Our Primary PGCE has been running for 60 years and schools tell us we are developing the kind of teachers they want to employ. This is reflected in 95% of our students achieving Good or Outstanding teacher grades at the end of their course and 93% of our graduates securing a teaching post within 12 months.
All of our PGCE courses are made up of both campus-based sessions - which will give you a grounding in the principles of good teaching practice - and school-based placements, giving you the chance to apply your knowledge and experience to a wide range of classroom situations. These placements will be in contrasting schools to provide you with a broad range of experience; they could be in city, suburban or rural schools, in the independent or state sector.
The PGCE Primary course prepares you to teach across the full range of the Primary Curriculum. We will introduce you to the wider context of teaching, including responding to diversity in schools and the inclusion of Special Needs Education, as well as equipping you with classroom management and planning skills.
By the end of the course you will meet the required professional standards for Qualified Teachers Status (QTS) and will be awarded a University of Leicester PGCE. Our strong ethos of reflective practice will prepare you will for your future career in teaching.
We offer four different routes:
•Age 3-7: Lower Primary
•Age 5-11: Upper Primary
•Age 5-11: Primary with Mathematics
•Age 5-11: Primary with French
The information included on this webpage is indicative of the courses provided by the University of Leicester. Due to regular enhancement of the University’s courses, please refer to Leicester’s own website and Terms and Conditions for the most accurate and up-to-date course information. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with this information before submitting an application.
2:1 degree or above
GCSE grade C or above in English Language, Maths and Science. (If you do not hold these qualifications, you will need to pass our equivalency tests once you´ve been made an offer.)
A pass in the Professional Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy.
You also need to have some recent experience in a mainstream school in an appropriate age group.
Primary with French:
In addition to the requirements listed above, you should hold a degree in French (or have learned French to an equivalent level by other means), or a degree subject with elements of French within it.
As an absolute minimum you should have an A-level (or equivalent) in French, with further evidence of experience of using conversational French.
Primary with Mathematics:
In addition to the requirements listed above, you should have an interest in and enthusiasm for maths.
You should ideally have studied the subject beyond GCSE e.g. have an A-level (or equivalent) in Mathematics, have a degree in Mathematics, or a degree subject with elements of maths within it. However we also welcome applications from anyone who has a strength in maths but who doesn´t necessarily have these qualifications.
Admission to the course is subject to a satisfactory medical report. The University will provide more information about this should you be offered a place.
All offers are subject to a satisfactory enhanced DBS disclosure. We will provide instructions regarding the DBS application process once you have accepted an offer of a place on the course.
The application process for a PGCE is different from other postgraduate courses so please see our information on how to apply.
You should also read this advice for applicants before you apply.
English Language Requirements: You must have a GCSE Grade C in English Language. Please see our entry requirements (left) for more information.
The PGCE Primary covers the following three taught strands:
Professional Studies Strand: The Professional Strand of the PGCE course provides generic foundations for you as a future Primary teacher. It will support your development as a skillful practitioner by helping you to understand and engage with the complex act of teaching. You will cover a range of important elements including planning, teaching, learning, assessment and classroom management, according to the Teachers’ Standards. The sessions are designed to help you develop pedagogical understanding through critical discussion and reflection on classroom action. You will also develop an understanding of the role of teachers and their wider professional responsibilities.
Curriculum Strand: Whilst there is an emphasis on teaching Maths and English, PGCE Primary teaching sessions cover the full range of the Primary National Curriculum and the equivalent strands of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Guidance. Sessions may focus on a single subject area or involve cross-curricular or thematic approaches currently adopted in many schools. Some curriculum work will take place through Focus Days in schools and in other education-related settings with direct links back to specific coursework at the School of Education.
Specialist Studies Strand: An engagement with research is an important element of developing as a critically reflective classroom practitioner; the sessions in this strand will introduce you to a range of theoretical ideas about learning and teaching and their implications for practice. This strand is also designed to help you develop skills related to professional inquiry and will show you how to can carry out small scale studies in your placement classrooms which can then be written up for your two assignments. A significant element of the strand is undertaking a specialist study which includes taught sessions at the University combined with a small project in the spring term school placement. During the autumn term you will select your area for specialist study from options which may include:
Learning, Teaching and Inclusion
Science and Knowledge and Understanding of the World
School Placements: During the PGCE, you will be placed in three contrasting Partnership schools. We are proud to work with over 200 primary schools in the state and independent sectors, and in city, suburban and rural settings, as well as special schools.
Upper Primary students (specialising in the 5-11 age range) are placed in a range of KS1 and KS2 classes, and Lower Primary students (specialising in the 3-7 age range) work in Key Stage One and Foundation Stage settings. In addition to the three block teaching placements you will also visit different schools as part of a series of ´focus days´, studying specific subject and professional topics in an intensive school-based context.
The school-based time is a vitally important element of the course. You will have the opportunity to observe skilled class teachers working and to discuss the things that underpin day-to-day classroom activities, as well as work alongside experienced teacher-mentors who will support your learning about classroom practice.
Teaching Experience 1: This is a six-week paired placement with two students working together in one class. This gives you the opportunity to work with a partner to develop classroom skills in a supportive environment. You will focus on developing observation skills to support your understanding of teaching and learning and to put your learning into practice. During this Autumn Term placement you and your partner will work towards taking an increased responsibility for teaching the class.
Teaching Experience 2: This takes place in the Spring Term and lasts for six weeks. The amount of time spent teaching the class increases over the placement until you have responsibility for up to 80% of the timetable.
Teaching Experience 3: This is an eight-week placement in the Summer Term with students working towards taking responsibility for 80% of the teaching timetable.
Throughout each of these placements you will be encouraged to participate fully in the life of the school and to take full advantage of the tasks and activities designed by your tutors to support your development.
Your placement schools will be decided by your personal tutor following discussions about your professional development needs.
We will support you in applying for teaching posts. The mock interviews we include as part of the course have directly resulted in job offers for our students.
We foster your continued relationship with the School of Education once you become an NQT by supporting your career development in a number of ways.
Education CPD+ offers a range of professional development opportunities for practicing teachers, and we offer Masters courses with a focus on Learning and Teaching, Educational Leadership, TESOL and Applied Linguistics.
Our PhD and EdD opportunities are very popular with those wishing to pursue a particular research interest at doctoral level. We are committed to training excellent teachers during the PGCE and beyond, and we are proud that so many of our students return to the School of Education for further study once qualified.
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