Important

Apply now to get on a course starting in the 2022 to 2023 academic year

Courses can fill up at any time, so you should apply as soon as you can.

If you’re applying for the first time since applications opened in October 2021, apply no later than 6pm on 6 September 2022.

If your application did not lead to a place and you’re applying again, apply no later than 6pm on 20 September 2022.

Aston Community Education Trust English (23LG)

PGDE with QTS full time

Accredited body
The University of Sheffield
Financial support
Student finance if you’re eligible
Qualification
PGDE with QTS

A postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) will allow you to teach in state schools in England and may allow you to teach in other parts of the UK.

It may also allow you to teach overseas, though you should always check what qualifications are needed in the country you’d like to teach in.

Many PGDE courses include credits towards a Master’s degree.

Age range
11 to 18
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
12 October 2021
Date course starts
September 2022
Website
http://www.astonacademy.org/index.php/school-direct
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Contents

Course summary

Our mission is to open minds to the realities and possibilities of teaching and learning by developing reflective, creative and inquiring teachers.

Our course prepares you to teach your specialist subject(s) to pupils in the 11-19 age range.

You can find out more about your subject by clicking here and scrolling to Modules.

The course is a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) which offers exactly the same teaching experience as a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), but with additional Masters credits, meaning that you will be able to complete your Masters with us as soon as you qualify as a teacher.

You will spend two thirds of the year in school, and one third at the University, giving an excellent blend of practical experience and also a chance to reflect and make use of the research expertise of University-based tutors.

To complement your development as a teacher you will complete four assignments at Masters level, exploring key issues relating to your subject and your role.

Key Features of the Sheffield course

  • A dedicated team of tutors who provide excellent support for all students.
  • Excellent school partnerships. Our longstanding relationships with schools enable us to ensure continuity for students, and many of our partnership schools are closely involved in the University-based parts of the course.
  • A strong subject-specific cohort. You will have the chance to develop working relationships with your peers whilst in the University, which provides you with a support network once out on placement.
  • The chance to reflect. Teaching is an intensive profession, and at the start of your career it is essential that you have the opportunity to develop skills as a reflective practitioner. During your first placement, for example, you will spend every Friday in the University sharing your experiences and considering ways in which you can develop your teaching.

Assessment Your progress in developing the skills of a teacher will be continually assessed throughout the year. You will always be kept aware of your progress and given opportunities to focus on specific areas where necessary.

Your academic work is carefully timed to ensure that you are able to manage your workload. Your Masters assignments are assessed by your University-based tutors, who offer extensive support and guidance to ensure that you are able to succeed.

School placements

You will undertake four periods of school experience:

  • One week in a primary school early in the programme
  • An eight-week placement between October and December
  • A 13-week placement between January and May
  • A 2-week enrichment/enhancement placement in June

In all curriculum areas you will also have the chance to visit a number of schools as a part of the University-centred parts of the PGDE. These visits will focus on specific themes such as working with pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL) or supporting examination groups and will give you the opportunity to gain experience of schools beyond your main placements. Student teachers rate these visits very highly and appreciate the chance to develop a clear view of the kind of school in which they want to begin their careers.

Student teachers are placed at one of our 13 secondary partnership schools in Sheffield, Rotherham and Derbyshire. Our partnership schools vary in their educational setting giving trainees access to a variety of experiences over a wide geographical area.

For secondary, the majority of student teachers will be at Aston Academy for one of their two placements and have another placement at one of our partnership schools. Further information can be found here.

When tutors are arranging placements, personal circumstances such as child-care and additional needs are taken into account as much as possible.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:2 or above, or equivalent.

If less than 50% of your degree is in your specialist subject you will be required to undertake an SKE course as a condition of entry.

As this is an 11-19 course we are preparing students to teach up to A-level and will normally take into account the balance of your degree content and profile of GCSE and A-level (or equivalent) subjects and results to assess your suitability for the programme.

If you have non-standard qualifications you are welcome to contact us to discuss your eligibility.

Your degree subject should be in English or a similar subject. Otherwise you’ll need to prove your subject knowledge in some other way.

Grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths, or equivalent qualification.

We’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

We’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English or maths.

We do not accept equivalency tests from third party organisations. If you are required to take an equivalency test, we will provide full details about our own test(s) at interview. There is no charge for our tests.

Personal qualities

We consider six key elements when selecting students for our PGDE programme:

  • Commitment to teaching
  • Insight into the realities of teaching
  • Resilience
  • An analytical approach to problem solving
  • Enthusiasm for your subject
  • Interpersonal and communication skills

We will consider your strengths in each area during the selection process, including when considering your application form.

