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The Olympus Academy Trust is committed to delivering an outstanding education for young people, ensuring that our students have access to the highest standards of teaching, resources and learning opportunities.

We work in close partnership with our schools, ensuring that we facilitate the sharing of best practice and provide access to a wide range of partners and resources for the benefit of our students and the wider community. Visit our website here or follow us on Twitter @olympustrust.

Bradley Stoke

Inspire | Believe | Succeed

SKE Course at the Concorde Partnership for Design and Technology

We are delighted to be offering a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course to Design and Technology (Product Design) trainees with a provisional place on an Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programme.

SKE course is intended to boost teacher trainees' subject knowledge prior to ITT to enable successful progression to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). It is particularly useful for those whose academic background omits aspects of their SKE specialist subject at a level necessary for teaching it in secondary schools, which is often the case in Product Design related degrees. The course will appeal to candidates about to embark on secondary PGCE, School Direct, University or SCITT Design and Technology programmes.

To apply you must have been offered a place on an ITT course starting in September 2017 and attending the SKE is a condition of you starting the course.

All of our SKE courses are funded by the NCTL and are therefore free to participants. Additionally, eligible NCTL-funded SKE trainees are entitled to a tax-free bursary if you are also entitled to a bursary for your ITT course. The bursary is dependent on attendance and progression at the required rate.

This popular course is a blend of distance learning with a practical face to face sessions in our schools.

What Are Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses?

Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses are designed to help you gain the depth of knowledge you will need to teach your chosen subject before starting to train. They are available in shortage subjects where we need to train more teachers. They vary in length from 8 to 36 weeks study.

Watch this YouTube video of trainee teachers and a SKE coordinator clarify what a subject knowledge enhancement course is.

Who are SKEs for?

These courses are aimed at those who have been offered a place on a postgraduate initial teacher training course subject to completion of a subject knowledge enhancement course. You may be recommended to complete an SKE if your degree is not in the subject you want to train to teach or if it has been some time since you studied your subject. We welcome career changers and mature candidates as well as new graduates.

What SKEs do we offer at Concorde Partnership?

Design and Technology (8 weeks).


  • To be eligible for an SKE course you need:
  • To be a graduate
  • Ideally to have already gained some recent experience of observing your subject being taught in a UK Secondary school
  • To have been offered a place on a teacher training course conditional on completing a SKE course

Where is it held?

The taught sessions for the DT SKE will be held in the schools of Concorde Partnership so that you have relevant experience to school settings (e.g. Bradley Stoke Community School (BS32 9BS) and Abbeywood Community School (BS34 8SF)) and run during the daytime. The independent study aspects can be completed at home.

DT SKE course outline

The SKE course provides subject knowledge development for those wishing to teach the new Design and Technology Curriculum. It has a duration of 8 weeks and starts on Monday 5 June 2017.

It is designed for those who already have expertise in some areas of the subject but who need to develop the breadth and range of their knowledge across all the material areas. The focus is on developing the confidence and understanding of the subject needed for teaching.  Areas of study include: Product Design, Textiles Technology, Food Preparation and Nutrition, Electronics & Digital technologies, Systems and Control and Graphics. The content can be adapted according to the requirements of the participants.

Practical activities are delivered through a hands-on approach, where trainees gain experience in using equipment available in school workshops and create outcomes within the context of teaching Design & Technology. All have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate competence using a wide variety of hand and power tools. Certification accredited by the Design and Technology Association (D&TA) is awarded on successful completion of the course, along with Level 2 Food Safety in Catering.

Practical sessions take place in schools on 2-3 days a week. Other days are independent study.

Subjects include: Product Design, Resistant Materials, Textile Technology, Food Technology, Electronics, Modern Technologies and Systems and Control. D&TA health and safety training is also included.

Funding and fees

SKE courses are funded by the NCTL and attract a bursary of £200 per week. To be entitled to this bursary for the SKE you must also be entitled to the bursary for your ITT course.

The Government offers bursaries to attract the best candidates to train to teach in shortage subjects.

How to apply

For further information about the DT SKE, and to apply, please contact

Katie Stobbart katie.stobbart@olympustrust.co.uk