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Primary Education School Direct Route PGCE QTS

Course Description

The University of Northampton is working as the Initial Teacher Training provider for a diverse and innovative group of Lead Schools and their Alliance schools in Northamptonshire and its surrounding counties to support the delivery of PGCE QTS programmes through the School Direct route. The PGCE QTS programme is the same for those on a University place or School Direct place.

If you would like to apply for a School Direct place for training to teach in 2017-18, then you will need to consider which route will be most suitable and which will be available with different Lead Schools. There are two routes for School Direct applicants:

1. The School Direct (Salaried) route: you will be employed by one of the Lead Schools or their Alliance schools and receive a salary while you train to become a teacher. This programme will lead to Postgraduate Certificate of Education or Professional Graduate Certificate of Education with recommendation for QTS.

2. The School Direct (Training) Programme: you will be based for a large part of your training in one of the Lead Schools or their Alliance schools but you will pay fees for the training programme. This programme will lead to Postgraduate Certificate or Professional Graduate Certificate with QTS. You may be eligible to apply for a bursary which varies according to degree classifications and subject specialisms. Please contact for further details.

This programme will develop you into a highly committed, creative and reflective teacher with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You will be training to teach children within the age range offered by the Lead School. On successful completion, you will have achieved 60 credits at Masters’ Level (PGCE) and be recommended for and awarded Qualified Teacher Status. You will develop your skills, knowledge and understanding such that you can demonstrate the professional standards for teaching required by the Department for Education and exceed the minimum expectations for each Standard.

You will spend a substantial part of the programme in school-based Placements within the Lead School or their Alliance Schools which will enable you to develop high levels of competence in practical teaching in a range of educational contexts. There are three assessed school-based Placements where you will be assessed against the Teachers’ Standards and submit a Record of Professional Evidence. You will also have the opportunity for self-organising a Placement in an alternative setting including a special school. You will have a trained mentor in each school-based Placement and a Personal Academic Tutor at the University to support your professional development.

The University of Northampton will be working with the following Lead Schools in 2017-18:
-Abington Vale Primary – Primary 5-11 (training and salaried)
-Bilton Infant – Primary 5-11 (training)
-Brooke Weston Academy – Primary 5-11 (training)
-Glenhills Primary School – Primary 5-11 (training and salaried),
-Inspire Northamptonshire – Hall Meadow Primary 5-11 (training and salaried)
-Maplefields Special School – Primary 5-11 (training)
-Northampton School for Boys – Primary 5-11 (training)
-The David Ross Education Trust – Primary 5-11 (training)
-Upton Meadow Primary School – Primary 5-11 (training)
-Wollaston Community Primary School – Primary 5-11(training)

Course content

The programme is structured to promote academic rigour, skilled practice, independence and flexibility. The emphasis in the programme reflects the primary national curriculum and priorities. The programme develops your subject knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and leadership skills so that you can apply this through teaching in primary classrooms. We work in partnership with schools across Northamptonshire and its neighbouring counties. This enables you to learn in a diverse range of schools. There are also opportunities for placements in Special Educational Needs (SEN) settings.

University Learning Events and three school placements. There are two compulsory modules at Level 7 which are worth 60 credits and can be used to contribute to a full MA in the future. The modules are Teaching, Learning and Assessment and Professional Studies.

Course modules (16/17)

-Professional Studies
-Placement 1, 2 and 3 Primary Education 3-7
-Placement 1, 2 and 3 Primary Education 5-11
-Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Methods of Learning

You are expected to engage with Learning Events through the active use of technological tools in the pre and post face to face sessions and online learning activities. You will be taught how to use technological tools to enhance your learning which you can then use in the classroom. You will be given time for independent and peer assisted learning. You will have a tutor for different subjects and professional studies.


Learning Events comprise of pre and post face to face sessions with tutors for groups or whole cohorts. During the University based days, you are expected to be available between 9-5pm. During School based days, you are expected to be in school between 8.20am and 4pm.


Assessment is continuous. You will engage in four assignments which will contribute towards your M Level Modules. Your teaching, including planning and assessment, is also assessed against the Teachers’ Standards. Partner schools share the responsibility for assessment during the practical teaching.

Facilities and Special Features

You will have access to the School Experience Library. This is an established and extensive set of resources specific for trainee teachers to support your placements and includes activities, big books and planning materials. “The quality of training is enhanced by the excellent resources at the University” (Ofsted 2014).

Other admission requirements

A minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C or above and these must include Mathematics, English Language and Science. You must be interviewed and we will explore your suitability for teaching including undertaking DBS and Disqualification by Association.

Visit the Primary Education School Direct Route PGCE QTS page on the University of Northampton website for more details!

Entry Requirements

An honours degree from a UK University (or equivalent) and whenever possible the classification should be a 2:1 or First. You will need to provide evidence of a minimum 10 days experience in a school/setting (within the last two years) in a mainstream school. For Primary 5-11 , the experience will be either KS1 or KS2, and for Primary 3-7, the experience will be in either KS1 or EYS. We expect these experiences to be in a school which follows the National Curriculum. We recommend gaining experience across both key stages.See course description for further admission details.

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