PGCE - School Direct Primary
What makes PGCE: School Direct Primary at Worcester special?
This course offers an immersive and inspiring, school-centred training route into teaching.
At Worcester the PGCE: School Direct Primary is tailored to your needs - building on your existing strengths and expertise.
Our course is inclusive and innovative in its design and delivery, and places you at the heart of a thriving school community from day one.
- Full immersion in the daily life of a school and all the existing challenges that brings
- Breadth and depth of experience across a range of schools
- Outstanding additional opportunities for enrichment and extension
- A dynamic taught programme, ensuring depth and breadth across all Early Years and Primary subjects
- Unparalleled personal and academic support throughout the programme and beyond
Register your interest
Enter your details and we will keep you up to date with useful information about how to apply for a PGCE place:
What qualifications will you need?
- An Honours degree normally (2:2) or higher from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification. Applicants with a 3rd class degree will be considered on an individual basis.
- Grade C/level 4 at GCSE in English Language, Mathematics and Science (or equivalent*) passed at time of entry.
- School experience is desirable, but not essential prior to an interview. At interview we will discuss relevant prior school experience or opportunities applicants have had to work with school aged children. It is at this point that we would discuss with a candidate whether additional school experience would support an individual in their decision that teaching is right for them.
- Department for Education Professional Skills tests in English and Mathematics must be passed prior to entry. For further details visit the Professional Skills Test page.
*If your qualifications are not listed, please contact the Admissions Office for advice by email: AdmissionsA@worc.ac.uk.
If you have lived overseas for three months or more in the last five years a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country of residence will be required. Further information and guidance associated with additional costs are available from the Home Office.
You will also be subject to the usual prohibition list and criminal record checks. In addition, the NCTL requires all trainees to satisfactorily complete a medical questionnaire to demonstrate their fitness to teach.
All applications for PGCE Primary should be made via UCAS Teacher Training.
Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed.
Professional skills tests
All applicants for teacher training courses need to take the numeracy and literacy professional skills tests as part of the application process. You will need to ensure you have passed them both before the start of the course.
The tests are required in addition to your mathematics and English GCSEs, and are designed to show that you have the basic levels of literacy and numeracy needed to teach to a national standard. They will not test your knowledge of the curriculum or how to teach.
The first three attempts at taking your skills tests in each subject are provided free of charge.
Support we offer
We offer free skills tests workshops if you have accepted a place on the course. If you are unsuccessful on your first attempt of the skills test then we will also provide one-to-one support in both numeracy and literacy.
Find out more about our skills tests workshops and support.
Choosing School Direct was perfect for me. Being part of the day-to-day life of the school was great. I learned so much from the fantastic University and school team – I would recommend it to anyone!
Primary School Direct trainee
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Indicative course overview
What will you study?
Indicative course content for 2016-17, subject to adaptation:
Pedagogy and Professional Practice
Indicative overview of content
Covers a wide range of the knowledge, skills and understanding required to become an effective self evaluating practitioner, including how children learn, what impacts on pupil learning and progress and learning and teaching styles.
Subject Specialist Research
Indicative overview of content
A small-scale school based enquiry in a subject in which you already have degree level/A level qualifications or significant experience
Core subjects and Computing
Indicative overview of content
English, mathematics, science and computing subject knowledge and pedagogy
Foundation Subjects and SEND
Indicative overview of content
Art, D&T, geography, history, languages, music, PE, RE, SEND subject knowledge and pedagogy
As this is a school led programme, the majority of training takes place in schools. There are three extended placements teaching in at least two different schools and two key stages. There are also many opportunities to gain additional experience in partner schools and settings.
Teaching and Assessment
How will you be taught?
The School Direct Training course contains:
- Comprehensive induction programme
- Personalised school mentoring and University Tutor support throughout the programme
- Taught days at the University with subject specialist university tutors to link theory and classroom practice and to support research into written assignments
- On-going assessment against the Teachers’ Standards
- Reflective portfolio of evidence to achieve the Teachers’ Standards
Teaching and Learning
The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.
