Ponteland Partnership Teaching Alliance

What is a National Teaching School?

The ‘National Teaching School’ designation gives outstanding schools a leading role in the training and professional development of teachers, support staff and headteachers, as well as contributing to raising standards through school-to-school support.

Schools work together within a teaching school alliance – a group of schools and other partners that are supported by the leadership of a teaching school. This includes all those schools that benefit by receiving support, as well as strategic partners that will lead on certain aspects of delivery. Alliances can be cross phase and cross sector, work across local authorities and can include different types of organisations. Collaboration is at the heart of the teaching school model.

About us

Ponteland Community Middle School is a Cohort 5 Teaching School Alliance (TSA). We were awarded the status in July 2014 in recognition of the outstanding teaching, learning and training in the school.

The Big 6

Teaching schools are part of the Government’s drive to give schools more autonomy and take increasing responsibility for supporting the school system.

As well as offering training and support for their alliance themselves, teaching schools identify and co-ordinate expertise from their alliance, using the best leaders and teachers to:

1Play a greater role in training new entrants to the profession.
2Lead peer-to-peer professional and leadership development.
3Identify and develop leadership potential.
4Provide support for other schools.
5Designate and broker specialist leaders of education (sles).
6Research and development.

The Future

Ponteland Community Middle School has ITT [Schools Direct, PGCE, SCITT placements], CPD and StSS links with the following schools and Universities:

Berwick Middle, Tweedmouth Middle, Glendale Middle, Corbridge Middle, Meadowdale Middle, Valley Gardens Middle, Hexham Middle, Wylam First, Newminster Middle, Chantry Middle, Wellfield Middle, Holy Trinity FS, St Mary’s FS, Ford First [SD placement] , Monkhouse Primary,  RGS, Bellingham Middle, Whitley Bay HS, Bellingham First, Ovingham Middle, Highfield Middle, Ridgeway PS, NorthEastFutures UTC, The Royal Grammar School, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Durham University, The Sele, The Dales, Cleaswell Hill and The Grove Special schools.

A sample of our programmes include:

  • Middle to Middle School Programme included 9 middle schools in the North East developing cohesive assessment, pupil tracking and reporting to parents using GL testing; and also a cohort of Thrive practitioners specialising on mental health first aid and 9-13 adolescent children.
  • Utilising a wealth of experience across our partner schools we devised a course for Teaching Assistants designed to develop and share best practice. The Outstanding Teaching Assistant Programme runs for four days. We can adapt this to deliver a bespoke programme on request.
  • Our reciprocal visit programme is aimed at pairing subject teachers and leaders at support school and PCMS to focus on aims and objectives and develop e.g. curriculum schemes of work, assessment, tracking and reporting to parents. Headteachers have developed this programme into robust and thorough performance management cycle with the help of up to 9 SLE/Lead Practitioners from PCMS.
  • We have capacity for 10 schools to join a SelflearnReading&Spelling programme which PCMS piloted six years ago. We have been given funding to support this and a co-ordinator for the schools involved.

School Direct

School Direct is a school-led initial teacher training (ITT) scheme. It is run by a partnership between a lead school, other schools and an accredited teacher training provider. Training places are allocated to the lead school on behalf of the partnership, usually for 1 year. We are proud of the trainees’ 100% graduation and employment record and together ensuring that the criteria for School Direct are fully met. .
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Outstanding Teaching Assistant Programme – OTAP

The Outstanding Teaching Assistant Programme is for teaching assistants who are, or who have the potential to be, outstanding in their roles. It is intended to develop the potential for Teaching Assistants to have a wider impact on improving the quality of teaching and learning across the school. Designed and facilitated by experienced school leaders and teachers the OTAP forms part of the OLEVI Teaching & Learning Syllabus which has gained a national reputation for raising standards in teaching and learning.
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