ARK Teacher Training Biology (2DGZ)

Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS)

Financial support

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) 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 PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Age range
11 to 16 - secondary
Course length
1 year - full time
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

Ark Teacher Training’s purpose is to transform children’s lives through education, regardless of their circumstances or background. We are committed to providing the highest quality professional learning for trainee teachers, supporting them to have the biggest impact in the classroom and providing an excellent foundation for a successful career in education.

Ark Teacher Training gives you a firm and solid foundation in how to teach biology. Over the year you will have regular training sessions which are focused on how to be a great teacher of biology. During these sessions, we will cover a range of teaching approaches and methods to inspire and motivate pupils.

We will also cover how to teach children the analytical and mathematical skills that are critical to Biology, whilst covering approaches to ensure that pupils have a solid grasp of core concepts across all three sciences.

Across our network, our Biology teachers also have the chance to share resources and ideas between their own school and other partnership schools. They come together in subject-specific hub days, and work with our Network Lead for Science to improve the Science provision for KS3, GCSE and A-level across the network. By collaborating like this, all our Biology teachers have great support, and are equipped with the tools to enable our pupils to receive the best possible education.

School placements

Your training school - in London, Birmingham, Hastings or Portsmouth - will be matched to your particular profile as a candidate, while taking into account your commuting distance and funding/subject preferences (and availability on our programme, which changes as we move through the recruitment cycle).

Because of Covid-19 restrictions and pressures on schools regarding external visitors, you may not be able to visit your school before accepting an offer there. However, please be assured that schools are equally as keen to invite you to visit in person and will work with you to arrange this as soon as they can (most likely after your DBS check has been completed).

The training programme itself is 100% school-based, but you will come out of school to spend a half day every week in a session with your Ark tutor and other trainees from the network.

You’ll also obtain experience in different schools throughout the year; you will have a three week placement in a different school to your own, and will also have the opportunity to visit other educational settings.


You can select one of the following locations to indicate a preferred placement when you apply.

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Ark Acton Academy
Ark Acton Academy, Gunnersbury Lane, London, W3 8EY
Ark Alexandra Academy
Ark Alexandra Academy, Park Avenue , Hastings , East Sussex , TN34 2PG
Ark All Saints Academy
Ark All Saints Academy, 140 Wyndham Road, Camberwell, London, SE5 0UB
Ark Blake Academy
6 Morland Road, Croydon, London, CR0 6NA
Ark Boulton Academy
Ark Boulton Academy, Golden Hillock Rd, Birmingham, B11 2QG
Ark Burlington Danes Academy
Ark Burlington Danes Academy, Wood Ln, White City, London , W12 0HR
Ark Charter Academy
Ark Charter Academy, Hyde Park Road, Portsmouth, PO5 4HL
Ark Elvin Academy
Ark Elvin Academy, Cecil Avenue, Wembley, London, HA9 7DU
Ark Evelyn Grace Academy
Ark Evelyn Grace Academy, 255 Shakespeare Rd, Brixton, London, SE24 0QN
Ark Globe Academy
Ark Globe Academy, Harper Rd, London , SE1 6AF
Ark Greenwich Free School
Ark Greenwich Free School, 403 Shooters Hill Road, London, SE18 4LH
Ark Isaac Newton Academy
Ark Isaac Newton Academy, Cricklefield Place, London, IG1 1FY
Ark King Solomon Academy
Penfold St, Marylebone, London, NW1 6RX
Ark Kings Academy
Ark Kings Academy, Shannon Rd, Birmingham , B38 9DE
Ark Pioneer Academy
Westcombe Drive, Barnet, London, EN5 2BE
Ark Putney Academy
Ark Putney Academy, Pullman Gardens, London, SW15 3DG
Ark St Albans Academy
Ark St Albans Academy, Conybere St, Birmingham , B12 0YH
Ark Victoria Academy
Ark Victoria Academy, Talbot Way, Birmingham, B10 0HJ
Ark Walworth Academy
Ark Walworth Academy, Shorncliffe Road, London, SE1 5UJ
Chiswick School
Burlington Lane, Chiswick, London, London, W4 3UN
Goresbrook School
Cook Rd, Dagenham, RM9 6XW
Kensington Aldridge Academy
1 Silchester Road, London, W10 6EX
Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy
Victoria Park Road, Hackney, London, E9 7HD

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

If you do not have a degree in or related to your teaching subject of interest, we will need you to have a good (B+) A-level in that subject.

Your degree subject should be in biology 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 will not consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

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

For GCSE equivalency tests, we accept these from and You will need to have passed your GCSE equivalency test before applying to our programme; we will not be able to process your application until you have passed.

Personal qualities

Our applicants have a huge variety of experience between them, all of which can be used in the classroom.

