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Welcome to the website of Torbay Teaching School Alliance ** For information on School Direct teacher training for 2019/20 please go to School Direct on the ITE & NQTs menu **


Welcome to Torbay Teaching School

School Direct

TTSA School Direct Primary PGCE Programme 2019/20
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Why train with us?
Oldway Primary School is proud to be judged Outstanding by Ofsted, four inspections in a row. As an acclaimed primary school, it is exceedingly well-placed to lead the Torbay Teaching School Alliance School Direct Programme in conjunction with Plymouth University.
Oldway has taken the lead in the South West in establishing Torbay Teaching School Alliance which is directly involved in the training and professional development of teachers at all levels: at initial teacher training, with NQTs, in providing CPD for serving teachers, middle and senior leaders and for head teachers.
The fourth cohort of School Direct primary trainees has just finished the year. Trainees have gained QTS and a PGCE and have posts within education in alliance schools and beyond for the next academic year.


About this training programme
Programme features and benefits
First and foremost, training is tailored to the trainee teacher. Each School Direct trainee is assigned to a class in the base school with a teacher-tutor, overseen by an experienced mentor. Meetings with the mentor are scheduled weekly, supporting ongoing professional development as a teacher.
Training commences by working alongside the class teacher, initially with small groups of children. This gradually builds up over the year to working with the whole class and includes a second placement in the spring term in a contrasting Alliance school. A unique feature of the Torbay Teaching School Alliance School Direct Programme is the addition of a third short placement in a Torbay Teaching School Alliance special school, where trainees will have enriched opportunities to develop their skills with pupils who have complex special educational needs and/or a disability and to focus on differentiation and personalised learning in the classroom.
On the Torbay Teaching School Alliance School Direct Primary programme, taught modules are delivered in the Training Room at Oldway Primary School. These comprise a wide range of teaching strategies including lectures, seminars, tutorials, directed tasks and practical workshops which complement the developmental experiences of teaching and assessing in the placement schools. Sessions are delivered by Plymouth University tutors and experienced practitioners and subject leaders from Oldway and other alliance schools.
Primary trainees study the whole of the National Curriculum with a particular emphasis on the core subjects of English, mathematics and science in Key Stages 1 & 2 as well as developing an understanding of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Taught sessions are carefully integrated with placements in order to allow trainees to apply and develop their teaching skills in a reflective way, drawing on professional learning, academic research and practice in the classroom.
In the Torbay Teaching School Alliance School Direct Primary Programme, trainees are enrolled alongside the whole cohort of other PGCE students at Plymouth University. There are induction opportunities on campus (as well as induction in the base school) with all that entails in terms of facilities, resources, study support, social and academic opportunities. You will also attend key events arranged by Plymouth University for all PGCE students e.g. conferences, guest speaker seminars etc. You will, in common with students on other courses, be a full member of the university.


What makes a great primary school teacher?
Person specification
For this intensive and challenging programme, we seek to recruit high quality candidates who show academic capability and teaching potential. Applicants will be energetic and motivated with a high level of commitment to children and to teaching and learning. They will have excellent organisational skills and the ability to work constructively in a team as well as study independently; they will be committed to becoming a reflective and evaluative practitioner.


Torbay Teaching School Alliance School Direct aims to develop teachers who will have a high impact on pupils' learning and thereby enhance the life chances of children and young people. Successful applicants will be eager, questioning professionals who view the programme as the beginning of their professional learning showing their commitment to life-long development as a teacher.


Torbay Teaching School Alliance School Direct is designed to nurture these qualities by providing an outstanding programme of training in an environment which values inclusion, equality of opportunity and recognition of individual need.


All appropriately qualified candidates will be given equal consideration during the selection process. Torbay Teaching School Alliance does not tolerate discrimination on the grounds of gender, ethnicity, colour, disability, religion, nationality, age, sexual orientation or any other irrelevant distinction.
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How we select our trainees
For School Direct places, the selection of trainees is led by the Torbay Teaching School Alliance, with representatives from Plymouth University and alliance schools. Both Torbay Teaching School Alliance and Plymouth University screen all applications for eligibility, entry requirements, prior experience and references prior to interview.


High calibre applicants will be invited to interview where several tasks will determine the suitability of each candidate for the School Direct Programme and whether a conditional offer will be made.


Candidates are selected that meet the following person specification:


i. have the necessary professional attributes and personal qualities required to work as a teacher
ii. are sensitive to the diverse needs of children
iii. are enthusiastic about teaching and learning
iv. have an understanding about the role of the teacher and others within school
v. have capacity to work within a team, building and maintaining effective professional relationships
vi. are aware of key educational issues and can consider the implications for children, staff, parents and carers, and others in education
vii. demonstrate an ability to reflect and analyse
viii. demonstrate good literacy and numeracy skills
ix. demonstrate wide outside interests which can contribute to the holistic school life of the pupils and students
x. demonstrate effective communication skills


School Experience
Both Plymouth University and Torbay Teaching School Alliance require that applicants will have spent some time working with children and young people. In addition, applicants would benefit from spending time in primary schools, observing and noting how classrooms work, how teachers teach and how children learn.


At interview, applicant will be expected to draw on their experience with children and young people to talk about teaching and factors that affect children's learning. You will need to give details of your experience within your application.


Entry Requirements


GCSE or equivalent is required in English, mathematics and science at Grade C or above.


A second class honours degree or equivalent, from a recognised university. Masters and PhDs also count towards entry requirements. A Masters degree will be considered as a second class upper degree and a PhD as a first. This will also apply to international applicants.
It is not necessary for the degree to be in a National Curriculum subject.


Applicants with overseas qualifications can check their compatibility with the UK equivalent through NARIC, who provide an advisory service:


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Monitoring and Assessment


Trainees' progress is monitored and assessed weekly through lesson observations, reflective diary and weekly meetings with the mentor. Trainees' progress towards the Teachers' Standards is also monitored through three assignments which may meet Level 6 / Level 7 criteria which results in Masters credits.




This programme carries a £9,250 tuition & training fee. Bursaries are available to reduce these costs, for those that meet the criteria. Please see section on Funding.




Further information on funding and bursaries is available from the DfE's Get Into Teaching website

How to Apply


Application is via UCAS.  Applicants will be able to use the new 'Find postgraduate teacher training' search tool to look for courses from 2nd October 2018 and the application window will be open from 9th October 2018  Search for general Primary courses under Torbay Teaching School Alliance.  We will accept applications up until the end of June 2019.



Open Events


  • Saturday 2nd February 2019, 10:00 - 11:30
  • Saturday 30th March 2019, 10:00 - 11:30


If you would like to attend any of the above events, please email Wendy Vreony at