Other requirements

As this course leads to a professional qualification, student teachers will be required to undertake a DBS Enhanced Disclosure and Work Health Assessment. All Student teachers will also be required to complete Safeguarding training. Full information about how to undergo these checks will be provided once you accept your place on the course.

If English is not your first language you must have an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in all skills or an equivalent qualification. Further details on equivalent qualifications can be found here.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2022 to 2023 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £20,400

As this course leads to a professional qualification, student teachers will be required to undertake a DBS Enhanced Disclosure and Work Health Assessment and complete Safeguarding training. The anticipated cost for these for 2022 entry is £66*. Student teachers who have already paid for a previous DBS Enhanced Disclosure and signed up to the DBS update service (Enhanced level - Children’s barred list) may pay a reduced fee (anticipated cost £26*).

  • Please note that as we use external companies to undertake training and checks these fees may be subject to change. Also, should you decide to withdraw your application or you do not meet the conditions of your offer, we are unable to provide a refund.

Additional costs to cover non-UK criminal clearance checks may be levied where necessary, and will be payable by the student. Further information can be found here

Students are responsible for the cost of travel to school placements.

Further information about fees, funding and additional costs for the PGDE can be found here

About the training provider

Aston Academy is the lead school for Aston Community Education Trust (ACET) School Direct. At Aston Academy we are committed to providing high quality learning and teaching which is reflected in our Ofsted report where we were judged to be a Good provider.

Trainees are placed at one of our 18 primary or secondary partnership schools in Sheffield, Rotherham and Derbyshire. Our partnership schools vary in their educational setting giving trainees access to a variety of experiences over a wide geographical area.

For secondary, the majority of student teachers will be at Aston Academy for one of their two placements and have another placement at one of our partnership schools. Further information can be found here or here

For primary including early years, trainees have their placements at two of the ACET junior academies. Further information can be found here

Last year 100% of ITT trainees rated their overall placement at Aston Academy as good or outstanding.

So far this year 100% of candidates have rated their in school training as excellent.

Interview process

Once we receive your application we will consider a number of factors in making our decision about whether to interview you:

  • Do you demonstrate a clear interest in becoming a teacher?
  • Do you have strong references that suggest you have the capacity to train to be a teacher?
  • Do you have strong subject knowledge, or an awareness that you need to develop this further?
  • Have you written a strong personal statement, demonstrating your commitment to teaching, your passion for your subject and an understanding of the realities of the profession?

Whilst school experience is not a requirement prior to interview, we tend to find that candidates are more confident during the selection process if they have spent at least some time in schools beforehand. However, if this is not possible, you are strongly encouraged to apply for the course and arrange school experience following the selection process.

Your selection day will take place remotely using Google Meet, and will consist of the following elements:

  • Introduction to the course
  • A task designed to ensure that your subject knowledge is strong
  • A chance to interact with other candidates (where possible), and to reflect on this experience
  • A written task
  • A formal interview, carried out by a University tutor and a school representative

You will be sent relevant materials for the day in advance.

International candidates

You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:

  • are an Irish citizen
  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (you may still be able to apply)
  • have indefinite leave to remain in the UK

If you do not already have the right to study in the UK for the duration of this course, you may need to apply for a Student visa.

To do this, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Before you apply for this course, contact us to check Student visa sponsorship is available. If it is, and you get a place on this course, we’ll help you apply for your visa.

Alternatively, check if you’re eligible for a different type of visa, such as a Graduate or Family visa, that allows you to train to be a teacher without being sponsored.

Find out more about training to teach in England.

International qualifications

If your qualifications come from a non-UK institution, we may want to see a ‘statement of comparability’ from UK ENIC. This will show us how they compare to UK qualifications.

You can call Get Into Teaching on 0800 389 2500 for:

  • guidance on the UK equivalents of your qualifications
  • a free statement of comparability once you’ve submitted your application (if we ask you for this)

Training with disabilities and other needs

As a student teacher at The University of Sheffield you will have full access to support if you have a disability or additional needs. Full information is available here

Additionally, we work closely with all our school partners to ensure that your needs are met whilst on placement, offering support and adaptations where necessary.

The more we know about your additional needs, the easier it is for us to support you to succeed in your development as a teacher.

Contact this training provider

Email
schooldirect@astonacademy.org
Telephone
0114 2872171
Website
http://www.astonacademy.org/index.php/school-direct
Address
Aughton Road
Swallownest
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
S26 4SF

Support and advice

For support and advice, you can speak to a teacher training adviser for free. They’re all experienced teachers who can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events.

You can also call Get Into Teaching free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or chat online Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).

Find out about the different ways to train if you do not have a degree, or are already an experienced teacher.

If there is something wrong with this course listing, contact us by email.