About the course
Why should I join the CTA?
We believe that the single most significant factor of a child’s success in school is the quality of their teachers. The Catholic Teaching Alliance is, therefore, dedicated to developing staff with high expectations and a clear understanding of how to create a learning environment in which their students can flourish. Our focus is on developing teaching and learning through innovative ideas, creativity and intelligent collaboration. Our strong and supportive network is based on the shared values of our schools and colleges.
The School Direct Salaried Primary programme (PGCE + QTS) has three distinct modules. These are:
• School Experience
• Studies and Professional Issues in Education
• Curriculum Studies
You will spend approximately 6 weeks of the programme in University. In this time, you will have mix of lectures and small group seminars to support you in developing a strong and confident knowledge of the subjects you will be teaching in the primary classroom. Underpinning the programme is the Professional Studies course which is designed to prepare you fully for the wider roles and responsibilities of the teacher.
The Primary School Direct Salaried Programme is taught and assessed at Masters Level. In addition to a recommendation for QTS, if you pass all academic elements of the programme, you will also leave with level 7 credits equivalent to one-third of a master’s degree. Full academic support is provided to ensure you are fully prepared for assessment regardless of your prior experiences.
Studies and Professional Issues in Education (SPIRE)
The SPIRE module focuses upon issues that most impact upon the young person’s experience of education in the 21st Century. In sessions you will be asked to: consider a range of issues relating to diversity and inclusion; engage with research and policy and link all of this to your own experience in the classroom. In your written assignment you will choose one area from this module to reflect upon more deeply.
For students following a School Direct pathway this module will focus specifically upon Learning Theory and will ask students to reflect upon the impact that research in this area has on the policy and practice of their school.
The Primary School Direct Programme with the Catholic Teaching Alliance offers training for the 5-11 age group (with placement in Key Stages 1 and 2).
Primary School Direct at Goldsmiths
At the CTA we are looking for candidates who can support our shared vision: Growing Teachers, Growing Learners, Growing Schools.
When applying please select your preferred school. All applications are vetted upon receipt. Once your application has passed this process you will be invited to an interview at the location to which you have applied.
The interview day will include a tour of the school and a formal interview, which is usually conducted by the Head Teacher or a Senior Leader and the CTA Co-ordinator (where available). Some time may also be spent in a class completing a short task with a group of pupils where a school can arrange this.
We follow the Enhanced route for School Direct with Goldsmiths University with all of the interview tasks being conducted in school. A member of the teaching team from Goldsmiths may also attend. You will be asked to complete a number of tasks including a numeracy, literacy and phonics task. Further details will be provided if you are invited to interview.
You will have the opportunity to ask any questions about the Catholic Teaching Alliance, School and the School Direct Programme at interview.
After interview, the University and the Lead School will jointly reach a final decision regarding any offer.
Candidates usually apply to schools that are located close to where they live and we are happy to arrange tours and an observation day in your preferred school prior to application.
How school placements work
School Direct trainees start at their chosen school during the first week of the autumn term. Term dates will be confirmed upon acceptance of an offer.
All Primary trainees will spend approximately 6 weeks in university. As with all PGCE courses you will be expected to attend all of the specified university sessions.
We offer an ABA placement structure with Goldsmiths and you will spend 6 weeks in the spring term in a contrasting school. You will be allocated a Mentor in each school and both placements will be hosted in Catholic Schools.
Around half of the 38 schools within the Catholic Teaching Alliance offer training placements. Those who are able to support the main placement are listed for each respective course.
At the start of the training year we will contact all registered trainees to confirm where you are living and to ask about the type of school that you would like to be placed in for your second placement. Where possible, we will try to accommodate your request and placements are arranged with a maximum commuting distance of 1 hour 15 minutes based upon the address provided. Travel time is usually significantly less than this.
Your tutor from Goldsmiths will visit you in school on a regular basis and liaise with your school mentor regarding your training and development. Your university tutor will carry out your final assessment in school against the national Teachers’ Standards.
Additional information can be obtained from C. Barclay the CTA Co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
All applicants following the School Direct Salaried route are paid a salary on Level 1 of the Unqualified Teachers' Pay Scale. Further details will be provided at the point of interview or can be discussed prior to application by contacting the CTA Co-ordinator, Clare Barclay via email email@example.com.
