Research has indicated that student teachers identify control and discipline of students and a perceived lack of subject knowledge as key concerns on their teaching practicums (Mawyer, 1999, Hart,1987, Curthner-Smith, 1996, Rikard & Knight, 1997). Gibbs and Aitken (1996) claim that the self-efficacy and self-perception of the student teachers is as critical as the skills and knowledge they bring to the teaching task. Based on this evidence, a new model of teaching practicum was devised for first year secondary school pre-service Physical Education teachers. Students were able to achieve success in their first teaching experiences by ensuring they had a thorough understanding of the specific subject content they would be required to teach, the pedagogical content knowledge and by placing them in cohorts or teaching teams in schools. Measures of the students’ self-efficacy showed they strengthened over the period of the practicum. Analysis using NUD*IST identified themes and categories which emerged from the student teachers’ reflective diaries of their first teaching experiences. These affirmed the process in which they had participated and showed positive links between the College-based programme and the school teaching experience.