Placements are the heart of our School Direct course; time in the classroom – supported by experienced teachers as mentors – for each Trainee is fundamental to a successful start to a teaching career.
How school placements work
During our School Direct programme, trainees will undertake a minimum of 120 days in up to three different school placements maximising the range of experience received:
- PGCE Primary (5-11) – placements in KS1 and KS2
- PGCE Primary (3-7) – placements in Reception and KS1
- PGCE Primary (5-11) with SEND – placements in KS1 and KS2 with a minimum of one SEND specialist setting or primary school with designated provision
We are able to draw on schools with a wide range of demographics and needs , most of which are within the Warrington area but there are also a small number of schools located in Cheshire West, Chester, Merseyside and Halton Local Authority Areas.
In each placement trainees are treated as part of the school team and take part in all elements of the school day, attending staff meetings, supporting parents evening and extra-curricular activities for example. This means our trainees gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) being ready to take on the next stage in the teaching profession – being an Early Career Teacher (ECT).
Each placement is chosen based on trainees’ development needs and prior experience with an aim to offer the broadest experience possible and to develop them as teaching professionals. During professional placements trainees will increase the amount of time they spend teaching, beginning with 50% and increasing to 80% of the full teaching timetable by the end of the summer term.
Throughout the Initial Teacher Education (ITE) stage and beyond, formal lesson observation will form an essential part of the professional training and development. In most cases trainees will be observed by an experienced professional in a coaching/mentoring role. However, the opportunity to carry out observations of these experienced professionals will also help inform and guide our trainees and is an essential part of the development as a beginning teacher.