Congratulations on being offered a place on our PGCE primary School Direct programme.

The following information has been provided to ensure you are ready to begin your career in teaching and prepare you for the professional and academic expectations of your PGCE Please do make sure you work through all of the information and tasks provided for you as this will ensure you are able to make a positive start to you training programme.

As you prepare to start your PGCE, please do make sure that you have met all of the conditions attached to your offer. This will include:

  • DBS documentation
  • GCSE confirmation or equivalency tests
  • Medical documentation
  • Degree confirmation 

If you have any questions relation to your conditions, please do contact our admissions department at

Week beginning 17th May 2021

This week you were sent calendars that confirmed your beginning and end dates, dates for your school placements and your university training days. There are separate calendars for EborHope/Polaris/Esk Valley and Middlesbrough Schools Teaching Alliance/Campus Stockton. Please make sure you refer to corresponding calendar for your alliance. Copies of these can be found below. 

You have also been asked to begin reading examples of quality children’s literature. Motivating children to read and promoting reading for pleasure is a fundamental professional requirement for all teachers and to ensure you are able to achieve this, you will need to explore quality texts and consider how they can be used in the classroom. To help you identify quality texts, you can follow the Scholastic link below and find texts that match the age phase you hope to teach. Please do spend the summer months exploring children’s literature and reflect on the central themes.

Top 100 examples of children’s literature

Week beginning 24th May

This week we are offering you the opportunity to reflect on your English subject knowledge.

Firstly you should engage  with all of the subject knowledge audits provided (phonics, grammar, spelling, punctuation & standard English) and record your scores on the tracking document provided below. You should then reflect on your areas of strength and areas to develop and begin to revise areas where you lack confidence. Suggestions for further reading and resources to support your revision are provided in the document below. 

You can access the English subject knowledge audits and tracker in the document below. Please keep this safe as you will be asked to share your completed tracker when you start the programme in September. 

To allow time for revision before you begin the programme, we recommend you take the audits as soon as possible. 

Week beginning 7th June

This week we are offering you the opportunity to develop your critical thinking and reading skills. Both skills are essential if you are to become an effective teacher. During your PGCE, you will develop the ability to critically reflect on your own and observed practice, and to make the links between what is observed in the classroom and how this is informed from a theoretical perspective. To support this skill, we would like you to work through the following narrated PowerPoint (OneDrive link below) and engage in the critical reading task that is outlined in the PowerPoint. Please do contribute to the Padlet wall so we can all share our thoughts and ideas. You have been supported with a note taking framework which you can use to support your thinking as you read and respond to the article. The link to the article can be found within the PowerPoint. Please view the presentation in PowerPoint so you can follow the narration.

Link to the narrated PowerPoint on OneDrive  

Padlet Link

Link to the article:

Week beginning 14th June 

This week we are giving you further information about your PGCE programme. The Student Handbook below gives you information about the programme structure, professional expectations relating to attendance and communication, and also the programme aims and module details. Please do take some time to read through the Student Handbook carefully as it also contains important contact details. 

You will also see that our previous students have offered you advice on how to be successful on your PGCE. These words of wisdom will help you prepare and manage the workload and academic expectations. 

Week beginning 21st June 

This week has a focus on your subject knowledge in mathematics. As with the English audits, you should engage with all of the self audits to help priorities areas of the mathematics curriculum that you may lack confidence with. 

Please record your initial scores on the tracker below and use the support materials below to begin to revise areas where you need development. Please do remember that it does not matter if you have a low score in a certain area. The value here is that you use the audits to baseline your honest understanding and then take steps to build confidence. 

Week beginning 5th July

This week we have a focus on developing your subject knowledge in science. As with the previous subject knowledge audits, please access the tracking document below and begin to work through each of the audits. Please record your baseline scores in the tracker provided and use the list of resources to revise areas of development. 

The resource list contains a link to the ReachOut website. This is a free online resource that provides remote CPD packages for you to work through in your own time and I would recommend that you priorities those areas of development. 

Week beginning 12th July

This week I want to give you access to two online training courses which you must complete before you begin your PGCE programme and start in school. Both are mandatory areas of all schools’ safeguarding policies and you should keep evidence of your completion. You will receive further safeguarding training at the beginning of your programme in September. 

The first online course relates to the Prevent Strategy and the second focused on the important subject of female genital mutation. The link to both courses can be found on the induction blog. Both courses ask for your location (area where your first school is based) or organisation (your alliance name) and employment sector. Please complete the employment details as if you were a primary school teacher. Please do remember to keep your certificates/ record of completion safe as your school may want to know that both courses have been completed. 

Prevent Training

FGM Resources and Training

Week beginning 19th July

This week we want to give you some experience of writing at M Level. The critical writing workshop below asks you to read around the subject of assessment and to write a 1000 word draft of your initial ideas and discussions.

Although some of you may be confident with your academic writing skills, others may lack confidence or it may have been some time since you wrote academically. Therefore, this workshop has been designed for you to practise over the summer months in preparation for your written academic assignments. Do remember that the academic assessments are a core aspect of your PGCE programme and therefore must be passed for you to successfully complete your teacher training and be awarded QTS. 

The link below takes you to the workshop and the PowerPoint walks you through the writing process. Links within the PowerPoint signpost you to further reading and research. Please work through the PowerPoint at you own pace and reflect on the experience, as this will help you meet the academic expectations of your programme. 

Critical writing workshop

Week beginning 26th July 

This is the final induction task before the summer break and provides you with your Induction Handbook.

This handbook is for you to work through when you start school in September. It should help you to begin to think like a teacher from the very start of your programme and allow you to become familiar with key school policies.  

The handbook contains three tasks:

Task 1: Practitioner Enquiry

Task 2: Child Study

Task 3: Educational Values

Each task is explained within the handbook below and requires some preliminary reading followed by evidence gathering when you are in school.  The tasks do not form part of your formal assessment but the content will be referred to during our workshops. Therefore, you should plan to gather the required evidence during the first two weeks of your time in school. Please read through the handbook before you begin school and familiarise yourself with the contents, reading and requirements. 

At the beginning of your programme, you are required to spend as much time in the classroom as possible, observing good practice and becoming familiar with school routines. You should also observe teaching in other classes and key stages to gather as much experience as you can. Please do discuss this opportunity with your mentor when you begin your programme and they will support with this.