Winchester Schools’ Partnership Biology (2XF9)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
University of Winchester
Financial support
Bursaries and student finance are available 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 16
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
12 October 2021
Date course starts
September 2022


About the course

You will follow a programme that, alongside classroom teaching, includes lesson observation, training within a host school, alliance based training days and time spent at university. Our schools have a close working relationship with The University of Winchester and a proven track record of success in training teachers and this is reflected in the training that is provided.

The course prepares you to teach across the age ranges 11-16 and is structured around six modules - a combination of taught modules based at the University and placement modules based in schools or educational settings.

You will undertake studies in all elements of secondary education; extend your knowledge of learning and teaching, of the breadth and scope of the curriculum and the professional skills associated with high-quality teaching. You will then apply these areas of understanding and skill to classroom practice throughout the year, including during two assessed placements in schools or educational settings.

Our School Direct trainee teachers generally spend Monday to Thursday each week in school with either in-school or university based training on Fridays. Some Fridays are given to preparation for assignments or self-directed study.

In the first half term after Christmas, our trainee teachers spend six weeks in a second placement school and you will be in school for five days per weeks for most of these.

Successful completion of the course leads to Qualified Teacher Status, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and credits towards a Master’s Degree.

Assessment of your teaching will take place throughout the year. There are more formal reviews of your in-school performance though and these take place at the following points:

  • at the end of the first full term
  • after your second placement has been completed
  • at the end of your second full term
  • towards the end of the Summer Term.

School placements

For much of the year, you will be based in your main host school for four days per week and you will be supported to develop your own classroom practice, learning from experienced teachers and receiving guidance and feedback from them. You will have a nominated in-school mentor who will support you on a day-to-day basis and you will have dedicated time to meet with them each week.

Generally, by the end of the first term, our School Direct trainee teachers are teaching about 50 per cent of a qualified teacher’s timetable. In order to prepare you for your Newly Qualified Teacher’s (NQT) year, this increases to approximately 60 and then 70 per cent in terms two and three respectively. Your main host school will always be a school that is part of Winchester Schools’ Partnership.

Following a week of orientation, you will complete a six week second placement in another school after Christmas and there is flexibility around the nature of the school that you attend for this period. It is possible for you to undertake your placement in another WSP school but if you wish to experience teaching in a school in another area, we can generally arrange this for you. We always look to ensure that our trainee teachers have a broad and balanced experience but also try to respond to their individual interests where possible.

Any questions about how school placements work or, indeed, any other queries, can be raised at interview.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:1 or above, or equivalent.

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.

Personal qualities

We will look for evidence of a commitment to the teaching profession, an understanding of professional requirements, and an awareness of current educational issues in an application. Prior experience in a school is not required; however, prospective students may find experience in a school useful for obtaining insights into the primary education classroom. Experience in a school or similar setting may also provide reassurance to prospective students that teaching is the right choice for their career.

Other requirements

If you accept an offer of a place, you will be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal records check and Prohibition Order check. If you have spent time overseas in the last 5 years you may also be required to obtain criminal records checks from each of the countries you visited. You will also be required to complete an occupational health check to confirm that you are fit to teach. The University of Winchester will send you more information about when and how you need to complete each of these checks if you accept our offer.

Fees and financial support

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

Trainees who follow our School Direct Training Programme, are based in school for much of the year but are not employed by that institution. Course/Tuition fees are paid by trainees although funding is often available through tuition fee loans, bursaries or scholarships.

The tuition fees for September 2019 entry are £9,250 for UK, EU and Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) students; however, the tuition fees for students outside the EU are yet to be confirmed for 2019 entry. Please contact in the autumn for confirmation of the fee.

About the training provider

Winchester Schools’ Partnership comprises of schools within the City of Winchester, Peter Symonds Sixth Form College and The University of Winchester. Our aim is to provide excellent teacher training for our city and the surrounding area.

The University of Winchester is recognised by OFSTED as an ‘Outstanding’ provider of teacher education at both primary and secondary level and has a long history of training teachers. Our schools, meanwhile, have considerable experience and expertise in developing and supporting both qualified teachers and those entering the teaching profession.

Winchester is a beautiful and well situated city which has many good and outstanding schools and children growing up in the area receive an education of high quality. It is a fantastic place to live and work and, as a trainee teacher, you will be within schools that are totally committed to providing you with the best training year possible. We offer both primary and secondary positions and also are able to provide short term placements within a special school or sixth form college to interested applicants.

The school based mentors of our School Direct teachers are very experienced and often outstanding teachers who are well trained in coaching, classroom observation and feedback skills. They work closely with staff at The University of Winchester, an institution with which the schools have an excellent relationship. Since the inception of School Direct, all those who have completed the course with WSP and wanted to apply for newly qualified teacher posts have successfully gained employment.

Interview process

Following the receipt of applications, there will be a shortlisting procedure involving representatives from partner schools who will look to match applicants with the most appropriate placements.

We interview all shortlisted applicants prior to making an offer to train with us. Interview panels include senior staff from alliance schools, heads of subject (secondary) and a representative from The University of Winchester.

Interviews may include any of the following: a tour of the school; small group or class teaching; a Maths and written task; a verbal presentation; a formal interview; lesson observation; time within the relevant subject area for secondary applicants.

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

Your well-being is a top priority and we will do all we can to give you the chance to flourish and maximise your potential. In partnership with The University of Winchester, there is a dedicated student support team to help with any questions or challenges you might experience during your studies. We work with you to support your well-being and mental health, provide confidential advice and offer workshops to boost your academic skills. If you have a disability or learning difference, we encourage you to get in touch before you apply so we can discuss tailored support for your individual needs.

Contact this training provider

01962 861161
Kings' School
Romsey Road
SO22 5PN

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.