You are taught through a combination of:
- School experience and contrasting placements in a range of settings across School Direct Federations and partnerships
- A personalised School Based training programme, closely aligned with the University taught programme and school based training
- Studying all areas of learning and teaching across all EYFS and Primary National Curriculum subjects
- Tutor-led workshops, lectures, seminars, fieldwork and guest lectures , primarily to introduce underpinning knowledge, theoretical argument, practical skills, central issues, key texts and inter-professional fields of study;
- Study of key texts and supplementary reading to enable students to identify subject matter that will enhance their understanding and intellectual ability;
- Participation in high level professional practice discussions, peer presentations and debate, to encourage trainees to actively engage with and critically challenge the field
- Directed studies, Professional Enquiry Tasks and problem solving tasks provide opportunities to develop approaches that will deepen levels of understanding and professional judgement; development of practice-based competence and skills of critical reflection through guided individual mentoring during placements. Completion of a Subject Knowledge Learning Log (SKLL) to demonstrate pedagogic understanding , competence and confidence in teaching the full range of Foundation Subjects , SEND and Religious Education.
- One-to-one academic and personal tutorial support including access to our first class Firstpoint services.
- Personalised training plans supported by University and School based mentors
In addition, there are regular opportunities throughout the year to meet with your personal tutor, where you will have the opportunity to talk about your academic progress, school experience, support with careers and applications and school based training
This is full time, school based training programme. Throughout the course of your programme you will be expected to attend University for between 25 and 30 days in the year, typically every other Friday, for three block weeks and additional guest lectures and bespoke training. When not in University, you will be expected to be in School every day, each week. On placement, you will be expected to attend school during term time and on training days and to attend all school based professional development, as agreed by the school, to ensure you are compliant with the requirements of the QTS qualification.
Typically class contact time will be structured around:
- Group work
- Lectures when appropriate e.g. visiting speakers
- Practical tasks
- Research tasks
For every two hours of contact time, you are expected to undertake approximately 1 hour of personal self-study/follow up work per week. Typically, this will involve researching areas of teaching and learning related to areas of the National Curriculum, SEND, EAL and other key areas of interest relating to the primary setting.
Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.
You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy, and all of the lecturers who teach on the course have a Higher Education teaching qualification and hold Qualified Teacher Status.
The majority of lecturers have their Masters qualification or higher and some are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.
Your lead mentor in school works very closely with the School direct programme lead to ensure that school based training programmes align with and enhance the University Teaching programme.
All Lead mentors across the School Direct Federations and Partnerships meet regularly with the School Direct team to review trainee progress; undertake joint moderation visits and discuss programme developments. School based staff also contributes to University teaching sessions.
The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments. Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.
Assessment methods include subject assignments, subject profiles and individual subject assessment tasks. You will engage in a range of assessments during school experience, all of which combine as components towards your final award.
You will be involved in assessing your teaching skills and competence as they develop through the use of a Reflective Portfolio to which students, teachers and tutors contribute. You will also be observed teaching throughout the course of your training and assessed against a range of criteria underpinned by the Department for Education Teachers' Standards.
Throughout your course, you will be supported to prepare for your first year of teaching through the University of Worcester Career Entry Profile, as part of your Continuing Professional Development. You will continue to be supported beyond your initial training and award of Qualified Teacher Status as you develop as an early career professional.
You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.
We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.
Teaching practice and partner schools
We work very closely with our outstanding partner schools to carefully craft inspiring and innovative initial teacher training programmes. The School Direct route is underpinned by a coaching and mentoring model to ensure you receive the highest quality teacher training experience. Throughout your training you will have regular built in opportunities to observe and learn from outstanding teaching in a range of contexts.
Our partner schools include a range of settings from rural to inner city. You will practice teaching at least two schools and across two key stages based on your entry pathway.
