The Downland Alliance Drama (2PQZ)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Oxford Brookes 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
11 to 18
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
12 October 2021
Date course starts
September 2022


About the course

We aim to provide a programme which has at its heart 3 main objectives.

It is a programme which is highly professional, of consistent high quality and personal to you.

Accredited by Oxford Brookes University, the programme covers a wide range of activities.

Immersion into a teacher’s daily life and exposure to outstanding practice ensures you have the best opportunity to reach your full potential.

We look for trainees who display the potential to become outstanding drama teachers of the future and who will develop in their students a passion to become contributing citizens and enthusiastic life-long learners.

As one of our trainees, you are attached to one “host” school for much of the year. This makes it possible for you to get to know the school’s teachers and students and to understand their policies and practices.

The core training package provides:

  • a main placement in one of our partner secondary schools
  • a second placement of 6 weeks in a contrasting school
  • a primary cross phase placement in one of our linked primary schools
  • 6th form experience
  • the possibility of experience in a special setting

Training modules cover:

  • professional behaviours
  • high expectations and managing behaviour
  • behaviour management - building a culture for learning
  • how students learn - the science of learning
  • how to plan and teach effective lessons
  • improving outcomes for students – particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with additional needs.
  • developing subject knowledge and curriculum development
  • how to adapt teaching to support students’ outcomes
  • assessment of learning
  • working with parents and carers
  • supporting student mental health
  • safeguarding and child protection

Assessment is through engagement with the core content framework training, analysis and reflection, three academic assignments and successful completion of two teaching placements with classroom practice observation and formal feedback from your mentor and tutor to ensure you meet the teaching standards by the end of the course.

You’ll be part of a team from the start, receiving intensive support from your experienced mentor so you won’t be teaching classes unsupported until you’re ready.

What do our trainees say?

“All the schools are excellent nurturing supportive environments. The training staff are engaging and informative; crucially the majority are senior leaders in their schools so their expertise is up to date and hands on.”

School placements

As a school direct trainee you are based in one of our secondary partner schools and from the beginning there will be a focus on school-based learning.

You will have a school based mentor who co-ordinates your classroom-related activities. They provide guidance and support and, as you develop your skills, judge when and how to increase your experience and responsibilities until you are ready to take on whole classes.

Another experienced teacher in the school (the ITT coordinator) co-ordinates activities relating to general educational issues.

You will also have individual tutor support from Oxford Brookes University.

This personalised approach means that you are supported throughout the course and you don’t have to worry about being thrown in at the deep end until you are ready.

Gradually you will begin to teach parts of lessons, and then short series of lessons. Before and after Christmas, almost all your time will be spent in schools, with a complementary placement at another local school arranged for approximately 6 weeks during February. There is also the opportunity for a cross phase placement.

We cannot guarantee your main placement will be in a particular host school - we do, however, take account of any specific requests and always consider any issues including individual travel distances. This forms part of the discussions which take place during the selection process. Above all, we consider which of the schools will be a “best fit” for you coupled with the mentor involved and where there are vacancies.

The majority of our training sessions, which are not school classroom based, take place in one of our partnership schools, although we may use an external venue such as Shaw House in Newbury.

PGCE sessions are delivered by Oxford Brookes University and generally take place at The Downs School.

What do our trainees say?

“Training across schools enables you to learn as much as possible and see a range of techniques.”

“Our mentors as well as the training staff are invaluable for their experience teaching wisdom and support. There is always someone to turn to if you feel your ship is sinking!”

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

Please contact us if you have a query.

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 offer equivalency tests.

Details of the testing provider and the costs are available at

Personal qualities

You should have a commitment to education and young people and be passionate about making a difference.

You’ll need to:

  • Be enthusiastic about your subject
  • Have a keen interest or hobby
  • Work on joint projects - successes in team working are important
  • Take part in discussions and respond to written materials so interpersonal, communication and writing skills are important.
  • Have organisational skills, a good work ethic, a positive approach to your own learning, resilience and a sense of humour!
  • Have the perseverance required to complete your training and become a member of the profession

Other requirements

You will need to complete a “Fit to Teach” declaration. This is to ensure that you have the health and physical capacity to teach and it is arranged before you start your training.

