Why us?

Welcome to our website. I am Amy Pearce and Director of Teach South West.

As a part of South West Teaching School Alliance we run Initial Teaching Training Programmes in a number of subjects in conjunction with Exeter University.  All our programmes lead to a University of Exeter PGCE with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Visit the SWTSA website

Key Points:

  • We are a Teaching School Alliance led by two outstanding Colleges; Ivybridge Community College and Kingsbridge Community College
  • We work with 31 secondary schools and many primary schools to deliver a fantastic programme of opportunity.
  • Exeter University is an outstanding ITT provider in the South West
  • Ivybridge Community College is your ‘home’ school (additional to your two placement schools) and is a support network for all your training needs
  • You have a Professional Subject Tutor (PST) and a Mentor in each placement, you have a University Visiting Tutor (UVT)
We differ from a traditional Exeter PGCE route at the University in that:
  • You are in schools from the start of term and so get to see how all teachers and even Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) set up their lessons and start the new school year,
  • You will be a part of a supportive network of trainees working across a variety of subjects to share practice and develop your cross-curricular links to your subject,
  • Your initial contrasting phase placement (1 week) i.e. primary or secondary experience week prior to the programme start at Exeter is organised by Teach South West and near to your home where possible,
  • Your two primary or secondary placement schools are allocated in discussion with you following acceptance onto the course
  • Throughout the Autumn term you have an ‘open door’ in your first placement school so that you can continue to learn on the job whilst learning the pedagogy at university
  • Your initial weeks in your home school will enable you to better understand the working practices of any school prior to starting theoretical pedagogy at University,
  • You have an opportunity to teach from the start and to have taught at least (and for many more) one whole lesson prior to January thus preparing you for applications and interviews!
  •  You will have a PST, Mentor, UVT and a Trainee Liaison Mentor who has recently completed the programme and of course me, Amy, your course lead at Ivybridge who is there to support, encourage, comfort and help you to succeed and get your NQT post the following September.
  • We are looking to recruit you not just as trainees but as NQTs in our schools for the future.

To summarise, we want to support and develop you now and in the future as an outstanding practitioner in your subject field.   Our aim is to ensure you bring sound subject knowledge which you are ready to teach and ensure you get access to continued high quality professional development as well as interview and job application support in our Schools and Colleges may like to appoint you as their NQTs in September.

Should you wish to visit one of our Schools or join one of our Taster programmes or events or would like further information on our programmes please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Rachel Lintott - My Journey Into Teaching

After having spent over ten years in a University environment, as a student, Researcher and Tutor, I made the leap in Spring 2015 to train to teach. I was pretty sure that I wanted to train through a School Direct route, rather than a university because I was eager to get into the classroom and learn on the job. After interviewing at Ivybridge, I was delighted to be offered a training position at such an outstanding school. I started in College in mid-September, and I can honestly say that my perception of the teaching profession changed dramatically and very quickly. Prior to starting, we trainees had spent two weeks in the Training Centre, learning the acronyms and buzzwords, and being taught the theory of Behaviour Management. During the first couple of weeks of observations and trying to pull apart the details of the lessons in light of this theory, my admiration for teachers went through the roof. I hadn’t appreciated the intricacies of the classroom, and how many, often conflicting, priorities had to be juggled to enable learning to happen.

Fortunately, Ivybridge provided me with an amazingly supportive environment, particularly at the start. I was able to begin teaching quickly, although the amount I took on initially was driven by me. I had a brilliant mentor, who gave me useful feedback, and really helped me to focus my goals. Often, it felt like as I was getting to grips with one of the teaching standards, another would trip me up, but over the course of the year my confidence, and ability to juggle the necessary elements of the classroom, grew. The support at Ivybridge came not just from the department, but also in terms of the professional development on offer. One advantage of Ivybridge being such a large school was the network of trainees, of different backgrounds, subjects and training routes who came together during these meetings, to share ideas, successes and failures.

After my training year I remained at Ivybridge as an NQT, and this sense of community has only grown. The Maths Department are a great team to work with and be part of, and the group of NQTs and the support of our NQT Coordinator has been priceless. As I continue to develop as a teacher, I couldn’t have hoped for a better route into this profession, nor a better place to train.