Wessex Training Hub

A family of schools in the Cheddar Valley

Lead School: Axbridge Academy, Axbridge, Somerset, BS26 2BA

Wessex Family of Schools

Axbridge C of E First School AcademyBrent Knoll CofE Primary School
Cheddar First SchoolDraycott & Rodney Stoke Cof E First School
East Brent CofE First SchoolFairlands Middle School
Hugh Sexy Middle SchoolKings Academy
Lympsham First School Academy  Mark First and Pre-school C of E Academy
Shipham First School Academy  Weare First School Academy  
Wedmore First School Academy  

We Learn Together!

Why train with the Wessex Hub

We are a family of 13 schools, in close proximity across the Cheddar Valley area, with children at the heart of our school system. Our closeness in locality and partnership working will offer effective and supportive placements for you as a student. 

The Cheddar Valley is a three tier system, from 2-18 years. As such, we plan opportunities for you to be exposed to year groups beyond your PGCE that would further enhance your qualification and experience, building an excellent foundation to begin your teaching career. Joint training opportunities are also planned throughout the year through INSET days and networking opportunities. 

Each placement would offer you high quality, school-based experience and training in partnership with Somerset SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training) supported by a proven track record of excellent ITT provision. The Lead School, Axbridge Academy, has been identified as an Outstanding ITT School.

Our professional tutors and teachers are excellent practitioners who are eager to share their knowledge skills and effective practice with the next generation of teachers.

The course will provide QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) as well as a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education). The Wessex Hub aims to create a pathway of the highest quality training and possible succession opportunities for trainees in its partner schools. We would aim to offer an interview to our School Direct trainees, should a vacancy arise within the family of schools.

The Wessex Hub Family of Schools

The Wessex Hub is led by Axbridge First School Academy, in partnership with:

  • Lympsham First School Academy,
  • Weare First School Academy,
  • Wedmore First School Academy,
  • East Brent First School Academy,
  • Mark First School Academy,
  • Cheddar First School Academy,
  • Shipham First School Academy,
  • Draycott First School Academy,
  • Brent Knoll Primary School,
  • Fairlands Middle School
  • Hugh Sexeys Middle School and
  • Kings of Wessex Upper School.

All schools are judged as Good or Outstanding in their recent Ofsted inspections and have a strong record of working with ITT providers. There is a vast array of expertise in the group of schools. Somerset SCITT are our accredited ITT partner, and judged as Outstanding by Ofsted in 2017. The University of Worcester provide the necessary accreditation for your qualification.  

Entry requirements and desirable trainees

The Schools Direct training programme is for high quality graduates who want to train as part of a school team. We offer placements across Early Years and the Primary phase. 

We are looking for enthusiastic, committed and passionate trainee teachers to join our schools. We are seeking trainees who have a natural rapport with children and adults, an innate passion for teaching and learning and who strive to make a positive difference to children’s lives.

We expect trainees to have a degree (2:2 or higher), preferably with a relevance to the primary or early curriculum, as well as strong English, Maths, Science and Computing skills. (GCSE Grades C or above). 

Note: The Wessex Hub does not offer salaried placements.
Bursaries are available from the National College for Teaching and Leadership

Training Programme

You will be trained in highly aspirational and supportive environments to enable the delivery of creative, purposeful and challenging teaching and learning. You will develop the rigour, professional knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to deliver excellent provision for young people.

Training will be delivered by expert teachers in the partnership schools enhanced by full access to the SCITT training and support programmes. You will be assigned to one of the schools in the partnership in which you will do teaching placements in the Autumn and Summer terms. Part of the Spring term will be a teaching placement in a contrasting school and Key stage within the Wessex Hub of schools.  You will be treated like a member of staff and will attend staff meetings and professional development days in the main placement school with additional opportunities to attend training across the wider hub where appropriate.

Each trainee will be assigned a Professional Tutor (PT Mentor) form the school of your main placement and a Tutor Moderator from Somerset SCITT who will make a minimum of two visits per term.

Assessments will be made throughout the year against the Teacher Standards, course work and assignments set by Somerset SCITT. Successful completion of the programme requires passes in both teaching and in all assignments. Termly reports are also written by the PT’s in your school and supported by the Headteacher.

Our PT’s are outstanding teachers who are experienced in supporting the professional development of new and experienced teachers. They have a range of skills including coaching, effective classroom observation and feedback skills. You are therefore assured of a high level of personal and professional support in a programme which is well managed at all levels.

The co-ordination of your programme in the Wessex Hub is led by Lorna Richardson, Headteacher at Axbridge Academy and Training Lead in the Wessex Hub.

Selection of trainees

Applications via UCAS for the academic year 2020-21 open in October 2019. Shortlisting will take place within 14 days of receipt of application. Candidates will be offered an interview if application is deemed suitable. Interviews are scheduled throughout the year, however applying at your earliest convenience is advised.
This is co-ordinated between Somerset SCITT and the Wessex Hub schools and Training Lead. The interview process will consist of an activity with a group of pupils, a presentation and formal interview.  
Visits are welcome but not part of the selection process. Please contact the Training Lead if you wish to make one.


The Wessex Learning Trust recognises that the safety and welfare of children is paramount and that we have a responsibility to protect children in all our Academies’ activities. We take all reasonable steps to ensure, through appropriate procedures and training, that all children, irrespective of sex, age, disability, race, religion or belief, sexual identity or social status, are protected from abuse.

