The School Direct PGCE Primary with QTS programme (Ages 5 - 11) is so effective because trainee teachers engage fully into life in a primary school. Trainees become a member of the staff team immediately, observing, supporting and team teaching alongside highly skilled practitioners. There are also opportunities to experience the wider professional responsibilities of a teacher by becoming involved in after school clubs, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programmes and Omega Multi-Academy Trust events.
Regular training is delivered around pedagogy and practice delivered by experienced teachers or qualified partners. Examples of topics delivered are:
- Behaviour management
- Guided reading
- The teaching of writing
- Anxiety and trauma in children
- Effective use of other adults in the classroom
- Assessment For learning, feedback and marking
- Special Education Needs
- Classroom management
- Early reading/phonics
- Early Years Foundation Studies
- Modern Foreign Languages
During the programme trainee teachers will be placed in three contrasting schools over the year, spending a term in each school, which gives the opportunity to build strong relationships with staff and pupils and become fully involved in school life. Time is spent in both the host school and in other partner schools completing the training led by expert teachers and Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE). Each school offers two different Key Stages, including Early Years where appropriate. Each teaching placement allows gradual build-up of professional knowledge, understanding and skills to become a successful teacher. The programme also provides an SEN enrichment week based at Green Lane Special School and a further 12 days are led by a tutor from University of Cumbria who travels to the training centre in Warrington to focus on pedagogy and curriculum.
Each placement has a supportive trained mentor assigned. Mentors ensure that there are achievable and relevant targets to progress skills, knowledge and understanding. Throughout placements teaching will be observed by the mentor and weekly review meetings are scheduled to ensure that the right level of support and challenge is being received.
At the end of each placement a summative report is received, which provides the basis for targets in the next placement. Quality assurance systems between the alliance and university will ensure that the quality of mentoring and the judgements made on teaching are consistent throughout the programme.