What is Subject Knowledge Enhancement?

Our online subject knowledge enhancement courses are perfect for you if you are applying for teacher training in Biology, Chemistry, Computing, English, French, Geography, German, Maths, Physics or Spanish and either your degree is not subject-specific or you lack confidence in your subject.

Our SKE courses prepare you for initial teacher training by helping you to gain the depth of subject knowledge and skills you need to be able to teach your chosen subject. We recommend that all postgraduates applying for teacher training in a shortage subject complete an SKE course prior to or during their initial teacher training.

As a postgraduate teacher training trainee you could access National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) SKE funding to cover the cost of a Tes Institute SKE course (worth up to £5,600*) and you may be eligible for a tax-free SKE training bursary of up to £5,600 (depending on the course length and availability of supplementary funding). 

Fully funded English SKE course now available

We are pleased to announce that from April 2017 we will be able be able to offer a fully funded English SKE course. Covering language and literature, the SKE course will be available in 8, 12 and 16 week course lengths and is eligible for full course funding and bursary of up to £3,200 for suitable candidates*.

Back to back SKE courses in Languages

As most language teachers are required to teach two languages, the NCTL are now offering funding for up to two modern language SKE courses. The aim is to refresh your main teaching language and gain a more in depth understanding of a second language, with the SKE of your main language taking 8 weeks and the second, weaker language taking up to 24 weeks.

Coming soon- Primary Maths SKE

We will soon be adding SKE courses in Primary Maths. Please contact us for more information regarding these.

Completing your SKE while undertaking ITT

This year SKE courses can overlap with the start of ITT and you may choose to continue your SKE course while undertaking initial teacher training. If you decide to do this, you must complete your SKE before you can be awarded QTS and you will only receive one training bursary once your ITT course has started.

It is also possible for you to defer your ITT programme to allow for your SKE course if the length of the SKE required means you cannot complete the course before or alongside your ITT programme. In this circumstance your ITT provider/School Direct lead school can offer you a conditional deferred place on their ITT programme for the following year. However, this does not guarantee future ITT allocations will be granted to your ITT provider. Should your ITT provider/School Direct lead school not receive an allocation for the following academic year, you would need to re-apply for another ITT programme.

*funding eligibility criteria apply

Course outcomes

Our SKE course for trainee teachers will help you gain:

  • Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of your chosen subject
  • The ability to identify key concepts
  • The skills to design, present and evaluate pupil-centred lessons
  • Well-developed critical analysis, reflection and evaluation skills
  • Sound preparation for ITT
  • Some of the tools to become an outstanding teacher
  • The skills and knowledge to help your career progression
  • Ideas and activities that you can use in the classroom

On successful completion of our online SKE course, you will receive a detailed feedback report as well as a Tes Institute SKE certificate.

Course delivery

Your SKE course is delivered 100% online and on-demand via our interactive e-learning platform, allowing you to learn in your spare time and fit the course in and around existing personal and professional commitments. You can access course materials, lessons and tutorials from any Internet-enabled device, anywhere in the world, at any time, making learning extremely flexible.

You are appointed a personal pathway tutor, who will mentor you and work with you to agree on a learning plan and calendar, as well as coaching your subject knowledge.

This online SKE course will suit you if you enjoy being an independent learner and value the flexibility and accessibility to manage your own learning. Courses are designed to enhance your existing knowledge and will not teach you the subject from scratch.

Materials

The on-demand SKE course materials will consist of a range of tasks, including the following:

  • Pre-recorded interactive lectures
  • Reading-related articles
  • Self-assessment exercises
  • Subject-focused activities for discussion on class forums
  • Learning Diary reflections

Structure

Our online SKE courses are structured around 8, 12, 16, 20, 24 and 28 week courses. The number of weeks you should study depends on the level of your existing subject knowledge, which will be determined by you with the help of your initial teacher training provider.

Part-time learning now available

We are now able to offer our SKE courses as a part-time learning option. Typically we would recommend trainees spend 20-25 hours per week on a full-time SKE course, however a part-time option allows you to spend 10-12 hours per week learning, so for example an eight week SKE course would take 16 weeks to complete, but cover the same material as an eight week course. This option may be particularly useful for candidates who are overlapping their SKE with their teacher training.

Assessment

Your subject knowledge will be assessed throughout the SKE course. There are compulsory SKE assessment points to ensure that you are engaging with the SKE course and making the progress expected of you. Your pathway tutor also provides regular formative feedback to assist in the development of your subject knowledge and critical reflection skills.