All trainees must complete an enhanced clearance from the DBS service regarding their suitability to work with young people and health and medical checks.

Trainees will be required read and sign key policies regarding safeguarding (Code of Conduct, ICT Acceptable user agreement).

Profile of Partnership Schools

SchoolAxbridge C of E First School Academy
Main ContactLorna Richardson (Headteacher)
Address & Tel numberMoorland Street, Axbridge, Somerset, BS26 2BA
01934 732391
NOR150 + 52 in Nursery
Information about the schoolAs an outstanding school we are proud to be a happy, successful and inclusive setting, welcoming everyone to join our community. Our dedicated and enthusiastic team provide a happy and stimulating environment that enables the children to grow as motivated, respectful, responsible and independent learners.

We are situated within the town and as such have access to a rich historical resource within the town, neighbouring stables, fields and allotments of which we utilise. Whilst we are situated in a town we have access to a large school field, have created forest school and gardening areas in the school and have outstanding early year’s facilities to provide the very best start at school for our youngest children.

Whilst we strive for, and achieve, academic excellence we also value a child’s personal development. Whilst at the school the children have the opportunity to access a varied and extensive after school club calendar, sporting festivals, music concerts and school plays, all of which encourage our creative and sporting spirit.

We are proud to be a Church school and have very strong links with the local Rector and Diocese. We became a standalone academy in 2012 and then joined the Wessex Learning Trust in 2016.

The school was last inspected in 2008 as Outstanding in all areas, supported by an interim inspection in 2011 and an Outstanding SIAMS in 2018.

SchoolWeare Academy C of E First School
Main ContactDenise Mawdsley (Executive Headteacher)
Address & Tel numberNotting Hill Way, Weare, Somerset, BS26 2JS
01934 732270
NOR128 currently in the main school + our preschool pupils
Information about the schoolWe are an Ofsted judged ‘outstanding’ school, set within the beautiful rural setting of Weare village. We pride ourselves on the provision of an excellent education, within a welcoming, supportive and friendly environment for our children, staff and parents.

As a Church of England School, our Christian ethos is a like golden thread which links our Christian Values of: Thankfulness, Kindness and Compassion, Respect, Forgiveness and Responsibility. SIAMS report (2018) noted that: “There is a strong commitment to the development of the whole child within the context and environment of an extremely supportive school community”.

We are proud of our results, which are consistently well above the National average. Our school motto, ‘All can Achieve’, is born out in the school’s commitment to an inclusive education for every child. Throughout the academic year children participate in sporting festivals, music concerts and school plays. We provide a wide range of sporting and creative afterschool and lunchtime clubs which allow our children opportunities explore new skills.

Our School Council and newly developed House System ensure that every child has a voice and is a valued member of the Weare School family. As a member of the Wessex Learning Trust, since 2016, we actively share the vision of the provision of educating the children in our community starting at the age of two. Our pre-school, Rainbow Woods, provides a supportive and fantastic start to the youngest members of our school community.

SchoolWedmore First School Academy
Main ContactDenise Mawdsley (Executive Headteacher)
Address & Tel numberBlackford Road, Wedmore, Somerset, BS28 4BS
01934 712643
NOR173 currently in the main school + our nursery pupils
Information about the schoolAs a school we are committed to working together, valuing each child as a whole and developing their natural curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, in a way that ensures “It’s fun to learn”.

We encourage every pupil to develop their confidence and potential while at the same time develop a respect and understanding of others so that all are included and happy.

Originally a Victorian school, a new school was built on the edge of the village, opening in 1991, with a further extension added more recently in 2019. We have access to a fantastic environment for learning on site with a large field and garden area with easy access to the excellent community sporting facilities adjoining the school and are close enough to the village to foster strong community links.

Our dedicated and skilled team of staff provide an exciting and stimulating curriculum for children throughout the school. We also have a thriving Nursery on site which prepares our youngest children for a seamless transition into the main school.

We became a standalone academy in 2011 before joining the Wessex Learning Trust at its inception in 2016. Unlike many of the other schools in the Trust, we are not a Church school. The School was last inspected by Ofsted in 2018 and deemed to be ‘Good’ in all areas. We are proud of all that we and our pupils achieve.

SchoolBrent Knoll Primary School
Main ContactChris Burman (Headteacher)
Address & Tel numberBrent Street, Brent Knoll, Highbridge, TA9 4EQ
Information about the schoolThe school has been on this site in Brent Knoll village since 1861, though has changed a lot since those early days. We currently have 135 children based within five classes. Many of the staff have been here for many years and many are stalwarts of the village as well as the school.

In September 2018, the school was inspected by Ofsted and graded as ‘Good’ in all areas. In that year, we had particularly strong results in Year 6 Maths, with that cohort being in the top 1% of English primaries. In the previous year, the school was graded as Outstanding in its SIAMS inspection.

In April 2019, the school became an academy and it is now part of the Wessex Learning Trust. The key benefit of this change is that we now have the support of a new group of schools, led by Mr Gavin Ball of the Kings Academy, Cheddar. We continue to work closely, however, with our community learning partnership schools based in Highbridge and Burnham, ensuring that our children access the best possible transition to The King Alfred’s School (TKASA) and staff benefit from training opportunities.

Brent Knoll Primary School really is a close community where children and adults know and support each other incredibly well. We are particularly proud of our extensive range of clubs and sporting achievements in area competitions.