The Downland Alliance
Primary with Mathematics (AY24)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Oxford Brookes University
Financial support
Bursary or 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

Why train with us?

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 
         * Personal to you

Developed in conjunction with Oxford Brookes University, the programme covers a range of activities relating to important educational issues and practical classroom strategies.

Every part of it aims to prepare you to become the best teacher possible. Immersion into the life of a teacher and daily exposure to outstanding practice ensures you have the best possible opportunity to reach your full potential.

We are looking for trainees who display the potential to become outstanding teachers of the future.

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 pupils really well and to understand its policies and practice.

You’ll be part of a team from the very start, receiving intensive support from experienced teachers and mentors, becoming an expert in teaching maths to primary age children and developing skills to inspire them to overcome barriers, solve problems, and elevate their enthusiasm for the subject

The core training package provides:

  • a main placement in one of our partner primary schools
  • a second placement of 6 weeks in a contrasting school
  • a secondary cross phase placement in one of our linked secondary schools
  • the possibility of experience in a special setting such as a Pupil Referral Unit

Training modules will cover:

  • motivating and engaging learners
  • creative lesson planning and design
  • behaviour management
  • assessment for learning
  • special educational needs and disabilities
  • subject knowledge and primary curriculum development
  • inclusion and differentiation
  • understanding school data and its use in the classroom
  • attachment theory and working with children
  • working with parents/carers
  • safeguarding and Child Protection

Assessment is through a combination of written academic assignments and successful completion of two teaching placements with classroom practice observation and feedback from your mentor and tutor.

Training sessions take place in schools within our partnership. Some PGCE sessions may be held at Oxford Brookes University.

Past trainees have commented..

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

Interview process

How do we select our trainees?

You should be very 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 your application form and references.

If shortlisted you will be invited for interview through UCAS and by email at one of our partner schools. You will be sent details of what will be involved before you come along but it could include the following:

 * Meeting students and staff with some time spent in the classroom 
 * Tour of the school
 * A short presentation by you
 * Individual interviews
 * Lesson observation and a teaching task 
 * Written task

You will be judged by the criteria:

 * Appropriateness of your subject qualifications and their relevance 
 * Your capacity to continue professional learning
 * Awareness of the role and responsibilities of the teacher
 * 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 primary schools. You will be judged on your ability to communicate clearly and on your engagement with the audience whether students or staff.

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

How school placements work

From the beginning our trainees have a focus on school-based learning. All our trainees have a mentor who co-ordinates your classroom-related activities.

Your mentor provides guidance and support, and, as the year goes by, judges when and how to increase your experience and responsibilities until you are ready to take on whole classes.

You’ll be ensuring every child gets the chance to leave primary school and begin secondary education with the best opportunity to succeed - you’ll increase essential maths skills needed for everyday life

You will have individual tutor visits from Oxford Brookes University in school.

This personalised approach means that you are supported throughout the course.

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.

Past trainees have commented..

“Training across different 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!”


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

You’ll get a bursary of £6,000 if you have :

  • a degree of 2:2 or above in any subject
  • at least grade B in maths A-level (or an equivalent)

You don’t have to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out about eligibility and how you’ll be paid.

You may 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.

Financial support from the training provider

Many courses are supported by scholarships and bursaries and student finance is available if you are eligible.

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.



You need to have a degree (or equivalent qualification). For equivalent qualifications, you’ll need to confirm your qualification is equivalent to a degree.

If all or part of your qualifications are from outside the UK - you will need to get formal recognition through UK NARIC.

You must be able to show that you can communicate effectively in both spoken and written English.

You’ll need to have GCSE grade C / 4 (or standard equivalent) in mathematics, English and science. Bursaries are available to trainees on primary with maths courses with at least grade B maths A level or equivalent.

Personal qualities

You’ll need to:

  • Be enthusiastic about your Maths specialism!
  • 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 “Fitness to Teach” declaration. This is to ensure that you have the health and physical capacity to teach and is arranged before you start your training.

Statutory guidance, Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education, requires us to ensure that all successful applicants have been subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and criminal records check.

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

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 partners. These include Beedon CE Primary, Compton CE Primary, Lambourn C of E Primary and Chaddleworth and Shefford CE Primary.

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

Our course leads to QTS and PGCE - both 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 teaching career.

There is a complete programme of training offered in West Berkshire from NQT 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 and teachers ensures you have the best possible opportunity.

About the accredited body

Our partnership with Oxford Brookes University brings together high-quality teacher training with our school led programmes designed for the real world of education.

Support and academic teaching is provided by both school mentors and academic tutors at Oxford Brookes University. You will attend lectures and seminars and complete a variety of assignments and research tasks. You will be able to use all the facilities at the Harcourt Hill University campus for your studies should you want to –including the Library Resources. Further information is available on the Oxford Brookes website. (

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 Teaching School Manager for further information.

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

Contact details

01635 270096
Downland Alliance - The Downs School
RG20 6AD


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

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