About the course
We aim to create primary school teachers who are reflective practitioners, confident in their ability to teach all subjects in the primary curriculum, and able to articulate their beliefs about what constitutes effective pedagogy. Underpinning the course is a belief that successful teachers need to understand how children learn and that this is best achieved through a combination of theory, practice, and reflection.
PGCE is just the first phase of your career-long process of personal and professional development.
The Durham PGCE Primary course has been developed in partnership with schools, and offers a strong practical element, with student teachers spending a substantial part of the year in school. You will have opportunities to develop an understanding of the values and issues which underpin education and are encouraged to develop and articulate your own beliefs. The responsibility for training is shared between schools and the University, which together provide a supportive professional environment in which you can develop your knowledge, skills, understanding and expertise
The Primary PGCE offers the following opportunities for study:
- Readings and preparation for teaching in school
- Teaching in schools
- Teaching time in lectures and workshops
- Professional studies days
- Teaching and learning conference
- Follow-up readings after the taught element
- Independent study
- Assignment work.
In addition the supervised Directed Study module offers group and one-to-one contact time - you will be assigned an individual supervisor from within the School of Education staff who assist with devising a suitable topic for study.
The interview will usually be conducted by two members of the Initial Teacher Education (ITE) team; one will be an academic member of staff from within the School of Education whilst the other will be a colleague from a local school involved in the professional aspect of the course.
The interview will explore the interviewee's experiences and provide them the best opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and desire to become a Primary teacher.
The interview session will comprise of three parts – a welcome presentation, a written task as well as an individual interview (which includes a short 5 minute presentation). The time at which you must report for your interview session will be clearly indicated on your interview email and you will be allocated your individual interview time on arrival. Your written task should be handed in on reception once completed.
How school placements work
All students will be required to meet the minimum of 120 days in School.
The programme is designed to accomplish this in a phased manner to guide and support your development.
In addition to several days per week in schools, split with University class based sessions. The block practices in the Autumn and Spring allow for practical opportunities for full professional development where there is a progression from observation, structured activities and group work to whole class work.
The block placements will be in different schools to give you the widest range of teaching experience and working across different teaching key stages.
Our partnership spreads across County Durham and beyond, so we work closely with schools and applicants to find the most appropriate placements. You may be expected to travel for up to an hour to a placement school.
You will have an opportunity in advance of the programme start date to advise us of your living arrangements & transport options to assist us in finding the most appropriate placements.
You will be assigned a School Training Centre Coordinator who will provide workshops, support with teaching and guidance on teaching practice.
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
- The equivalent of a UK upper second class honours degree
- GCSE English, Mathematics and Science at Grade 4 (or C) or above (or equivalent) which must be achieved at the time of application. Please note IELTS is not considered equivalent to a GCSE English
- A demonstrable interest and involvement in the lives and development of young people
Successful candidates will receive an offer conditional upon successful medical and criminal record checks
About the training provider
We are very proud to be one of the leading departments for education in the UK, as we regularly feature in the top five in national university league tables such as 5th in the Guardian University Guide 2020 as well as 3rd in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019, and 9th in the Complete University Guide 2020. We also rate highly in the world rankings, 74th in the QS World University Rankings 2019.
As a Department, we also lead the way in high quality research, 5th in the field of education nationally and joint 1st in the UK for world-leading research impact. Together with our OFSTED outstanding rated Initial Teacher Education provision we are a major contributor in the field of education.
You can be assured of high quality teaching as we have been awarded the highest possible accolade, Gold, in the Teaching Excellent and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF).
Training with disabilities and other needs
Durham University has a Disability support team who offer advice and guidance to both prospective and current students within the University. We also arrange appropriate provision for disabled students, as well as offer support to those who think they may have a disability.
The School of Education has successfully supported students with learning disabilities, hearing and visual impairments to obtain QTS and become teachers.
The School of Education is situated on the Hild Bede site where access can be limited in places for those with a physical disability. Please contact us for more information or check on the Access Go site which has up to date information :
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:
Training programme code:
Choose a training location
You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.
School of Education, Leazes Road, Durham, Durham DH1 1TA
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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