Regular reports

Both you and your teacher training provider will receive regular checkpoint reports that will outline your progress so far, a review of your work for that period and suggestions of areas for improvement before the next checkpoint report. This is designed to structure your development and update your provider with your progress. You will both recieve a final detailed report upon your completion of the SKE course.

Available subjects

Tes Institute offers online SKE courses in nine subjects, including Biology, Chemistry, Computing, English, French, Geography, German, Maths, Physics and Spanish.

In order to receive course funding from the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) your chosen SKE subject should match the subject that you have a conditional offer for, unless you are teaching a Modern Language (French, German or Spanish) in which case you can choose a language that does not match your teacher training subject. In the case of Modern Language, you may pick up to two languages to cover back-to-back.

Fully funded English SKE

We are pleased to announce that English SKE courses are now available in a range of lengths including 8, 12 and 16 weeks. These courses will cover a range of topics across language and literature including creative writing, grammar, poetry, and Shakespeare. This course is eligible for full NCTL course funding and additional bursary of up to £3,200 if you meet the SKE entry criteria.

Please note that there is a compulsory reading list for all English SKE courses that can be viewed here. These will need to be sourced by the start of your SKE course and can be found online, at a local library or from a number of retailers.

Science SKE courses – Biology, Chemistry and Physics

Designed for trainee science teachers who are training to teach Biology, Chemistry or Physics who need to upgrade their subject knowledge, these SKE courses cover key topic areas and practical techniques in each science subject and are 100% online, allowing you to improve your subject knowledge at a time that suits you.

As an example, some of the sessions available include organic chemistry, kinetics, applications of fundamental physics, electricity, plant nutrition, genome and stem cells and common misconceptions.If you are planning to take a 16 week or longer Biology, Chemistry or Physics SKE and you are interested in covering more than one science discipline please contact us for more information.

Chemistry and Physics SKE courses are available in a range of course lengths between eight and 28 weeks and Biology is available between eight and 24 weeks.

Maths SKE course

If you need to improve your subject knowledge of Maths then this online SKE course can help you build your subject confidence before or alongside your initial teacher training. Covering key areas of the mathematics curriculum, this online course is designed to strengthen your Maths knowledge and give you some of the tools that you will need to teach the subject.

As an example, some of the Maths sessions available include from numbers to algebra, trigonometry, probability and statistics.

Our online Maths SKE course is available in various course lengths from eight weeks until 28 weeks.

Modern Languages SKE courses – French, German and Spanish- Double SKE now available

Trainee teachers of a Modern Language are able to improve their subject knowledge in up to two SKE courses with our online French, German or Spanish SKE courses. Your chosen language doesn’t need to match your subject that you are training to teach in, which will be particularly useful if you are asked to teach multiple languages once qualified.

As most language teachers are required to teach two languages, the NCTL are now offering funding for up to two modern language SKE courses. The aim is to refresh your main teaching language and gain a more in depth understanding of a second language, with the SKE of your main language taking 8 weeks and the second, weaker language taking up to 24 weeks.

During the course you will also have access to Rosetta stone to help you develop your language vocabulary. As an example, some of the Modern Languages sessions available include how we learn languages, problems with teaching grammar, patterns and creativity in languages and developing writing skills.

Modern Language SKE courses are available in a range of lengths between eight and 24 weeks.

Geography SKE course

Our Geography subject knowledge enhancement course covers a range of subject areas including rocks, weathering, rivers and coasts and climatic hazards. The online SKE course also provides an insight into using new technologies in teaching Geography.

As an example, some of the Geography sessions available include rocks, weathering and ice, climatic hazards, tectonic hazards and extending and enhancing teaching of Geography.

Geography SKE courses are available in 8-16 week course lengths.

Computing SKE course

Our Computing SKE course is designed to enhance a trainee’s knowledge of Computing in light of the recent curriculum changes. With an increased focus on areas such as coding, web design and cyber security, this SKE course is ideal for anyone training to teach Computing who wants to improve their subject knowledge before or alongside their training.

As an example, some of the Computing sessions available include inside the digital device, building software solutions, cyber security and technology in business and society.

Computing courses are available in a range of lengths between eight and 24 weeks.

Coming soon

Primary Maths SKE will be made available shortly. Please contact us for more information.

Entry criteria

To be eligible for a National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) funded place on our SKE course you must have accepted a conditional offer of a place on a postgraduate or School Direct initial teacher training (ITT) programme prior to applying for an SKE course.

