This article aims to examine the critical features and outcomes of an Australian collaborative university- and school-partnership. This partnership was based on an immersion project for mentoring final year pre-service primary teachers in the area of special education. The findings reveal that this project provided scaffolded, authentic opportunities for pre-service teachers that were also beneficial for school staff, students and the school community. Mentors ensured that time spent in schools comprised a high-quality experience, and that pre-service teachers had formal opportunities to observe, discuss, trial and reflect upon theory and practice. The authors conclude that participants experienced real growth and challenges whilst being supported by school mentors and the university coordinator for the full academic year.