Primary PGCE Information for Applicants and Frequently Asked Questions

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1 Primary PGCE Information for Applicants and Frequently Asked Questions Please note the details in this document were correct at the time of writing. It is essential that you check the GTTR websites for the most up to date information before applying. Statutory minimum entry requirements for teacher training: Prior to starting a teacher training course, all candidates must have: achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C in the GCSE examination in mathematics. achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C in the GCSE examination in English Language. achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C in the GCSE examination in a science subject. a degree of a UK higher education institution or equivalent qualification. (2:2 or above) o If any of your qualifications were obtained overseas, you must contact NARIC ( and obtain a statement confirming the equivalency of the qualifications. o If any of your qualifications are other than the standard GCSE or O levels, we recommend that you contact the University of Reading to obtain advice on equivalence prior to application. Please note that Level 2 qualifications (including Numeracy and Adult Literacy) cannot be considered as equivalent as these qualifications do not cover the breadth of syllabus required. In addition, all those applying for teacher training must: Show that they can communicate effectively in both spoken and written English. If accepted, obtain an enhanced CRB disclosure and any other required clearances. Meet the requirements for physical and mental fitness to teach. All those qualifying to teach must pass computer-based Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy, prior to starting the Programme. Additional entry requirements for the PGCE at the University of Reading: It is highly recommended that applicants for the Primary pathway have at least a GCSE or equivalent in a modern language, preferably French. Can I apply for the PGCE before I have all the required qualifications? Priority consideration will be given to applicants who already have all the required qualifications at the time of application. Where a course is oversubscribed, as in the case of Primary PGCE, those who do not yet have all the required qualifications are unlikely to be shortlisted.

2 Sight of Original Certificates: It is not possible to begin the PGCE until all required qualifications have been checked and verified. Candidates selected for interview must bring their original: maths and English Language and science GCSE certificates; Undergraduate degree certificate. Please note that provisional statement of results slips or letters from schools are not acceptable as evidence. If you have lost your original certificates, you will need to contact the exam board for a certified statement of results. Other eligibility criteria: If you are already a fully qualified teacher trained overseas, you are not eligible for the PGCE. You should visit the OTT pages on our website to obtain further information about the Overseas Trained Teacher programme. Can I apply for a PGCE if I have previously started a course leading to QTS? The University of Reading does not accept candidates who have previously failed QTS assessment or withdrawn from a QTS programme unless there are exceptional circumstances. If you have previously started a QTS course (such as PGCE, GTP, SCITT or undergraduate route) which you did not complete for any reason, an application would need to be supplemented with a confidential reference from the previous provider sent directly to the University of Reading. This reference should indicate reasons for not completing and detail why you are now more likely to succeed. When are the entry points? The University of Reading PGCE has a single entry point, in September of each year. How do I apply? There is one application process for PGCE candidates through the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR). When should I apply? Please check the GTTR website for the dates when applications should be submitted. The application process usually opens in September and closes on December 1 st. Can I train part-time? No, the University of Reading does not offer this option at present. What experience do I need before I apply? All candidates are expected to have gained relevant experience in a state-maintained, mainstream school in England in the phase in which they wish to teach before they make their application. This experience would usually be within the last year. At a minimum this should be two weeks.

3 Your Personal Statement and, if shortlisted, your comments at interview, will be evaluated according to your ability to analyse and critically reflect on this experience. This means that it is not the length of your experience in school so much as its quality that is important. Your time in school may be as a paid teaching assistant or cover supervisor, a regular volunteer or parent helper or through specially arranged observation visits. Many schools are happy to offer observation experience to those enquiring about a career in teaching (see below). During school visits you should seek some understanding of educational issues and consider the application of the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and other governmental requirements and expectations. Other experience of working with children or young people for example as a youth worker, Brownie leader or sports coach is valuable, but cannot be the only experience. Teaching overseas will likewise enhance your application. Include in your Personal Statement how this experience has contributed to your desire to teach. Such experience, however, does not replace the need for schoolbased experience of the English state-maintained system. You may also have useful experience gained in other fields such as management or research. Make clear on your application how the knowledge, skills and understanding that you have developed will contribute to your success as a teacher. How do I approach schools? If you are not already working in a school you will need to arrange to gain some experience. Schools may be approached in various ways: Short letter of introduction with short (one page) CV addressed to the Headteacher for Primary or to the subject Head of Department for Secondary; ; phone call; in-person request. Please remember that schools are very busy and you may not be the only person seeking work experience. Do inform the school that you wish to train as a teacher and are seeking some voluntary school-based experience prior to making an application. How is the course structured? The Primary PGCE provides a balance of University and school based training. Through lectures, seminars and group work, you will study the theory and the practice of whole school issues and the primary/early Years curriculum. Your placements in school are carefully planned and timed to enable you to make links between the theory and support you to develop the skills essential for effective teaching. Over the year you will have placements in at least two schools, gradually moving towards responsibility for small groups and whole classes for increasing lengths of time. How will I be assessed? The academic content of the programme is assessed through assignments. Trainees will also engage with regular formative assessment tasks and activities, including peer and collaborative assessment. Formative and summative assessment of practical teaching skills against the Standards is on-going during the School Experiences.

4 Work at Masters level: The Primary PGCE offers two Masters (M) modules leading to 60 credits at M level. supported to develop the academic skills required to study at this level. Trainees are Is attendance compulsory? Yes. When you are at University lectures start at 9.15 and finish at Attendance is monitored and unauthorised absence followed up. In school trainees need to follow the guidance of their mentor with regard to arrival and departure time. Trainees need to be prepared to be in school from 7.30 until 6.00, often later for events such as parents evenings. Preparation and marking will take up a substantial amount of time during weekends and evenings. How will I be supported through my studies? PGCE tutors provide support and help for their specific modules. All trainees are encouraged to engage with the resources available on the University of Reading study skills website. Study skills advisors are available to support trainees with more specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia. Pastoral care is facilitated through the personal tutor system. Should trainees need more specific help and support with personal issues through the course, University of Reading student support can provide more expert help. Our Partnership schools: The University of Reading works in Partnership with over 350 Primary schools, Early Years settings and Special Schools in Berkshire, north Hampshire, south Oxfordshire and south Buckinghamshire. Whilst in school you will work under the guidance of a mentor. You will be assigned a University Tutor who visits you in school. Can I do School Experience in a Special School? The PGCE offers a full placement to Primary trainees. All trainees may have the opportunity to apply for a shorter enrichment placement in a Special School. Trainees apply for both placements once they are on the Programme. All trainees will spend one day in a Special School. Will I be expected to start teaching straight away? No. Your training is a gradual, staged process. You will be given opportunities to observe good practice and work with groups before taking some full class responsibility. During the final School Experience you will assume the teacher s role for the majority of the placement; however a trainee does not have sole responsibility for classes at any stage during their training. What percentage of graduates is successful in gaining a teaching post after the PGCE?

5 Our Primary PGCE is well respected by our Partnership schools, and they actively seek graduates from this programme for NQT positions. Although it is impossible to predict what will happen in the future, we have no reason to believe that the pattern of almost full employment for Primary PGCE graduates will not continue. You will be supported through the application process, especially with regard to personal statements and interview skills.

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