About the course
The Primary Mercia Learning Alliance School Direct course is overseen by Dore Primary School, Sheffield. Dore is a large primary school in south-west Sheffield, and has been at the heart of School Centred Initial Teacher Training for over 20 years. Dore Primary was a founding member of the ‘National SCITT in Outstanding Primary Schools’ in the late 1990s, and have been advocates of the school-centred approach to teacher training ever since.
We offer QTS as well as a PGCert through The University of Sheffield. If you study for QTS plus PGCert - you will also spend approx. 10 days over the year at The University of Sheffield. Passing, failing or not completing a Masters assessment will have no bearing on your assessment towards QTS although the learning in the Masters part of the course will help you evidence Teaching Standards and allow you to specialise beyond what is required for QTS.
The 100% school-based approach we use means our own outstanding teachers are at the heart of your development. You will train by working alongside - and being mentored by - people who won't ask you to do anything they can't demonstrate by doing well themselves. They will be working with the same children you will be teaching, meaning conversations regarding pedagogy and methodology are pertinent and relevant.
With no blocks of time out at a University you will also experience the full cycle of the school year from welcoming and settling new students in September to celebrating the success of school leavers in July and the full annual cycle between. By the end of your year with us, you will be ready to teach across the full year as an NQT.
You will work on weekly study days with a small group of fellow trainees from other partnership schools. Not only will you be able to enjoy lively interactive sessions where others contribute to your learning, but you'll also have that all important peer group for support and a social life when it's time to relax.
Your assessment towards QTS is based on an evidence file you collate against the teaching standards. Whilst there is theory taught and reading to do, your understanding of this material is assessed by your evidence of professional practice you collect, not through additional assignments.
After completing the online application we shortlist applicants based on qualifications, experience and evidence of being ready to train to make a good teacher.
Interviews take place at Dore Primary School and are led by senior leaders. The interview will consist of a welcome and introduction to the course, a 15 minute teaching activity, a written reflection, a formal interview and some numeracy and literacy tests.
How school placements work
You will spend most of the training year in one school (the 'Home School') and these schools are central to the selection process and our school-based interview system.
You can express a preference for your Home School based on location, preference for the type of school or a personal connection to a community you want to serve, but we cannot guarantee to meet everyone's preference.
There is also a short alternative placement in a contrasting alliance school during your training year and a brief experience in the phase you are not training to teach in.
It would be sensible for trainees to base themselves within commutable distance of their Home School so these are finalised with you before the summer holidays to allow you to arrange your accommodation. We make every attempt to make sure the alternative placement school is in an accessible location but it may involve a few weeks of travelling further to get that all important contrasting experience in the right school for you.
Currently, schools you can train in within our alliance are:
- Brunswick Primary School
- Dore Primary School
- Oughtibridge Primary School
- The Nether Edge Primary School
- Totley Primary School
For further information please visit each school’s website and contact them directly if you would like to request a visit prior to applying (but please do not delay an application waiting for this - as a popular provider our places fill up quickly).
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
As this course leads to a professional qualification, student teachers will be required to undertake a DBS Enhanced Disclosure. The cost of this is approximately £50.
In order to be considered for the Mercia Learning Alliance Primary course you would need:
- A degree
- GCSE grade C or 4 in Maths, English and Science.
You will need to pass the numeracy and literacy skills tests before the course starts but not necessarily before your interview with us as this can be made a condition of any offer made.
At Mercia we are looking for the next generation of outstanding teachers and subsequently those who will lead our schools in the future.
We are looking for applicants with:
- Commitment to teaching
- Insight into the realities of teaching
- An analytical approach to problem solving
- Enthusiasm and passion for education
- Interpersonal and communication skills
We are passionate about education and the difference it makes to young people and society as a whole. If you share our passion, please come and join us!
As this course leads to a professional qualification, student teachers will be required to undertake a DBS Enhanced Disclosure and Work Health Assessment.
About the training provider
Based in the vibrant city of Sheffield with its amazing facilities, transport links and access to the Peak District, Mercia Learning Alliance is a first class choice for graduates looking for a successful career in teaching.
Our vision as Mercia Learning Alliance is to become a centre of educational excellence with a national reputation. Our ethos is that every professional in our alliance should strive to be the absolute best they can be. This places professional learning at the centre of all that we do and we see initial teaching training as integral to this.
Mercia Learning Alliance offers aspiring teachers a broad range of opportunities across subjects and key stages. Working with The University of Sheffield (Secondary) and The Sheffield SCITT (Primary), with a wide range of postgraduate qualifications on offer, you will have the opportunity to carry out your training in some of the best schools in the country, learning from inspirational teaching staff who are leaders in their field.
Our partnership schools are all committed to finding and developing their own teachers, therefore they are committed to their trainees. At Mercia Learning Alliance we want to ‘grow’ our own teachers, supporting you throughout your professional career from trainee all the way up to senior leader and beyond.
We offer unrivalled choice in terms of type of school and location across Sheffield to train and work in, but we remain small enough to know every trainee as an individual enabling us to personalise training needs.
Training with disabilities and other needs
As a student teacher at The University of Sheffield (Secondary) you will have full access to support if you have a disability or additional needs. Full information is available here
We work closely with all our school partners (Primary and Secondary) to ensure that your needs are met whilst on placement, offering support and adaptations where necessary.
We ask applicants to discuss their specific needs with us so we can place trainees at the most suitable school to meet their needs.
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.
||Totley Brook Road, Sheffield S17 3QU
Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
Get support and advice about teaching
Register with Get into Teaching, the Department for Education’s free support and advice service, for personalised guidance from teaching experts. They can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events. You can also call them free on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service, from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.
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