University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings

Welcome from the Programme Director

Welcome to the Primary School Direct Programme. We are delighted that you will be joining us in the 2023-2024 academic year, and we very much look forward to seeing you in September. Please navigate around the site carefully to access key information.

– Dr Catherine Foley, Primary School Direct Programme Director and Dr Alison Silby, Primary School Direct Assistant Director 

Programme video

Gain insight into how the programme works.

Programme contacts

Dr Catherine Foley, Programme Director

Dr Alison Silby, Assistant Director

Programme Administration email address


Your conditional offer

In order for your conditional offer to become unconditional you must address all the aspects of your offer including:

  • Proof of qualifications
  • Fitness to Teach
  • DBS

This must be done by enrolment. Please note that we will not be able to enrol you unless all conditions have been met. 

Please look out for the emails with instructions for how to obtain your Fitness to Teach and your Enhanced DBS clearance. You will also receive an email inviting you to come to the campus for one of our Initial Needs Assessment meetings and if you are tuition-fee funded (unsalaried) you will need to bring the three ID documents for your DBS check to this session. 

You will need to show the original of your qualification certificates at enrolment in September.

Meeting these conditions takes time (in our experience, they often take far longer than expected). Please DO NOT leave it until the summer. You risk running out of time and not being able to enrol. 


Welcome and Induction

Online enrolment is the first step you need to take towards becoming a fully enrolled Reading Partnership Teacher. Please look out for the email with instructions for online enrolment which you should receive during the week commencing 21 August or when you have met all the conditions of your offer. You must complete online enrolment before coming to campus to collect your campus card.

In-person enrolment and first week

Please see your Primary School Direct timetable for w/c 4th September for you to download. This includes details of your first day. 

Your first day on campus will start at 9.30am in the Edith Morley building on the Whiteknights campus. During the day you will have your in-person enrolment. You will need to report to the Carrington Building Helpdesk (no. 135 on map) at the times instructed below:

1pm School Direct with PGCE
1.30pm School Direct QTS only

During lunchtime you will also have the opportunity to attend the University Life fair at the Reading Student Union.


Equipment for your training

We try to keep printing for our university-based sessions to a minimum. This means that it is often useful if you can access materials electronically, either live from our VLE (Blackboard) or by downloading materials in advance and accessing them on a laptop or tablet during the session. These documents are very difficult to access effectively through a phone screen, so it is likely that you will want to be able to bring a laptop or table to sessions. Although many schools do try to support student teachers by providing laptops, they are not funded for this and are not always able to do so. 


Preparation for your ITE year 


Background information 

The Teacher Standards

Please download the standards and guidance. Read and begin to become familiar with the terminology. These standards apply to all teachers regardless of their career stage and define the minimum level of practice expected of teachers from the point of being awarded QTS onwards.

The teachers' standards on one page is a particularly useful document - please make sure you keep it handy.


You should access, bookmark and begin to become familiar with these frameworks.

  • National Curriculum
  • Core Content Framework 
    The Initial Teacher Education (ITE) core content framework defines in detail the minimum entitlement of all Student Teachers. Drawing on the best available evidence, it sets out the content that ITE providers and their partnerships must draw upon when designing and delivering their ITE programmes. The ITE core content framework aligns with the Early Career Framework to establish an entitlement to a 3 or more year structured package of support for all new teachers at the start of their careers.

Primary School Direct Information Evening

The Primary School Direct Information Evening was held on Tuesday 11 July 2023. In case you missed it or want a refresher of the information included, revisit the welcome evening presentation. 

Pre-Programme Course information

These documents are used during our Initial Needs Assessment meetings. They contain all the information you need to get started on the programme.

  • INA presentation: this gives you an overview of key aspects of the programme
  • Key Primary School Direct programme information: look here for a short summary of what to expect
  • Course structure: this document gives you an overview of your training year so that you know when you will be at university, in school and on vacation. Remember that you will follow your school term dates and attend their in-service (INSET) days unless they clash with central training, so your exact dates in school may vary slightly
  • Pre-programme work: this sets out everything you need to do before the programme starts to make sure you are well-prepared. Read carefully!
  • Initial needs: fill this out and follow the instructions regarding who to share it with – it ensures that your mentor and tutor can tailor the programme to your starting point and needs
  • PGCE Information: this document gives you support in understanding what is involved in following the PGCE route
  • Fundamental skills (literacy and numeracy): there are no longer any requirements to pass skills tests before starting your initial teacher education journey, however you will need to demonstrate these skills by the end of the year so it is never too early to start.
  • First days checklist: You may find this checklist helpful in making arrangements for your first couple of days in school.

Subject knowledge 

All Student Teachers need to demonstrate certain standards of subject knowledge. This requirement was introduced because there is overwhelming research evidence to show that secure subject knowledge is essential for teachers to support children’s learning. Teachers feel more confident about effectively questioning children when their own subject knowledge is good.

The Teachers’ Standards require you to have sufficient subject knowledge to challenge the most able children. Although you may not train to teach the full age range, you will be qualified to teach in any Primary school and so we aim to provide you with the confidence to teach the curriculum to Year 6 children, even for EYFS Student Teachers. You will be fully supported, through taught sessions and individual help as required to go beyond this level. Core subject audits will give you an indication of your strengths and areas for further work.

You should revise any areas that have become a bit “rusty” and identify any areas where you will need to spend time in private study before the programme begins. You will be better equipped to focus on teaching skills if you ensure that you arrive having already addressed any problems with subject knowledge to the best of your ability. Specific tasks and useful links to Subject Knowledge support are set out within the Pre-programme tasks above.