ITT – Initial Teacher Training

The ITT provision at the Northern Lights Teaching School Hub is provided in partnership with Durham SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training) and is based in the lead school Benedict Biscop CE Academy which is an Outstanding Primary School, part of Northern Lights Learning Trust.  

We provide ITT for the region of Sunderland, Gateshead and South Tyneside as well as wider partners in Durham and the Tees Valley.  We work closely in partnership with our partner schools and provide a unique school-based learning opportunity.  

You will be trained in a highly supportive and aspirational environment and will develop the rigour, professional knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for the delivery of creative, purposeful and challenging teaching and learning. We believe that our innovative model will provide the perfect platform to develop the outstanding teachers of the future.  

Our staff are our most valuable resource and have a proven track record in training and professional development. Our teachers are outstanding practitioners with exemplary behaviour management skills and are eager to share their skills, knowledge and practice with the next generation of teachers.  

Choosing which route to take into teacher training can be a difficult decision, however, we are here to help you every step of the way to help you decide what it right for you! Please get in touch with us if you have any queries.  

An overview of our programme 

Your training programme will be a full time, 1 year course. Upon completion of the programme you will be awarded with Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Level 7) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)  We have an excellent track record in professional career support to enable you to progress to your first teaching post.  

The course is full time and runs from September until the end of June. The majority of that time will be spent in schools and classrooms, putting theory into practice through engaging with pupils and staff.  

You will spend a substantial amount of time in your ‘home’ school where an induction programme will ensure that you understand the key systems and processes and help you to feel part of the school. You will be treated as a member of staff from the first day, joining in with the routines set by the school. Alongside being school based, trainees also attend Professional Studies sessions to develop their knowledge of theory behind classroom practice. 

Throughout your training year you will take part in school based sessions and workshops with fellow trainees to embed the key pedagogical strategies that underpin the work of successful teachers. Your mentor will support you with bespoke feedback and guidance that will help you to reflect on what you have learned and develop further your understanding of effective classroom practice. 

You will also be assigned a mentor within your training school who support you, offer advice and act as a further source of professional advice.  

All of our teachers who work with trainees are experienced practitioners who have undergone extensive training in coaching, lesson observation and feedback. Their work is supported by Durham SCITT who provide outstanding professional studies programmes as well as quality assuring the assessment of trainee’s performance through regular observations within school.  

Trainees are placed in our host primary schools, all good or outstanding, working with a training provider also graded as outstanding. We all share the same vision – excellence in education and life experiences. We provide the highest standards of education and care and encourage our trainees to have high aspirations for themselves and the pupils they teach.  

We create an environment in which staff, pupils and trainee teachers alike feel valued and supported. We have worked with trainee teachers for many years and we fully recognise how much vibrancy, enthusiasm, and drive they offer to a school community.  

Our partnership of schools are mixture of large and small urban primaries, infant schools, faith schools, maintained schools and academies. All of our schools are conveniently located, which means trainees can engage with more than one school in the partnership. We provide a unique opportunity to experience a diverse and contrasting range of teaching and training experiences.  

Pupils across the partnership are happy, friendly and well behaved and are at the heart of everything we do. Both staff and pupils are ambitious and confident. Many consistently out-perform their national peers and make significantly more progress.  


Special Features 

All schools have comprehensive intakes and you will receive experience of working with pupils of all abilities aged 3-11 years. At least one of your placements will give you access to the Early Years Foundation Stage. This will enhance and deepen the learning experience for trainees within the partnership. Our schools are all highly successful in their own right with excellent track records in developing teachers from trainees to headship.  

Student Facilities 

Our School Direct courses are aimed at embedding the trainee in the heart of a school. The trainee will start the year in school on the first day of term and work the life of a teacher for three terms. Trainees are treated as members of staff and expected to behave in line with the conditions and expectations of a teacher, this includes duties, meetings and extra-curricular activities. Trainees benefit from a professional and social life that reflects the school community. Most trainees are selected by schools that have at least one other School Direct Trainee.  

Grants and bursaries are available for many students, including to support with childcare if required. Please contact us to find out more. 

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