Why Train With Us?

Why train with us?

The Challenge Academy Trust (TCAT) is an innovative Multi Academy Trust comprising:

  • Bridgewater High School,
  • Beamont Collegiate Academy,
  • Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School,
  • Penketh High School,
  • Padgate Academy,
  • Priestley Sixth Form College,
  • Great Sankey Primary School,
  • Penketh South Community Primary School.
  • Broomfields Junior School
  • Meadowside Community Primary School

We are an ambitious MAT and were one of the first in the country to include a Sixth Form College to work alongside the Secondary Schools and Primary Schools collaborating in the Trust. For you as a trainee, this means that all of your training can take place within a 5-mile radius of Warrington. Both your Secondary placements, all your Enrichment experiences and any other bespoke placements that may interest you can be provided by TCAT. There is a wealth of opportunities within our MAT and we would encourage you to experience all we can offer during the course. We are ideally placed for transport links, being equidistant between Liverpool and Manchester and all our partner schools are easily reached within Warrington.

Bridgewater is responsible for the design and delivery of TCAT’s School Direct Teacher Training Programme. Our programme leads to QTS, accredited by Endeavour Learning SCITT, and the award of Postgraduate Certificate in Education at Masters’ level through Liverpool John Moores University. Our students also become teachers of PSHE through completion of an accredited programme.

During the course, TCAT offers Trainee Teachers the opportunity to work with students from a diverse range of social backgrounds and abilities from SEND to the most able. We have Designated Provisions in our Secondary Schools focusing on specific student needs and you can gain experience working within these specialised units.

TCAT can also provide significant opportunities beyond your two Secondary placements and can offer bespoke placements for those wishing to pursue particular areas of development such as Inclusion and STEM.

We ensure that our trainees become highly effective practitioners and provide inspiring, practical and high-quality training to enabling our graduates to become successful teachers finding employment across the region.

Support for the development of your Teaching and Classroom Skills

You will be allocated a dedicated Curriculum Mentor who will support and mentor you during your training year to become a highly effective teacher. They will model exemplary practice in planning, teaching and assessment to prepare you to be the best teacher you can be.

Support for the development of your Subject Knowledge

Throughout your training year, you will also be supported by an Academic Mentor in school who will track, stretch, challenge and develop your subject knowledge. You will meet with them regularly to develop and grow your expertise.

SEND Opportunities

TCAT has a profound commitment to inclusion. One opportunity that is available to you includes gaining a better understanding of students with ASD, Cognitive and Learning needs and Emotional and Behavioural Issues through our Designated Provisions

Key Stage 5 Experience

In addition to completing your two extended school placements, TCAT can provide opportunity to observe and deliver aspects of A level courses and Level 3 BTEC qualifications at Priestley College through Sixth Form Enhancements.  There is also an opportunity to request a third placement which will allow you to include an extended period of time working with KS5 students.


Bridgewater runs an extensive Enrichment Programme for our students which trainees will be encouraged to become involved in. One example is our highly successful Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme programme; there will be opportunities to support students as they complete their Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. Within the Trust, there is an expanding STEM pathways programme and a renowned Performing Arts programme.

We will help you to meet your aspirations

Our School Direct Trainees are supported, challenged and inspired to achieve their potential so that they in turn inspire the next generation to achieve the very best for themselves and their communities. We will challenge you and support you throughout your journey. In addition, our ECT support programme will support you through your first year of teaching and beyond.

Our school-based programme is designed to create the next generation of teachers who will help lead our schools and our pupils to success. Led by experienced, practicing teachers and school leaders, this programme will provide you with a firm foundation on which you can build your future career in teaching.

We only recruit the highest calibre of trainee to join our exciting, personalised programme. If successful at application, you will become part of our network of trainees who operate at the highest standards, are fully integrated into our schools and have carefully tailored opportunities to ensure you are the best teacher you can be.

Bridgewater High School not only effectively supports you to put theory into practice, but allows you to progress through a carefully designed pathway tailored to your individual needs whilst developing knowledge, skills and understanding of teaching and learning. We want graduates of our programme to be outstanding, resilient teachers with a passion for learning and teaching, who really want to make a difference to the lives of young people.

If you are a graduate and want to train to be a highly effective teacher, based more fully in a school environment, then this is the course for you.