Secondary Course Information

All of our secondary School Direct placements for 2020-21 will include placements at St Mary’s College and either The Marvell College, Kelvin Hall School or The Boulevard Academy. 

Scroll down to find further information on the subject departments which host placements for the following courses:

  1. Computing

  2. Design Technology

  3. English

  4. Geography

  5. History

  6. Mathematics

  7. Modern Languages (French/Spanish)

  8. Music

  9. Religious Education

  10. Science (Biology / Chemistry / Physics)


Computer Science provision at St Mary’s College is led by an experienced Computer Science teacher who also has first-hand experience of the concepts of Computer Science. We follow the AQA specification for both KS4 and KS5 qualifications. Staff within the department have experience of working with trainee teachers and help them to develop their professional practice. As a Computer Science trainee, you would be supported by experienced practitioners who can model outstanding practice and help you to develop your own skills as a professional.

Computer Science is part of a faculty with Business Studies, Economics and Enterprise. Our students can choose Computer Science from Year 9 onwards. We teach the AQA exam syllabus which covers all areas of Computer Science and provides a clear path for progression throughout KS4 and KS5; students are provided with opportunities to challenge themselves outside of lesson time through extra-curricular clubs. Our teaching rooms have interactive whiteboards, and the students have computer access.

As a trainee, you will be developing students’ computational thinking skills and teaching them how to program in multiple languages (currently Python & C#). You will be trained in how to develop the students’ computing skills through engaging and exciting activities, as well as encouraging students to be investigative and independent in their learning. You will be trained to teach all aspects of Computer Science, from binary to XML.


  1. Design and Technology

Design and Technology, Art and Design, Food and Nutrition, Media, Film Studies and Photography form the Creative Arts, Design and Media Faculty at St Mary’s College. We work closely together as a faculty to develop and nurture creativity and skills in our young people, across a range of creative subjects. We are a forward thinking, passionate, innovative and inspiring faculty. Colleagues are keen to learn new skills themselves and are supported by the school in doing courses and qualifications to support teaching and learning within the faculty.

We teach a range of both traditional and vocational courses in a variety of different specialist pathways, some of which we teach up to level 3 / A-level. We have eleven teaching staff, a teaching assistant and a technician within the faculty. We strive for excellence and we feel strongly about using industry and professionals to form the basis of our briefs to gain valuable, contextual learning opportunities for our students. We are currently working on briefs with a local nursery school and jewellers. We hold an annual end of year exhibition to celebrate the work of our Year 11 and Year 13 pupils. We have a strong extra-curricular emphasis through trips to universities and exhibitions and get involved in theatre design for school productions. We are a vibrant, energetic and successful team. We are proud of our achievements and strive for creative recognition both locally and nationally.

The Creative Arts faculty has been providing teacher training for many years. We have an excellent record of teacher training across all subject areas. We have supportive staff who are qualified mentors as well as outstanding practitioners. Any trainee wishing to train within the faculty would be well supported.

For more information on Creative Arts, Design & Media please see the subject page on the website or twitter @creative_smc


  1. English

The English department at St Mary’s College offers an excellent environment in which to train. Trainees can expect to find a welcoming, supportive and collaborative department who consistently work together to improve outcomes for students and offer young people an outstanding English education. This drive for excellence within the department is evidenced by consistently outstanding GCSE and A Level results.

As a large faculty with 20 subject specialists, we are able to provide trainees with in-depth subject and curriculum knowledge, practical support and detailed guidance and we have a reputation for supporting trainees to become outstanding practitioners.  Trainees will have the opportunity to observe and teach poetry, drama and prose across all three Key Stages and will be able to develop a wide range of strategies that can be employed to develop students’ thinking skills, literacy and appreciation of literature. Additionally, trainees will have the opportunity to become involved in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, such as Book Week, Spoken Language Week, theatre trips and weekly clubs. Furthermore, our partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company provides trainees with an excellent opportunity to develop their subject knowledge and confidence with the teaching of Shakespeare. The English department at St Mary’s College is innovative, exciting and ambitious and trainees are welcomed as an integral and important part of our team.

