Initial Teacher Training


shutterstock_150598694Training Programme

The School Direct Primary Programme works in partnership with York St John University and together we offer a PGCE with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Subject knowledge experts from the Alliance and the University write our training programme collaboratively, incorporating current thinking in education.

Structured in three phases – Introductory, Developmental and Consolidation – your training programme will include subject study modules covering the subject knowledge and pedagogy required for successful classroom practice, whilst professional modules will develop your theories of learning, pupil development and the wider role of the teacher.

The majority of training is delivered via workshops using the expertise of practising teachers and Senior Leaders from schools within our Alliance. Our workshops have a balance of instruction, practical activities and opportunities to observe or work with small groups of children. Workshops include the full range of curriculum subjects plus:

  • Outdoor learning
  • Drama and Creative Arts
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Resilience and Attachment
  • Behaviour Management
  • SEND
  • Professionalism
  • Application and Interview Process
  • Preparing for NQT year.

School Placements

You will be allocated to a base school for the majority of your training and receive an authentic experience of working as a member of your school’s departmental team. This immersion into the life of the school with a gradual increase in your practical teaching is a distinctive part of the School Direct approach, enabling you to progress effectively and provides an excellent preparation for your New Qualified Teacher (NQT) year.

You will indicate a preferred age range of either lower (aged 3-7 years) or upper primary (aged 7-11 years).

The two schools you will be allocated will be contrasting schools and you will teach consecutive age ranges. This is to ensure breadth of experience as well as meeting the stipulations of national ITT criteria.

The structure of the three phases is as follows:

Autumn Term Introductory placement 6 weeks assessed teaching 30-50% of the week base school
Spring Term Developmental placement 6 weeks assessed teaching 50-70% of the week contrasting school
Summer Term Consolidation placement 10 weeks assessed teaching up to 80% of the week base school

In addition you will be entitled to 10% PPA (planning, preparation and assessment) time each week where you will be expected to work alongside your class teacher or year group teams. You are also entitled to 10% CPD (Continuous Professional Development) time each week to organise activities that will further your own development. This may be observing other teachers in your or other schools, team teaching or researching topics.

Additional Placements

In addition, there are also opportunities for enrichment visits to culturally diverse schools as well as SEND specialist schools or Early Years Units. International enrichment opportunities are also offered by self-funding experiences through York St John or by accompanying school trips. 

Our Schools

Currently we have approximately 15 Primary schools within our Alliance. The schools are mainly located within the City of York; however, some are located some distance outside the main city centre. Although it is not a requirement, it is important that you can access all schools either by car, car share or are willing to travel by public transport.

Academic and Mentor Support

The Primary Programme Director and Assistant Director oversee the operational elements of the programme ensuring a high quality of provision for student teachers in all Alliance schools. Support is seen as an integral part of developing and nurturing trainees to be outstanding teachers. You will be supported by a school mentor as well as the Primary Programme lead mentors and an academic tutor. In addition, students have full access to the Student Support Services offered by the University. 

Students have access to an Alliance Pastoral Mentor who holds drop in “clinics” each half term or can be contacted as and when necessary for one-to-one support.