Oak Academy: new online lessons for trainees to observe

Trainee teachers whose practical experience has been disrupted by Covid can now use online lessons to explore planning and pedagogy with experts

trainee teacher

Trainee teachers who have missed out on observing and learning from experienced colleagues during the pandemic can now use series of videos launched by the Oak National Academy online learning platform.

The videos feature Oak teachers reflecting on lessons, explaining how each has been structured and designed, while sharing pedagogical reasoning behind their methods.

The Department for Education has acknowledged the disruption to initial teacher training caused by Covid, and confirmed that teacher trainees can qualify based on progress judgements of trainers for a second year running.

Related: Oak National Academy plans curriculum for schools using rotas

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Oak National Academy: Everything you need to know

Schools minister Nick Gibb said the videos - which have been designed with sector experts to exemplify key elements of the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Core Content Framework (2019) - would be "hugely valuable optional materials for those starting their teaching career”.

Oak National Academy principal Matt Hood said: “Teachers, and trainee teachers in particular, have said how useful watching Oak lessons has been for them.

"We hope these videos will be a helpful addition to their learning, and we’ve been delighted to work alongside teacher training providers to develop them.

“This year has unsurprisingly brought with it a lack of opportunity to regularly observe other teachers; arguably one of the most important and impactful elements of any initial teacher training course.”

Oak National Academy videos: future plans 

The first eight videos of the project are available to access today, with English, maths and science covered for primary and secondary phases.

More videos are currently in production, with the aim of covering all subjects and phases of foundation curriculum subjects. Around 20 further videos are expected to be launched in May.

Emma Hollis, executive director of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT), said: “This new resource from Oak is a welcome addition to the wide range of remote learning opportunities providers have offered to their trainees during this challenging period.

“The ability to observe a wide range colleagues not only teach, but explain the thinking behind their planning and approach, is an invaluable part of initial teacher training and this is a resource which will offer trainee teachers additional opportunities to learn from colleagues outside their immediate environment.”

Oak National Academy will be hosting a webinar for ITT providers on 23 March to discuss the videos and receive initial feedback. Details about the webinar and registration instructions can be found here. 

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Dave Speck

Dave Speck is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @Specktator100

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