About the course
As a trainee with Portswood Teaching School Alliance, you will be based in a Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2 class in an alliance school 4 days a week, with weekly training alternating between the University of Southampton or in one of our alliance schools. Your 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. You will undertake two main placements, one in Key Stage 1 and one in Key Stage 2, in different schools, placing you in a strong position to apply for posts across the primary age range.
Whilst we endeavour to place trainees reasonably close to home, you should be prepared to travel for placements and training, and are required to fund your own travel.
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).
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, leading to both QTS and PGCE with the possibility of Masters level credits.
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Interviews will be conducted by the PTSA lead for ITT, representatives from the University of Southampton and a panel of Headteachers from our partnership schools.
The interview process will consist of:
- written tests to assess a candidate's proficiency in spelling, maths and writing.
- a short activity working with a group of children
- a short presentation to the panel
- an 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.
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.
Trainees will be required to pass the Professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy before starting their course.
About the training provider
Portswood Teaching School Alliance has successfully trained 115 trainees since commencing our programmes in 2013. Trainees benefit from high quality training delivered through their host 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 school-based training is delivered by outstanding practitioners who are at the cutting edge of classroom pedagogy.
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 Teaching School 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. Your training will include a second placement in a contrasting Alliance school, and a major benefit of training with the PTSA is the wealth of diversity within our schools.
Trainees build an excellent foundation for their teaching careers – through the experience of teaching pupils with a wide range of abilities and backgrounds. In 2016-17 all of our trainees rated the training provided by the PTSA to be at least good, with over 90% rating it as excellent. 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.
About the accredited body
We are proud to work collaboratively with the University of Southampton, to enable our trainees to qualify with both QTS and PGCE. This Russell Group University has been rated one of the highest of 22 UK Universities and listed in the Centre for Higher Education Development's ranking of excellent European graduate programmes. The faculty are forward thinking and innovative, having recently received the Universities' Council for the Education of Teachers Award for research in teacher education. Trainees have access to the highly successful Maths and Science centre, enrichment days, and even the opportunity to teach for a placement in Kenya.
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.
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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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