As an English trainee at The Marvell College, you can expect to work as a valued member of the team in a department that prides itself on teamwork and the relentless pursuit of securing the best outcomes for each student that we teach. Developing the highest standards of teaching and learning is central to what we do and all colleagues within the department, including trainees, have access to ongoing professional development. As a department, we are committed to fostering a love of both Language and Literature and continually strive to enrich students’ experience of English. At Key Stage 4, our results are continuing to improve year on year, and our impressive results for English Language feature amongst the best in the region. We strive for excellence in all that we do and welcome trainees who share our same drive and commitment to young people.  

  1. Geography

The Geography department at St Mary’s College is young and dynamic department with experienced Geography teachers and teacher training mentors.  Our department is forward-looking and has an exciting curriculum which provides students with a rigorous and thoroughly enjoyable Geography experience. We are very confident in our ability to produce high quality teachers. All of our recent trainees have been successful in securing employment either at St Mary’s College or in other local schools. Within the department, three other Geography teachers are trained School Direct Mentors and all members of the department have had experience of being host teachers to School Direct trainees and thus understand the course, how to support trainees and provide high quality advice. Geography is a very popular subject at KS4 and our numbers have significantly increased at KS5. We offer a residential fieldwork for our 6th form students which is normally somewhere in the UK. We also have fieldwork in Years 9 and 10 and our School Direct students are fully involved with these. We have a number of extracurricular activities taking place each week, including revision sessions and a Geography club for KS3 students. We have high expectations for our students and staff and meet weekly to support one another, discuss new teaching and learning ideas and work collaboratively when planning lessons.

Your teacher training with the Geography department at The Marvell College will set you up for long-term success on a career path where you get to use your geographical knowledge to inspire young people’s interest in the world and its environment. You’ll develop the skills to devise and deliver enlightening lessons and teach pupils about our planet’s people, places, landscapes, processes and natural history, as well as their understanding about urgent global issues such as climate, poverty, disease, migration, water, energy, and biodiversity. You will receive expert training in how to make these topics engaging and relevant to young people and how to develop their geographical analytical skills.  You will also learn how to teach specific national issues in the UK, like housing, social deprivation, flooding and regional development.


  1. History

The History department at St Mary’s College provides a welcoming and supportive environment in which to train. The department consists of six subject specialists with a wealth of teaching experience between them. History is a very popular option at GCSE and A-level with high numbers of students choosing the subject and we have a long track record of helping students achieve good results. Trainees will receive detailed guidance and practical experience of the skills of history teaching, learning how to bring historical topics to life and how to bring out the modern day relevance of past events. Trainees will have the chance to observe how history teachers develop students’ thinking and communication skills through creating ‘history mysteries’ and holding class discussions and debates. There will be training in how to handle emotive and controversial topics as well as support with teaching important topics such as the Holocaust.   We all work closely to share ideas and develop resources and trainees are made to feel part of the subject team. We have high expectations for students’ behaviour and quality of work and the department has a lively extra-curricular programme which includes a weekly History club, high profile events to mark important historical anniversaries and the popular annual trip to the First World War battlefields.

By training to teach History at The Marvell Academy you will be teaching a humanising subject that helps people put their lives in context and see something bigger than themselves.  Teaching history helps students develop their analytical thinking and writing skills as well as helping them to understand the world in which they live. Training will be provided in how to teach a subject full of drama, suspense, mystery, romance, tragedy, and comedy and how to teach progressive and engaging lessons that capture students’ imaginations and help them make rapid progress. –


  1. Mathematics

The Mathematics department at St Mary’s College consists of fifteen subject specialists, with backgrounds in a range of fields, at varying stages in their career. The size and diversity of the department provides an ideal training environment for anyone aspiring to educate and enthuse pupils about Mathematics. The Mathematics department offers a range of qualifications including GCSE Mathematics, GCSE further Mathematics and Functional Skills, to ensure all of our students’ needs are catered for and that every child achieves their full Mathematical potential. We also have a high uptake of Mathematics and Further Mathematics at A-level. Teaching and learning is at the heart of our department and sharing good practice is a priority amongst the whole team.

Trainees work closely with members of the department to improve their subject knowledge, pedagogy and classroom management. We recognise that good quality feedback drives improvement, and endeavour to give regular and constructive feedback. The department believes in offering students the opportunity to use and improve their Mathematical skills outside of the classroom, offering extra-curricular activities such as a chess club, ‘The Missing Piece’ jigsaw club, dominoes club, and a variety of individual, group, national and international Mathematics challenges.

