The Preston Teaching School Alliance, which consists of a variety of primary, secondary and special schools all in and around the Preston area, will provide you with the opportunity of being part of a school team from the very beginning. We have been working together, in partnership with the University of Cumbria, to ensure that our PGCE School Direct training programme is of the highest quality, providing our trainee teachers with all of the support and resources that they will need to enable them to develop into the outstanding teachers of the future. As part of the programme you will work alongside excellent practitioners and mentors in schools that have a proven track record in providing outstanding teacher training and professional development opportunities.
Our schools aim to give all pupils a broad and vibrant exposure to a range of activities and subjects to help discover their true talents, skills and interests. Our trainees will be trained in a highly supportive environment where, through an exciting and innovative curriculum which we have designed, you will develop the professional knowledge, understanding and skills to develop outstanding teaching and learning. We want to give our trainees the opportunity to train as professionals from Day One and throughout the year the focus is on care, ambition and your personal needs. All of our partners are involved in recruitment, selection and training and are committed to developing happy and confident teachers. We have a long and successful track record of teacher training and many of our trainees are now employed in our own or in other schools in the Preston area.
Lisa Widdicks – Chemistry trainee 2015-16
‘I am delighted to have chosen the School Direct training route. It has enabled me to experience a significant amount of time within the excellent placement schools, allowing me to develop the high level skills required to become a successful teacher. The variety of conference days available encourage you to try new techniques in the classroom and the alliance provides friendly support throughout this training route. Coming from industry into teaching, this route has been an excellent choice!’
(September 2016 – NQT Garstang Community Academy)
Jade Southworth Biology Trainee 2018-19
‘Throughout both my personal life and academic career, I have been fortunate enough to have been involved with teaching staff who have both encouraged and ignited my enthusiasm in the field of science. It is as a result of this that I chose to study an undergraduate degree in Biology, further my education to Ph.D. level, and to pursue a career in secondary teaching. My interest in science originated during my time at Broughton High School as a pupil, which heavily influenced my decision to study with the Preston Teaching School Alliance. From the expertise of the teaching staff, first class facilities, and support network that the alliance has to offer, my experience of the PGCE Secondary Schools Direct course, has been extremely positive, which I believe has been facilitated by the diversity of the course and the fantastic admin staff, who coordinate the placements, PfL days and conferences that are incorporated into the academic year. As the School Direct course involves two placements in contrasting schools within the alliance, you are provided with vast experience of teaching both KS3 and KS4, as well as support and feedback from experienced, approachable and encouraging mentors, who will help to build on your skills of teaching, to prepare you for your new career. I have thoroughly enjoyed the course so far, and would recommend Preston TSA to all.’
Matthew Tomlin MFL Trainee 2018-19
‘There are some very good teaching alliances in the northwest of England but for me the Preston Teaching School Alliance stood out and became my first choice for entering the teaching profession. They have enabled me, coached me and supported me all the way through the course.
The PGCE Schools Direct course covers all relevant topics and is delivered in concise chunks that are easy to absorb and fit well with the related in-school placement experiences. The course structure is clear, logical and effective. This Alliance has obviously put a lot of thought and expertise into designing it.
However, it’s not just about the course content. For me another important benefit of choosing the PTSA is from doing the course assignments, receiving individual feedback and interacting with so many dedicated and engaging teachers and other course participants.
Having worked in industry for the past 17 years, the support offered by the PTSA gave me the confidence apply my skills to the classroom, to believe in myself and to implement new techniques immediately. I didn’t just learn “how” to teach. The “what” and “why” also became much clearer.’
NQT Broughton High School September 2019
The Head of the lead school, Broughton High School, is Chris Morris (MA, BA Hons, NPQH, NLE), who is responsible for monitoring and reviewing all aspects of the Preston Teaching School Alliance’s School Direct programme and school provision and reporting to other alliance Headteachers. Chris is also involved in delivering inspiring Conference Day sessions for the benefit of our trainees.
Our Partnership Programme Leader is Jackie Williams (BA Hons, PGCE, PG Cert Academic Practice), who has worked successfully with the University of Cumbria for many years and is responsible for organising, monitoring and reviewing all aspects of the School Direct programme. Jackie participates in the recruitment, selection and observation of all our trainees and works with school leads and mentors to ensure the best possible outcomes. She prepares the course materials, in conjunction with the University of Cumbria Programme Leads, and coordinates the programme of extremely popular Conference Days which are hosted and delivered by our Alliance schools.
Our Primary Lead is Mick Aspinall (BSC Hons, NPQH), appointed from Queen’s Drive Primary School, also a Teaching School. Mick works with Primary colleagues to ensure consistency and high-quality provision and observes all of our Primary trainees during the year. Mick is an experienced mentor himself, having mentored for the past 15 years, and with 20 year experience of primary teaching across all age ranges. He writes Primary course materials and delivers Primary tutorial sessions to support the preparation of our trainees’ teaching files.
Our Secondary University Programme Lead, Dave MacLaughlan, and our Primary University Programme Lead, Adrian Copping, are both highly respected lecturers and course leaders who provide advice, support and guidance throughout the teacher training year. They deliver sessions on pedagogy and support our trainees to ensure their assignments are completed to a high standard. They provide the links to the University, its facilities, resources and support services.
Sandra Duggan, who is based in Broughton High School is responsible for all administration relating to the recruitment of our trainees and the School Direct programme. She is always on the end of the telephone and extremely efficient in responding to any queries or support needed.
Our mentors support the trainee through their placements and fulfil a key role in supporting them through their induction in whole school life and though subject specialism in the classroom. They are proven outstanding practitioners who have the skills and personal qualities to train and coach others, dedicating time each week to support our trainees and have a record of developing outstanding cohorts of new teachers.