About the course
The Primary General PGCE course prepares Associate Teachers (ATs) to teach all areas of the National Curriculum at primary level and aims to prepare successful applicants to develop into reflective, proactive practitioners through an on-going analysis of their own progress. All ATs follow a core syllabus that focuses on the skills, knowledge and concepts related to effective learning and teaching within, and beyond, the classroom.
We organise the course to provide you with an in-depth understanding of a range of teaching, learning and educational experiences to inform both your training and pedagogical development. You will benefit not only from highly experienced Course Leaders who are at the forefront of developments in education but also from the specialist support and expertise of practising teachers and senior managers.
The programme follows the three school term year, with two teaching placements taking place during the course. At the beginning of the Autumn Term, an intensive training period takes place to prepare Associate Teachers for their first experience in school. Placement A consists of three days a week teaching, Placement B increases to four days and, during the final term, you will benefit from spending five days per week in your placement school.
A blend of practical experience and theory gained during the course is assessed in a number of ways. Teaching knowledge, skills and understanding is monitored through the use of Progress Portfolio compiled by the AT on a weekly basis, together with reflective commentary and the production of written academic assignments that focus on key aspects of pedagogical development.
The quality of relationships across the Consortium of schools is outstanding and is developed collaboratively at every stage to ensure that training is at the cutting edge of education. Effective communication is paramount to the continued success of this partnership, allowing WMC to map development needs with the best-placed partnership schools to ensure a tailored programme that is designed to suit all aspiring teachers.
WMC has established a fantastic reputation across the West Midlands. Historically, the majority of ATs have gained teaching posts before the end of their PGCE training period with a high percentage placed within partner schools. Headteachers frequently contact the Consortium directly when they have vacancies knowing that they can be confident of the quality of the AT that they are employing.
After initial selection based on application, successful candidates are invited to an interview where they will participate in a number of activities. Candidates will be interviewed by the Director of the Consortium together with an experienced Head Teacher from one of our partner schools.
During the interview process, candidates gain a fuller insight into the nature, content and aims of the course and of the teaching profession. A short presentation will give candidates an outline of the PGCE Primary programme, with opportunities to ask questions. Prior to interview, candidates will be given a practical task to prepare and will participate in small group activities alongside other interviewees during the day. Interviews are usually held during a morning or afternoon session.
One-to-One interviews are held with each applicant during which questions focusing on primary education are explored and discussed. Candidates will be given verbal feedback at the end of the process and are informed of our decision on the day of interview.
Applicants need to demonstrate concern and consideration for the welfare of the children, be willing to follow WMC and placement school procedures and liaise with a range of professionals to support children. Applicants will understand the responsibility of acting as a role model through demonstrating professional commitment to the conditions of service for a teacher, recognising the full responsibilities involved, and will have an awareness of the current National Curriculum arrangements for the age range that they will be teaching.
How school placements work
WMC has over 50 diverse and contrasting placement schools in and around the West Midlands region which includes placement schools in Staffordshire, Shropshire, and the West Midlands. The geographical spread of schools means that all Associate Teachers should have a commute to their placement schools of, ideally, no more than 30 minutes driving.
Associate Teachers will experience teaching within two contrasting primary placements, spending approximately 60 days in each placement. Placement A carries a 40% teaching commitment, beginning with a 3 day placement, leading to 4 and then a full 5 day teaching placement. The teaching commitment increases to 60% within Placement B where ATs will start with a 4 day placement before quickly moving to a full 5 day placement. Trainees will move towards an 80%, teaching commitment over the summer term which mirrors the commitment of a Newly Qualified Teacher. Associate Teachers are well supported during their placements by experienced Mentors within their placement schools.
As a trainee teacher, you will experience a phased introduction to teaching that will reflect your individual needs. You will spend time observing, supporting group work and sharing classes with the teacher before moving towards independent teaching. As well as teaching, you will be expected to contribute generally to the wider life of the school, becoming an integral part of the school community.
The PGCE programme is very intensive and you will need to devote an extensive amount of time and effort to developing your teaching knowledge, skills and understanding whilst completing the course. Applicants should be prepared for a very busy, but enjoyable, year.
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
Primary trainees are given the opportunity to attend a residential weekend at Arthog, the cost of which is subsidised and is currently set at £60
- Degree: A 2:2 honours degree or above ideally, but not essentially, in a subject related to primary education.
- GCSE: You must have a Grade C (4), or better, in GCSE English Language, Mathematics and Science
- Enhanced disclosure from DBS - Applicants will be required to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service.
Applicants must be able to demonstrate an enthusiasm for working with young people, communicate effectively in written and spoken English and be confident in their use of IT skills.
Applicants must recognise that studying to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is demanding and requires commitment beyond the standard working day; they will need to be able to manage their time effectively to maintain an appropriate 'work/life balance'.
Applicants must be able to make the best use of their existing subject knowledge, skills and understanding and be able to accept constructive feedback to support their progress and success throughout the course
It is desirable, although not essential, that applicants have experience of working with young people, preferably within an educational context or through youth organisations.
About the training provider
“It has been an absolute pleasure to be a WMC student. The support right from the word go has been relentless and confirmed why I wanted to train through WMC. I have truly been a part of a family and I am sad to go. However, I go knowing that I have been provided with high quality training that is reflected in my standard of teaching. I feel privileged to have been trained by WMC.” WMC trainee, July 2018
West Midlands Consortium has effectively and successfully led and managed School Centred Initial Teacher Training Courses for over 20 years. We are a well-established leading provider for teacher training based at Thomas Telford School, the top performing non-selective comprehensive in England. Our primary and secondary training courses are highly effective in nurturing the talents of future generations of outstanding teachers and we have a proven track record of high employment and career progression. We strongly believe in fostering reflective, self-assured practionners who are confident in questioning and rationalising their progress and ability as teachers.
We pride ourselves on being a small provider with a big reputation. As a West Midlands Consortium trainee, you will be more than just a number – you will be a member of a select cohort. You will receive fantastic individualised support from your Course Leader and have access to expert advice and guidance from members of the WMC Team and from within our extensive range of Consortium schools.
Training with disabilities and other needs
If you have a disability or other specific need, please contact the Course Administrator to discuss how we are best able to support with your particular individual requirements.
Access for wheelchairs is not a problem. The school has a lift, and the car park for disabled drivers is right outside the main doors.
For more detailed information, please see our Diversity and Equal Opportunities Policy.
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:
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You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.
THOMAS TELFORD SCHOOL, OLD PARK, TELFORD, SHROPSHIRE TF3 4NW
Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
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