Primary teacher training

Our primary routes into teaching are led by Okehampton Primary School. In addition to the 13 other primary schools within our Trust, we work in partnership with a range of other primary schools within Devon and the wider area.

For 2023-24 we will be offering three routes into primary teaching:

  • 5–11 primary specialism route
  • 3–7 primary specialism route
  • Primary teaching apprenticeship route

Our 5–11 and 3–7 School Direct routes are delivered in partnership with the University of Exeter as part of the PGCE distance learning programme. Our primary teaching apprenticeship route is delivered in partnership with Plymouth Marjon University.

Rachel Holland

Former primary school direct trainee

Now teacher at Okehampton Primary

‘School Direct was the perfect way for me to train to teach – on the job and hands on. It built on my existing experience and skill set and allowed me to progress at my own pace – a tailor-made package really. The support from colleagues was amazing, despite busy working lives, they always found time to advise and encourage me.’

What does a typical week on the 3–7 and 5–11 course look like?

  • You will spend half a day each week at Okehampton Primary, taking part in training workshops which model the principles of effective teaching and learning and build on the University of Exeter programme
  • Three days a week will be spent in your placement school, where you will be supported by a team of experienced teachers and gain first-hand teaching experience
  • A fifth day will be allocated to completion of the PGCE element of the course, which is delivered by the University of Exeter through their online Distance Learning programme. This comprises of two 30 credit modules which are designed to develop your understanding of core issues in education

During the year, you will spend time in two schools. We offer placements in a wide range of schools; including the 13 primary schools within the Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust.

How do school placements work?

We aim to place you in one of our Trust schools or in one of the primary schools affiliated with Dartmoor Teacher Training Partnership. We are proud to offer a diverse range of placement options including large schools, small village schools and church schools.

How placements are decided:

There are 14 primary schools within the Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust. We also work in partnership with other schools in the area. Although trainees are expected to travel to the schools withn whom they have been matched, we endeavour to minimise travel distance where possible.

Placement structure:

School based training is an important part of our courses. During the year you will work in 2 schools (a main placement and an ‘alternative placement’).

  • Main placement: September – December + March – June
  • Alternative 6–week placement: January – February

Placement support:

Excellent support for trainees within placements is of paramount importance and we are proud of the support we offer to our trainees. Our schools, and their staff, are passionate about supporting the teachers of tomorrow and value the opportunity to be part of each trainee’s journey.

During both the main and alternative placements, you will be allocated an experienced teacher to lead your training within the classroom. You will work alongside the teacher to plan, deliver and assess teaching and learning as well as gain experience in all aspects of primary teaching.

Placement schools also provide a school-based mentor who will guide you towards meeting the Teachers’ Standards.

In addition, the University of Exeter allocate a tutor. The tutor visits you in school and provides support for the PGCE distance learning programme.

We also provide you with the opportunity to experience secondary teaching in one of our secondary Trust schools.

What does the interview process involve?

Applications are reviewed by the Dartmoor Teacher Training Partnership and the University of Exeter. Applicants will be contacted by phone or email shortly after we receive an application to discuss interview arrangements.

Interviews are usually conducted at Okehampton Primary School. The 2–hour process consists of a panel interview, a teaching task and a written task designed to allow candidates to demonstrate their aptitude for teaching.

Requirements and eligibility

Entry to the course is conditional on:

  • Graduate or equivalent status. An honours degree of 2:2 or above. Passes at GCSE in English, Mathematics and Science at grade C or above or equivalent (or for GCSEs taken from Summer 2017 onwards, grade 4 or above)
  • Selection based on the information provided on the Teacher Training application
  • Selection based on a successful interview
  • A medical report which is deemed satisfactory
  • Safer recruitment checks – A completed Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced check which is deemed satisfactory by the University

Find out more about primary or register your interest for one of our 2023-24 places here.

Our primary teacher training brochure can also be downloaded below: