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Primary PGCE

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  • Academic Title
    Primary PGCE
  • Course description
    Primary PGCE Programme (Hull Campus)

    We are particularly interested in applicants who have good Honours degrees. Preference is given to applicants who can show experience of work with children, especially recent work in primary schools, and can demonstrate a commitment to primary education. All courses of initial teacher training for primary teachers are designed to enable trainees to meet the revised Professional Standards for Qualified Teacher Status.

    A close partnership with schools in the region is well established, and there is significant involvement of practising teachers in the training process. The programme involves an interplay of work in schools and at the University. A foundation is given in the full range of subjects comprising the primary school curriculum. Particular emphasis is placed on the core subjects – English, Mathematics and Science – but all National Curriculum foundation subjects and Religious Education are covered in separate method courses.

    The main components of the programme are:

    -Methodology courses in the subjects of the primary curriculum, emphasising particularly the core subjects – English, Mathematics and Science
    -A professional studies course concerned with general professional issues
    -Tutorial studies related to the course
    -A subject specialist course – we are one of the few HEIs to offer French and German in addition to other National Curriculum subjects, and some trainees undertake a teaching practice in France and/or Germany
    -Practical classroom experience, closely supervised by tutors and mentors
    -Placements in three different schools.

    I started thinking about a change of career to teaching after 15 years in public libraries, where I had found working with children a very rewarding experience. When my daughter went to pre-school, I decided to work as a volunteer in a reception class and take a job in a local homework club, in order to help me make up my mind if teaching could be the new career I was looking for. As I loved both experiences, I took the plunge and applied for entry to the PGCE in Hull.

    As a mature student with a young child who needs my time and attention as well, I have found it a hard year, and have needed to be well organised and focused in order to keep on top of the very demanding workload. However, as I come to the end of the course, I am certain that I have made the right decision and that the hard work has all been worth it, as I look for my first teaching post. I have had a very positive and happy experience of the classroom environment on teaching practice, and have worked with wonderfully supportive classroom teachers who have motivated and inspired me. The taught element of the PGCE strikes a good balance between academic work, providing subject knowledge across the curriculum, and lots of practical advice on how to develop teaching skills. The teaching in the core subjects has been excellent. In Mathematics, in particular, I have developed the knowledge and confidence to enjoy teaching a subject which I have hardly thought about since leaving school over 25 years ago.

    The year has flown by incredibly quickly, and I have experienced a great deal in a very short time. I am now looking forward to moving on to the next stage!

    Primary teachers need an understanding of a wide range of general issues related to the profession, to children and to the world beyond the classroom. These are considered in a lecture course and its associated tutorial sessions. Topics covered include child development; the school and the community; classroom organisation and management; assessment; researching and reporting; and cross-curricular issues such as multicultural education and environmental education.

    French and German are offered as specialist subjects. Trainees who have at least A level or equivalent qualifications in French or German, or who have a degree in Modern Foreign Languages, undertake a course which develops their skills and their ability to teach French or German. Part of the course involves a four-week placement in a French or German school with a link to a French or German university. Travel and accommodation costs are met for the trainee, and a reciprocal arrangement exists for trainees in France or Germany.

    The programme gives classroom experience throughout. The first block period in school takes place early in the programme, when all trainees are involved with Key Stage 1 children (5–7). Later, two further block periods in separate schools complement your initial classroom practice by enabling you to come into contact with the complete primary age range. Each of the main teaching practices is preceded by serial visits to schools on a weekly basis so that trainees become familiar with the classes they will teach and have the opportunity to be involved in core-subject lessons. In all, more than 100 days are spent in schools, and work is supported by both school mentors and University tutors.

    The programme is assessed in both its theoretical and its practical aspects. Assessment of theory is based on a series of coursework assignments.There are three separate methodology assignments, one for each core subject.The last piece of assessed work is related to themes presented in the professional studies course. Trainees are also assessed on their achievement of the standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) provided by the Government. Assessment of teaching ability is based on the trainee’s performance as a teacher in the classroom. Trainees should regard teaching practice as a period of professional development rather than as a test to be passed, but certain requirements must be satisfied for the award of QTS. Schools, mentors, University tutors and an external examiner or assessor are involved in making this decision. A trainee who fails to satisfy the examiners in practical teaching may have to bear the cost of reexamination, including the cost of an additional school placement and supervision.

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