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School Direct pre-course tasks

Pre-course Tasks

For each School Direct route, there are a number of tasks described below that you are asked to complete prior to starting the course or that form part of the course during the first few weeks of term.  To help you make sure you complete all these required tasks, please download the relevant checklist for your route: 

Primary PGCE School Direct @Exeter Route Checklist

Secondary PGCE School Direct @Exeter Route Checklist

Primary & Secondary PGCE School Direct Distance Route Checklist

Anticipating Practice arrangements and tasks

You will start your placement at the beginning of the school autumn term as agreed by your Lead School. where possible, your Lead School will arrange for you to spend one week in a primary school and another week in a secondary school (one of these is likely to be your home school).

In readiness for the University-led autumn taught provision, you will need to complete the same pre-course tasks set for the PGCE cohorts.  Some of these tasks will need to be completed during your Anticipating Practice time in school which will be incorporated into your September training programme. 

Please ensure you download and complete the following set of tasks during your Anticipating Practice before you join the University taught course on 20 September (Primary) or 27 September (Secondary):

‌ Secondary PGCE Anticipating Practice Tasks (if you are a Secondary School Direct @exeter trainee)
‌ Primary PGCE Anticipating Practice Tasks(if you are a Primary School Direct @exeter trainee)

These tasks should be well presented as they will contribute to the evidence required for the award of your PGCE and will form the basis of group and individual discussions with your tutor during the first weeks of the taught course.  So please keep your completed tasks document safe as you will need to add it to your electronic portfolio of evidence during the first few weeks of the course.  

Please also click below for the relevant PGCE cohort pre-course tasks which you will also need to complete before you join the University taught course:

Secondary Pre-course Tasks page  (if you are a Secondary School Direct @exeter trainee)
Primary Pre-course Tasks page (if you are a Primary School Direct @exeter trainee)

Fundamental Skills Audits

All trainees need to demonstrate a certain level of English and mathematics by the end of the course before QTS can be awarded.  This is a DfE requirement.  To start this process, please download the following two audit documents and spend as much time as you can developing and improving your English and mathematics skills before the course starts.  

Fundamental Skills English Audit
Fundamental Skills Maths Audit

Your tutor will discuss the outcomes of your audits with you in the first weeks of the taught course and there will be plenty of opportunities during the course for you to work on any areas you identify as needing improvement.


Please contact your lead school in the first instance if you have any queries about your pre-course programme for September.

Anticipating Practice arrangements and tasks

You will start your placement at the beginning of the school term as agreed by your Lead School. Most Lead Schools will arrange for you to spend one week in a primary school and another week in a secondary school (one of these is likely to be your home school).  As part of this Anticipating Practice time in schools, your lead school will set you some Anticipating Practice tasks.

You will receive further guidance about these tasks along with any additional pre-course information and tasks directly from your lead school.  They will also provide you with details about an online induction to the University event early on Friday 10 September

In addition, below is some suggested preparatory reading for School Direct distance trainees.  Note: this is not a required reading list but a selection of texts that have been suggested as useful, interesting and relevant by PGCE tutors.  Please select those that are appropriate for your own interests and chosen phase of training.

Suggested preparatory reading for School Direct Distance trainees

Also, for Primary School Direct Distance trainees, please download the following Initial Needs Analysis document which includes audits for all the curriculum subjects.  Please complete these audits prior to the course starting and submit them to your lead school/home school.

Initial Needs Analysis - School Direct Distance (Primary trainees only)

Fundamental Skills Audits

All trainees need to demonstrate a certain level of English and mathematics by the end of the course before QTS can be awarded.  This is a DfE requirement.  To start this process, please download the following two audit documents and spend as much time as you can developing and improving your English and mathematics skills before the course starts.  

Fundamental Skills English Audit
Fundamental Skills Maths Audit

Your lead school contact will discuss the outcomes of your audits with you in the first weeks of the taught course and there will be plenty of opportunities during the course for you to work on any areas you identify as needing improvement.


Please contact your lead school in the first instance if you have any queries about your pre-course programme for September.

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