About the course
The course is a one year postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS), designed to prepare you to teach the 11-16 age range.
The course has two main themes:
- Initial Professional Development
We help develop your own thinking, teaching skills and subject curriculum knowledge with themes including:
- how young people learn
- behaviour management
- creative and innovative teaching methods
- designing learning
- current professional issues in secondary schools
You will research theories of child development and begin to develop your own educational philosophy.
- Biology Specialist Subject Pedagogy
Our generic science and biology specific sessions provide you with an understanding of:
- Biology pedagogy
- practical aspects of science
- literacy in science
- teaching all sciences at Key Stage 3
You will spend about two thirds of your time in school and one third in university.
In school you will benefit from:
- observing experienced teachers in your own and different subjects
- practical hands-on experience with a range of ages and abilities
- supportive mentoring
- experience of being a form tutor, wider school activities and life outside the classroom!
- access to any in-school training and development programmes
Teaching is through a blend of workshops, tutorials, lectures (some with guest speakers) and group work with fellow trainee teachers, all of which takes place in friendly and supportive groups designed to give you the confidence to succeed.
Three of the four PGCE modules you study are at Masters level so you will gain 90 Masters level credits on successful completion of the course.
At WYTA we like to add further value to your course and your teaching experience. In addition to your time in school and university we also provide our own training sessions, spread throughout the year. This is provided by classroom teachers and leaders who are specialists in their areas of expertise.
Our sessions offer you an opportunity to take time out, to reflect on your learning so far and to identify what you would still like support with. We keep our programme flexible in order that we can best meet your ongoing needs throughout the year.
At all stages you will be supported by mentors from WYTA, school and university, ensuring you are fully supported to help you develop into an outstanding and successful teacher.
Applications are received on our behalf by the University of Huddersfield and we work closely together to review applications to ensure they meet our criteria. The university invites candidates to interview on our behalf.
Interviews take place in our partner schools and our interview panel comprises representatives from the West Yorkshire Teaching Alliance, our partner schools and often a representative from the university.
The interview process includes:
- A 15-20 minute teaching task, teaching a concept from your subject area usually to Key Stage 3 pupils
- A formal interview
- A subject knowledge task*
- A written literacy task *
- *For 2019-20 applications we are exploring alternative ways to conduct the written tasks. Further details will be provided when invited to interview.
All of our interview tasks assess your suitability to train to teach and are included in order to reassure us that you have the capacity to meet the Teachers' Standards.
Our interview process is a rigorous one, designed to ensure we attract high quality candidates who understand the resilience required to complete this intensive one-year course.
Candidates will be informed within the 40 day deadline as to whether their application has been successful or not.
How school placements work
School placements are a vital part of your training year, helping you to develop your teaching practice. At WYTA we are fortunate to have over 12 secondary and middle schools in our partnership who have a long and strong history of training teachers and who are keen to support our trainees.
When allocating placement schools we always try to take into account your circumstances and area of residence whilst balancing our duty to provide you with the most appropriate school to best meet your training needs. Most of our schools are based in Kirklees and placements are usually within this area.
As part of your time in school it is important that you are able to gain an understanding of progression in learning across all key stages so you will also spend a short amount of time in primary (Key Stage 2) and sixth form (Key Stage 5).
In order to meet the course requirements, you will need to spend a minimum of 120 days in school although in reality our trainees tend to be in school for more than this. The exact number of days often differs for each trainee, depending on their own circumstances. You will have at least:
- 2 main block placements (approximately 22 weeks in total)
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
Our tuition fees are determined by the University of Huddersfield. Find out more about financial support available to PGCE students on the UCAS website.
You don’t have to pay the loan back while you study. It will only be repayable when you have left the course and earn over £25,000 a year.
You apply for the tuition fee loan as part of your application to Student Finance England for loans and grants. Student Finance England will pay your fees direct to the University.
When you enrol the university will ask you who will be paying for your fees and whether you have requested a loan. If you have not taken a loan, they will send you an invoice for the fees, which will require payment in full during the relevant academic year.
If you are an international student coming to study with us, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.
Should you need any further advice, please get in touch.
You’ll get a bursary of £26,000 if you have a degree of 2:2 or above in any subject.
You don’t have to apply for a bursary - you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out how you’ll be paid.
Financial support if you’re from outside the UK.
Financial support from the training provider
We try, where possible to take geography and personal circumstances into account when organising school placements. Trainees are expected to travel and may be required to travel up to 60 minutes (public transport) from their residence.
Please be aware of potential associated travelling costs.
We do not routinely reimburse travel costs however applications for contributions can be made to our Hardship Fund. Each application will be considered on its own merits.
- An Honours degree in science (2:2 or above)
- Two science A levels, one must be Biology (grade C or above, or equivalent)
- GCSE English and Maths (grade 4 or above, or equivalent)
- Literacy and Numeracy skills tests (evidence of booking to be provided at interview; tests must be passed before you start the course)
- If your degree does not meet our entry requirements, you may be given a conditional offer on the successful completion of a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE). You need an A level (usually C or above) in the subject.
We have high expectations of our trainees. We are looking for:
- A strong commitment to teaching and learning
- Enthusiasm and a genuine desire to inspire young people
- A commitment to helping every child to make the most of their talents
- Excellent communication and inter-personal skills
- Resilience and the willingness to receive and act on advice
- Professionalism and a realistic understanding a teacher's role
- A willingness to work hard and go the 'extra mile'
- The ability to manage time effectively
- Evidence of self-motivation in personal learning
- Patience and empathy
You will need:
- To communicate effectively in standard English
- The intellectual and academic potential to meet the required Teachers’ Standards
- Two references (If about to graduate/graduated within the last three years, one referee should be a university/college lecturer who can comment on your academic ability)
- A satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service enhanced disclosure check
- Not been previously barred from teaching or working with children
- A health declaration to ensure you have the health and physical capacity to teach
- We strongly advise you have school experience to ensure teaching is right for you
About the training provider
The West Yorkshire Teaching Alliance (WYTA), established in 2014, has a strong and diverse network of partners based mainly around Huddersfield.
Our mission is to prepare trainee teachers to become confident, innovative, independent professionals who strive to achieve the best for themselves and for the children they teach.
Working with all age groups, WYTA is led by two outstanding primary schools:
- Shelley First School
- Spring Grove Junior Infant and Nursery School
We are closely supported by a number of very strong secondary strategic partner schools.
As a relatively small provider, we really get to know you. Our focused, in-depth and supportive yet challenging programme builds your confidence and subject knowledge and gives you the necessary skills to become an effective classroom practitioner. Our offer includes:
- school-based specialists
- academic experts
- comprehensive mentoring
- a successful, high quality programme (97% of all of our trainees achieved good/outstanding)
- strong employment opportunities
Our trainees agree “with WYTA, I have always had the impression that everyone is rooting for you to succeed.” (2015-16 Primary trainee) “support from WYTA has been outstanding” (2016-17 Secondary trainee).
We are proud that our trainees take up a range of roles after graduating; some like to stay as a classroom teacher, some take on more responsibility such as Science lead or lead for KS2-3 transition. One was made Head of Year whilst still an NQT! This year we were delighted for our PE trainee who was awarded ‘Examiner Trainee Teacher of the Year 2018’.
About the accredited body
We are proud to work very closely with the University of Huddersfield to deliver an ambitious, intensive and highly rewarding teacher training programme culminating in Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and 90 Masters level credits.
We believe the theory and insight into the pedagogy of teaching is invaluable in creating outstanding teachers and the University has a proven track record:
- Teaching Excellence Framework ‘gold-rated University’ for delivering ‘consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students’
- Athena SWAN bronze award for commitment to supporting women in science, technology, engineering, medicine and maths (STEMM)
Training with disabilities and other needs
Whatever your circumstances, we take each application on its own merits and we actively welcome applications from suitably qualified persons from all backgrounds regardless of race, disability, religion, belief or sexual orientation.
We have experience of supporting trainee teachers with a range of needs, including:
- physical disability
- mental health conditions
Although each of our partner schools has differing access arrangements, all schools are Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant.
In addition, the University of Huddersfield’s Wellbeing and Disability Service works with a range of disabilities and long-term conditions that have a significant impact on a person’s ability to study. You would be able to access support from either or both of us.
We encourage you to talk to us; we always try to place you in a school that meets your needs and provide you with all the support you need to become a successful teacher.
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Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
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