About the course
We are pleased to offer the School Direct programme for the primary phase. We offer both Salaried (suitable for trainees with 3 years or more of employment experience) and Training (unsalaried) programmes.
Trainees within the Portswood Teaching School Alliance (PTSA), spend 4 days a week in their base school and one day per week training at either the University of Southampton or in one of our Alliance schools.
Trainees undertake two main placements, one in Key Stage 1 and one in Key Stage 2, in different schools. Your diverse school placements will enable you to apply and develop your understanding as you plan, teach and assess across the primary curriculum, with the guidance of experienced practitioners. School-based training offers a structured progression in supportive classroom contexts.
Training focuses on the professional skills and knowledge you need to become a well-informed and effective primary teacher. Central to the programme is Teaching and Learning, which provides a generic grounding in issues relating to practice and policy and develops your understanding of how children learn and how teachers teach. In parallel, we provide a thorough introduction to the primary curriculum, with a strong focus on the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, along with ICT. You will also be introduced to the wider curriculum (Physical Education; Religious Education; Personal, Social and Health Education; Art; Music; Design and Technology; History; Geography).
Each School Direct trainee is assigned to a class in the base school with a teacher-tutor, overseen by an experienced mentor. Mentor meetings are scheduled weekly as you are supported in your ongoing development. The PTSA and University tutors will also be available for support throughout the year. Training commences by working alongside the class teacher, initially with small groups of children and gradually builds up to working with an entire class.
You will regularly review your progress towards the Teaching Standards with your mentors and tutors, as well as completing Directed Activities and projects/assignments through the University.
On successful completion, you will be awarded the Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) (bearing Masters level credits). This award leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), enabling you to teach in state-maintained and special schools in England and Wales.
If you would like to find out more then please visit our website.
We value and encourage applications from students from all walks of life – whether that is straight from completing a degree or those changing careers. We are looking for candidates with a genuine passion for education and a commitment to the teaching profession.
Interviews will be conducted by the PTSA Operational Lead, representatives from the University of Southampton and a panel of Headteachers from our partnership schools.
The interview day will consist of a written task, short activity working with a group of children, a short presentation and an individual interview with the panel. Further details will be provided to candidates who are selected for interview following our rigorous shortlisting process.
How school placements work
We are privileged to work with a wide ranging group of schools across Southampton, and occasionally within Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth when requested by schools.
All trainees will work in placements across both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, with the opportunity to experience the Early Years Foundation Stage in addition. Trainees will be in their base school placement for the majority of the year, with an alternative Key Stage placement in a contrasting school for the first half of the Spring term.
Trainees will be paid on Scale 1 of the Unqualified Teacher pay scale. The costs of fees to both the University of Southampton and PTSA for training will be covered by DfE funding to your employing school. You will not be liable to pay fees.
Please note, you MUST have at least 3 years experience of full time work, or equivalent to be eligible for this route. The alternative 2SB6 route is available for those without this experience.
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.
- GCSEs and A levels: To qualify for the programme, you must have GCSE passes (or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University), at grade C/ grade 4 or above in English Language, Mathematics and Science.
- Students accepted onto the course must hold at least a 2:2 degree or above. This must be at Honours level and awarded by a British university (or equivalent as confirmed by NARIC). We accept a wide range of degree subjects, but expect you to demonstrate the relevance of your degree to primary teaching.
We are looking for candidates with a genuine passion for teaching and relevant experience working with children. Strong applications will demonstrate:
- a sound subject knowledge and/or disposition to develop your knowledge as necessary
- a good knowledge of educational issues
- a strong sense of the professional demands made on teachers
- the ability to reflect critically and analytically
- strong interpersonal skills
- the ability to communicate effectively (orally and in writing).
For a salaried position, you MUST have at least 3 years full time work experience.
Prior classroom experience is not a requirement, however strong applicants demonstrate an understanding of the role of a classroom teacher and how children learn. We highly recommend 2-3 weeks experience in a primary school classroom. Other areas of relevant experience may also support your application (e.g. coaching, playgroups, voluntary work).
All places offered will be conditional on enhanced DBS (formerly CRB) and health checks.
You should be prepared to travel for placements and training and are required to fund your own travel.
About the training provider
Portswood Primary School is proud to be judged Outstanding by Ofsted, and as such, it is exceedingly well-placed to lead the Portswood Teaching School Alliance (PTSA) School Direct Programme in conjunction with the University of Southampton.
Our training programme is well established; offering school centred Salaried and Training (unsalaried) routes into teaching since 2013.
Trainees build an excellent foundation for their teaching careers – through the experience of teaching pupils with a wide range of abilities and backgrounds. Our trainees highly rate the training provided by the PTSA, with over 90% rating it as excellent.
Trainees are allocated a ‘base’ school and benefit from high quality training delivered through their school, experts within our Alliance schools and subject specialist university tutors. We collaborate with other local Teaching School Alliances to allow the best package of support to be developed. Our bespoke school-based training is delivered by outstanding practitioners who are at the cutting edge of classroom pedagogy, informed by research and constantly reviewed.
Once trainees have successfully completed their training year, the PTSA also offers a wide range of training programmes to support you as you move through your career, including our popular NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) and NQT+1 programmes.
Training with disabilities and other needs
Inclusivity is key to all the work of the Portswood Teaching School Alliance. We welcome applications from any candidate who can demonstrate they have the qualifications and experience necessary. We have successfully liaised with Access to Work to ensure trainees with particular disabilities or additional needs are able to access our training, and have supported our host schools to make reasonable adjustments to support every trainee’s successes.
We work with you to support your wellbeing and mental health and encourage you to get in touch before you apply so we can discuss tailored support for your individual 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.
Somerset Road, Southampton SO17 3AA
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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