DLITE (Primary) 2021 Important Changes

As of 2021, the DLITE Primary PGDE in association with the University of Aberdeen is to be suspended. The current 2020/2021 cohort will continue as planned, aiming to graduate in the summer of 2021. However, with the global circumstances as they stand, and Education continuing in a format unknown to us and with the future very uncertain, it has been decided that the University cannot run the DLITE programme in 2021. If in the event of this being changed in future years, I will update this blog immediately. 

DLITE Highland has been a hugely successful teacher training programme since the first cohort in 2014. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved over the years, from students who have completed their studies and gone on to become new generations of teachers in our Highland schools, to those teaching professionals who have supported them by becoming co-tutors. Our co-tutors have shared their skills and knowledge on Network Days and during assessments on placement visits and I hope we will be able to work together again on future partnerships with university programmes.

If you are interested in following a distant learning teacher training programme, please do keep following this blog as any updates for Highland will appear here.

STEM Professional Learning Saturday

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On Saturday 22nd February 2020, RLTT PGDE students from the University of the Highlands and Islands, DLITE PGDE students from the University of Aberdeen (both Highland and Moray colleagues) were joined by RLTT PGDE graduates (2019) to participate in a day of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) activities delivered by Janey Irving and Jennifer Hodson, Education Officers from Education Scotland. The focus:

  • Introduction to STEM
  • IGBE – Unconscious Bias
  • Building STEM Capital – engaging with research
  • Science Enquiry Skills (practical workshop)
  • Practitioner Enquiry


A positively charged day was enjoyed by all, with enthusiastic participants and knowledgeable and skilled presenters, ensuring that the day’s activities were packed with questions, investigations, practical application and focused learning.

Click to access the-science-capital-teaching-approach-pack-for-teachers.pdf


DLITE 2019-20 cohort Network Day 4

Our Highland and Moray colleagues met today for a morning session focusing on Numeracy and an afternoon session based on Literacy as part of Phase 2 of their PGDE (DLITE) programme of study.

Seonaid Cooke, Marybank Primary School, delivered a practical session on Numeracy in Early and First levels in school for the students who have begun their early stages placement.

The aims for today’s session:
● Understand the progression through the stages of development from
Early to First levels
● To develop understanding of the different areas of knowledge from Early
to First levels
● To give ideas in planning learning experiences to help a child move on to
the next stage of development in both strategy and knowledge

Highland Numeracy Blog

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Jenny Wilson, Literacy Development Officer for Highland, was joined by Laura McGinley in delivering Literacy to the students in the afternoon session.

The aims for today’s session:

  • To understand the need for phonological awareness throughout the school as the backbone of literacy development.
  • Screening for phonological awareness as a pedagogical tool.
  • Using a structured and consistent approach to phonological development throughout the school.

Highland Literacy Blog

Literacy 1Literacy 2

Another successful day enjoyed by all!

Rural Learn To Teach 2nd Hub Day

“The Rural Learn to Teach programme cohort is now well into their studies having had their induction week in October and their first Saturday hub in December. Saturday 11th January brought them together for a full day of reading comprehension, lesson planning and having a presence in the classroom with the learners. A great day of stimulating conversation, clear understanding as the students were relating practice to research and positive relationship building as they are getting to know each other.” Aileen Mackaycohortcognitionrecipricol reading slide

“The Rural Learn to Teach has allowed me to make my dream of teaching a reality. It is an intense 18 months packed full of learning and work, but the support and encouragement from all the tutors is second to none.” Zoe Livings (RLTT graduate 2019)

A Highland DLITE for 2020!

On Saturday 11th January 2020, a new cohort of DLITE students had their Induction Day at the University of Aberdeen. Students from Highland, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire came together to begin their 18 month PGDE (Primary) programme.

We would like to welcome our Highland cohort; Lindsey Anderson, Sonya Barrett, Rachel Buckley, Kelly Gorman, Karen Gunn, Melissa Maclean, Lindsay McGarry, Judith Munro and Laela Winkelmann to the programme and we wish them every success in their studies.

