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Course content

The following course content is subject to validation Do you want to become a primary school teacher and help children make the best possible start in life? This initial teacher training course covers the knowledge and skills that are required for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Course overview

This exciting one year, full time, innovative and high-quality PGCE Programme has been specifically developed to provide a route for students wishing to gain a PGCE in Primary Education with Qualified Teacher Status. Trainees will have the opportunity to choose an Early Primary or Primary route as well as selecting a subject enhancement. It has been specially designed to blend University-Based academic learning with Practice Based teaching experiences in our Partnership schools. Our wide Partnership of schools works very closely together with University Tutors who are experts in Education to link theory and practice in order to ensure our Trainees develop into research informed, dynamic and confident Newly Qualified Teachers. The Programme actively draws on excellent Practitioners from our Partnership to complement theoretical input in University taught sessions.

In addition to this the PGCE also provides students with the academic opportunity to study at Masters Level as part of the Programme in order to gain 60 credits towards a Masters Degree. Masters Degrees are becoming increasingly desirable in Education and give teachers increased opportunity for promotion within this field.

This programme is also offered as part of our School Direct route. We are proud that the 2015 inspection from Ofsted rated our Primary Provision at Sunderland to be “Good” noting strengths in Trainee employability and Trainee confidence about entering the profession as well as their commitment to teaching. Ofsted highlighted in particular Trainees’ awareness of potential barriers to pupils’ learning and personal development, reflected in the way they seek to tackle discrimination of any kind.

The average starting salary for a teacher compares favourably with many other sectors and it is currently over £22,000. Salary packages include access to one of the country’s largest public sector pension schemes.

Teaching and assessment

School Based Teaching Placements are central to the Programme and all University Modules are designed to support Trainees in developing their knowledge and confidence in teaching. University input is delivered by both expert Tutors and excellent Practitioners from Partnership Schools, in a wide variety of ways including, lectures, tutorials and practical workshops as well as online discussions.

All aspects of the Programme are designed to enable you to meet and demonstrate the National College for Teaching (NCTL) and Leadership Standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Students will compile evidence against the Standards throughout the Programme in their online e-Portfolio. The PGCE Primary Tutor Team is committed to providing the best experiences for our Trainees. Our Personal Tutor system ensures all Trainees are allocated an individual Tutor and are nurtured and developed both academically and professionally throughout the Programme.

Assessment is continuous throughout the course. Subject knowledge is monitored through the use of subject audits which enable students to identify their strengths and areas of development and to then action plan with Subject Specialist Tutors support to increase their knowledge and confidence in identified areas.

Modules are assessed through a variety of assessment methods including, Assignments, Portfolio and Practice Based Tasks. Assessed Placements are assessed by Partnership schools/settings in liaison with the University.

Facilities & location

The University of Sunderland has excellent facilities on-campus and strong links with schools in our primary partnership.

Primary partnership
The University of Sunderland prides itself in the strength of the Primary Partnership which includes over 200 schools in 12 different local authorities. The Partnership Office works very closely with Students to identify ideal Placements. According to Ofsted in 2012, a key strength of our provision is tutors’ “good knowledge of schools in the partnership which enables them to identify and make effective use of staff and schools with specialist skills”.

University Library Services
At the University there are thousands of books and e-books on topics related to education and training, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles. Resources include the EBSCO Professional Development Collection, which is a specialised collection of over 500 education journals.

Employment & careers

Everyone who wants to teach in a state-maintained school in England and Wales needs Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This course leads to QTS and, on successful completion, you will become a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT).

Visit the Primary Education - PGCE page on the University of Sunderland website for more details!

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