The Explore Teaching Scheme is an exciting opportunity to gain valuable work experience in a school classroom. For 15 days, you support a teacher in a school or college while exploring a future career in teaching.
The placement can be completed in weekly blocks or instalments (eg one day per week) while continuing your studies.
You'll contribute to assisting school pupils by working with small groups under the direction of the teacher. You'll need to bring your enthusiasm for your subject to the classroom, as well as your subject knowledge.
While the scheme provides an opportunity to gain experience in education, it’s also a chance to be a role model for young people and raise their aspirations towards higher education. These skills will also be recognised with a Record of Achievement Certificate and a personalised reference.
The scheme builds your transferable skills such as teamwork, oral communication, initiative, motivation, flexibility and adaptability – useful skills to highlight on your CV, once you complete your studies.
The experience may also equip you for part-time work as a teaching assistant or cover supervisor.
Who organises the scheme?
Explore Teaching is run by the University of Westminster Careers and Employability Service. We are based at the Employability Hub on the ground floor of Cavendish Campus, 115 New Cavendish Street, London, W1W 6UW.
We arrange for you to apply for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, which is required by schools.
We provide full training before your placement begins. The training is run by our Education Consultant over three sessions at our offices. It focuses on the following areas: learning in the classroom, working in schools and the teacher's professional role.
You will be supported during your placement by coordinators at the Explore Teaching team and at your placement school.
Who can apply?
The scheme is open to undergraduates from second year onwards, postgraduates and recent graduates. Applicants must be working towards a 2:2 degree class or above.
You will be placed in a school or college in your specialist subject area. So, your placement subject must be closely related to your degree. If you request a primary school placement, your degree can be in any subject.
To be selected for the scheme, you must demonstrate the following attributes:
- excellent written and verbal communication skills
- ability to work in a team
- good interpersonal skills
- reliability and punctuality
- ability to provide commitment to the scheme, which may last throughout an academic year
- capacity for self-reliance, self-management and self-awareness
- flexibility and a willingness to learn
The selection process involves assessment of your application form, an informal interview and participation at the training sessions.
Please note that a place on the scheme is conditional on obtaining an enhanced DBS check and satisfactory references.
How to apply
If your application is satisfactory, you will be invited to an interview.
Recruitment is via 3 cohorts per academic year, as follows:
- Cohort 1: June – August (placement starts Autumn term)
- Cohort 2: September – November (placement starts Spring term)
- Cohort 3: December – February (placement starts Summer term)
If your application is not pursued during the first intake, we will automatically defer it for consideration during the second and third intakes.
What Explore Teaching alumni say
“My time at Westminster Academy was absolutely fantastic. It wasn’t just about in-class activities or shadowing teachers; I also helped outside the classroom, in assemblies, working alongside children doing fairs for the school, and experienced a more realistic and proactive approach to the wider education role.
It can be quite daunting, to be working as a recent student alongside experienced professionals who know what they are doing in their jobs. But the only way to go forward is to step up, to ask if they need assistance and find out what you can do. The training here at Westminster really helps; you also gain a bit more confidence, which you then take with you when you go into the school.”
“You get the chance to develop a lot of different skills, including organisation and team work, just by playing an active part in lessons. It really sets you up to find out what your own personal strengths are.
Being on Explore Teaching was an amazing experience. It really did bring up my confidence levels.”
Please direct any questions to the Explore Teaching team by email: