Waverley School Direct Primary (S002)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Birmingham City 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
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

The Primary PGCE (3-7) is designed to develop your skills and confidence as a teacher of younger primary children. The course focuses on all National Curriculum subjects and includes specialist study of the early years’ foundation stage curriculum and the distinctive pedagogies encountered in reception/nursery classrooms. 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 (including academic writing support), plus a complementary school-led programme delivered by practising teachers. This school-led element 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 six week training block at university, supported by school-led sessions. You then join school on a largely full-time basis. 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.

Your progress is assessed through regular lesson observation with supportive feedback and your self-reflection. You will also complete Master’s Level assignments. 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 renewed impact of COVID-19 and ITT system changes.

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 Birmingham City University and ‘on-the-job’ learning can offer. You can expect to spend over 140 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 renewed impact of COVID-19 and ITT system changes.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree, or equivalent.

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

We’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

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

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 2023 to 2024 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 ninth 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 by current primary and secondary teachers;
  • Extensive support provided by high-quality tutors, subject colleagues and School Direct staff;
  • High levels of employment for our trainees in local schools;
  • 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

Birmingham City University (BCU) trains more teachers than anyone else in the region (HESA, 2016) and never gives up in its aspirations for tomorrow’s teachers. BCU graduates are very employable - 99% of all PGCE students were in employment or further study six months after graduating (DLHE 2016/17). The courses are taught by staff who are experienced professionals and maintain links with their sector to ensure the most up-to-date learning during your course. The School of Education is located at the City South Campus in Edgbaston, which has recently had a £41 million extension giving trainees excellent specialist facilities.

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 DfE Apply 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, usually at Waverley School. A senior Waverley School Direct colleague and a university specialist tutor will usually form the interview panel, though often partner schools are also represented.

The interview consists of a short teaching episode, where we gauge your ability to present information effectively to the appropriate age range, to interact with young learners 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 children to date, your subject knowledge, and your commitment to, and understanding of, the role of a trainee and teacher.

You will also complete diagnostic exercises at the time of interview so we can gauge what additional support you might need, if any, to undertake professional tasks and to work at PGCE Master’s level.

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, you may need to apply for a visa. The main visa for fee-paying courses (those that you have to pay for) is the Student visa.

To apply for a Student visa, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

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

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 (and other school sites) for school-led sessions plus the university provider for their course. Please see more information about each main 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.

Birmingham City University 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 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.