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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 2020, apply no later than 6pm on 7 September 2021.

If your application did not lead to a place and you’re applying again, apply no later than 6pm on 21 September 2021.

Waverley School Direct Primary (37B8)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Newman University
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.

Age range
3 to 7
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
24 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

The Primary PGCE (3-7) is designed to develop your skills and confidence as a Foundation Stage/KS1 teacher. The course focuses on all National Curriculum subjects, with emphasis on English, Maths, Science and ICT, and includes specialist study of the early years’ foundation stage curriculum and the distinctive pedagogies encountered in reception/nursery classrooms. You will learn the principles of curriculum design and delivery as well as theories of learning and teaching. We want our trainees to emerge as reflective teachers who can respond effectively to the learning needs of young children of all abilities and needs, with a particular focus on challenges and opportunities experienced in our area of Birmingham.

Our PGCE course maximises your practical experience in classrooms, but also takes advantage of the depth and breadth of experience of university tutors, underpinned by educational theory. We start with July induction, with sessions at Waverley School and liaison with your host school.

Your training consists of university core PGCE provision (approx. 30 days and including academic writing support), plus a complementary school-led programme delivered by practising teachers. This school-led element (approx. 17 sessions) comprises primary pedagogy, group tutorial and cross-phase sessions, with two of our partner schools as training sites. This is in addition to the daily support, experience and guidance from your host and second schools.

You are attached to your host school from start September before an intensive five week training block at university, during which you return to school one day per week to give you a practical context for your learning. You then join school full-time, with the exception of occasional Fridays at university. You will have substantial experience of two schools and key stages during the year, as well as further opportunities to develop your breadth of knowledge and understanding. You start by teaching short activities and small groups, gradually building up your skills and confidence for teaching whole-class lessons.

You are assessed against the Teacher Standards, through regular lesson observation with supportive feedback and your self-reflection. You also complete two Master’s Level assignments of 4000 words each. After final assessment in early July, you are offered a bespoke opportunity to extend your experience, aimed at enhancing your early career prospects and enabling you to be the best teacher you can be.

Course details above are subject to adjustment due to any ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and/or revalidation of Newman University PGCE programmes.

School placements

We actively recruit for the trainees we want and need for our core partnership of primary schools in the centre and east of Birmingham, within a five mile radius of Waverley School. We are a small group of schools sharing the common goal of making a real difference through the power of education to the areas of socio-economic disadvantage within which we are located.

We also work with a wider network of schools to offer second placements in particular. Sometimes a new school approaches us as they already know a potential applicant; and sometimes an applicant introduces a potential new host school to us. We are always happy to consider new partners. Some trainees travel long distances from outside the area to come and work with us so we really value this wider network of partners.

We take many factors into account when selecting main and second placements for our trainees, with home location being a key consideration. We also invite successful applicants to express a preference should they wish following interview and we will take reasons given into account when making decisions.

Our course is designed so that you benefit from the best that Newman University and ‘on-the-job’ learning can offer. You can expect to spend over 155 days attached to classrooms and working with children, about 30 days of which will be with your second school.

Placement details above are subject to adjustment due to any ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and/or following the revalidation of Newman University PGCE programmes.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

  • An honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK Higher Education Institution, or equivalent qualification. We consider applicants on a case by case basis.
  • GCSE in English language, Maths and a Science at grade C/4 or above, or equivalent qualifications.

You must meet these academic requirements by the start of the course, not necessarily before application.

Personal qualities

You need a passion for teaching and developing young children. You will want to make a difference in some of the most socio-economically deprived areas of Birmingham. You will have excellent communication skills and be reflective, able to respond positively to feedback and learn from your mistakes. We are looking for resilience, trainees who can both work hard and keep trying when things do not go to plan. We need team players, willing to support others – and to be supported. You need to be organised and highly professional at all times. And you need to enjoy learning yourself!

Other requirements

The requirements below need to be met by successful applicants following acceptance of our offer:

  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance.
  • Fitness to Teach process.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2021 to 2022 are £9,250.

About the training provider

Our partnership of schools work in areas of significant socio-economic disadvantage and, together with our university partners, we are passionate about providing high-quality teaching and learning opportunities to all the children in our care. We really make a difference and we work hard to recruit, train and retain talented new colleagues in our schools. We are now recruiting for our seventh cohort of aspiring teachers.

Key features of our programme include:

  • A range of courses for Foundation/KS1, Primary and Secondary;
  • Full postgraduate PGCE award including 60 credits at Master’s level;
  • A three year commitment to supporting your early career;
  • School-led sessions delivered jointly by primary and secondary teachers;
  • Extensive support provided by high-quality tutors, subject colleagues and School Direct staff;
  • 100% employment rate for our trainees in 2016, 2017 and 2018;
  • The option to develop a SEND focus or other area of interest;
  • Starting your teaching career in Birmingham: great diversity, social life and affordability!

When designing our training programme we draw on some of the unique features of Waverley School, an all-through school housed in modern award-winning facilities. Please come and visit us to find out more!

About the accredited body

Newman University is one of the largest Accredited Provider of School Based Initial Teacher Training in the West Midlands. It has established an excellent reputation for producing high-quality teachers, who understand the needs of the children they teach, and develop creative and effective practice. Newman’s experienced tutors and strong supportive relationships with our partnership and schools throughout the West Midlands will support your learning and ensure high quality education through whichever School Direct PGCE subject/phase you choose. In the latest National Student Satisfaction Survey, the university was ranked Number 1 (overall) in Birmingham for student satisfaction.

Interview process

We review all applications to assess eligibility and potential suitability for the programme to which a candidate is applying. We recruit and fill places from when UCAS opens in October, so do not delay in submitting your application. We close courses as they are filled.

We work with our university partners to co-ordinate the recruitment process and hold interviews on a regular basis. You will be asked to attend one interview session, led by Waverley School and conducted online. A senior Waverley School Direct colleague and a university specialist tutor will usually form the interview panel, though sometimes partner schools are also represented.

The interview consists of a short teaching presentation, where we gauge your ability to present information effectively to the appropriate age range, have an impact on an audience and the level of your subject knowledge. You will be given information about this in advance. There is also a set of formal interview questions where we evaluate your experience of working with young people to date, your subject knowledge, and your commitment to, and understanding of, the role of a trainee and teacher.

Training with disabilities and other needs

Trainees are encouraged to declare any additional needs that they might have through the initial application process and the Fitness to Teach process for successful applicants. Needs are also addressed through the nature of our individualised training programmes. Our aim is to enable trainees to participate fully in all aspects of their training. All trainees attend Waverley School for school-led sessions plus the relevant university/college provider for their course. Please see more information about each site below.

Waverley School provides lift access to all floors and numerous accessible toilet facilities. There is also step-free access to the Training facility via the car park should lifts not be in service.

Newman University has accessibility arrangements across its site and offers a full Disability and Mental Health Service for its students. Please see their website.

Birmingham City University (Modern Foreign Languages, Design and Technology, Art and Design and Music Programmes only) is based at City South campus where all areas which require student access are accessible to wheelchair users. There is a full Disability Support Team available. Please see their website.

Contact this training provider

0121 566 6600 ext. 31062
Waverley School
Yardley Green Road
West Midlands
B9 5QA

Support and advice

For support and advice, you can speak to a Get Into Teaching 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 speak to an adviser using their online chat service Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm (except public holidays).

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