They join the current DLITE students (2019 – 20) who are completing their studies in June this year and will then be starting as Probationer teachers in August 2020.

DLITE PGDE continues to succeed in training local people into teaching, while allowing them to remain at home, in work, supporting families, all while studying in an online environment. Therefore it is an important method of teacher training, especially in the more remote areas of the Highlands or for those who have wanted to achieve the dream of becoming a teacher but cannot consider leaving their current employment in order to commit to a Full Time course.

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Highland Welcomes Eighteen New Teachers

Following the successful completion of the Rural Learn to Teach programme, eighteen new probationer teachers celebrated their achievement at a civic reception, hosted by Highland Council, in Inverness on Saturday 30th November.

Rural Learn to Teach programme is an innovative route into primary teaching. It is funded by the Scottish Government, delivered in partnership by University of Dundee and the University of Highlands and Islands, and is fully supported by Highland Council.

This is the first cohort to complete the programme, which allows students to continue in their full time employment whilst engaging in their studies. Highland Council praised the initiative and welcomed the new teachers into the profession.

Sincere congratulations to all.


From left to right:

Mary Knight, Senior Lecturer and Associate Dean of Learning & Teaching, University of Dundee, Jill Shimi, Project Lead, RLTT, University of Dundee, Aileen Mackay, Strategic Quality Improvement Officer, Highland Council, Anna Marshall, Sarah McNair, Cara MacCallum, Ida Bartkiewicz, Shirley Young, Amanda Gibbon, Beth Henderson, Mhairi Cameron, Zoe Livings, Erin Wilmot, Rebecca Walters, Shira Drain, Gavin MacMillan, Heather McLauchlan, Carla Gallon, Fiona MacDonald, Heather Dibble, Christine Stokes, Mark Lindley-Highfield, Group Lead, RLTT, University of Dundee and UHI, Nicky Grant Interim Head of Education, Highland Council and joined by Depute Provost Bet McAllister.

We welcome our new Highland colleagues into the teaching profession and wish them all the best in their chosen careers.




Rural Learn to Teach Programme

A Partnership Approach

Further Information

The University of Dundee, in partnership with University of Highlands and Islands and Highlands Council, has developed a part time programme to enable eligible Local Authority Employees to undertake a PGDE Primary qualification.

This route into teaching allows students to complete the qualification while remaining in employment.

The programme is identical in content to the full time PGDE route, but is offered on a part time basis over 18 months.

Students will attend workshops, introduction days and on campus learning days in Inverness.

The programme consists of academic study and practical placements.

Academic Study

Workshops Inverness Approximately 12 Saturdays  across the 18 months
Introductory Days Inverness Two on campus
Summer School and Spring School Inverness On campus


In addition to face to face sessions, above, students will participate in a range of online learning, including on line lectures and webinars.

Professional Practice

Students will also undertake three school placements, within their Local Authority to develop practical teaching skills.

PP1: Middle to Upper Stages (P.4-7)
PP2: Nursery/Early Years
PP3: Any stage (P.1-7)



Formative assessment and summative assessments are used throughout the course. There are two university-based assessed modules (both written assignments) and three professional practice modules. Professional Practice (Placement) is assessed with reference to the Standard for Provisional Registration by university staff and school partners. Although this course is at graduate entry, there are components (University-based) which are assessed at SCQF Level 10 and Level 11.  Professional Placement is assessed only at SCQF Level 10.


Student Support

Throughout the programme students will be supported by the Programme Lead. They will also be supported by their placement tutor and lecturing staff.

Who is Eligible?

  • Existing Local Authority employees who hold the relevant qualifications
    • Recognised Degree
    • Higher English at grade ’C’ or above, or equivalent qualification
    • National 5 Mathematics at grade ’C’ or above, or equivalent qualification
    • The final decision regarding who can apply lies with the LA. It is the decision of the LA to agree which members of staff can be released from post to complete the placements.



The universities and the Local Authority are committed to supporting the students and there is an agreement with the Local Authorities that students will be released from their substantive post to undertake the school placements.

  • Completing all tasks and assessments
  • Maintaining close contact with tutor


Applications must be approved by your Line Manager and your Local Authority.