Star Teachers SCITT
Biology (32FY)

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
8 October 2019
Date course starts
September 2020

About the course

The school-based programme is underpinned by a structured taught course which provides deep insight into the required subject knowledge and the appropriate pedagogy to inspire effective learning in children and young people and secure progress in Biology as well as Chemistry and Physics. The Star Teachers programme begins with an intensive, centrally delivered two week induction to core aspects of the school curriculum which includes features of effective learning and teaching; how children learn and how teachers facilitate learning; behaviour management; pupil assessment; planning effective learning for all children, including those with special needs (SEND); English as an additional language (EAL); and planning differentiated learning that meets all young learners’ needs.

During the weekly centre-based time, there will be a focus on developing the trainee group, sharing and disseminating practice together, collaboration and teamwork in learning, planning and teaching. You will undertake audits of your skills, experience and scientific knowledge in relation to the course requirements and the Teachers’ Standards. These will be used to build a personalised learning plan that you will update and maintain throughout your programme.

The weekly sessions focusses on:

• Pedagogy and progression

• Curriculum, assessment and progression

• Subject development

• Personal development, behaviour, and welfare, including anti-bullying and Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)

• Behaviour for learning

• Literacy and numeracy across the curriculum

• Safeguarding, including the Prevent, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) duty

• Special educational needs and disabilities

• Character development, including Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC), PSHE and British Values

• Reflection and self-development

Throughout the first and second term, the programme will provide the underpinning for training foci and activities in the timetabled opportunities provided in school. The programme will also include additional inputs from Manchester Metropolitan University to support trainees who have elected to work towards a Postgraduate Certificate award in Education.

Interview process

Star Teachers are looking for people who have the determination to succeed, a commitment to working hard and the ability to work with others. You will be able to show enthusiasm for your subject and demonstrate a strong desire to work with children and make a difference in their lives. You will be willing to listen to advice and act on feedback in order to continually improve and develop as a teacher.

The assessment day is a half-day and will be based in one of the lead schools. You will complete a number of tasks during the day which may include:

• A formal interview

• A group presentation task and discussion

• A written task

• A short teaching activity

• An unseen task

The interview panel will consider your:

• Quality of subject knowledge in Biology

• Ability to communicate effectively and explain difficult concepts

• Capacity to establish effective relationships inside and outside the classroom

• Passion and drive to deliver the highest quality of educational standards

• Commitment to develop as an educator of character

The interview panel will usually consist of a representative from one of our Partnership schools and Star Institute.

• Suitability to train to teach and to meet the Teachers’ Standards by the end of training

• Flexibility to adapt to change and ability to think instantaneously

• Resilience and your ability to commit to tasks

• Time management and organisation.

How school placements work

Our secondary programme is structured to offer training across the 11-16 age range. In recognition of the fact that certain teaching approaches must be secured before a teacher can bring about good or better pupil progress as a result of the lessons they deliver, we adopt a graduated approach to ensure the systematic development of our trainees.

In Term 1 you will begin to develop the foundations of teaching practice, relating educational theory to classroom practice. The placement will enable you to build your teaching from small group teaching and 1:1 pupil support, through to co-teaching with a teacher and solo teaching of groups. As your skills develop, you will take on increasing responsibility for the classroom planning, teaching and assessment and progress to full class teaching.

In Term 2 you will be placed in a contrasting school and will build upon the basics from your first term and start to develop a deeper understanding of effective pedagogical practice.

In Term 3 you will return to your autumn term placement. During this final phase you will master an extended repertoire of teaching practices that ensure outstanding learning and progress. The summer term placement will enable you to see the progress pupils make and the impact you have had in securing positive outcomes for young people.

You will undertake a short placement in a Primary school setting (Ages 9-11, school years 5-6) and a second placement in a sixth form or college to gain Key Stage 5 experience (ages 16-19, school years 12-13). This experience will complement the sessions centred on transition and ensure you fully understand the expectations, curricula, strategies and teaching arrangements in the age group immediately before and after those you are trained to teach.

You will gain experience in a Special School to focus on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). This will build on learning already undertaken during the centre-based course and develop a keen appreciation of the needs of diverse children and how to support their learning.


The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250

This includes the QTS and PGCert

Financial support

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 - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out about eligibility and how you’ll be paid.

Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.



Typically 2.2 or higher degree in a subject where at least 50% of study is in the National Curriculum subject you intend to teach.

GCSE grade 4 (previously grade C) in English and mathematics is required.

Original certificates for your degree and GCSE subjects or equivalents, will need to be brought with you to the interview.

*If your qualifications were not gained in the UK, you can visit the National Academic Register Centre (NARIC) website to find out whether your qualifications are considered to be equivalent to UK GCSEs and degrees.

About the training provider

If you are considering a career in teaching, our Star Teachers SCITT programme provides the best possible chance to become an outstanding teacher. Our Star Teachers route includes time spent training in at least two schools and leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The optional award of a PGCE is also available via our University partner. We focus on you as an individual, working with you to design a pathway personalised to your specific needs and circumstances. You will be supported to systematically develop a teaching toolkit based on a deep knowledge and understanding of how children learn. You will be placed in some of the best schools in the country, where the attainment and achievement of children and young people are outstanding and where the teaching is consistently excellent. Highly skilled professional mentors, in school and from the central team, will coach you throughout the programme, helping you to understand the theory of teaching and apply the skills you develop in classroom contexts. Your progress will be assessed in a variety of ways, all of which will support your development as a reflective practitioner and outstanding teacher.

As a Star Teacher graduate, we will work with you to secure a role in our growing network of outstanding Star schools where you can enjoy a range of enhanced benefits and outstanding training and development opportunities. In choosing to complete Initial Teacher Training with Star, you also begin a journey of continuous professional development with us.

Training with disabilities and other needs

The Star Teachers SCITT programme welcomes applications from a diverse range of backgrounds, which includes trainees with specific learning needs. We have coached trainees with diagnosis’ in dyslexia and visual impairments who have gone on to become good and outstanding teachers. At Star we assess the potential to train to teach using the Teachers’ Standards and will make reasonable adjustments, working alongside trainees and our school partners, for the right candidates to enter the teaching profession. We make full use of IT and VLE facilities to enhance learning opportunities for all our trainees. Our mentors and tutors at centre-based training venues and within our schools work hard to ensure that training is accessible for all.

Contact details

0330 313 9876
Star Institute
Star Academies
Shadsworth Road


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: 2A6
  • Training programme code: 32FY

Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.

Location Vacancies Code
Yes B
Main Site
Star Academies, Central office, Shadsworth Road, Blackburn BB1 2HT
Yes -
West Yorkshire
Thornbury Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD3 8HE
Yes Y

Support and advice

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

Get support and advice about teaching

Register with Get into Teaching, the Department for Education’s free support and advice service, for personalised guidance from teaching experts. They can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events. You can also call them free on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service, from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.

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