Polaris Primary (36DS)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
York St John University
Financial support
Student finance if you’re eligible
Qualification
PGCE with QTS

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
Website
http://www.polarisalliance.org.uk

Contents

About the course

For the majority of your teacher training with Polaris you will be based in school. We work in partnership with York St John University to deliver contemporary and highly relevant education and training - providing you with excellent opportunities to develop knowledge and understanding of primary education.

In addition to your ongoing classroom-based learning, you will attend 17 Polaris training days, either at our lead school in Malton or online. Here you will receive high quality professional training from Specialist Leaders and Tutors to support you in the following key areas:

  • gaining understanding of the primary curriculum;
  • principles of planning, teaching and assessment;
  • behaviour and classroom management;
  • pupil achievement and barriers to learning;
  • meeting the needs of all children;
  • safeguarding and professional expectations

To underpin and enhance your practical teaching experience in the classroom, you will also attend 17 days with York St John University across the year, where you will develop deep subject knowledge and pedagogy around primary education.

You will have plenty of opportunities to observe excellent teaching in the classroom, reflecting on and learning about good practice from teachers and mentors and getting to know the children in your class before you begin teaching a small amount of the timetable with lots of support. This gradually builds up over the course until you are teaching around 70-80% of the timetable for your final teaching practice.

You’ll be based within one school for the majority of your training where you will complete two teaching placements in different classes. You will also benefit from a 6-week contrasting placement in a different school. In school you will be welcomed as a valued member of staff, attending school staff meetings, participating in training days and other professional training opportunities throughout the year. Your training will focus on either the 3-7 or 7-11 age phase, although you will be trained and qualified to teach across both.

Although ours is a very practical programme, we also work closely with YSJU to offer high quality academic preparation for teaching, designed to underpin your own understanding and practice as you progress through the course. You will need to pass two Masters Level academic modules leading to award of PGCE. Your teaching in the classroom will be assessed by teachers, mentors and tutors, all of whom support your progress as a primary practitioner. This is an ongoing and supportive process.

School placements

The Polaris School Direct programme is a full time programme studied within one academic year (September to June). We will place you in school from the very first day of the Autumn term. You’ll have three placements, in two contrasting schools over the year (based primarily in one school for the majority of your training with a 6-8 week placement in a different school). In your ‘home’ school you’ll be placed in two different classes to get a good grounding of experience across the key stages.

As the year is a very busy one and you do not want to spend too much time on the road, we aim to place you in a school within a 30-40 minute drive of where you live. We also try to match your interests with placements - for example you might prefer a school with a high number of EAL children, or a school with a special interest in sport.

We select placement schools very carefully - we only choose schools rated as Good or Outstanding and we place students in classes with established teachers who can model great practice and offer lots of support. In addition to our own Polaris schools, we work with lots of other local partner schools in order to offer quality and contrasting placement experiences. Our aim is for trainees to want to apply for jobs in our local schools at the end of the year programme.

Many teachers and mentors in our schools also trained with us. We are incredibly proud of the fact that they are now supporting our new trainees on their journey into teaching.

Interview process

Our recruitment process is designed to enable us to assess the suitability of candidates for training and appoint trainees who have potential to be great teachers. Once you have submitted your application, York St John University will assess your suitability for the course using the following criteria:

Your personal statement; References; Detailed breakdown of degree content; Details of other academic, professional or vocational qualifications

Successful applicant details are then passed to Polaris and interviews take place shortly after. During the Covid 19 pandemic, our interviews will be held online. In addition to interview questions, you will deliver a short presentation based on how you would teach a small group of children. There will also be an opportunity for you to find out more about our programme and ask any questions.

If you are successful at interview you will be offered a conditional place. Recruitment takes place regularly during the year, although we are a small programme and places are limited. Once the number of offered places meets our maximum programme numbers, the programme will be closed. We therefore recommend that you apply as soon as possible to avoid missing out on the programme of your choice.

Fees

The course fees for 2021 to 2022 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £12,750

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.

Requirements

Qualifications

You need to be a graduate, ideally with a 2:2 or above, although consideration will be given to students with a lower classification who can demonstrate a commitment to children’s learning and development.

You should have GCSEs in English, maths and science, grade C/4 or above. We also accept Equivalency tests.

Personal qualities

We welcome graduates from a diverse range of backgrounds; previous recent relevant experience of Early Years and Primary education is preferable but not essential. We are looking for high-calibre students who can demonstrate real passion and commitment to teaching; students who are resilient and resourceful, creative, hard working and who show a willingness to learn and reflect on their own development.

Other requirements

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Entrants to the programme must undertake an enhanced DBS criminal records check.

Medical Report All entrants are expected to obtain a medical report in order to assess your fitness to teach. Information on how to obtain this will be forwarded to successful interviews.

About the training provider

Our PGCE School Direct programme is school-led - you will learn from highly skilled teachers in the classroom. We place trainees in more than 20 primary schools across North Yorkshire, York and East Riding, offering an impressive breadth of experience, from town and city schools to village primaries, faith and community schools.

The course is full time from September to June. You will specialise in either the 3-7 or the 7-11 age phase, although you will gain experience and be qualified to teach across both. Whilst the majority of our training is school-based, you will receive 34 days’ education and training from specialist curriculum leaders at our local hub in Malton and also from tutors at York St John University.

We offer lots of flexibility within our programme to suit your needs: we place you in schools that match your interests and we use a blended approach to training and support.

We have an excellent team of school-based mentors who are committed to supporting you through the programme. We pride ourselves on our responsiveness to any obstacles you might meet along the way.

Our motivation for running the programme is to supply our schools with brilliant, ‘home-grown’ teachers – we are invested in making you the best teacher you can be. We support our new teachers through every stage in their career – from NQT to Headship; we see your teacher-training year as just the first step in your career.

About the accredited body

York St John University (YSJU) has been involved in teacher education since 1841 and is highly respected across the region (Ofsted, 2017). Currently, the YSJU partnership works with approximately 550 schools across 15 local authorities in any given academic year. Employment rates are high across training routes.

PGCE School Direct with Polaris in partnership with YSJU will provide you with high quality training that not only responds to the demands of the Teachers’ Standards and changes in the wider education landscape but also supports you in developing a reflective and critical approach to own your teaching practice.

Training with disabilities and other needs

We are fully committed to equal opportunities for all of our trainees and we welcome diversity. In recent years, we have successfully supported trainees with specific learning needs such as dyslexia, and also with additional physical and medical needs. Our training facility is based in St. Mary’s Primary school Malton, which is a fully-accessible primary school. All our placement schools are accessible and we work closely with partners to ensure every placement meets the needs of the trainee.

Our HEI partner, York St John University is an inclusive university and has a range of support services for students with disabilities and other needs. YSJU has a dedicated Disability Advice Team and a strong track record of supporting all students, enabling them to complete their studies successfully.

Contact details

Email
jwheldon@smm.smccat.org.uk
Telephone
01653 692274
Website
http://www.polarisalliance.org.uk
Address
St Mary's Catholic Primary School
Highfield Road
Malton
North Yorkshire
YO17 7DB

Apply

Apply for this course

Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.

Choose a training location - List of locations, vacancies and codes
Location Vacancies Code
St Mary’s RC Primary School, Malton - Main Site
Highfield Road, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 7DB
Yes -

Support and advice

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

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