About the course
The majority of this course will be delivered by the expert teachers in our Alliance Schools in the Preston area. There will also be full support and academic preparation from our University Programme Leaders in our Preston training facilities. The programme gives you PGCE and recommendation for QTS; the PGCE is awarded by the University of Cumbria and includes 60 Master's credits. The two 30-credit masters level modules are practically focused and titled ‘Raising the Achievement of Children’ and ‘High Quality Learning and Teaching’. Both are designed to focus on your priorities and interests as you develop your teaching skills. They involve a total of 3 written assessments, one of which is a formative piece to support your academic development. The University of Cumbria lecturers work closely with our school direct programme team to ensure that theory and practice are closely entwined to really inform your teaching and give you a useful toolkit to take forward in your career.
You will complete three placements in three of our partner schools, one per term. Following an induction week you will start your teaching practice from Monday through to Wednesday. On Thursdays and Fridays you will participate in a Conference Day on a variety of key themes, and on the subsequent training day our University Programme Leader will deliver sessions to support you with pedagogy and the completion of your assignments. The Conferences will be run by the experts from our partnership in each field and ranging from Safeguarding, lesson planning, behaviour management, assessment and many more. There will also be opportunities to spend some time in different school contexts in order that you gain a diverse and contrasting range of experiences, for example other Primary, Secondary, and Special Schools. Each partner school has trained mentors who will oversee your training and assist you with your role in the context of the whole school and, in addition, support you in your classroom practice with subject specific expertise.
The programme includes opportunities where you can gain assignment support at the University of Cumbria Lancaster campus, and you will have full access to the University learning and support services throughout the course which will enable you to access library resources and assistance with your academic work. We have allocated time for Professional Reading, Subject Knowledge Enhancement sessions and Assignment Writing Days which will aid both your assignment writing and your classroom practice.
Candidates apply through UCAS and are short listed following reference to the entry requirements and if successful are invited for interview. Our Primary administrator coordinates the recruitment process and the interview will take place in one of the Primary Schools in the Alliance.
Following a welcome by our Partnership Programme Leader, Jackie Williams, our Primary Lead, Mick Aspinall, and our School Administrators, there are three parts to the interview which generally takes place over a full morning. Your documentation will be reviewed including examination certificates and ID. A written task which is set by the University of Cumbria prior to interview, and notes completed in advance, is completed on the day. Candidates also deliver a short mini-teach to a small group of pupils on a pre-prepared numeracy or literacy topic. There is an interview with the Partnership Programme Leader and one or two other Head teachers, and teachers from our Alliance Schools which lasts around 20 minutes.
Doing some research about the Preston Teaching School Alliance and the University that will be leading the training is good preparation, and we will of course provide you with plenty of opportunities to ask questions on the day.
Following the interview we update UCAS which is followed up by the University’s formal offer letter to confirm your place, if successful. There may be targeted conditions depending on assessment at interview, for example more observations in school.
How school placements work
The Preston Teaching School Alliance consists of 44 schools in total - a variety of primary, secondary and special schools all in and around the Preston area. We select our schools carefully and the vast majority have been graded Good and Outstanding by Ofsted. We pride ourselves on the strong relationships we have developed over the years and are committed to a warm welcome and a supportive environment for all. You will be training in placement schools which are different in context to provide you with a wide experience of how different pupils are taught and learn. We select placement schools very carefully to offer the best and most suitable provision possible, which includes ensuring that trainees do not have to travel long distances or have time-consuming journeys.
Our General Primary candidates will teach in KS1 and in KS2 (from 4-11 years) and will have three placements as part of their training. The three different placements take place in the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms, and a typical week involves three days in school. For the remaining two days per week you will participate in a Conference Day with the other trainees on a variety of key themes designed to support your developing practice, and on the subsequent training day our University Programme Leader will deliver sessions to support you with pedagogy and the completion of your assignments. During each term there will be a period where trainees are being assessed and they will be in school each day.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
To be eligible to apply for our School Direct route you will need the following:
Primary candidates require a minimum UK 2:2 honours degree or recognised equivalent qualification and three GCSEs at minimum grade C or above to include English language, Mathematics and Science.
In addition candidates must successfully complete the QTS skills tests in literacy and numeracy. We can support with these tests, directing you to the University of Cumbria's free workshops and resources which have proven to be really helpful in the past.
These requirements must be met by 31 July 2019.
We will be looking to recruit talented trainees who have the qualities and attributes suited to a career in teaching, together with the enthusiasm, energy and ambition to develop into outstanding practitioners. This is an ideal opportunity if you have just completed your degree or are looking to change career. If you are positive and have good communication and interpersonal skills; if you have a passion for working with children, and a love of learning then we would like to hear from you.
Before applying we advise you to spend some time in Primary school settings. You will be able to observe teaching in action and we can help you gain this experience in one of our partner schools or on one of our School Experience Days at Queen’s Drive Primary School. Our programme will give you the experience of a typical day; provide you with the opportunity to talk to teachers and current trainees, and allow you to gain valuable guidance and tips on applying for teacher training. The details of our School Experience Days are regularly updated on our PTSA website.
About the training provider
The Preston Teaching School Alliance, which consists of a variety of primary, secondary and special schools all in and around the Preston area, will provide you with the opportunity of being part of a school team from the very beginning. We are proud that three of our partner schools, Broughton High School, Archbishop Temple School and Queen's Drive Primary School have been designated Teaching Schools. We have been working together, in partnership with the University of Cumbria, to ensure that our PGCE School Direct training programme is of the highest quality, providing our trainee teachers with all of the support and resources that they will need to enable them to develop into the outstanding teachers of the future. As part of the programme you will work alongside excellent practitioners and mentors in schools that have a proven track record in providing outstanding teacher training and professional development opportunities.
Our trainees will be trained in a highly supportive environment where, through an exciting and innovative curriculum which we have designed, you will develop your professional knowledge, understanding and skills. We have a long and successful track record of teacher training and the majority of our trainees are now employed in our own or in other schools in the Preston area.
Feedback from our previous and current School Direct trainees has been consistently outstanding with appreciation for the welcome and support received in their host schools and high-quality, popular training on our Conference Days.
About the accredited body
The University of Cumbria is one of the largest providers of School Direct in the country. Its legacy institutions, St Martins and Charlotte Mason Colleges, have a long history of training successful teachers. This course provides a Masters level PGCE with QTS (60 credits at Master's level).
This collaborative approach to training ensures that trainees have access to both excellent school-based practice and well regarded academic input which has been planned together to create a coherent and valuable learning experience. Our trainees have highlighted how the link between pedagogy and practice is constantly reinforced, resulting in excellent confidence and progress.
Training with disabilities and other needs
We are committed to ensuring that our trainees are able to participate effectively in all aspects of the course. The University of Cumbria defines disability broadly, including mobility impairments, sensory impairments, medical conditions, autism (ASD), specific learning difficulties (SpLDs such as Dyslexia or Dyspraxia) and mental health conditions. Here at the Preston Teaching School Alliance we recognise that if we provide a fully inclusive working and studying environment, we will enable everyone to perform to the best of their ability.
The University has a disability statement that details the adjustments that are available to you. The adjustments detailed in the statement are part of the basic offer and other adjustments are available dependent on your needs.
Support is available to you at interview and on your academic course such as additional time and the University has various specialist advisers who have a range of different roles. On application do make us aware of any particular accessibility needs in order that we can accommodate these during training and on school placements.
All our students have access to University of Cumbria support as well as that offered within our school direct alliance. Much of this university-based support is available online and electronically and so accessible at a distance.
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Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
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