Courses are currently closed but you can get your application ready

Courses starting in the 2022 to 2023 academic year are closed.

You can start or continue your application to get it ready for courses starting in the 2023 to 2024 academic year.

You’ll be able to find courses from 9am on 4 October 2022 and submit your application from 9am on 11 October 2022.

Polaris Primary (36DS)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
York St John 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.

Age range
3 to 11
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
12 October 2021
Date course starts
September 2022


Courses are currently closed but you can still start or continue an application anyway.

You’ll be able to:

  • find courses starting in the 2023 to 2024 academic year from 9am on 4 October 2022
  • submit your application from 9am on 11 October 2022


Course summary

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 at St Mary’s Malton. Here you will receive high quality professional training from Expert Colleagues and Tutors to support you in developing your knowledge and skills in the following core areas:

  • teaching all subjects across the primary curriculum;
  • principles of planning, teaching and assessment;
  • pedagogy;
  • behaviour and classroom management;
  • 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 an 8-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). Our placements follow an ABA structure: we will place you in your ‘home’ school (A) from the very first day of the Autumn term. After Christmas you will have an 8 week placement in a different, contrasting school (B). Back in your home school you will be usually be placed in a different class to ensure get a good breadth of experience.

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 you 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.


You can select one of the following locations when you apply.

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Bishopthorpe Infants School
Sim Balk Lane, York, North Yorks, YO23 2QQ
Bishopthorpe Infants School
Sim Balk Lane, York, North Yorks, YO23 2QQ
Forest of Galtres Primary School
Station Lane, Shipton by Beningbrough, York, N Yorkshire, YO30 1BH
Hunmanby Primary School
Priest Close, Hunmanby, Filey, YO14 0QH
Huntington Primary Academy
North Moor Road, Huntington, York, North Yorkshire, YO32 9QT
Huntington Primary Academy
North Moor Road, Huntington, York, North Yorkshire, YO32 9QT
Kirkbymoorside Primary CP School
Westfields , Kirkbymoorside , YO63 6AG
Our Lady & St Peter R C Primary School, Bridlington
George St, Bridlington, YO15 3PS
Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs Primary School, York
Hamilton Drive, York, YO24 4JW
Pickering Community Infants School
Ruffa Lane, Pickering, North Yorkshire, YO18 7AT
Pickering Community Junior School
Middleton Road, Pickering, YO18 8AJ
Sacred Heart RC Primary School, Northallerton
Northallerton, Northallerton, DL7 8UL
Sand Hutton Primary School
Main Street, Sand Hutton, York, North Yorkshire, YO41 1LB
St Benedict’s RC Primary School
Ampleforth, YO62 4DE
St George’s Catholic Primary Academy, Scarborough
Eastfield, Scarborough, YO11 3RE
St George’s RC Primary School, York
Winterscale Street, YO10 4BT
St John of Beverley R C Primary School
Wilberforce Crescent, Beverley, HU17 0BU
St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Pickering
Swainsea Lane, Pickering, YO18 8AR
St Mary and St Joseph RC Primary School, Pocklington
Pocklington, Pocklington, YO42 2HE
St Mary’s RC Primary School, Malton - Main Site
Highfield Road, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 7DB
St Mary’s RC Primary School, Market Weighton
Sancton Rd, Market Weighton, YO43 3DB
St Mary’s RC Primary School, Richmond
Richmond, Richmond, DL10 7DZ
St Paul’s Nursery School
12 St Paul’s Square, Holgate, York, North Yorks, YO24 4BD
St Paul’s Nursery School
12 St Paul’s Square, Holgate, York, North Yorks, YO24 4BD
St Peter’s RC Primary School, Scarborough
North Leas Avenue, Scarborough, YO12 6LX
St Wilfrid’s RC Primary School, York
Monkgate, York, YO31 7PB
The Danesgate Community
Fulford Cross, York, North Yorkshire, YO10 4PB
Thornton Dale Primary School
Castle Close, Thornton Dale, Pickering, North Yorks, YO18 7TW
Warthill CofE VC Primary School
Warthill, York, North Yorkshire, YO19 5XL
Wykeham CofE Primary School
Wykeham, Scarborough, YO13 9QB

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

We accept equivalency tests from the following company A grade 4 or above is required.

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.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2022 to 2023 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £12,750

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.

Find out more on our website:

About the accredited body

Polaris and York St John University partnership is a community of practice. We work together to deliver high quality teacher training and education, leading to a PGCE with QTS. Our last Ofsted inspection rated the partnership as ‘highly respected in our region, with outstanding leaders who have clear vision, relentless drive and well-targeted actions. The university, teaching school alliances and schools demonstrate a common vision and shared commitment to teacher training …. The university provides strong institutional support for initial teacher education’. We have a strong employment record and contribute to the local and national teaching community.

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. In addition to interview questions, you may be asked to teach a short activity to a 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.

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 for the duration of this course, you may need to apply for a Student visa.

To do this, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Before you apply for this course, contact us to check Student visa sponsorship is available. If it is, and you get a place on this course, we’ll help you apply for your visa.

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

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 this training provider

01653 692274
St Mary's Catholic Primary School
Highfield Road
North Yorkshire
YO17 7DB

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.


Courses are currently closed but you can still start or continue an application anyway.

You’ll be able to:

  • find courses starting in the 2023 to 2024 academic year from 9am on 4 October 2022
  • submit your application from 9am on 11 October 2022