The Mead National Teaching School
Primary (23Y9)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
The University of Gloucestershire
Financial support
Student finance if you’re eligible

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.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
8 October 2019
Date course starts
September 2020


About the course

We call members of our School Direct Programme ‘Graduate Teachers’ (GTs) and they work within The Mead Academy Trust and our partner schools. GTs follow a school-based training programme and work alongside outstanding practitioners. This develops the rigour, professional knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to create inspirational, creative, purposeful teachers, within a highly supportive environment.

High quality training is delivered by outstanding teachers within The Mead Academy Trust, partnership schools and The University of Gloucester. Input within The Mead includes a range of specialist pedagogical workshops, seminars and practice-based opportunities.

GTs have full access to The University of Gloucester, an outstanding provider of teacher education, and its excellent facilities.

All GTs receive the highest quality support throughout their School Direct experience from both The Mead and the University, including academic and pastoral support. The vast majority of training takes place in Trowbridge, and is facilitated by University and school staff. GTs attend the University’s Cheltenham campus for a maximum of 8 days throughout the year. Access to your own transport, or willing use of public transport, is essential!

Each GT is assigned a mentor who provides the highest quality coaching, mentoring and support.

Our GTs receive more than three dedicated days of SEND input, which ensures they are able to support the teaching and learning of children with additional needs. We also provide specialist music input. These enhanced modules provide pedagogical and practical input, supporting the development of a high level of knowledge, skills and understanding.

The programme begins on the first day of the school term and ends on the last day of the academic year. All GTs are welcomed as full members of staff and encouraged to immerse themselves in all aspects of school life, including development days, monitoring and evaluation, extra-curricular activities, residentials, and community events.

Here are some of the things our past GTs said their experiences: ‘The Mead have provided a brilliant induction and everyone I’ve met has been so friendly and helpful. It’s a very welcoming Trust! Overall a comfortable introduction to my teacher training with elements of stretch but no panic! One of the sessions I found most helpful was looking at the videos of teachers and analysing their teaching methods, questioning, behaviour management. This was really inspiring and very helpful in showing us how to observe and learn from our mentors’.

This fee-paying route is subject to the University’s course fees (

Interview process

UCAS Applications: Application forms are carefully checked for spelling, grammar, and style of writing. It’s a cliche but it’s true - first impressions count. Make sure yours is a good one. You should complete the form with professionalism and attention to detail.

Your personal statement and references should show us what you’re like as a person.

If we like your application, we will invite you to an assessment day at our Hilperton site. This will consist of two elements - working with children and an interview panel. You will have time to tour the school, visit our classrooms and talk to staff and children.

Working with children: You will receive an ‘inspiration’ before the assessment day, which may be a picture, a poem, or something else. You will need to prepare a 20-minute activity for a group of 6-8 children and will be observed by one of our senior leaders.

Afterwards, you’ll have the opportunity to reflect on this session and consider what went well and what you might do differently in future.

Interview panel: We will give you the opportunity to talk with members of our Senior Leadership Team in a formal interview setting. This is your chance to share with us in more detail the type of person you are, and the kind of teacher you aspire to be. The panel will naturally have questions for you, and you will also have the chance to ask them questions.

How school placements work

Our Graduate Teachers (GTs) complete two or three placements during their School Direct year and are placed in at least one Mead Academy Trust school: Terms 1 & 2: Placement 1 - Host school within The Mead Academy Trust Terms 3 & 4: Placement 2 (Main Placement) - Alternative placement school within The Mead Academy Trust or a partner school (with a Key Stage switch) Terms 5 & 6: Placement 3 (Enhancement Placement) - Placement school within The Mead Academy Trust

Teachers from all Trust schools join together for staff meetings, planning, and social events, which ensures best practice and knowledge is shared across all of our schools.

Our GTs are an integral part of these activities and benefit from the wealth of experience working across three schools brings.

We will work hard to place GTs in a school that fits their needs and preferences. Find out more about our partner schools here:

We fully recognise the vibrancy, enthusiasm and drive GTs offer our school communities and our teachers are eager to share their knowledge and practice with the next generation.

Accommodation: The School Direct partnership does not provide any accommodation for GTs. However, there is a good range of rental accommodation available at reasonable prices.

