What is Subject Knowledge Enhancement?

Our online subject knowledge enhancement courses are perfect for you if you are applying for teacher training in maths, physics, chemistry, biology, geography, computing, or a language (French, German 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 £3,220 (depending on the course length). 

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.

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.

On completion of our online SKE course you will receive a detailed feedback report outlining your progress, strengths and areas for further development. A copy of this SKE report is also sent to your ITT provider at the end the course outlining your development and areas for improvement during your teacher training course.

TES Institute offers online SKE courses in nine subjects, including Biology, Chemistry, Computing, 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.

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 Science sessions available include organic chemistry, kinetics, applications of fundamental physics, electricity, plant nutrition, genome and stem cells and common misconceptions.

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

Trainee teachers of a Modern Language are able to improve their subject knowledge with one of 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. 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 is a short eight week course that 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.

Longer Geography SKE courses will be available in the near future, please contact us for more information.

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.

 

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.

Please note that for SKE courses in Biology, Computing or Modern Languages (French, German or Spanish), the longest available is 24 weeks. Currently the longest Geography SKE course is 8 weeks.

 

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

Length of SKE

SKE application deadline

SKE Start date

8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28 or 32 weeks 11th July 25th July
8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28 or 32 weeks 8th August 22nd August
8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28 or 32 weeks 12th September 26th September
8, 12, 16, 20, 24 or 28 weeks 10th October 24th October
8, 12, 16, 20, 24 or 28 weeks 5th December 19th December
8, 12, 16, 20, 24 or 28 weeks 4th January 16th January
8, 12, 16, 20, 24 or 28 weeks 13th February 27th February
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 11th July 25th July
8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 8th August 22nd August
8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 12th September 26th September
8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 10th October 24th October
8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 5th December 19th December
8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 4th January 16th January
8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks 13th February 27th February
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


Geography for the 2016/17 academic year

Length of SKE

SKE application deadline

SKE Start date

8 weeks 11th July 25th July
8 weeks 8th August 22nd August
8 weeks 12th September 26th September
8 weeks 10th October 24th October
8 weeks 5th December 19th December
8 weeks 4th January 16th January
8 weeks 13th February 27th February
8 weeks 20th March 27th March
8 weeks 10th April 26th April
8 weeks 1st May 15th May
8 weeks 5th June 19th June
8 weeks 17th July 31st July
8 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 who meet the SKE course funding criteria you may also be able to access a tax-free training bursary of up to £3,220 (depending on the course length).

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.

Bursary payments are generally issued in arrears in equal monthly instalments for the duration of the SKE programme. 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

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

8 weeks

£1,600

£920

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

12 weeks

£2,400

£1,380

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

16 weeks

£3,200

£1,840

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

20 weeks

£4,000

£2,300

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

24 weeks

£4,800

£2,760

Chemistry, Maths or Physics

28 weeks

£5,600

£3,220


 

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, please call our enrolment team on 0203 194 3200 and they will talk you through the application process.

Alternatively, you can submit an enquiry form by clicking here and our enrolment team will get in touch with you.

They will be able to discuss your suitability for the course and give you further information on how an SKE programme can build your subject confidence.