offered me a career beyond my own expectations because I am provided with professional support. The culture of staff development and staff belonging that has been created in this school has undoubtedly made me want to continue my career here, and I cannot imagine wanting to leave this school or our students behind.

We use three main providers to give trainees the opportunity to train at President Kennedy.

The Coventry West School Direct Alliance

This is a group of secondary schools in the west of Coventry who are looking to recruit high quality graduates into the teaching profession. Finham Park School ( acts as the lead school for the CWSDA.

Trainees will complete their PGCE with QTS at the University of Warwick Centre for Professional Education. Four days a week will be spent in the host school with the other day spent at the University of Warwick engaging in reflective practice, preparation for Masters level research and developing professional understanding. Subject knowledge development will be developed through school based practice and University support. All trainees will also complete a second placement at a complementary school. Successful completion of Masters Assignments will give candidates 90 CATS towards an MA in Educational Innovation.

Applications can only be made through the UCAS website. Visit the university website at to ensure that you have researched what is available in detail.

Entry Requirements (in-line with the University of Warwick requirements)

  • You have graduated, or are about to graduate from a British university or College of Higher Education with an honours degree, normally a 2:1 or higher if applying for English, History or Drama and at least 2:2 for remaining subjects. If you are an overseas student with a qualification recognised as equivalent to a British degree in the above mentioned classifications.

  • Normally, a significant proportion of your degree must be in chosen subject.

  • On application you hold at least Grade C in GCSE English Language and Mathematics. Other qualifications may be approved as equivalent. The University of Warwick offer equivalency tests in English and Mathematics for international applicants (PGCE Secondary only) who are unable to show evidence of equivalent qualifications in English and Mathematics gained outside of the UK.

  • DfE Professional Skills tests in literacy and numeracy will also need to be completed before the course commences. We recommend that candidates consider completing the Skills Tests as close to application as possible.

  • We expect candidates to have had some experience of mainstream UK schools to become familiar with the atmosphere and demands of the age phase they are applying for.


All applications should be made through the website.

It is very important that there are no breaks in your employment history. All time must be accounted for otherwise this will delay your application being processed and could lead to it being rejected.

Within the personal statement it is important that you include information about:

  • Why you want to teach and why working with young people is important to you

  • How your degree and its content links to your chosen curriculum subject and its teaching

  • What school experience you have had and what you have learned from this (consider at this stage the school you are applying to, what relevance does your experience have in their context?)

  • Other relevant experience that demonstrates your skills (particularly add information about any wider experience of working with young people such as sports coaching, uniformed organisations, youth work or mentoring)

  • What are your personal strengths that will support you in teaching? Try to give examples of where you have demonstrated these strengths.

  • Why the School Direct route into teaching is interesting to you.

  • How you could contribute to the school.

Please ensure that your application has been proof read and checked for accuracy before submission.

The Coventry SCITT

The Coventry SCITT is run by teachers in schools and the bespoke high quality training has been written and delivered by consistently outstanding teachers. We know that learning how to teach does not just happen overnight, it takes time and support and that is what The Coventry SCITT will give to you.

You can expect the following from The Coventry SCITT:

  • By the end of the year you will have QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) and a PGCE from Birmingham City University which is 60 MA credits.

  • We will give you as much support as possible to complete your full MA after your training year.

  • All 4 Teaching Schools in Coventry are involved in the SCITT, offering excellent training venues and facilities as well as writing and delivering the training.

  • We have training hubs all around Coventry, hosted by our partner schools where you can speak to other trainees, gain advice from mentors or simply plan your lessons.

  • The training has all been written by outstanding teachers to help to ensure that you are delivering good or outstanding lessons by the end of your training year.

We are committed to providing many layers of support to ensure that you flourish. You will have a subject mentor who will meet with you weekly as well extra mentors to give you extra support and guidance.

You must have the following to be eligible to apply for teaching training in the United Kingdom:

  • You must have a grade C or above in GCSE English or a standard equivalent.

  • You must have a grade C or above in GCSE Mathematics or a standard equivalent.

