English with STAR Teaching School Alliance Accredited provider: The University of Hull

Course offered
PGCE with QTS full time
Financial support
Bursary or student finance if you’re eligible

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) allows you to teach in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It’s also recognised internationally.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
9 October 2018
Date course starts
September 2019

About the course

The Secondary PGCE programme concentrates on the teaching of 11 - 16 year olds, but part of it extends your studies/experience to cover preparation for post-16 teaching.

Most of the programme is spent on school placements at Tadcaster Grammar School and Sherburn High School, supported by academic input from the University of Hull. It prepares you to confidently and effectively teach across the secondary science curriculum using a variety of strategies which can be applied in different types of schools, taking account of the stages of children's development.

We are seeking applicants who have a high degree of vocational motivation as well as a passion to teach the subject areas of English language and literature.

Trainees are given a thorough grounding in the requirements of the National Curriculum, and in the practical classroom strategies. There is a strong emphasis on trainees' individual creativity in developing learning resources, and scope for additional specialisation in areas where trainees have personal interests, such as drama, Shakespeare or teenage fiction. The programme also encourages the development of critical literacy, through reflection on teaching methodologies and engagement with current research in the field.

The two teaching practice placements offer provide practical experience of working in two different English departments, so you can make informed judgements at the end of the programme. The schools themselves are enthusiastic about welcoming new colleagues, and committed to offering trainees a structured and supportive professional development.

Assessment is mainly based on teaching performance in the placement schools. Written assignments are portfolio-based tasks which are relevant to work in practice: for example, exploring the role of English within the curriculum and reflecting upon the impact of assessment.

The programme places a strong emphasis on the requirements of GCSE and Key Stage 3 subject planning and assessment, and on increasing trainees' grammatical confidence and awareness. Work on Shakespeare involves collaborative practical sessions and an approach to play texts as enjoyable, popular, performance material needing interactive classroom activities. Guest speakers from partnership schools deliver workshops that offer practical guidance and current classroom approaches to further enrich the programme.

Typically, trainees find the PGCE year much more demanding than the degree finals year, but also more rewarding, as knowledge, experience, energy, humour and sheer willpower come together to make small parts of the world, for a short time at least, into better places.

Interview process

On receipt of your application it will be reviewed by a panel of senior school leaders, including subject specialists . Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to an assessment process held at one of the Alliance secondary schools. The purpose of this is twofold:

  • Applicants are made aware on the nature and demands of the course. Each receives an outline of the current course, as well as a talk about the nature and demands of the course. Candidates also have the opportunity to ask questions of the tutors and school representatives of the partnership who are attending.
  • Applicants are given the opportunity to present themselves as having the potential to become good teachers.

The assessment will begin with a general introduction to the School Direct course, followed by an opportunity to ask questions.

As well as having the opportunity to visit classrooms, the rest of the day comprises three formal activities:

  • A group task where candidates will be asked to lead a session with a small group of children. Specific details of the task will be given in the invite to interview.
  • An interview with School Forum represenatatives
  • An interview panel with Headteachers/Senior Leaders of Alliance schools and Hull University.

How school placements work

All trainees have two school placements and will teach in both Tadcaster Grammar School and Sherburn High School.

The two periods of teaching experience are approximately 12 weeks in length. Each teaching block is preceded by a developmental phase of structured preparation. This involves observing experienced teachers working with individual pupils, working with groups of pupils, team teaching, and eventually taking responsibility for whole lessons.

In their practical teaching, trainees are advised and guided by their subject mentors in schools, including lesson observations some of which may be joint observations with tutors from the Universtiy.

Trainees each have a Journal and Profile Document in which they and their mentors record their development. This document is both formative and summative because you use it throughout your training and it also contains two sections for completion at the end of each major period of teaching.


The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250
International students £12,800

Please contact the Professional Education Team on 01482 465974/466933 for information on Fees for 2018/19

If you are an International student from a non-EU country you will be charged the standard overseas student fee.

