Excalibur TSA
Geography (2XHT)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Bath Spa 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.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

Our ten-month secondary School Direct programme is a blend of school-based teaching practice, in-school Core Curriculum Studies(CCS), and University studies. The programme is carefully designed in conjunction with Bath Spa University to support you to work with the 11-16 age range, and offering, where possible, the experience of A Level teaching.

Our students have placements in two secondary schools during the year. In each placement school you will be supported by our Lead Trainer and a subject mentor, as well as a university-based tutor. During your placements you will continue to be supported by our Lead Trainer, and will spend one afternoon each week at St John’s Marlborough for CCS, in addition to your scheduled CCS days throughout the year. This gives you the chance to share good practice and discuss your experiences and current issues with us, and with other School Direct trainees. You will also spend two blocks of time with Bath Spa University, in September/October and again in January/February.

We are proud of our School Direct training programme and offer a range of benefits including:

  • A bespoke CCS programme exploring current teaching issues including Wellbeing, EAL, SEND, Mental Health, Recovery Curriculum, and supporting disadvantaged/disengaged students.
  • Weekly meetings with other trainees and your Lead Trainer(LT), focusing on key topics
  • The benefit of the expertise of our LT as well as a University Subject Tutor
  • An excellent training base, situated at St John’s Marlborough, and access to our staff CPD programmes with keynote speakers, subject training and presentations on hot topics.
  • Highly experienced and friendly subject mentors
  • A ready-made, friendly support group with other Excalibur trainees, with an opportunity to meet the group at an induction event prior to starting the course in September
  • Confidence that we will work hard to match you to placement schools that will be convenient for you and your family commitments
  • Knowing where your placement schools will be before the course starts
  • Excellent prospects: we work hard to ensure your training year makes you stand out at interview.

We receive extremely positive feedback from our students. Comments have included:-

  • “The support network is great and I know I will always have someone I can approach if I need help”
  • “The information we have been given is very well structured”
  • “My questions and concerns were answered before I had even thought to ask”

Interview process

We carefully consider all the applications we receive, in conjunction with the Admissions team at Bath Spa University.

If you are invited to interview we will notify you by email and on Apply/UCAS. You will normally need to allow up to 3 hours, usually at St John’s Marlborough, for your interview.

The interview process includes a short observed teaching task with a group of students, usually from Year 7 or 8 (or a remote alternative if necessary), a written task, and a formal panel interview. You will be provided with the content of the teaching task, and the age group you will be asked to teach, in advance, as well as any other relevant information to enable you to demonstrate your skills and qualities.

You will need to bring your original examination certificates with you to be checked, as well as some personal identification. This would be checked and passed to Bath Spa University only if we intend to offer you a place on the course.

Following your interview we will aim to notify you of the outcome on UCAS within 2 working days.

Offers may be conditional on completing your degree or other qualifications, or on completing a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course.

If you are offered a place on our course and choose to accept it, we will then contact you with further information about the course.

How school placements work

We aim to match placements to our students’ individual needs wherever we can. Often a number of our students will have family or childcare commitments and we aim to place them in schools that mean travelling time will be kept to a minimum.

You will have two placements. The longest, your Home Placement, will usually be at St John’s Marlborough, Wiltshire, or at John O’Gaunt School in Hungerford, West Berkshire. The shorter, Complementary Placement, may be at another one of our partner schools in the area. In each school you will have a designated subject mentor who has experience of initial teacher training (ITT) and you will be in regular contact with Excalibur Teaching School, through weekly Core Curriculum Studies sessions at St John’s Marlborough.

During your placements you will spend most of your time in the classroom. You will watch experienced teachers in action, and learn to teach classes from initially taking the register, completing a short section of the lesson and gradually moving on to taking the whole class for full blocks of lessons. You will also have the opportunity to experience wider school life in your placement schools, and you will have an experienced personal mentor to guide you.

The weekly Core Curriculum sessions at St John’s take place one afternoon each week while you are on placement, and gives you the opportunity to come together with other Excalibur trainees and with our Lead Trainer to share good practice and discuss your experiences.


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

Financial support

You may also 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.



Minimum academic requirements to apply for a PGCE are:

  • 2.ii degree or above
  • GCSE or equivalent qualifications in English and Mathematics at grade C or above.
  • GCSE or equivalent qualification in the subject to be taught is desirable.
  • A Level or equivalent qualification in the subject to be taught is desirable.

Some experience of working with children/young people and the ability to work as part of a team would be beneficial. While you do not have to have any experience in schools, we strongly recommend you have experience of teaching before applying, for your own benefit.

Personal qualities

Our aim is to train you to embrace the professional qualities and attributes necessary to be an outstanding teacher, and to maximise the outcomes of the children and young people you teach.

Becoming a teacher is very much about being a team member and this will be reflected over the tenure of your programme. You will need to work effectively on joint projects, work collaboratively as a member of a team, and going forward in your career, accept leadership roles. You will need excellent communication skills and the ability to remain professional at all times, without exception.

Other requirements

Successful applicants:

  • may receive offers conditional on completing a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course (where your degree does not closely match your chosen subject, or where there is a significant gap between completing your degree and commencing the PGCE).
  • will be required to complete a Health Questionnaire, ensuring trainees have the health and physical capacity to teach and will not put children and young people at risk of harm.
  • will be subject to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) barred list and criminal records check.

About the training provider

Excalibur Teaching School Alliance offers School Direct Teacher Training through a partnership of schools in Bristol, West Berkshire & Wiltshire. We are based in Wiltshire, at St John’s Marlborough, an outstanding academy within Excalibur Academies Trust, and we work in collaboration with Bath Spa University to develop and deliver cutting-edge teacher training programmes.

Our flexible approach to teacher training enables us to meet your needs and interests in both rural and urban locations across a range of secondary schools.

Our schools are situated in excellent geographical locations, close to the M4 and with access to the thriving cities of Bristol, Reading and Swindon. This enables us to offer a unique blend of town and rural educational experiences. We offer Secondary level School Direct ITT training as well as the opportunity to experience Key Stage 2/3 cross-phase teaching.

We are passionate about the development and training of new teachers within our educational settings. You will be able to learn first-hand from our team of outstanding and experienced teachers and ITT mentors who will support you on your journey to PGCE with QTS status.

About the accredited body

Bath Spa University offers training that ensures your future success as a teacher. Students are taught to recognise their professional responsibilities, as well as the impact they will have on the lives of children and young people. All our PGCE students become Bath Spa Teachers (BSTs), with the expectation that you will embrace the professional qualities and attributes necessary for a successful outcome. Bath Spa University has been awarded a Grade 1 judgement representing an outstanding provision for its primary and secondary teacher education programmes and the highest grade that can be given.

Training with disabilities and other needs

Excalibur Teaching School Alliance is committed to supporting trainees with disabilities. Contact us if you would like to make any adjustments during your application, interview process and training programme.

Trainees will be recruited on the basis of their ability, qualifications and suitability for the position in which they have applied. All applicants will be considered equally and consistently.

Contact details

01672 519575
St John's Marlborough
Granham Hill


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Location Vacancies Code
St John’s Marlborough
Granham Hill, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 4AX
Yes -

Support and advice

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

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