About this course
Our PGCE Primary courses have been designed specifically to provide supported development of your teaching skills and a gradual introduction to your new profession.
Stage one – Introducing and Preparing (September to December)
During the first stage you will spend time at University taking part in seminars and workshops that prepare you for your school-based training. These will focus on three main elements:
Primary Professional Studies
You’ll learn strategies to tackle issues that you will face in your training placements. These strategies will help to develop your understanding of teaching and learning, the primary curriculum and educational policy. Key domains covered include behaviour management, pedagogy, curriculum, assessment and professional behaviours.
Subject knowledge and applied pedagogy
You will develop Early Years and Key Stage 1 curriculum knowledge and understanding in English, Mathematics and Science. You’ll also explore the broader curriculum and observe and reflect on best practice across the whole curriculum.
You’ll spend time focusing on CPD activities that will enhance your teaching applications and make you more employable.
As part of stage 1 you will complete an assessed block of school-based training. Working alongside an experienced class teacher and mentor you will have the opportunity to put into practice what you’ve learnt so far, focusing on teaching English and Mathematics and one other curriculum area.
Stage two – Developing and Securing (January to March)
Your University-based training will comprise the same elements as stage 1, but you’ll focus on building on the knowledge you’ve already developed to prepare for your next school-based training block. There will be an opportunity to reflect on your experiences in the first stage and to set developmental targets ahead of your second block of school-based training. You will receive top-up training and further information regarding planning and delivering sequences of learning. You will continue to receive training in Primary Professional Studies.
During your second placement, you will develop your teaching skills further, usually in a different school, teaching a contrasting age phase to your first placement. You'll continue to focus on English and Mathematics, alongside PE and broader areas of the curriculum.
Stage three – Refining and Embedding (March to June)
Having developed and applied your subject and curriculum knowledge, you’ll spend some time at University completing CPD activities that will prepare for your teaching career. These activities will include responses to current priorities in primary education, support for your first employment and optional enhancements to develop your professional profile.
You’ll usually stay in the same school as your stage 2 placement until the end of the programme, teaching another age phase. Putting everything you’ve learned into practice, you’ll teach all subjects and areas of provision in stage 3. You will take on the role of the class teacher and will take on wider responsibilities across the school. You will continue to have coaching and mentoring from school staff.
After you’ve completed all three stages of your placements, you’ll complete a two-week transition placement which you’ll source yourself, with support from the School Partnerships team. This placement will help you prepare for graduate employment as a teacher, as well as giving you the chance to explore any aspects of primary teaching that have particularly interested you. Past trainees have completed this placement in pupil referral units, nurseries, special provision and even at a school in Kenya.
Qualified Teacher Status
During each stage of school-based training, you will be formatively assessed and your progress mapped against core competence statements. A summary judgment will be made at the end of each stage. This summary will provide you with further information about your areas of strength and targets to develop moving forwards. By the end of your training in school (stage 3) you will be expected to have met the Teachers’ Standards and a Summative Assessment will be made using the standards as a bench mark. When you meet the Teachers’ Standards you are then recommended for QTS.