Entry requirements for programmes leading to QTS are stipulated by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) ITT criteria 2012. These are:
- An Honours degree from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent (non-honours degrees cannot be accepted)
- GCSE in English (or York St John University approved equivalent) at Grade C/Level 4 or above
- GCSE in Mathematics (or the GCSE award from EquivalencyTesting.com) at Grade C/Level 4 or above
- GCSE in Science (or York St John University approved equivalent including GCSE Human Physiology, GCSE Human Biology, Intermediate GNVQ Science or the GCSE award from EquivalencyTesting.com) at Grade C/Level 4 or above
In addition, applicants must also:
- Satisfy the institution that they have the intellectual capability for the demands of teaching.
- Take part in an interview designed to assess their suitability to teach.
- Obtain a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced disclosure check and/or any other appropriate background check.
- Obtain a satisfactory medical report.
- Pass additional safeguarding checks including a prohibition check and other checks in line with the Government Keeping Children Safe in Education policy
- Obtain an Overseas Police Check (where applicable)
If your first language is not English then you must either complete an English language GCSE, IGCSE or take the equivalency test from equivalencytesting.com. You will need to achieve level 4 or higher to meet requirements. We do not accept IELTS or other equivalency tests.
Whilst school experience is no longer an essential criteria for entry onto the PGCE programme, it has proven highly effective in supporting candidates with the application and interview process, as candidates are able to reflect on their experiences and demonstrate their emerging/developing knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning in a secondary school. Furthermore, having some school experience has proven to support preparation for the programme as students already have a foundation they can build on.
In order to gain maximum benefit from your time spent in school you should try to:
- Work out a timetable, with the teacher who is supporting your placement, to ensure that everything you observe/do in the school has been agreed to.
- Ensure you adhere to school policies and procedures, like signing in/out at the reception each day.
- Look at a range of schemes of work, lesson plans and resources in the subject you will be doing your PGCE in.
- Talk to a range of staff in the school about their roles, for example, classroom teachers, subject leaders, pastoral leaders, teaching assistants, SENCO, data/assessment leader. However, please remember that they are busy people and ask them for a time it might be more appropriate to meet/talk.
- Talk with pupils about their work and the progress they are making. Look at how their work is marked/assessed and how pupils are encouraged to respond to this.
- If appropriate, become involved with wider aspects of the school, for example, accompany staff on break duties, support with after school clubs and extra-curricular activities.
- Try to look at a range of school policies, for example, on rewards and sanctions, teaching and learning.
- Keep notes, especially of resources, activities and strategies which work well.
- Reflect on each day and consider what you have learnt/observed (both positive and negative aspects) and consider how this might affect you as a classroom teacher, in the future
Interviews for the PGCE Primary School Direct route will take place within the alliance and will involve a range of assessment activities to evaluate your suitability.
The day provides us with the opportunity to meet with prospective students to find out why they have applied for the course, and to discuss in more detail the information provided on their application form. It also gives applicants an opportunity to talk about themselves, and to demonstrate their practical and academic skills relevant to the programme through a variety of tasks.
Activities may vary between alliances but all will involve a teaching activity where you will be asked to plan a whole class or group lesson. You will also be observed interacting with a group of children and consideration will be given to your ability to support learning. You will take part in group/individual interviews and be asked to reflect on your teaching activity. You will also be asked to respond to an academic article and demonstrate your potential to study at Masters Level.
Assessments are made during the day regarding the candidates:
- commitment to and understanding of primary education
- potential to successfully meet the demands of the programme
- personal and intellectual qualities
- ability to communicate effectively with adults and children in a school context