Acorns Early Years Training Centre Primary (2Z77)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
The Cambridge Partnership
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 11
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

Trainees on the School Direct tuition fee route will be in a classroom working with experienced colleagues. You will also be appointed a mentor with whom you will meet at least once a week. The mentor and class teacher are often the same person.

The course is full time with weekly training sessions and workshops (mainly on a Monday) covering all aspects of teaching the primary curriculum, which compliments the in-school training experience provided. The training sessions will be led by expert practitioners who will support you to develop your knowledge, skills and understanding of teaching and learning effectively in a primary school.

As part of the programme trainees will have placements in two contrasting educational settings. As the year progresses they will spend an increasing amount of time in school and by the summer term will be based at their placement school full time. Trainees will spend some time in a special school and have focus days to enhance their expertise and understanding of SEND.

A programme of continuous formative assessment of trainees’ professional understanding and subject knowledge (as specified in the Core Content Framework) alongside your ability to teach culminates in a rigorous summative assessment against the Teachers’ Standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) as specified by the Department for Education (DfE). The Pilgrim Partnership, working with The Cambridge Partnership as the accredited provider, recommends trainees, on successful completion of their training programme for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Trainees will also study for a PGCE alongside QTS.

Trainees will be required to pay tuition fees and can apply to the Student Loans Company for tuition fee and maintenance loans.

School placements

Trainees will have placements in two contrasting educational settings. These placements could vary from nursery to year 6 dependent upon the age range of training. In addition trainees will spend some time in a special school.

Trainees will be allocated a school taking into account their geographical location and individual needs.

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.

The Pilgrim Partnership will accept equivalent GCSE qualifications in English, maths and science by a recognised third party. As an exam will incur a cost please contact us to make sure the awarding body is acceptable.

Personal qualities

The Pilgrim Partnership, working with The Cambridge Partnership as the accredited provider, and its partners are looking for ambitious trainee teachers who are passionate and enthusiastic about working with children. The programme is challenging, and so we are looking for candidates with a wide range of skills, knowledge, experiences and an aptitude for teaching.

Candidates should be aware of contemporary issues in education.

Other requirements

  • Declaration of any convictions
  • An Enhanced DBS Disclosure will be required following an offer of a place
  • A satisfactory health questionnaire will be required following an offer of a place
  • Satisfactory clearance for registration
  • Attend induction day
  • Provide original of your GCSE certificate in English Language, science and mathematics confirming your grades meet the entry requirements for teacher training

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £9,250.

About the training provider

Acorns Early Years Training Centre (formally Acorns Teaching School) partners with The Pilgrim Partnership, working with The Cambridge Partnership as the accredited provider, to deliver ITT training. Our programme offers a unique opportunity to work closely with a small cohort of trainees within a supportive environment with a particular emphasis on the 3 - 7 age range. However, there is an opportunity to train across the full primary range.

We work with a wide range of primary and nursery schools to provide excellent school placement experience. Schools are mainly located in the Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage area, however we do have links across Hertfordshire.

Acorns trainees are based at a main host school through their training year, undertaking a second ‘out of phase’ placement at another school during the Spring term. Trainees are supported by a mentor in their placements schools, as well as being supported by Pilgrim Partnership tutors and Acorns staff. The Pilgrim Partnership training takes place once a week on a Monday.

Successful trainees will obtain QTS status and in addition to this also study for a PGCE.

Interview process

Candidates who meet the entry requirements will be invited to interview.

Interviews will take place online using Teams.

Further information will be forwarded to candidates invited to interview to enable them to prepare.

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

Acorns and The Pilgrim Partnership with its partner schools are committed to promoting equality of opportunity to ensure we meet the needs of all students.

If you have a disability or other need we encourage you to disclose this and any other relevant information that could support your studies.
If you have a disability or other need we encourage you to disclose this and any other relevant information that could support your studies.

What do we mean by disability? The Disability Discrimination Act, 1995 defines a disabled person as someone who has a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and adverse long-term effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

We have been successful in working with trainees who have either a physical or mental impairment to become effective classroom practitioners.

Contact this training provider

01707 323693
Acorns Early Years Training Centre at Ludwick Nursery School
Holwell Road
Welwyn Garden City

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.