The course


The Primary School Direct course through Mercia Learning Alliance is overseen by Dore Primary School, Sheffield. Dore is a large primary school in south-west Sheffield, and has been at the heart of School Centred Initial Teacher Training for over 20 years. Dore Primary was a founding member of the ‘National SCITT in Outstanding Primary Schools’ in the late 1990s, and have been advocates of the school-centred approach to teacher training ever since.

Currently, schools you can train in within our alliance are:

Brunswick Primary School

Dore Primary School

Oughtibridge Primary School

The Nether Edge Primary School

Totley Primary School

For further information please visit each school’s website and contact them directly if you would like to request a visit prior to applying (but please do not delay an application waiting for this - as a popular provider our places fill up quickly).

The 100% school-based approach we use means our own outstanding teachers are at the heart of your development. You will train by working alongside - and being mentored by - people who won't ask you to do anything they can't demonstrate by doing well themselves. They will be working with the same children you will be teaching, meaning conversations regarding pedagogy and methodology are pertinent and relevant.

 With no blocks of time out at a University you will also experience the full cycle of the school year from welcoming and settling new students in September to celebrating the success of school leavers in July and the full annual cycle between. By the end of your year with us, you will be ready to teach across the full year as an NQT.

We offer QTS as well as an optional PGCert through The University of Sheffield. If you study for QTS plus PGCert - you will also spend approx. 10 days over the year at The University of Sheffield. Passing, failing or not completing a Masters assessment will have no bearing on your assessment towards QTS although the learning in the Masters part of the course will help you evidence Teaching Standards and allow you to specialise beyond what is required for QTS.


The course is overseen by King Ecgbert School and provides a balance between theory and practice with 60 days training and 120 days teaching placement. This means that your teaching is grounded in a strong pedagogical understanding and provides lots of opportunities to learn from one another and established professionals as well as learning on the job.

The structure of the course allows for 2 placements and we can guarantee that at least one of these will be in an 11-18 setting, ensuring that you get invaluable post-16 teaching experience.

The secondary course includes a week in a primary school setting, and we can arrange for this to be at one of our family of schools at the start of the course in September.

We have a comprehensive pastoral support programme, run in conjunction with the university. We have trained mentors in all our schools who will work with you on a day-to-day basis. They are skilled practitioners, which means you will be able to observe, team-teach and receive feedback from the best. Communication lines with the university are clear and the tutors there will also provide support throughout the entire course.

You will have a timetabled weekly mentor session and timetable weekly tutor session.

If there are additional CPD opportunities taking place within the Mercia Learning Trust that are of value to you as trainees you will be invited to participate.

Further course details:

In September 2018, you will begin the course with a week in a primary school with structured activities provided by the University, followed by 3 weeks at the University.

This is followed by several weeks in your first host school where you will carry out lesson observations, begin to learn how to plan lessons and team-teach alongside experienced colleagues. You will also be involved in whole school and Department training, as well as undergo a Professional Studies programme alongside other ITT students at the University on Fridays.

In the spring term, you will begin a second, longer teaching practice with a roughly 60% timetable between January and May.

Throughout the entire course, you will receive thorough, varied and extensive training on Teaching and Learning, and Behaviour and Guidance, as well as other aspects of school life and secondary education. Training will be delivered by a wide range of successful and experienced teachers from across the alliance and beyond, as well as by University staff. You will work with students across KS3 4 and 5, and also have the opportunity to visit primary schools to gain some understanding of the KS1 and 2 curriculum. 

By the end of the course, you will be able to demonstrate that you have met all of the different Teaching Standards. Progress against the Standards will be measured through lesson observations, lesson plans, mentor review meetings, and reviews with your tutor from University. You will be expected to provide a portfolio of evidence at the end of the year to show that you have met each of the standards. 

Courses we offer

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Physics with maths
  • Geography
  • History
  • Modern Foreign Languages (French and Spanish)

Placement Schools

  • King Ecgbert School
  • Newfield Secondary School
  • Mercia Secondary School
  • Tapton Secondary School
  • Forge Valley Secondary School
  • Firth Park Secondary School
  • Wales High School
  • King Edward VII Secondary School
  • Wath Comprehensive
  • Kirk Balk Academy
  • Horizon Community College