Didsbury Road Primary School

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School Direct

School Direct:  become a teacher with the Hursthead Junior School Alliance


From September 2016 Didsbury Road Primary School will be joining the Hursthead Junior School Alliance for School Direct trainee teachers. At Didsbury Road we have a long track record of successful teacher training. For more information on our current work in teacher training, please see the ITT section on the Partnerships tab of our website. Lead Associate Partners for Early Years teaching and learning, we train and support colleagues in Early Years both within and beyond Stockport LA.

Please see the Associate Partners section on the Partnerships tab of our website for more information. We take a lead on a range of Action Research Groups, researching areas of teaching and learning so that we can provide the best learning experiences for our children.


The view from a School Direct trainee teacher


School Direct was the perfect training route for me because I wanted to learn on the job!  I am so pleased I chose Hursthead Junior School as from day one I was straight into school life and very quickly gained a full understanding of the challenges and expectations of the job. I was supported incredibly well by my mentor and I really felt, throughout my time, that everyone on the staff wanted me to succeed on the course. This support was much needed during what is a very busy but rewarding year!


For me, School Direct is the best way to carry out initial teacher training because you have the opportunity to observe expert teachers on a daily basis. The whole course has been an incredible learning journey and I have been encouraged to take risks that have pushed me out of my comfort zone, but resulted in opening my eyes new and different ways of teaching.


At the end of my School Direct training with Hursthead Junior School, I felt fully equipped for my NQT year. We had a wealth of meaningful, practical experiences, from meeting with subject leaders and taking part in training courses to attending parents’ evening appointments.  Not to mention the experience of Forest Schools, which was a great opportunity to build relationships with the children outside of the classroom! It was the most challenging but rewarding year, and I am excited for my future career as a teacher.



School Direct teacher training with Hursthead Junior School enables graduates to learn ‘on the job’ in a variety of local schools, as well as receive academic and University support, whilst training to teach to become a Primary School Teacher.  The alliance offers School Direct places in partnership with the University of Manchester. who will validate the School Direct course with a PGCE qualification and QTS, giving you the opportunity to complete up to sixty credits towards a master's degree.



Our alliance is led by Hursthead Junior School, an outstanding three-form entry Junior School in the south Manchester suburb of Cheadle Hulme.   The school is committed to sharing best practice and leading the training of the teachers of the future.


We are a close-knit alliance of primary schools in the South Manchester area, who individually have substantial experience of working with trainees and a strong track record of producing high quality teachers.  Partner schools in the alliance are:


Whilst each school has its own unique ethos, we all share a passion for developing teachers who are committed to delivering creative and fun teaching and learning opportunities.


We provide a comprehensive programme of learning and support, which equips trainee teachers with the skills and knowledge to become outstanding teachers.  Successful applicants to our alliance will become part of a family, which offers mentoring from highly experienced practitioners across the full range of primary phases and which will help you to learn and grow in confidence within stimulating environments.



Undergraduate Degree

Applicants should hold a minimum of 2:1 honours degree from a UK university, or a qualification recognised as equivalent. 



All selected candidates will have equivalent to two A levels at grade C or above in preferred subjects.



All selected candidates must have attained a standard in English, mathematics and science which is equivalent to the standard required to achieve a grade C in GCSE examination. Equivalency tests are accepted.  Applicants should also possess GCSE grade C in at least 3 other preferred subjects.




We are committed to providing outstanding learning experiences for our children, and for our staff, therefore our trainees will need to be prepared:

  • To have a ‘can do’ philosophy and a creative approach to learning
  • To enjoy working with young people and have a passion for learning
  • To be flexible and have the ability to use initiative
  • To carry out professional duties in a positive and courteous manner
  • To have high expectations for their students and themselves
  • To be committed to ongoing professional development


Personal Qualities

  • A sensitive, caring professional
  • A committed, hard-worker
  • A team player
  • A confident, engaging communicator
  • A resilient learner



Application Form
We will assess the application forms processed by UCAS along with the University of Manchester using the criteria outlined.  We aim to notify you of our decision within 40 working days of receiving your application and interviews will be held at regular intervals throughout the year.


School Based tasks
You will be invited into an alliance school to undertake a short task with a group of students. You will be provided with information about the nature of this task in order to prepare appropriately. We will use this task to assess interaction with students; ability to enthuse, engage and communicate well with children.  There will also be a presentation task, a group task and a formal interview.   (On the day, there will be identity and qualification checks – please provide photographic ID, proof of address and copies of your academic qualifications.)


Literacy & Numeracy Tests
All trainee teachers who start initial teacher training programmes in England must also pass the Department of Education’s professional skills tests in numeracy and literacy before they can start a training programme.  It is expected that applicants will at least be registered for the skills tests before attending interview.  In those cases where applicants have not passed their skills test but are offered a place on The University of Manchester School Direct programme, a condition of offer will be that the skills test must be taken within 30 days (excluding bank holidays) of the offer being made.  Where an applicant (who has been offered a place) fails either the literacy or numeracy test (or both) The University of Manchester reserves the right to withdraw any offer of a place or to offer a further period in which to pass the test.



Applications to School Direct at Hursthead Junior School are made via UCAS.  See the UCAS website for full details. 


For School Direct queries, specific to Hursthead Junior School, contact Helen Walker School for more details at: helen.walker@hursthead-jun.stockport.sch.uk.


For general queries about School Direct, please see the Get into Teaching section of the DfE website:  https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/explore-my-options/school-led-training/school-direct


For queries about the Manchester University PGCE School Direct programme, please visit:  http://www.seed.manchester.ac.uk/pgce/school-direct/