Statutory guidance, Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education, requires us to ensure that all trainees have been subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and criminal records check before they start their training.

Having school experience will help support your application, but don’t worry if you don’t have any – it isn’t a mandatory requirement.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2022 to 2023 are £9,250.

The fees of £9,250 include both PGCE and QTS.

The option can be available to undertake QTS only in which case the fees are £7,250.

Financial support from the training provider

Many courses are supported by scholarships and bursaries. Student finance is available if you are eligible. Details on ways to fund your training are available on the “Get into Teaching” website.

To encourage and reward training to teach in certain specified subjects teachers in specific areas of England, the Teachers’ Student Loan Reimbursement scheme will pay back the student loan repayments you’ve made in the previous year.

About the training provider

This is a unique opportunity to train with a highly successful group of schools that make up our partnership, located in the beautiful county of West Berkshire but close to Oxford, Reading, Winchester and London.

A wide spectrum of high achieving schools ensures a range of opportunities including a primary/secondary placement and 6th form experience for secondary trainees.

The secondary in-school training is organised jointly by The Downs, Compton, St Bartholomew’s, Newbury, Kennet, Thatcham and Park House, Newbury.

Our primary training is organised jointly by our primary partner schools - a full list is available on our website.

The Downs School is the school direct lead school; it has been judged outstanding in all areas by Ofsted.

Our courses lead to either QTS and PGCE or you can apply for QTS only - these professional qualifications are awarded by Oxford Brookes University so you get the best of both worlds – high quality school led training linked to a renowned higher education institution.

Our training programme is just the first step on your career.

There is a complete programme of training offered in West Berkshire from Early Career Teacher to becoming a school leader, if you have the right skills.

School-led courses have high rates of employment and, above all, of trainee satisfaction.

Every part of our programme is aimed at preparing you to be the best teacher possible. Immersion into the life of the teacher and daily exposure to outstanding practice ensures you have the best possible opportunity.

About the accredited body

The School of Education at Oxford Brookes is one of the largest schools of education in the UK,

The university’s core belief is that education has the power to change lives and it is proud of its strong reputation for bringing this great gift to its students who will in turn work with children and adults to open up the world of learning and knowledge.

Our partnership with The Downland Alliance is very well established.

Together we aim to educate excellent teachers to become agents of change, improving classroom practice for future generations.

Interview process

How do we select our trainees?

You should be clear in your personal statement about why you want to become a teacher, the skills involved and what you can bring to the profession.

Your application will be shortlisted from the details and references.

If shortlisted, you will be invited for interview - this initial interview may be on line.

It could include the following:

  • a subject specific / teaching task presentation by you
  • an individual interview

If you are successful at this stage you will be asked to attend a further session at one of our schools to meet students and staff and spend some time in the classroom. You will also have a tour of the school.

You numeracy and literacy skills will be assessed during our programme.

You will be judged by the criteria:

  • appropriateness of your subject qualifications and the relevance to subject teaching
  • your capacity to continue professional learning
  • awareness of the role and responsibilities of the teacher
  • any school experience
  • resilience
  • ability to communicate effectively
  • your enthusiasm for and commitment to teaching
  • awareness of your personal strengths and weaknesses

You will be expected to be familiar with key issues and developments in schools – especially in your subject area.

The programme for the selection process includes a collaborative approach between Oxford Brookes University and our partner schools.

International students

We cannot sponsor visas. You’ll need to get the right visa or status to study in the UK.

You do not need a visa if you already have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or if you’re an Irish citizen.

Candidates with qualifications from non-UK institutions may need to provide evidence of comparability by applying for a UK ENIC statement.

Training with disabilities and other needs

We welcome applications from all sectors of the community including if you have a disability or other individual needs.

We will make any necessary arrangements to help you attend your interview and reasonable adjustments to enable you to undertake your training.

Please ensure you let us know by contacting our Teacher Training Manager for further information.

Schools within the partnership have partial disabled access and Oxford Brookes University has full disabled access.

Contact this training provider

01635 270096
Downland Alliance - The Downs School
RG20 6AD

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).

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

Is there something wrong with this page?

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