The course is designed with periods in University where you will: develop a Masters' level understanding for the complex nature of teaching and learning; be taught be expert University tutors; and come together in peer group subject communities to reflect on your professional development as a trainee teacher. You will be allocated a personal Pedagogy and Professional Practice (PPP) tutor who will oversee your training journey and act as one of the key links in this.
In each school you will be supported by a Lead Mentor, as well as your class teacher and University Supervisory Tutor. Your progress will be supported and developed by this key team as part of a three way tripartite model, underpinned by professional dialogue between Trainee, School and University. You will receive an inspiring range of additional professional development across your training for example Early Years conferences, training in Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOPS) trips and recognised external speakers. Your progress and development will be regularly reviewed with additional support and enrichment and extension for high performing trainees. Throughout your training your Reflective Portfolio (RP) will enable you to gather evidence of your professional development against the Teaching Standards Parts1 and 2.
Meet the team
Here are a few members of the department who currently teach on this course:
Andrea Holloway is Acting Course Leader - PGCE Primary. Andrea taught in a range of primary schools across Dudley and Sandwell, undertaking additional roles as Sandwell Leading Maths Teacher and Dudley Maths Coach, supporting colleagues in developing skills in teaching primary maths. She joined the University of Worcester in 2011 as a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education, teaching on the Computing module for the Postgraduate course. She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and in 2017, gained her M.A. (Distinction) in Education at the University of Worcester. Andrea is passionate about widening participation and works closely with tutors and colleagues in schools and colleges to provide outreach and information events for aspiring teachers.
Derval Carey-Jenkins is the School Direct: Primary Lead.
Derval is a Principal Lecturer and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy within the Institute of Education. She joined the Institute in January 2009.
Derval graduated with a Bachelor of Education from St Marys’ College, Queen’s University, Belfast and began her teaching career as a primary school teacher in 1986. She worked for 23 years in a variety of schools in East London and the West Midlands. Derval was a Deputy Headteacher and Headteacher and spent three years as an Advisory support teacher with the West Midlands Education Service for Travelling Children.
Louise is passionate about mathematics education and the professional development of trainee teachers and the development of mathematics education in schools.
Louise joined the university in September 2016 having previously worked as a head teacher, executive head of a large SCITT and also as a mathematics researcher at the DfE. She began her teaching career in inner London and has worked in a wide range of settings and age groups. Louise leads the Primary Mathematics team and teaches on the undergraduate and postgraduate initial teacher education courses. For further interest Louise is also taking a research Masters in mathematics teacher education at the University of Oxford.
Colleen lectures on the BA (Hons) Primary Initial Teacher Education degree and also on the PGCE in Primary Education. She also leads the PGCE Primary PE Specialist pathway.
Colleen works closely with primary schools and has organised cross-curricular events for them. Colleen taught in a range of schools during her school-teaching career. She also worked for a large Outdoor Education company both in the UK and overseas for 10 years undertaking a variety of roles including Group Leader, Centre Manager, Austrian Ski Manager and Learning Skills Manager.
Where could it take you?
Graduates from the Primary School Direct PGCE at the University of Worcester are some of the most employable in the country. At the end of the course (July 2015) 96% of School Direct trainees gained a teaching post.
Request or download a prospectusRequest now
How much will it cost?
Tuition Fees - School Direct
UK and EU students
The standard tuition fee for UK and EU students registering on the PGCE: School Direct in the academic year 2018/19 is £9,250 per year.
For more details, please visit our course fees page.
Financial incentives for those who train in 2017/18
See Get Into Teaching's page on bursaries and funding.
Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.
We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £98 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £159 per week (2018/19 prices).
For full details visit our accommodation page.
How do you apply?
Applying through UCAS Teacher Training
UCAS Teacher Training is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto postgraduate teacher training courses in the UK.
IMPORTANT NOTE: When making your choices for School Direct in the APPLY section, under click provider: You will need to type in the name of the Lead School, not the University.
UCAS Teacher Training CODES:
Get in touch
If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.