Train to teach with us Find out more about our school direct PGCE programme, starting in September 2020

Who are we? The Bristol Primary Teaching School Alliance is the only Primary specific teaching school in the City of Bristol. We work with the majority of Bristol primary schools and therefore have a invested interest in ‘growing our own’ teachers through spotting talent and potential; we are able to coach and nurture our trainees towards employment in local schools as highly sought after and highly skilled teachers.

The teaching school alliance is trusted as one of the key providers for teacher training in the city – programmes run by our schools, for our schools.

  • We have run both the salaried and PGCE routes for a number of years and have created large numbers of highly successful teachers in the city and beyond;
  • Our school direct routes have a excellent reputation from future employers because of the level of involvement we have in the planning and delivery of the programme;
  • Our programmes produce excellent teachers and therefore we have an outstanding employment rate. We support our trainees into work and the vast majority find teaching jobs early in readiness for a September start;
  • We have a vested interest in ensuring our teaching training programmes create the best possible newly qualified teachers (NQTs) for our schools.
  • Training in small groups of 20 or less, our PGCE programme is run by the city's specialist leaders of education (SLEs) - the best teachers at the cutting edge of practice, from highly successful schools.
Teachers in action!

Why choose our School Direct (PGCE) route?

You will:

  • be provided with an experienced class mentor in a trusted Bristol primary school for each of your two placements - your programme is tailored for your needs;
  • work towards a PGCE and QTS, undertaking a series of assignments and two longer teaching placements across the year, one in KS1 (Year 1 or Year 2) and the other in KS2 (Year 3 to Year 6) so you have the full breadth of primary experience during your training;
  • take part in training across the year with us as part of the teaching school AND with the University of the West of England (UWE) core group of students at the university – bespoke training packages to suit your needs using a blended approach: access all of the university benefits, such as the library, student support services, sporting facilities and financial advice whilst working closely with us.

What will your training year look like?

  • The image below shows the layout of this year's programme:
  • The white squares represent time at the university or with us at the teaching school. You will spend some time at the UWE campus and some time with us at the teaching school;
  • The yellow areas represent your first teaching placement- as you can see, you have two weeks input with us and at the university at the start of the year and then you begin your time in school on your serial days, where you observe and support the teacher, with your main block placement starting in November. This placement carries on until the end of January and you will build up to teaching 50% of the timetable.
  • The blue squares represent your second placement. If you have had experience in KS1 in your first placement, then you will work in KS2 this time. This placement runs from March until the end of your PGCE at the end of June and you will build up to teaching all subjects and up to 80% of the timetable (4 days per week) - just like a newly qualified teacher will do, so you will be fully prepared for your first teaching post.
  • The red sections represent holidays, which may vary depending on Easter and other factors each year.

As you can see, the majority of your time is spent in school. We aim to utilise every precious moment of your training time to support you to be the best teacher you can be.

Placement patterns from 2019 / 2020

What makes us different from other programmes and from the core PGCE programme at UWE?

  • We pride ourselves on our individual approach to your training.
  • We have relationships with the majority of Bristol's primary schools and can organise your placements so they are closer to your home and offer experiences which mirror the types of schools you would like to work in;
  • We work with infant schools, junior schools, primary schools, inner city schools, those in the suburbs of Bristol, large schools, small schools, those with children who speak many different languages and families who are from diverse backgrounds, those who are predominantly mono cultural, schools in areas of high deprivation, schools in high socio-economic areas, church schools... we cover them all!
  • We train our school based mentors so you have brilliant support while you are on placement - learning alongside a great teacher in a good school is one of the most important elements of the programme;
  • We only use schools and school leaders we know in the city and rate highly, so you are provided with the best possible experience whether on placement, or on a training session;
  • Our training sessions are run by the city's specialist leaders of education (SLEs) - the best teachers in the city with cutting edge practice. We run our sessions in a number of schools across the city, which are accessible and highly rated.
We support you at every step

Who are we?

A teaching school is designated by the department for education (DfE) as a centre of excellence.

In Bristol the three primary designated teaching schools work together as one for the whole city and together make up the Primary Teaching School Alliance. However, we aim to work and support all schools in the city.

What do Teaching Schools do?

Teaching schools have three core functions -

  1. To deliver training for teachers and school leaders;
  2. To support other schools which we do with a large team of nearly 50 teachers and heads who are designated as specialist leaders of education; and
  3. To support new teachers into the profession through school direct teacher training programmes.

What qualifications will I need to ?

  • A degree – second class or first class
  • GCSE (or equivalent) at grade 4 / C or above in English, Maths and a science

All of your qualifications need to be in place by the time the programme commences.

We'd recommend some time working / volunteering in a primary school classroom before you begin the programme so you understand the expectations of you as a teacher.

The skills tests have been discontinued but there will be a short 'quiz' to assess your maths and English skills - these are based on the expectations for Year 6 pupils in grammar, spelling, writing and maths so you're recommended to look at what these are in readiness for September so you can hit the ground running.

Who are we?

Mark Townsend leads our teacher training programmes - he is a Specialist Leader of Education with the Teaching School Alliance.

If you wish to contact Mark or have any queries about our programme, do drop him a line. His email address is: mark.townsend@bristol-schools.uk