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School Direct is a school-led training course which blends together ‘on the job’ in-school training with the theoretical, research-led practice undertaken at universities. Our secondary ITT course takes one school year to complete and leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

We firmly believe that the in-school training delivered by our fantastic partnership of schools, combined with the academic rigour encouraged and delivered by our university partners, provides a great formula in training outstanding teachers for the future. Working with university providers that we have rich and developed relationships with, allows us to create bespoke training routes for different subject areas, whilst drawing on the individual expertise of specialist staff from each university. We have worked with our Higher Education partners for many years and have developed a truly collaborative partnership which helps to ensure all your training needs will be met.

Our Teaching School Hub based at Archbishop Holgate’s School, an outstanding Church of England Academy, with excellent student outcomes, which is situated three quarters of a mile from York city centre. We work closely with secondary schools across York and in North Yorkshire and the East Riding. This enables us to offer a variety of placement contexts and provide a truly broad teacher training experience.

Research-Led Training

The School Direct approach means you will receive 50% of your theoretical research-led training from your university and 50% from Pathfinder. Nearly all of your training at University will be subject based. Whereas, here at Pathfinder, we will cover a programme of study focussing on Whole School Issues and follow the Initial Teacher Education Core Content Framework.

You can expect to learn from a range of well-respected and highly knowledgeable colleagues from the wider teaching and learning community, as well as outstanding evidence-based teaching practitioners from Archbishop Holgate’s School.

We will show you what we know works best in the classroom, how to work efficiently and how to collaborate well with others.

Here is a selection of the sessions we provide training on:

  • Climate for Learning
  • Assessment for Learning
  • How Students Learn (including the science around memory and cognitive load theory)
  • Lesson Planning
  • Medium and Long-Term Planning
  • Engaging and Supporting Disadvantaged Students
  • Data and Tracking
  • EAL
  • SEND
  • Working With Parents
  • Pastoral Care
  • Professionalism


Assessment is continuous across both placements and throughout the course of the year. There are two elements to the way you are assessed:

QTS (Qualified Teacher Status)

There are four review points in total, which span across both placements. In each school you will have a formative review point and a summative review point, where you will have the opportunity to discuss your learning in a progress meeting with your mentor and a member of the university or teaching school staff. Your progress is measured in line with the Teachers’ Standards. On successful completion of the year, you will gain QTS.

PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education)

You will have 3 mandatory assignments which will be set, monitored, assessed and moderated by the university. Each assignment is a written based task. You will be awarded your PGCE based on successfully passing all 3 assignments.