What is our Programme?
Committed partnerships developing outstanding teachers
School Direct is a school-based teacher training programme which was proposed in 2011 DfE ITT strategy Paper ‘Training our Next Generation of Outstanding Teachers and is intended to help schools take a leading role in ITT. Historically schools have always played an important role in collaborating with universities to train teachers however, the School Direct Teaching Programme allows students to become fully immersed in school life whilst attending workshops to develop their pedagogical understanding. The Ebor Teaching Schools Alliance and York St John University work in partnership to develop outstanding teachers who are:
- team players but can also be independent
- creative and inspirational
- highly motivated and committed
- self-reflective and proactive
- able to problem solve
- ambitious and have high expectations.
Our partnership of schools within the York and surrounding areas have provided the programme since September 2013 and have extensive experience of supporting teacher training programmes. We know that our schools are committed to supporting the development of teachers and were delighted that all of our students successfully secured a teaching post by the end of the programme, over half within our partnership schools. Schools currently involved include:
- Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy
- Poppleton Ousebank
- Carr Infants
- Clifton with Rawcliffe
- Clifton Green
- Brotherton and Byram
- Haxby Road
- Archbishop CE Juniors
- Ralph Butterfield
- New Earswick
Although not a requirement it is important that you have means to access schools either by car, bus or walking. In the past we have found that our trainees have often ‘car shared’ which helps when attending half day school-based workshops.
Our training programme
We work in partnership with York St John University and together we offer a PGCE which includes 60 Masters Credits. Our training programme is driven by the priorities of local schools and the programme is developed collaboratively between our alliance and university staff. As an alliance, we recognise the importance of ensuring that trainees receive a substantial amount of training sessions. Collectively we aim to prepare you for becoming an effective teacher during your training year but also into the future. As a result, trainees attend in-house school training days, lectures at university and school-based alliance workshops which are delivered from a wide range of experienced practitioners within our schools. Training sessions tend to be full days, half days or twilights from 3:30-5:00 and are held at the different schools within the alliance or at YSJ.
Trainees are based in school from the first day of term and this runs until the penultimate week of summer term. Throughout the year they complete assessed teaching blocks, outside of these weeks trainees will be expected to partake in leading small groups, part of whole class sessions, team teaching, observations of teachers and much more.
The year is split into three phases, as identified below.
- Autumn: Introductory (6 assessed weeks teaching 30-50%)
- Spring: Developmental (6 assessed weeks teaching 50-70% ) it is expected that during the last two weeks of this placement the trainee will return to their base school.
- Summer: Consolidation (10 assessed weeks teaching up to 80%)
Trainees are attached to a ‘base’ school for the introductory and consolidation phase. During the consolidation placement, trainees will be placed in the age range they would like to specialise in. The developmental placement would be spent in a different school and may include a different age range. However, we have to ensure that trainees have experience of working in two or more consecutive age ranges, as stipulated by the ITT criteria, which include: ages 3-5 Foundation Stage, ages 5-7 Year 1-2, ages 7-9 Year 3-4 and ages 9-11 year 5-6.
Trainees attend York St John University lectures and teaching group workshops which focus on developing pedagogical and professional aspects including child development and learning theories understanding and some subject based lectures. The remaining curriculum and development of professional knowledge and skills are planned and delivered by teachers within our schools. Workshops are held on a variety of days so that trainees can involve themselves in most school planning sessions and the broad variety of school life. Every effort has been made to minimalize disruption to schools.
Whilst our trainees receive a variety of support from the University and their placement schools, a key necessity of the course is the ability to be self- motivated, use initiative and be able to partake actively in self-initiated exploration and further research. Trainees have full access to the range of University-based facilities for this, such as the information learning services and student support.
All trainees are entitled to 10% PPA (Planning, preparation and assessment) time where they work alongside the class teacher and or year group team. They also receive 10% CPD time to organise their own professional development, this may include observing other teachers, team teaching or working with small groups etc.
How are trainees assessed?
School-based: Throughout the assessed blocks trainees have a weekly formal lesson observation by a trained mentor. Trainees need to complete formal appraisals and demonstrate that they have met the teaching standards by the end of the placement. They will also be closely monitored by the class teacher and given informal feedback. Trainees complete teaching standards and show evidence for how standards have been met and these are reviewed by mentors and class teachers. Collectively we expect our trainees to demonstrate that they can consistently demonstrate a high level of teaching and professionalism during their placements, following the teaching standards. To help achieve this generic and subject-specific guidance is provided during reflective discussion sessions held after each formal appraisal, along with informal feedback during lessons.
Academic work: Trainees complete academic work and are assigned a YSJ Academic Tutor who is able to guide them. This includes:
- 1 Masters level essay
- Core portfolio and child study
- Group presentation with peers relating to an area of the foundation subjects
- A research project which is based in school and may be taken from the school development plan.
All pieces of work ensure that trainees reflect on theory and what has been observed during previous and current school experiences, whilst encouraging reflection on the impact workshops has had on their developing role as a trainee teacher. The portfolios are aimed to be a working document where evidence is collected and annotated throughout the year
What support do trainees receive?
Support is an integral part of developing and nurturing trainees to be outstanding teachers.
Mentor: Each school assigns a Mentor who will formally assess trainees on a weekly basis during the assessed blocks but also meet weekly for half an hour to discuss progress or address any areas the students may need help in developing such as responding to targets. Our mentors have a key role in supporting trainees in their development, identifying strengths but also areas which need further development.
School-Based Link Mentor: School-Based Link Mentors visit trainees informally and to complete a joint appraisal with the school mentor during each placement. They may also conduct further informal or formal visits or appraisals upon request by schools.
Alliance Mentor: The alliance mentors oversee the programme, maintains weekly communication between trainees and all schools and monitors and evaluates the quality of the provision for trainees which include regular meetings with school-based staff and conducting joint appraisals.
Pastoral Mentor: Meets with all students as a group each during each assessed block and offers 1:1 support where necessary.