Childcare facilities: A range of childcare providers are available locally, including a nursery at all three schools. Our nurseries accept 2 and 3 year old funding, but you will need to apply for a place as you would any setting. Find more information about our nurseries on our individual school websites, and Wiltshire Council offers an online directory of providers:

Disability access: Applicants who would benefit from any environmental adjustments should let us know on application so we can ensure placements are made at appropriate schools. Please contact us at to discuss specific access issues further.

Public transport: Trowbridge, Melksham and the surrounding area is well served by mainline rail/bus services.


The course fees for 2020 to 2021 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250

This is a fee paying route, and is subject to the University of Gloucester’s course fees.

You can read about them here:

Financial support

You may also be eligible for a loan while you study – note that you’ll have to apply for undergraduate student finance.

Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.



GCSEs: You must hold Grade A-C in English, Maths and Science when you apply for a place. We will not invite you to an assessment day if you do not have these qualifications when you apply.

If you hold equivalency qualifications you should contact UCAS to check that these are acceptable before applying.

Degree: You should be an Honours graduate with a 1st or a 2:1 degree. We will consider applicants who have a 2:2 who demonstrate a real aptitude for teaching, and are keen to continue their own professional development journey.

Personal qualities

Our Graduate Teachers (GTs) are:

  • Passionate and enthusiastic
  • Motivated to become dedicated teachers
  • Eager to learn from our experienced staff
  • Able to respond positively to advice/mentoring

You need to be:

  • Confident with staff/parents/children
  • Able to build good relationships
  • Highly organised
  • Professional from day one
  • Able to demonstrate your motivation/ability to teach

You need to have some experience of working with children and be able to demonstrate how this inspired you to teach.

Some GTs join us from University, others are pursuing a second career and we welcome applicants from all backgrounds.

Other requirements

Disclosure & Barring Scheme: You will be subject to an enhanced DBS check before you can begin your course.

Experience: Before beginning the programme you need experience of working with primary school children - e.g. voluntary work with a children’s group, or in a school. Crucially, you need to demonstrate how this experience has inspired you to become a teacher.

About the training provider

The Mead Teaching School is part of The Mead Academy Trust, and is an inspirational and innovative learning and teaching environment. We were designated a Teaching School in September 2011, and have an extremely successful track record in Initial Teacher Training.

Our Trust is a family of three schools, The Mead and Castle Mead Schools, Trowbridge and River Mead School in Melksham. All three have their own nurseries. Castle Mead and River Mead also have Resource Bases for children with complex needs.

The Mead is an outstanding school based across two sites. Ofsted inspections in 2011 and 2014 highlighted: ‘The school’s learning environment, indoors and outdoors is amazing. It provides a wealth of high quality learning experiences… Teachers are extremely well trained. They have excellent subject knowledge and plan exciting activities for all groups of pupils. Pupils love coming to school.’

Castle Mead is a ‘Good’ school. It opened in 2014 and is growing into a two-form entry school. In 2017, Ofsted said that ‘The school’s curriculum is exciting, interesting and relevant. Trips, visitors and projects ‘bring learning to life’. They engage and inspire pupils to learn well.’

River Mead is a smaller than average primary and nursery school. In 2019 it was graded as ‘Good’ in its Ofsted inspection. The school was described as ‘a nurturing haven of aspiration. Pupils… demonstrate pride in their learning and show an appetite to learn’. Additionally, ‘Leaders implement a high-quality curriculum which promotes pupils’ achievement across a range of subjects very well’.

About the accredited body

At the University of Gloucestershire, practice in the School of Education is based on a clearly defined set of values; the transformational potential of education, the centrality of social justice to actions, the value of community and a belief that diversity enriches learning.

As educators the University, like you, is interested both in the immediate impact our practice can have as well as the investment in the futures of our learners.

Leading the way in high quality research, teaching and professional education, the University has earned an excellent reputation both in terms of student satisfaction and quality of course delivery.

Training with disabilities and other needs

Applicants who would benefit from any environmental adjustments should let us know on application so we can ensure any necessary arrangements are made for interview and any subsequent placements.

Please contact Kyra Ings at to discuss any specific access issues further.

Contact details

01225 759273
The Mead Teaching School
Hackett Place
BA14 7GN


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Support and advice

For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.

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