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Graduate Assistant Programme

About the programme

The role of Graduate Assistant at Freemen’s is a broad one and intended to give a fantastic introduction to the richness of working in a school. Participants are given the opportunity to be involved in a variety of aspects of school life, meeting more pupils than many of the ‘regular’ teaching staff, such is the breadth of the role. The focus is getting the Graduate Assistants inside the classroom – including if that classroom is the sports pitch – and by the end of the year we want Graduate Assistants to be confident in planning and delivering quality lessons on their own. The scheme is designed so that we can pursue this goal at each Assistant’s own pace and with support every step of the way. Graduate Assistants will also contribute to the extra-curricular life at the school and will be encouraged to share their passions and interests, passing them on to the pupils. Working in the Boarding House is another exciting opportunity for Graduate Assistants, giving the chance to be involved in an area of the Freemen’s community that is flourishing.

The year of a Graduate Assistant will be challenging and at times remarkably busy, but it should also be hugely exciting and remarkably rewarding. Freemen’s is a spectacular school and a special community; the commitment put in will always be reciprocated by the pupils, which makes the job so fulfilling.

The Graduate Assistant Programme is overseen by the Graduate Coordinator who provides the role of a school mentor, offering pedagogical and pastoral training, alongside opportunities to self-reflect through fortnightly meetings with other Graduate Assistants. Each graduate also receives a department mentor in the subject of specific expertise, providing support and subject specific training that gives the graduates a head start as they approach their year of ITT.

Graduate Assistants will be expected to get involved in every aspect of school life from helping on the sports field, to accompanying trips and visits with all age groups and contributing to the extra-curricular programme in areas where they feel they can bring something extra, be it sport, drama, music, science, humanities or the arts. They will also be expected to be actively involved in the boarding life of the School, assisting with duties in our new purpose-built mixed boarding house, playing a key role with the pastoral care of boarders. There is also an expectation that, with the support of a member of the department, Graduate Assistants will start to teach their specialist subject(s). This will evolve gradually over the course of the year, and the amount of teaching will vary according to each individual.

Aims and objectives

  • Provide Graduate Assistants with opportunities to experience all aspects of school life;
  • To put in place well trained, experienced and able colleagues to act as subject specific and pastoral mentors;
  • To provide training, guidance and support by the Graduate Assistant Coordinator aimed at supporting the Graduate Assistant in securing a place on a teacher training programme;
  • To support, guide and develop staff practice which will lead them to taking timetabled lessons as requested, working with small groups as directed and taking occasional responsibility for a class;
  • To support their pastoral care training so they can assist with the pastoral care of boarders, organising and supervising activities.

Training received

  • A fortnightly reflective team meeting;
  • A tailored timetable bespoke to your experience and needs;
  • Behaviour management;
  • Lesson planning;
  • Self-evaluation and observing others;
  • Differentiation;
  • Pupil data tracking;
  • Teaching standards;
  • Assessment – formative and summative;
  • Trips and visits;
  • SEND and EAL;

Requirements to join

  • A UK Honours degree with 2:2 or above or equivalent; from a reputable University in a degree related to the teaching vacancy to which you are applying;
  • GCSE Maths and English with Grade C/level 4 or above (for Primary trainees they must also have Science at Grade C/4 or above);
  • Any overseas qualifications must be certified by NARIC to confirm equivalency to the above;
  • To have found a week’s work experience in a school, sufficient to have had a good look at the working life of a teacher and to have spent some time with students in a classroom environment, either taking some lessons or helping to do so.


  • The perfect start to decide if the teaching profession is for you;
  • One-year programme;
  • Gain experience of the academic, boarding and co-curricular roles in a school;
  • Accommodation may be available;
  • Option to convert to the Graduate Teacher programme if a position arises.