  • You must hold a first degree of a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent. Please note that if you have not completed your first degree on applying to The Coventry SCITT, the SCITT can still interview you as long as the original degree certificate is seen before the commencement of the teacher training year. If you hold international qualifications, please visit the NARIC website ( to check their equivalency.

  • You must have passed the professional skills tests prior to course commencement. It is advisable to have at least booked the tests before interview. It is highly recommended that you have passed the skills tests before attending interview.

  • You must undergo a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check before you are able to work with young people.


All applications can only be made through the UCAS website. Visit the SCITT website to ensure that you have researched what is available in detail.

Ashlawn Teaching School

School Direct

One way of getting into teaching is through a programme called School Direct. It is a course which is based for the main part in a lead school (or one of its partner schools) but with some contact with a university.

How long will it take?

Typically this is a one year course

What previous qualifications must I have?

You should hold a degree in the subject you are interested in teaching and you must have GCSE’s in English and mathematics.

What if I don’t have a degree?

Get in touch with us if you think you have qualifications or experiences which you think would make you a suitable candidate to become a teacher

Where will I train?

You’ll train in at least two schools

Will I be a qualified teacher at the end of the course?

Yes, you will be awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and designated a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT). You will be awarded a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and/or in some cases Masters-level credits.

What support might I expect?

You will receive intensive support from a professional mentor, be attached to a subject-area or department and work in a team of experienced professionals.

Do I Need Any Special Checks to Work with Children?

Yes. All adults who work closely with children will need to agree to be subject to an official enhanced safeguarding check, but we will help you through this process and undertake it on your behalf.

For more information or to arrange a meeting to discuss this further please contact Mrs Angela Greenway, Director of Teaching School, Ashlawn School on the email:


All applications can only be made through the UCAS website. Visit the Teaching School website to ensure that you have researched what is available in detail.


The Computing department at President Kennedy is very successful, with outstanding results across the department. Our curriculum contains strong elements of Computer Science to meet the new standards within this subject area.

In KS3 students’ cover topics such as how computers operate, e-safety, web designing, and 3D design with broad elements of programming. In KS4 we teach CiDA as our option vocational course, and GCSE Computer Science as our other option to ensure that the new curriculum standards are implemented within the department. At KS5 we deliver the BTEC Level 3 in Information Technology. Our selected courses aim to deepen subject knowledge within the areas of interest, with the vocational courses designed to also develop practical skills through creative modules and work experience.

The IT department consists of 2 full time members of staff, one being the subject leader. We also have a trainee who is working towards becoming a qualified teacher within the subject area. There are a team of technicians who work closely with this department who ensure all IT equipment is running to its full potential across all rooms.


The English department at President Kennedy School is outstanding. Our examination results, both at A- Level and GCSE, are outstanding for both attainment and progress. For English Literature GCSE we are ranked in the top 1% of schools for progress in the UK, with several of our students recently achieving the very top grades in the reformed GCSE courses. Our students make significantly more progress in English Language than similar students nationally, again with the very top grades achieved.

 We are a passionate and morally-driven team of teachers. Several of our colleagues deliver CDPL at national conferences and educational summits, and we have a very close working relationship with the University of Warwick. 

 We deliver a vibrant and diverse curriculum, focused around relevant and challenging themes and texts. We have a relentless desire to equip our students with the skills they will need to apply, both inside and outside the classroom. We are a team who truly value literature; we are passionate about promoting reading for pleasure alongside the rigour of our curriculum. We currently offer English Literature A-Level and have offered English Language A-Level in the past, with an ideal balance of language and literature specialists in our team.

Following an unrivalled skills based transition unit of work at the beginning of Year 7, we carefully select texts which meet the needs of our students' prior learning and bespoke Teaching and Learning needs, such as The Hunger Games, The Crucible and A Midsummer Night's Dream. These are chosen to hone reading skills whilst simultaneously developing an appropriate register and tenor for writing. These skills prepare students for the GCSE courses in Key Stage 4, where we currently deliver the Eduqas English Language and Edexcel English Literature specifications. 

We firmly believe in a "no barriers" approach to learning, enabling all students to succeed regardless of context. 


 “Inspiring curiosity to understand and explore our role as members of the global community”

The Geography department at President Kennedy School is a vibrant and engaging place to work, containing 6 subject specialists. We are committed to providing a supportive environment in which both students and staff can work to the best of their ability, achieving their full potential.

A successful department known for its consistently innovative approach to teaching and learning, we have embraced a new project-based curriculum at KS3. We encourage the use oracy to promote depth of learning within the curriculum, and take a skills-based approach to teaching. We have large uptake at GCSE, which demonstrates the student’s passions for the subject. Our examination results both at GCSE are good both in attainment and progress; in 2017 60% of students achieved a C grade or above, with an excellent 21% achieving A* - A. Geography is also a popular option at A-level. 

We teach a cohesive and exciting curriculum which is focused on teaching geographical skills. All students are encouraged to become independent learners, with the intention of developing Geographers, not students with Geography knowledge. Each year group participate in fieldwork to inspire and give opportunity to experience physical and human landscapes first hand, applying their classroom learning in real life.

At Key Stage 3 we teach Geography in four projects – 8 weeks of 5 hours a week - beginning with a place study of Coventry. This brings in concepts of place from A-level, and celebrates the rich cultural heritage of our students and their communities The project format promotes depth of understanding, and allows difficult topics to be covered in detail. The second project is weather and climate, which gives students an opportunity to plan and complete a microclimate enquiry of the school. To begin year 8, the students build on their knowledge by studying the contemporary issue of climate change. The final project is based on China, giving opportunity to bring in facets from all prior learning,

At Key Stage 4 we teach the AQA specification. Again there is a keen focus on skills – teaching students to be geographers rather than pass AN EXAM.

We are committed to providing equality of opportunity in Geography classes and we aim to foster tolerance, understanding and acceptance of cultural diversity. 


The Mathematics department is Outstanding. The results we achieved in 2017 put the department as the top school in the entire country for progress. This has been achieved by having a very strong department, who always put students at the heart of learning.

The faculty team consists of a Director of maths whose role extends across “The Futures Trust” with a full time Head of Maths at President Kennedy overseeing an experienced team of post holders responsible for key stages, teaching and learning and enrichment. The Department also has a Higher Level Teaching Assistant, who runs interventions and enrichment activities.

The Department looks forward to building on the success already achieved through a variety of foci, including independent learning.

At Key Stage 4 the department enters students for EDEXCEL GCSE and AQA for A level; also top sets are entered for Further Math Level 2.


The MFL department at President Kennedy is very successful, with outstanding results in key stage 4. We currently teach French and Spanish in key stage 3 and 4 and also offer Spanish A-level. We are hoping our success with A-level Spanish will extend to French in the coming years.

Students are taught the four main skills through a variety of different topics that allows us to inspire and motivate language learning. We are a team of five in the department and we are all dedicated and determined to make all our students be passionate about languages.


The Science Faculty at President Kennedy is a highly successful department with good results at KS4 and KS5.

Single Sciences are taught at both GCSE and A Level.

The faculty is looking to expand on this success and rise to the challenge of an ever changing curriculum particularly with the recent introduction of linear A Levels and GCSEs.

The Science faculty is staffed by fifteen full-time and one part-time teacher along with 2 full-time Lab technicians. The faculty is also supported by a dedicated science TA.

All teachers are expected to teach the full age and ability range, and we are keen to maintain the balance of specialisms within the team.

The faculty team consists of a subject leader with a team of post holders responsible for teaching and learning, curriculum and assessment.

We are looking to support a suitably qualified Schools Direct candidate with a passion for driving pupil’s progress.

Should you require any further information or come in for a visit, please contact me on the email below. We always welcome informal visits so you can have a no pressure look not only at our brand new school building, but also meet some of the key staff who potentially may be instrumental in supporting you through your teacher training and on into your career.


Aidan Jenkins

Trust Lead for Initial Teacher Training

The Futures Trust

President Kennedy School