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.
This course is 5 - 11 years and will entail 4 days in school. During time in school you will be guided by an experienced mentor. One day per week you will join other teacher trainees. You will receive high quality training on all aspects of the Teacher Standards including: teacher presence and behaviour management, planning and teaching effective lessons, and how to really stretch and challenge students.
There are three formally assessed teaching practices throughout the year. You will begin, and spend the majority of the year, in your ‘Home School’ and there will be the opportunity to complete one teaching practice in a contrasting primary school, in an alternate Key Stage.
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.
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 and a formal interview.
We also ask you to sit mock numeracy and literacy papers to help us identify if you will need support before you start your ITT course.
We also ask you to reflect on your teaching activity.
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:
- Dore Primary School
- The Nether Edge Primary School
- Totley Primary School
- Hunters Bar Infants School
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
There are Student Loans available to pay the fees.
If you decide to pay privately then the payment schedule is:
- Term 1 : £2,000
- Term 2 : £2,000
- Term 3 : £3,850
With each amount being due on the first day of each term.
You will have to pay the cost of the Enhanced Criminal Record Check in advance of starting the course.
You may be eligible for a loan while you study.
Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.
Financial support from the training provider
We are not able to offer any monetary financial support to trainees.
- We will support you with the Student Finance Application process.
- We will keep you informed as to whether you are eligible for a government funded Train to Teach Bursary.
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.
- If your qualifications are from overseas you will need to provide a NARIC certificate of comparability to UK qualifications.
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!
You will need to pass an Enhanced Criminal Record Check.
Ideally you will have some experience working with children in a school or another organisation e.g. nursery, playgroups, scouts etc.
As we are not allowed to hold a Tier 4 Sponsorship licence you will need to be either a UK, European Economic Area or Swiss citizen.
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.
About the accredited body
The Sheffield SCITT, owned and operated by Notre Dame High School, offers Initial Teacher Training for both Primary and Secondary teaching.
The Sheffield SCITT passionately believes that the 100% School Based Initial Teacher Training route into teaching is effective and helps develop a firm foundation to allow teachers to become the best possible teacher they can be.
Throughout the training year with the SCITT we offer a programme that has been designed by current and outstanding teachers. They are experts in their field and have mapped out a course that is exciting, innovative and manageable.
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.
Main Site Primary
Dore Primary School, Furniss Avenue, Sheffield , South Yorkshire S17 3QP
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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