About the course
For comprehensive details about our course, please visit the Shining Lights Teaching School Alliance website. We encourage all applicants to come to one of our schools and meet our fantastic pupils - contact us to book your experience day.
We are proud to offer a high-quality, innovative teacher training programme. Our School Direct PGCE (with QTS) is continually adapted and refined to ensure that our graduates enter the profession with the skills, attributes and attitudes that will underpin their career-long development.
Our teacher training has an excellent reputation. For over 5 years, our graduates have gone on to work in schools throughout Lancashire and have enjoyed very successful starts to their careers. Already, they have changed the lives of thousands of children.
The best thing about the course, according to current and past trainees, is the unrelenting personal support provided by the course leaders and mentors!
School Direct enables graduates to develop close links with local schools as well as receiving academic and University support.
You’ll train in at least two different schools, getting the chance to learn ‘on the job’. You’ll be part of a team from the very start, receiving intensive support from experienced teachers and mentors. The principles of academic rigour on School Direct are the same as on university-led courses.
For the vast majority of the programme, trainees are in schools; a strong emphasis upon learning from concrete experience in a school setting is one of the great things about School Direct courses.
The course is made up of:
- Taught modules (seminars)
- School-based learning days (observing experienced teachers, supporting learning, etc.)
- Teaching placements (beginning placement in autumn; developing placement in spring; extending placement in summer)
From week one of the programme, our trainees spend time in both taught sessions and in schools within Shining Lights Teaching School Alliance. This allows trainees to see the connection between theory and practice from the very beginning of their training.
All taught sessions are typically delivered at one of our alliance schools (usually Parbold Douglas).
- Pedagogy and practice
- The Cumbria teacher of reading
- High quality teaching and learning*
- Raising the achievement of children*
- Leading and managing change in the primary school
*These are Master’s-level modules and award 30 Master’s credits each (60 in total).
2019/20 course structure subject to final validation.
If your initial application is successful, you will be invited to a selection day.
Selection days are relaxed and supportive; no activity is designed to catch you out. You will undertake three activities – the panel will then make a holistic decision about your potential to train to be a teacher.
The activities will include:
- a teaching task with a small group of pupils.
- an academic discussion (based on two different articles).
- an interview (with a panel of course leaders and head teachers).
When you are invited to a selection day, you will be provided with a detailed information pack. This will explain each activity in more detail so that you can prepare.
Dates for upcoming selection days can be found here.
To be considered for a selection day, please ensure your application is submitted at least one week prior to the dates shown.
How school placements work
Shining Lights Teaching School Alliance is a forward-thinking, innovative alliance of primary schools from across Lancashire. We firmly believe in an open, collaborative profession where strong networks are built to improve outcomes and opportunities for every child. Learn more about us.
All of your placements will be at one of our alliance schools.
School-based learning days and teaching placements:
During taught weeks, trainees typically spend 3 days in school settings. These school-based learning days provide opportunities for trainees to observe experienced teachers, support the learning of individuals and groups, ask questions, and ‘learn on the job’.
In addition, trainees complete three professional placements at schools within Shining Lights Teaching School Alliance:
- Beginning professional practice (4 weeks, Autumn)
- Developing professional practice (5 weeks, Spring)
- Extending professional practice (9 weeks, Summer)
The developing professional practice will be in a different Key Stage to the extending professional practice; this ensures trainees teach across the primary age range.
During each placement, an experienced and trained mentor is assigned to each trainee. The mentor works at the alliance school and plays a key role in the trainee’s development journey. The proportion of time spent teaching increases incrementally throughout the year.
Enrichment opportunities are built into the programme to ensure that our trainees gain a broad set of experiences.
These typically include: visiting nursery and Early Years providers; visiting a secondary school; visiting specialist provision schools; and visiting schools in different regions to our own.
Assigning trainees to schools:
Our priority when placing you is to ensure that you are working with the best mentor possible. Across the alliance, we take the role of mentor incredibly seriously and put a lot of effort into refining our mentor training so that our students get the best.
That said, we also take into account the home address of our students when placing them. In the 2017/18 academic year, candidates typically travel between 10 and 30 minutes to placement schools. If a trainee does not have access to a car, we will take this into account when placing them.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
The tuition fees and student finance page of the Shining Lights Teaching School Alliance website provides further information.
Make your application stand out:
We’re looking for applications from enthusiastic candidates who support our philosophy and will be relentless in pursuing excellence (both for themselves as a professional and for the pupils they teach).
- Normally a first degree, or its equivalent (minimum 2:2 honours).
- Three GCSEs at minimum grade C or above to include English language, mathematics and a science.
- Successful completion of the QTS skills test in literacy and numeracy before start of the course.
- Suitable references.
- Demonstrate professional suitability through a ‘selection day’.
We are looking for people who:
- care deeply about children.
- are passionate about education.
- believe they can always be better.
- learn from mistakes.
- listen to others.
- work collaboratively.
- work hard.
- seek challenge.
- are ambitious.
- embrace change.
- are relentless in pursuing excellence.
Obtain medical and enhanced DBS clearance.
About the training provider
Parbold Douglas Church of England Academy is the lead school of Shining Lights Teaching School Alliance and has offered a successful School Direct PGCE for over 5 years.
Our alliance is a forward-thinking, collaborative and friendly network of schools. We consider it an absolute privilege to be involved in ITT and look forward to supporting and inspiring trainees as they join the rewarding professions in existence.
Our approach to teacher training is informed by research, enhanced by experience and powered by passion.
We utilise a range of different professional learning models to ensure that learning is expansive, not restrictive, for our students.
About the accredited body
The University of Cumbria is built on an exceptional legacy of education training spanning over 100 years.
The University of Cumbria Institute of Education is one of the most successful in the UK, with 97% (DLHE 2018) of students being employed or in further education just 6 months after graduating. Courses are heavily placement-based, supporting students with first hand experience.
Please note: Our School Direct PGCE training typically takes place at Parbold Douglas Church of England Academy or at a local regional hub within our alliance (students are not required to travel to the Lancaster campus on a regular basis).
Training with disabilities and other needs
Shining Lights Teaching School Alliance is committed to making our services and provision accessible to all of our Associate Teachers (trainees). If you need us to present our training / resources / information in a different format (e.g. large print), or need any other modifications, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.
If you have a disability or a Specific Learning Difficulty (such as Dyslexia or Dyspraxia), Shining Lights Teaching School Alliance will do all we can to provide you with additional support appropriate to your needs. In conjunction with the University of Cumbria, we can offer learning support tailored to your specific needs and requirements. If you would like to organise a confidential discussion to explore this further, please contact us.
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.
Parbold Douglas CoE Academy
Lancaster Lane, Parbold, Nr Wigan WN8 7HS
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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