However, there are some qualities we know all successful trainees have, regardless of their background or experience; we look for these at assessment:

  • Alignment with Ark’s values and ethos
  • Some experience with young people (doesn’t have to be in a school)
  • Great communication skills
  • Resilience (teaching is hard!)
  • Curiosity and eagerness to learn
  • Self-awareness and keenness to hear/act on feedback (you’ll receive a lot on our programme, every week!)

Other requirements

There’s a great deal to think about when you make the decision to train as a teacher: it’s an intensive year, but on Ark Teacher Training you’ll be well-supported and have plenty of time with your fellow trainees for moral support every week.

If you have questions about areas not covered in this search tool so far, our website covers a lot of specific information on our programme. Check out our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ if you can’t find what you’re looking for!


For a full overview of the funding available on Ark Teacher Training, please see our website’s funding page.

  • On the salaried route, you will be paid a salary on the unqualified teacher payscale - usually trainees are paid at point 1. The amount varies depending on the Ark region you will be training in (London or outside).

  • Your school will also pay your £9,250 tuition fee

  • If your preference is for the salaried route but you could in fact afford to train on the Tuition fee route, we’d recommend you apply for the non-salaried route. Our places get taken up very quickly, but our schools tend to have more Tuition Fee places available.

Let us know at point of application and we’ll check with you again in the interview if you’re shortlisted.

Fees and financial support

About the training provider

Ark Teacher Training is an Outstanding programme that allows graduates and career changers to become highly-effective, inspiring teachers, learning from some of the best educators in the profession.

We work in low income areas with a history of academic underachievement, striving for the best outcomes for all our pupils, regardless of their background. According to the Department for Education, Ark makes the biggest difference in transforming the lives of disadvantaged students out of all the major school groups.

  • Classroom teaching: from day one, you’ll be in the classroom so you can have an impact straight away. Your tutor and coach will support you to build up your independent teaching time during the year.

  • School orientation experience: before your course starts, spend time in your school meeting your new colleagues and interacting with pupils so you can hit the ground running in September.

  • Summer School: all new trainees come together over two weeks in August for an introduction to the programme, our schools and the principles of great teaching. You’ll also cover the essential elements of behaviour management, so you are ready for day one.

  • Weekly coaching and learning to plan: every week you’ll be observed by your in-school coach, so they can offer you positive feedback and bite-sized improvement targets.

  • Your trained lead planner will help you create effective lessons, developing your planning skills and giving you the opportunity to ask detailed subject -knowledge questions.

  • Weekly training: in-person training sessions with your tutors/peers.

Interview process

Once you’ve checked you’re eligible, you can submit your application directly through the Apply portal, or use our own ‘Apply Now’ form on our website.

  • We’ll assess your application and let you know whether you meet our selection criteria.

  • Applicants who meet our criteria are sent an online situational judgement test to complete. You can preview the format of this test here

  • Pre-recorded video screening If we need more information following your application form, you may be asked to record yourself on video, answering 5 questions that will allow you to articulate your skills and experiences that are transferable to teaching and give us a clearer idea of your potential on our programme.

  • Shortlisted applicants are then invited to our first assessment stage with a recruiter: a video interview and pre-prepared presentation.

  • Successful applicants proceed to the final, school-led assessment. Given ongoing covid restrictions, this is a video interview with a Principal from one of our schools, plus members of our programme delivery and recruitment teams. You’ll ‘teach’ a short lesson and be asked to respond to feedback, and demonstrate your subject knowledge as well as your readiness to train to teach.

If you’re successful, we’ll match you with the school in our network that best fits your profile, and you’ll be offered a place there.

If you applied through our website originally, we’ll ask you to complete your Apply form at this stage so we can finalise our decision through the formal portal.

International candidates

You’ll need the right to work 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 work in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa. The main visa for salaried courses is the Skilled Worker visa.

To apply for a Skilled Worker visa you need to be sponsored by your employer.

Sponsorship is not available for this course.

If you need a visa, filter your course search to find courses with visa sponsorship.

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

  • Disabled access

We want to make sure that our training programme is open to everybody, so if you have a disability we will make every reasonable adjustment to accommodate you throughout the recruitment process, as well as during the training programme if you are offered a place.

Please provide us with details if you would like us to make any adjustments for you on the assessment day. This will in no way affect the outcome of your application.

Whenever we build new schools, we ensure they have wheelchair access to classrooms. However, when an existing school joins the network, we have to work with the existing buildings and these can sometimes have limited accessibility.

  • Study Facilities Your PGCE qualification is accredited by Goldsmiths, University of London. The majority of your training sessions will take place in one of our schools, however, you will still have access to the online journals, library facilities and student support services provided by Goldsmiths.

Contact this training provider

The Yellow Building
1 Nicholas Road

Support and advice

You can speak to a teacher training adviser for free, dedicated advice. They are all experienced teachers who can give you one-to-one support with your application. They can also help you get school experience, and find events where you can speak to training providers and teachers.

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).

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