The Mathematics department at The Marvell College consists of 6 subject specialists, with backgrounds in a range of fields, at varying stages in their career. We are also currently assisting in the development of 2 Mathematics School Direct trainees. We are a growing department which provides an ideal training environment for anyone aspiring to educate and enthuse pupils about Mathematics. The Mathematics department is motivated to ensure all of our students’ needs are catered for and that every child achieves their full Mathematical potential. Teaching and learning is at the heart of our department and sharing good practice is a priority amongst the whole team. Trainees work closely with members of the department to improve their subject knowledge, pedagogy and classroom management. Specific attention will be given to new GCSE Specifications and the most effective methods of teaching topics within; Number, Algebra, Ratio, Proportion and rates of change, Geometry and measures, Probability, and Statistics. We recognise that good quality feedback drives improvement, and endeavor to give regular and constructive feedback. The department also leads whole school initiatives to ensure that pupils see Mathematics used outside of the classroom and are aware of its importance in everyday life.

  1. Modern Foreign Languages (French / Spanish)

The Modern Foreign Languages’ department at St Mary’s College provides a stimulating and welcoming place to do your training in a supportive but challenging environment. We teach 3 languages: French, German and Spanish. The team consists of 7 members of staff who are all subject specialists and have in common a clear sense of purpose and a genuine enthusiasm for languages and a belief in its intrinsic importance in providing a relevant curriculum for today’s young people. You will find a wealth of advice and experience within the department; the mentors have a proven track record of success and all host teachers offer guidance to trainees in a friendly manner. We are an open minded department, frequently discussing ways in which we can do things better and sharing resources and good ideas. Languages are popular with our students; GCSE is compulsory and thriving here and we recruit good numbers into A level.

This course is an ideal way to train, particularly if you are keen to experience teaching in all 3 Key Stages. Our department’s language results compare favourably with national averages. You will observe excellent classroom practice, seeing how the target language is used wherever possible and lessons are carefully planned to include engaging language activities and also to give students access to the culture of the countries whose language they are studying. We offer trips to Hamburg, Barcelona and Carcassonne as well as many other extra-curricular clubs and activities. You will find us hardworking but fun and we will help you become the best teacher you can be with a life-long passion and commitment to the teaching of languages.

The Modern Foreign Languages department at The Marvell College provides a supportive and stimulating place to complete your training. There are three full time members of staff, who are all subject specialists. We currently teach French to all year groups but all have a second language. We have a genuine passion for languages and strongly believe that all young people should be given the opportunity to learn a language in a vibrant and meaningful context. We are committed to continuously developing our own practice and supporting others. As part of this, we have for several years, successfully worked with trainee teachers, indeed, the newest member of our department, completed her PGCE placement within the department last year. We work closely as a team relentlessly seeking to develop and improve the language learning experience of all of our pupils. In lessons you will see effective use of target language and authentic resources to create a challenging and engaging environment for the pupils to deepen their understanding and hopefully develop their own love of language learning.

Studying a language to GCSE level has been compulsory for most pupils for the last three years and pupils have responded well to the challenge of learning a language. Training within the department would provide you with a wealth of experience at KS3 and KS4. As a small team everyone has an important role to play, from contributing to schemes of work to running extra-curricular clubs and activities. We share our floor with the Humanities department and as such we often exchange ideas across departments. Trainees in recent years have found that working with other trainees in History and Geography has further enriched their experience.   Training in our department will provide you with a “hands-on” experience of teaching where you will be challenged to achieve your best and supported to get there, where your contributions will be welcome and valued and where you will benefit from a broad range of experience.


  1. Music

St Mary’s College Academy of Music and Performing Arts is a large, vibrant professional music teaching faculty, that employs over 12 music teachers and works across 9 primary and secondary schools in Hull (City of Culture).   We provide a welcoming and supportive environment in which to train. our subject specialists and instrumental teaching staff have a wide variety of knowledge, skills and teaching experience between them.  We have a large extra-curricular output including shows, concerts, recitals, workshops and our annual Carol Service. Musical ensembles include a school orchestra, 2 string orchestras, 3 choirs, brass group, percussion ensemble, clarinet choir and string quartet.

