We are very pleased to be working alongside the Prince Henry's Teaching School in Evesham and the Bromsgrove Primary Alliance to recruit, select and deliver the School Direct Primary course. As a partner school to the Prince Henry's SCITT (School-Centred Initial Teacher Training), we have been able to offer a full time place on a School Direct Teacher Training Programme since September 2018. We currently have a 100% employment rate for students taking the School Direct training at Westacre.
Westacre Middle School is a fantastic place to train to become an outstanding teacher. It is an excellent school which offers the children a warm, vibrant, lively, and safe learning environment where they can grow into confident young people, having developed their full potential during the three years at our school.
Our staff are totally committed to offering the children every opportunity to enable them to develop both academically and socially. The plethora of enrichment and after-school activities and clubs is testament to this commitment.
Westacre is deeply committed to providing teacher training opportunities and locally were are one of the few schools to offer the primary School Direct graduate training programme. Our teacher training provision has gone from strength to strength and we continue to be passionate about training the next generation of teachers.
The chosen candidate will spend much of their time during the Autumn and Summer term in one of our Key Stage 2 classes, while experience in a Key Stage 1 class will be gained during the Spring term in our nearby partner school Chawson First School. This programme will also offer the candidate the opportunity to experience teaching and learning in both the EYFS and Key Stage 3 curriculum.
A second School Direct placement is also available at Chawson First School, with the trainee spending the Autumn and Summer term at Chawson in a Key Stage 1 classroom. The Spring term will then be spent in a Key Stage 2 class here at Westacre.
Click the links below for more information about the course and how to apply:
The application window for a place on the School Direct programme at Westacre for the 2022/23 year is now open.
Laura Constable - 2020 / 21 cohort
Why choose School Direct?
I chose to complete my PGCE through the School Direct route as I wanted to be immersed in school life from the start, learning from other teachers and the children. I wanted to have the opportunity to practice what I was learning and felt this was more suited to my learning style, than learning in a university lecture room. Although most of my time has been spent at Westacre, I have also had the opportunity to work within a class at Chawson First School, enabling me to see how another school operates.
What support do you get?
As a School Direct trainee, I have felt fully supported throughout my training by the university and Westacre.
At university I have regular catch-up meetings with my personal academic tutor and my school experience tutor is in regular contact through email and online video calls (due to COVID).
Within school, I have weekly review meetings with my class teacher and my lead mentor, but support is continuous with regular feedback and support given from all members of staff. There are many opportunities to spend time working with different members of staff, in different classes and year groups which allows for observing different teaching styles and specialisms.
What's it like having your own class to work in straight away?
Although it was daunting having my own class straight away, it was also exciting to be involved from the start of their year and I was immediately accepted by the children as “one of their teachers”. I was able to see how the teacher implemented rules and routines with her new class, which has all contributed to my learning. Due to the amount of time the School Direct route allowed me to spend with the one class, I was able to form strong trusting relationships with them which has helped when teaching the whole class, and smaller group interventions.
Why choose Westacre?
When I attended my interview for Westacre, I immediately knew it was where I wanted to be for my PGCE. From the moment I walked into the main entrance, the staff were so welcoming and enthusiastic, and this continued with every member of staff and child that I met. All the staff at Westacre have so much enthusiasm for teaching and supporting the children and the children are so inspired and motivated to learn.
I was immediately welcomed as a “member of the team” and involved with planning, teaching and school duties from the start, both within my year group team and the wider school.
By training through School Direct at Westacre, I felt that I was fully prepared for what was expected of me as an Early Career Teacher when I started the role in September. I had experienced day to day school life throughout the whole of my training year, including during lock-down periods, and so felt confident with many aspects of the role. This allowed me to spend more time focusing on other aspects which came with having my own class, which I had not had the opportunity to focus on as much during my training year. I believe if I had not chosen the School Direct route, I would not have had as many opportunities presented to me during my training, and therefore would not have felt as confident starting as an ECT.
Jessica Dutton - 2020 / 21 cohort
What support do you get?
As part of the School Direct course, I was able to meet with my lead mentor every week to discuss my strengths and areas for development moving forward. This was also an opportunity to discuss any issues or concerns that I had. In the same sense, I was able to discuss my little victories during the previous week and where I felt I had improved. I was also able to have multiple meetings, during the week with my class teacher, to discuss planning, resourcing and teaching. These meetings were always a great way to discuss what had happened during the week and my class teacher was always very supportive if I found something particularly challenging. The whole team at Westacre is incredibly helpful and you never feel as though you are asking a silly question. They are always ready to help you in any way that they can. Despite the current situation of Covid-19, there is still a sense of team spirit and everybody working towards the same goal of educating children to a high standard, whilst looking after their health and wellbeing.
What is it like having your own class to work in straight away?
To begin with, it can seem quite daunting to have your own class straight away. However, I believe that it has helped with my professional development and overall understanding of how to become a quality first teacher. You are able to fully immerse yourself in the classroom and take on challenges as soon as you feel comfortable. For instance, I was able to carry out full class lessons with assistance from my class teacher in the first few weeks. This meant that I had a good starting point to see where my areas for development were and also what I was doing well. This motivated me and meant that I pushed myself at every opportunity to teach different subjects. I did this as soon as I could to increase my subject knowledge and strive to develop in as many areas as possible.
Why choose Westacre?
During my application process, I had looked through multiple courses and schools. I knew that Westacre was a lovely school, with a very friendly environment, as I had attended as a child. When I contacted the school to express my interest, I was given every opportunity to complete my application to the best of my ability. I was also told that if I had any questions then not to hesitate in contacting the school. Throughout the whole interview process, everyone at the school was friendly and approachable, from the site staff to the teachers. When I was shown around the school, by two pupils, they were so enthusiastic about Westacre. They knew about all of their teachers, their subjects and all of the extra-curricular activities that Westacre provided. It was a great way to get insight and the pupils were confident when I asked questions about their life at Westacre. During my interview, I was able to demonstrate my passion and love for learning through all of my previous experiences which was encouraged by Westacre. I was informed of my acceptance into the course very quickly and was always kept up to date with any information relating to the start of the course. When starting at Westacre, I was given all the key information so that I knew where everything was and how everything worked. I was introduced to all staff and made sure that I knew where they were based if I needed any advice or had to have any conversations with them. Westacre has been a brilliant school to complete my teacher training!
Being part of the School Direct course during my training has positively impacted upon my first term as an Early Career Teacher. Due to the fact that I knew how Westacre ran on a day-to-day basis it was easier to dive in and teach straight away. I knew all the curriculum as I had worked with Year 5 in my training year and I think this helped me to settle in. Furthermore, it meant I felt more comfortable when getting my own class as I was able to focus on getting to build good relationships with them and provide a good working environment, through quality first teaching. It has been great working within the Year 5 team as they provide so much support and discussion to improve and development my teaching.