ST1s and ST2s are usually taught on Tuesday afternoons, though sometime there will be courses that we run for the whole day. We alternate structured, curriculum-based teaching delivered predominantly by our dedicated team of GP trainers with group self-directed learning sessions (SDL). The structured teaching is tailored to help you get the most out of your hospital jobs while keeping your focus on general practice. We aim to cover the whole curriculum over the span of the three years and support learning towards the AKT and CSA. We incorporate knowledge based teaching but also skills-based training.
The same teaching plan runs every year and there is flexibility to attend sessions missed in ST1 in during ST2. The SDL sessions are organised by your year group and facilitated by the educational rep in each year. They are an important opportunity for you to target your learning needs, gain experience in teaching and prepare for your exams.
We figure that you get plenty of exposure to hospital medicine through your day jobs in ST1 and 2 and so most of this program is delivered by GPs with special interests in the topic being discussed or your program directors. Occasionally we may invite hospital consultants, outside speakers or other members of the multi-disciplinary team in to share their expertise with you.
Each VTS session counts as 3.5 hours of ‘educational time’.
Training will usually be in the postgraduate centre at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, though sometimes the venue changes as we run joint courses with the Windsor scheme.
Please see the VTS Timetable for further details regarding the topic, venue and timing of teaching sessions.
Attendance at teaching is very important and we have worked hard with the departments to ensure trainees are released to attend teaching where possible. The single lead employer requires that we keep records of your attendance and report all absences to them. We therefore require that you fill in a Teaching Absence form for every missed session (both structured teaching and SDL) so that we can pass this information on to them. It is important to note that you are paid to attend teaching and unexplained absence is treated as a probity issue by the single lead employer. If your department is not releasing you regularly for teaching the PDs will investigate this.