Trainees receive support, guidance and practical experience of teaching musically within the classroom. Training is provided in performance, composition and analysis topics across Key Stages three, four and five. We currently provide a variety of courses, both academic and vocational. The department has recently invested in a suite of JamPods for our main teaching room.  This technology allows groups of learners to connect as a band, using electric drum kits, Juno keyboards and electric/bass guitars as well as using microphones and other auxiliary instruments.  Clear schemes of work are used for all practical topics and trainees will be guided in how to teach young musicians essential skills such as working by ear, reading notation or tab and ensemble playing.  The faculty has a very clear system for assessment and trainees will learn how to assess the subject accurately, using evidence based methods.  Marking and assessment at GCSE and BTEC is part of the trainee’s professional development experience and guidance on using Sibelius as a teaching and learning tool will also be covered.

Our Music + specialist instrumental tuition course is unique in the East of England since it combines secondary initial teacher training for the music curriculum (11-18) with specialist instruction in providing one-to-one/small group instrumental tuition (from beginner to advanced, for ages 3 to 19).


  1. Religious Education

The Religious Education department at St Mary’s was judged as outstanding in all categories in its recent inspection. The department has 13 members of teaching staff with a wealth of experience. RE is a core subject for Years 7-11 and is one of the most popular subjects at A Level, achieving excellent results across all key stages. Trainees become part of an outstanding department, being involved in both observing lessons and developing their own teaching and learning skills. Trainees learn how to deal with religious issues and how to apply religious teachings to current affairs and modern day topics. There is also training in how to deal with particularly sensitive topics covered in modules such as ‘Marriage and the Family’ and ‘Matters of Life and Death’. Resources are shared among the department and trainees are encouraged to develop their own and are made to feel a valuable member of the team. The department also works closely with Chaplaincy to help promote the Catholic ethos in all aspects of school life.

The Marvell College Religious Education department believe that studying religion and belief is an indispensable part of a complete education because of the influence of religions and beliefs on individuals, culture, behaviour and national (and international) life. Most religions and beliefs offer answers to life’s deepest questions. Trainees will help young people seek answers to those questions, as they grow into independence and work out how to live a good life. You will teach vastly different things and learn alongside the pupils. Trainees will benefit from the creative and explorative nature of the subject, and leading class debates where your mind may be opened up just as much as the pupils’. RE provides opportunities for children and young people to reflect and analyse, to discuss and debate, to explore and discover, and to learn more about the world in which they live.  Trainees will receive excellent support and training and be sure of a fascinating and challenging year.


  1. Science (Biology / Chemistry / Physics)

Science at St Mary’s College is an extremely successful department, supporting students in making exceptional progress. The department comprises 18 teaching staff and 4 technicians, with specialist knowledge ranging over all aspects of the Science curriculum. Subject specialists deliver our very popular A Level courses in Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. We offer excellent opportunities for training, with experienced mentors supporting trainees in developing the skills and knowledge needed to become outstanding teachers and leaders in the profession. Trainees will develop subject knowledge across all three science disciplines at KS3 and KS4 and will be able to see and experience the transition to A level study and beyond. Practical skills are a key area for development and training is provided to support new teachers in delivering and facilitating effective and safe practical activities for students. In the department you will see the use of engaging lessons and extra-curricular activities to enthuse students in the field of Science and we encourage trainees to take active part in these wider school activities. Our large faculty also provides an exceptional pool of talented teachers to learn from, providing a diverse range of placement opportunities and a helpful and friendly training environment.

Science at The Marvell College is a successful department which has seen significant improvements in outcomes over the last two academic years. The department is led by two heads of department and comprises of a team of 13 staff and 2 technicians, with specialist knowledge ranging over all aspects of the Science curriculum. We also offer a very successful Health and Social care course and see many of our past students go on to complete Level 3 qualifications in this course.

We offer excellent opportunities for training, with experienced mentors supporting trainees in developing the skills and knowledge needed to become outstanding teachers and leaders in the profession. We use engaging lessons and extra-curricular activities to enthuse students in the field of Science and Health and Social care and we encourage trainees to take active part in these wider school activities.

We have excellent facilities in the department with all staff having access to a modern, well equipped Science lab. We provide a diverse range of placement opportunities for trainees and a helpful and friendly training environment. –