Start dates

You can start your Tes Institute SKE course during the month that suits you best until August 2017, which is when the NCTL has guaranteed course funding until.

Below are the available courses by month and course length. Please note, you will be given an additional week at the end of the course once all learning sessions are completed to update your Subject Knowledge Audit and complete the final Learning Diary entry.

 

Maths, Physics or Chemistry for the 2016/17 academic year

Length of SKE

SKE application deadline

SKE Start date

8, 12, 16, 20, 24 or 28 weeks 20th March 27th March
8, 12, 16, 20, 24 or 28 weeks 10th April 26th April
8, 12, 16, 20, 24 or 28 weeks 1st May 15th May
8, 12, 16, 20, 24 or 28 weeks 5th June 19th June
8, 12, 16, 20, 24 or 28 weeks 17th July 31st July
8, 12, 16, 20, 24 or 28 weeks 7th August 21st August

 

Biology, Computing or Modern Languages for the 2016/17 academic year

Length of SKE

SKE application deadline

SKE Start date

8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 20th March 27th March
8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 10th April 26th April
8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 1st May 15th May
8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 5th June 19th June
8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 17th July 31st July
8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 7th August 21st August


English and Geography for the 2016/17 academic year

Length of SKE

SKE application deadline

SKE Start date

8, 12 or 16 weeks 20th March 27th March
8, 12 or 16 weeks 10th April 26th April
8, 12 or 16 weeks 1st May 15th May
8, 12 or 16 weeks 5th June 19th June
8, 12 or 16 weeks 17th July 31st July
8, 12 or 16 weeks 7th August 21st August

 

Course fees and funding

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can access National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) funding of up to £5,600 (depending on the course length) to cover the cost of your SKE course.

To access SKE course funding you must meet all of the entry criteria set by the NCTL, and your ITT or School Direct provider must agree to support your SKE course application. With NCTL funding, Tes Institute’s subject knowledge enhancement courses are completely free of charge for you and your ITT provider. The cost is covered by the NCTL.

If you meet the SKE course funding criteria you may also be able to access a tax-free training bursary of up to £5,600 (depending on the course length and the availabilty of supplementary funding).

Your ITT provider (whether School Direct, SCITT or HEI) can request bursary funding from NCTL on your behalf. Alternatively, your ITT provider can nominate Tes Institute to request the SKE course and bursary funding directly from the NCTL. We will then administer the training bursary in-line with the NCTL guidelines.

We strongly advise that you talk to your ITT provider about your eligibility and how you can access a SKE training bursary.

 

Subject

Programme Length

SKE Course Fees 

(funding available through the NCTL)*

SKE Training Bursary SKE Training Bursary with supplementary funds

Biology, Computing, Chemistry, English. French, Geography, German, Maths, Physics or Spanish

8 weeks

£1,600

£920 £1,600

Biology, Computing, Chemistry, English, French, Geography,  German, Maths, Physics or Spanish

12 weeks

£2,400

£1,380 £2,400

Biology, Computing, Chemistry, English, French, Geography German, Maths, Physics or Spanish

16 weeks

£3,200

£1,840 £3,200

Biology, Computing, Chemistry, French, German, Maths, Physics or Spanish

20 weeks

£4,000

£2,300 £4,000

Biology, Computing, Chemistry, French, German, Maths, Physics or Spanish

24 weeks

£4,800

£2,760 £4,800

Chemistry, Maths or Physics

28 weeks

£5,600

£3,220 £5,600


 

Supplementary bursary funding

Supplementary bursary funding is available for trainees who need additional financial support and would otherwise be unable to undertake an SKE programme. Trainees will gain the equivalent to a maximum of £85 per week and in addition to the standard rate of £115 per week. All bursary payments will be paid in arrears in equal monthly instalments for the duration of the SKE programme.

 

Self-fund option

If you do not meet the National College for Teaching and Leadership eligibility criteria for a funded SKE place, please contact us on 020 3194 3200 to discuss self-funded options.

 
*Please note that NCTL funding is subject to conditions and not guaranteed. For full entry criteria and funding details, view the NCTL SKE Funding Manual 2016/2017, click here.

Applying for a subject knowledge enhancement course

If you meet the eligibilty critera to apply for a subject knowledge enhancement course, you can begin your application form by clicking here.

If you do not yet meet the criteria for joining but would like to register your interest, please complete the enquiry form by clicking here and one of our advisors will contact you and give you further information on how an SKE programme can build your subject confidence.