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Primary Education (PGCE)

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  • Entry requirements
    Standard Entry Applicants must hold a good honours degree (normally 2.1 or above) of an UK university or a recognised equivalent qualification. The content of the applicant?s previous education must provide the necessary foundation for work as a primary school teacher. Applicants should have the equivalent of a GCSE grade C or above in mathematics, English language and a science subject, but applications may be made before these have been obtained. Plus one of the following: * Other: Within the previous year, and prior to application, applicants must normally have at least 15 days of experience in mainstream UK schools in Key Stage 1 and/or Key Stage 2 and this should be itemised on the application form. Additional Notes Equal Opportunities As one of the UK?s largest Higher Education institutions, Northumbria University has a diverse international and multicultural community and is committed to providing equal opportunity to all regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnic or national origin, colour, marital status, family responsibility, mental, physical or sensory disability, political or religious beliefs and activities.
  • Academic Title
    Primary Education (PGCE)
  • Course description
    All primary education programmes at Northumbria are now category A (The highest possible category) after the recent OFSTED inspection.

    The PGCE programme forms a practical introduction to teaching, providing students with the professional expertise to teach children aged 5 - 11 years.

    During the year-long programme students will gain a sound knowledge and understanding of the National Curriculum for Key Stage 1 and 2. There is a substantial amount of school experience, covering a range of activities, such as observation, group and individual tasks, and taking responsibility for planning and teaching a significant proportion of the normal class timetable.

    The programme covers all aspects of the primary school curriculum. Its design ensures that trainees develop a secure knowledge and understanding of the core subjects in planning for teaching, learning and assessment in English, mathematics, science and information communications technology.

    The programme is divided into three terms, consisting of both school- and University-based work. During the Autumn term, trainees work in primary schools exploring their initial understanding of how children learn and how teachers teach, as well as experiencing teaching a class themselves.

    At the beginning of the Spring term, students work with a class of children taking responsibility for a substantial amount of the planning and teaching of the normal timetable.

    During the final school experience trainees take responsibility for over 80% of the planning, teaching and assessment of a full primary class.

    Practical School Experience
    This experience forms a significant and integral part of the programme, with 19 weeks being spent on in-school training. The placements are developmental in nature, in that they make increasing demands on trainees' understanding as they progress through the year.

    Trainees work in a minimum of four different schools during the programme, and teachers in these partnership schools have a central training role during each placement. The placements provide an extensive opportunity to work alongside and learn from experienced teachers. The trainees benefit greatly from this, as they gain experience across the primary age phases.

    There are no formal examinations, instead trainees are assessed by written assignments, presentations and practical work in school. The final school placement represents a vital component of this assessment.

    The Standards for Qualified Teacher Status require trainees to be successful in all areas, and from the outset each trainee is involved in auditing their own learning and setting targets for their own professional development.

    No applicant can be offered a place on the programme without being interviewed. Selection for interview includes a consideration of the applicant's personal and academic profile, the reference, and experience of working with children in the primary sector, together with outside interests and activities.

    The interview provides an opportunity for candidates to meet staff and to explore the facilities and accommodation at first hand. At interview, candidates will undertake a written task and presentation. An individual interview will be conducted with a member of the University education staff and representation from a partnership school.

    Interview results are communicated as soon as possible after the interview takes place but any offer or acceptance of a place on the programme is conditional upon receipt of a satisfactory medical report and police clearance.

    The programme is aimed at preparation for teaching in maintained and independent infant, junior, primary, first and lower middle schools with the possibility of career opportunities in other areas of education.

    The high quality of Initial Teacher Training at Northumbria University is well recognised. As a result, the trainees from this programme are viewed as highly employable by schools across the country.

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