Training bursaries are available for some subjects for all UK and EU postgraduate teacher trainees. For information visit the following website for information.


Financial support

You’ll get a bursary of £15,000 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.



Entry requirements:

Applicants must

  • possess GCSE at grade C/4 or above in English Language and Maths;
  • have a degree of a British university, or equivalent;
  • and have appropriate subject knowledge.

The University states that prospective applicants require a degree 2:2 or better to be able to progress on to the PGCE Secondary programme.

As we are flexible in our degree subject entry requirements, we suggest you speak to the subject method tutor Holly Smith at h.smith2@hull.ac.uk if you have questions reqgarding the suitability of your own degree.

Personal qualities

As an Alliance we look for the very best of candidates.

We look for a good reference and a strong commitment to secondary education:

  • Well qualified in your subject and able to talk about it with understanding and enthusiasm.
  • Able motivate and inspire young people of all abilities and have good interaction across the ages
  • Energy and enthusiasm
  • Able to work under pressure
  • Perseverance and flexibility
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Independent & co-operative working
  • Aware of current educational issues
  • Reflection, self-evaluation and a willingness to learn

About the training provider

STAR Teaching School Alliance’s aim is to raise outcomes for children whilst providing sustainability in our schools, all within a small geographic area based around Sherburn-in-Elmet and Tadcaster in North Yorkshire. We have a mix of partner schools that offer placements - large/small; faith/non-faith; Local Authority/Academy, so we aim to offer our trainees a breadth of experience to support them in future job applications.

Professional learning, including initial teacher training, is at the centre of all we do. Teacher training is recognised as a mutual learning experience and helps our schools to maintain energy, enthusiasm and innovation. We have a track record of effectively supporting trainee teachers, a number of whom continue to develop their careers in our schools.

As a STAR trainee, you will experience the full school year from start to end, gaining valuable first hand experience to prepare you for life as a teacher. The majority of your time will be in the classroom, working with a successful, highly skilled, but also caring and supportive team.

We are committed to delivering outstanding education and training that is both current and relevant, and providing excellent opportunities to develop knowledge and understanding. We aspire to ensure trainees are equipped to be outstanding teachers and future leaders.

About the accredited provider

Academic aspects are delivered by Hull University (an experienced provider of initial teacher education including School Direct programmes). They place great emphasis upon professionalism and your development as a reflective practitioner who is committed to producing the best possible outcomes for every pupil. Teaching on the course is of a high standard and past trainees comment very favourably on the levels of interest and enthusiasm engendered by tutors. A virtual learning environment enables you to communicate with tutors, partnership staff and with each other, as well as giving access to a wide range of resources.

Training with disabilities and other needs

We are an inclusive teaching School Alliance and believe that there should be no barriers to qualified people pursuing a teaching career in teaching.

To this end, please contact the Alliance (using contact details below) to talk to us about any specific needs are and we will seek to accommodate them within our placement schools.

Additionally, you can contact the university Disability Services (tel: 01482 462020 or e-mail disability-services@hull.ac.uk) to find out about what Hull University are able to provide to support your academic studies and your time on campus with them.

Contact details

01977 682388
STAR Teaching School Alliance
Monk Fryston CE Primary School
Chestnut Green
North Yorkshire
LS25 5PN


Apply on the UCAS website. You’ll need to register with UCAS before you can apply.

Visit Get into Teaching for guidance on applying for teacher training.

When you apply you’ll need these codes for the Choices section of your application form:

  • Training provider code: 26D
  • Training programme code: 3BF2

Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location and give the relevant training location code.

Code Name Address
- Main Site Chestnut Green LS25 5PN

Advice and support

For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.

For advice about teaching

For advice about teaching or teacher training you can call Get into Teaching on Freephone 0800 389 2500 or chat to an adviser using their online chat service between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday.

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