About the course
This course will prepare you to teach in Primary Schools and/or Early Years.
The PGCE Primary Flexible allows you to study for your primary teaching qualification flexibly in a 1-3 year period depending on your circumstances and experience.
Most of your learning will be online with a combination of materials, tasks, resources, tutorials and webinars. Your tutorials may also take place by email, phone or face-to-face. You are required to attend a minimum of 12 days of face-to-face seminars in Canterbury throughout the programme, to allow you a chance to learn with fellow students and to network with your colleagues and tutors.
Your programme will focus on a range of theory and research and you will be encouraged to reflect on how this impacts on your own teaching. You will be introduced to the principles, research and theory on which good classroom practice is based. Activities that might be included during your PGCE include modelling, role-play, lectures, seminars, discussion, school/educational setting visits and evaluation of classroom-based activities and resources.
You will complete two or three placements in schools and/or early years settings (dependent on existing experience of teaching). Canterbury Christ Church University has a strong partnership with schools and early years settings in Kent, Medway, Essex and beyond. Students on this programme choose their own placement settings, as they are geographically widespread. If you are unable to do this, however, we will find a placement for you. You will be supported by professional mentors and university tutors on placement.
You will be assessed in two main ways: academic assignments and assessment of your teaching. The three placement modules are non-credit bearing; you are assessed against the Teachers’ Standards. The three academic modules are:
- Curriculum & Pedagogy: Two 2,000 word essays (50% of your mark for each essay)
- Contemporary Issues in Education: A digital assignment where you will reflect on and critique an educational issue.
- Researching Learning and Teaching: An individual presentation based on your research investigation.
You will be taught and supported by age-specific and subject experts with extensive experience in schools and other educational settings.
You will also have access to the university’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) where you will find detailed information on your academic assignments and curriculum updates, as well as a wide range of resources, materials and opportunities to engage with including a webinar series, conferences and professional development events.
Your PGCE interview will be over the course of half a day, typically from 1pm to 4.30pm. The interview is designed to give you an idea of what it is like to be a trainee teacher at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU). You will interviewed by subject tutors and representatives from CCCU partner schools.
Upon arrival, you will hear a welcome talk and complete a short mathematics task which will take you 15 minutes. You will then complete a 20 minute group activity before you have your individual interview with a University tutor and/or a School representative. The school representative could be a Head Teacher or Mentor.
Your interview will last 15 minutes. You will be asked questions about your school experience and are encouraged ask questions about the course. You are encouraged to read about current educational issues such as those discussed in the Times Education Supplement and read the National Curriculum for your age range prior to your interview.
How school placements work
You will complete three placement modules of varying lengths depending on your previous and existing experience. Your placements will be dependent on the age range route you chose at the beginning of the programme (either 3-7 or 5-11). You will be required to gain experience across two consecutive age phases and in contrasting settings. You may be able to complete one of your placements in an international setting.
If you have previous teaching experience, you may be able to gain exemption from one of your placements. You are able take your first two placements part time (with a minimum of three days a week in school).
As students on this programme come from a wide range of geographical areas, you are encouraged to find your own placements where possible. If you are unable to find your own placement, CCCU are able to help you with finding one. We take into account your individual needs when allocating you to your placements schools. We try to ensure that you will travel no more than an hour and a quarter from your home. Factors such as where you live and whether you drive or need to take public transport are taken into account.
Canterbury Christ Church University is in partnership with over 400 schools and early years settings. Schools allocate a mentor, who will take part in CCCU’s Mentor Development Programme which is based on the National Standards for school-based Initial Teacher Training mentors. If a setting is out of the ‘normal’ geographical area, and is not a regular partnership school, mentor training is offered when the university tutor visits. On each placement you will be supported by this school mentor as well as your personal university tutor.
The placements allow you to put into practice your learning from the academic modules. In the initial placement you will work collaboratively with your mentor to help develop your confidence in the classroom. Your allocation of teaching time will then increase steadily over the course of the programme. By the final placement, you will be teaching 70% of the timetable.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
Fees are payable annually.
In addition to the tuition fee, there are some additional costs which you will need to budget for. You will need to purchase your own textbooks. You will pay for your own travel costs to your other sites and placements. You may be able to claim back part of the placement travel costs from the University if you meet the specific criteria.
You will be expected to pay any library fees or fines you incur and for any printing or photocopying you do.
You can attend your graduation ceremony for free. You will need to pay for robe hire, photography and guest tickets.
You will need an honours degree (2: 2 or above) or equivalent to gain entry to any pathway in the PGCE Secondary Programme. Ideally 50% or more of the content of your degree should be in subject you wish to teach in.
You will need English and Maths at GCSE level (minimum grade C/grade 4). If you hold a Key Skills or Functional Skills qualification instead of GCSE, we can offer you a GCSE equivalency test.
We are looking for enthusiastic, resilient teacher trainees. You will have good communication skills. You will have a passion and commitment for working with young people.
You will be able to show your ability to reflect on classroom experience and your understanding of the teaching profession.
Previous experience of teaching is not required. You would benefit from having a clear awareness of the UK system. You may consider gaining knowledge of how pupils learn to help you in your application.
You will to take and pass the government’s QTS skills tests in literary and numeracy.
You will need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and health check carried out through the university.
About the training provider
Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) is one of the largest and well-respected providers of postgraduate initial teacher education in the country. We offer a wide range of programmes leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for those wishing to teach in primary and secondary schools and a variety of qualifications for those wishing to teach in further education sector. Ofsted has praised us for our high employment rates and said that CCCU is making a significant contribution to teaching in the local area.
Our courses offer a blend of subject knowledge and theory which is directly linked to school-based teaching and learning. We aim to help you become a confident, high-achieving teacher. You will develop a wide range of strategies for supporting children and young people’s learning to help them maximise their learning.
Your learning will be underpinned by the latest research so you will receive up-to-date provision. You will be supported by tutors and mentors who are all qualified teachers. Our students regularly comment on how friendly and supportive the university and course team are.
Our range of placements mean that you will gain a wide experience of education and learning in different settings. You will have an excellent support network both in school and at university. Our most recent Ofsted report (2014) praises our excellent pastoral care and personalised support.
Read more about our courses on our Train to Teach pages.
Training with disabilities and other needs
Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) is committed to ensuring that you can succeed and reach your full potential. We have a range of support services to help you in your studies both during your application and during your course.
Depending on your need, we can offer special arrangements such as accessible interview rooms, access to a hearing loop, use of a laptop to complete written tests and information printed on coloured paper.
You will be able to contact our dedicated team of Student Support and Wellbeing Advisers about any queries you have about special arrangements before and during your studies. The team will be able to refer you to specialist support services including the Student Disability Service.
If you are dyslexic or believe you might be, we can help you with dyslexic support which includes screening and learning support. Examples of support we have provided for dyslexic students in the past include extra time for exams and consideration for spelling and grammar.
A dedicated team of mental health practitioners can help you with any mental-health related queries. You are able to access support services including resources and techniques to help with anxiety, stress and depression. They also refer students for counselling both within the University and externally. If you have been diagnosed with a long-term psychological condition, the team can help you access further support which include help with accessing funding and tailored Learning Support Plans
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.
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Advice and support
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
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