The employing school will cover the cost of the QTS fees for this course. Applicants may be asked to contribute the top up fee of approximately £2000 to cover the cost of the PGCE element of the course. Any additional financial support relating to PGCE fees is at the discretion of the school.
Trainees on this route are not eligible for a government bursary, student loan or other benefits associated with being a student (Student Oyster Card, exemption from Council Tax, entitlement to a NUS card with associated discounts).
Financial support isn’t available for this course because it comes with a salary.
If you choose a course without a salary, you may be eligible for financial support while you study, including bursaries, scholarships and loans.
- to meet our fitness to train requirements
- a GCSE Grade C/4 or above (or recognised equivalents) in English Language, Mathematics, and a science subject (including Combined Science)
- an undergraduate honours degree, 2:2 or above
Ideally, this degree will be related to primary education (English, Mathematics, Science, Art, Design and Technology, Geography, History, Music, PE, Child Development, Educational Studies or Early Childhood Education).
You may be considered if you have an A-level in one of these subjects in addition to a degree.
We are looking for applicants that understand the nature of working in an urban setting and a have a clear commitment and enthusiasm for working with children. You must be able to show resilience and be willing to work with others.
Satisfactory occupational health check from your GP, plus the return of completed self-declaration of suitability form. Please refer to the Fitness to Train section of the Goldsmiths website for further information on the required checks.
Prior school experience is no longer a requirement but Goldsmiths recommend that you spend some time in a primary school to ensure that you are fully aware that the profession is right for you.
Providing original certificates of academic qualifications to the admissions office.
About the training provider
The Catholic Teaching Alliance (CTA) is a strong and growing alliance of 38 schools. It is a cross-phase partnership from primary, through to secondary and sixth form colleges. Our partner schools are based throughout South-East London and Kent covering Southwark, Lewisham, Bromley, Bexleyheath and Chatham. This diversity in type of school and location gives a richness to our shared work. Our shared vision is Growing Teachers, Growing Learners, Growing Schools.
Our schools have a long history of Initial Teacher Education and have offered School Direct places since the initiative began. We have selected several universities that match our ethos. By carefully selecting the right universities to work with we are able to offer you an excellent start to your career in education.
We offer both Primary Salaried and Tuition Fee School Direct places and are able to provide training in a range of secondary subjects. Some subjects are available with a choice of provider.
We run an extensive CPD programme for trainees and most secure an NQT position within the group of schools. We also provide flexibility as your career progresses, with opportunities to move between schools.
We would encourage applicants to contact us to arrange a school tour prior to application and we are happy to answer any questions that you may have. Please contact the CTA Co-ordinator, Clare Barclay for more information or visit our website here to find out more about our schools and the career opportunities that we are able to offer.
Training with disabilities and other needs
All School Direct trainees must meet the Secretary of State's requirements for physical and mental health, but few health problems past or present preclude applicants from teaching.
The activities that a teacher must be able to perform are set out in the Education (Health Standards) (England) Regulations 2003.
We welcome applications from people with additional needs and disabilities. Successful applicants will be asked to complete a fitness questionnaire prior to commencing the programme.
Within our group of 38 schools, we are able to provide support for a range of disabilities and other needs and are usually able to arrange appropriate school placements and additional support as required. We have trained applicants with dyslexia, physical, hearing and visual impairments, as well as students with mental health issues. If you have any questions about health, disability, or the support provided or wish to discuss your own requirements further, please contact the CTA Co-ordinator, Clare Barclay, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information on the support provided by our university partners please see the links below.
King's College London
St Mary's University
University College London
School Direct students can access the services provided by UCL’s Student Support and Wellbeing team. You can find more information here
Apply on the UCAS website. You’ll need to register with UCAS before you can apply.
Visit Get into Teaching for guidance on applying for teacher training.
When you apply you’ll need these codes for the Choices section of your application form:
Training provider code:
Training programme code:
Choose a training location
You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.
St Joseph's Primary (George Row)
George Row, Bermondsey, Southwark, London SE16 4UP
Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
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