Orleans Park Teaching Alliance History (39NM)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
St Mary’s University, Twickenham
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
11 to 18
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
12 October 2021
Date course starts
September 2022


About the course

This course will equip you with the skills to be an effective teacher and to have a clear understanding about how to engage learners in this subject. Key skills you will learn include:

  • subject specific knowledge
  • how to plan effectively for different year groups and to enable progression
  • how to help all learners access learning, including those with SEN, EAL or other specific needs
  • how to ask effective questions and deliver insightful feedback
  • how to use assessment purposefully in the classroom
  • your role as a tutor and how to support learners outside of the classroom
  • knowledge of your legal duty in order to safeguard staff and students
  • how to apply for your first teaching post

You will spend the first three weeks of the course at St Mary’s University focusing on pedagogy and then every Wednesday throughout the training year. This allows you to receive excellent teaching and share best practice with other trainees in your subject. You will then have two school placements where you will be supported by a mentor. Whilst in school, you will also have Professional Studies sessions with our cohort of School Direct and PGCE students in order to share best practice and learn important skills.

The course leads to PGCE with MA credits.

School placements

You will have two school based placements which will run across the majority of the year. The foundation placement runs from September to December, and the consolidation placement runs from late January to June. All of our schools in the alliance are based in Richmond and Twickenham. These are:

  • Orleans Park School (lead school)
  • Christ’s School
  • Hampton High School
  • St Richard Reynolds Catholic College
  • Teddington School
  • Turing House School

We are also working with Richmond upon Thames school and Twickenham School this year.

You will gain experience of KS3 and KS4 teaching in both placements, and have an opportunity to experience KS5 lessons in at least one of your placement schools.

Trainees will build towards having 6 lessons a week in the first placement, as well as having some periods for observation and supporting in lessons (potentially in another subject). In the second placement, this will increase to around 12-14 periods a week of teaching. You will have a mentor supporting you throughout this experience and they will provide both formal and informal feedback in order to help you achieve the teaching standards.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:2 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.

Candidates will need to sit the St Mary’s University equivalency tests. We do not accept equivalency test results from any other provider and don’t currently offer tuition or short courses.

Other requirements

  • evidence at application of the ability to demonstrate a high standard of written English
  • successful completion of skills tests in mathematics and English prior to commencement of course.
  • health and physical capacity to teach, candidates need to complete a ‘fitness to teach’ medical questionnaire
  • an acceptable Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certification

Fees and financial support

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

About the training provider

Orleans Park Teaching Alliance is a relatively new alliance, however all of the schools in our alliance have a lot of experience in nurturing talent and getting the best out of you in the classroom. Our schools range from faith based schools, to newer free schools, as well as established and successful academies. And still being relatively small, it means that we can ensure your training is personalised to your needs so that you are able to progress confidently in the classroom at your own pace. Our mentors are well trained, supportive and excellent classroom practitioners in their own right. We believe it is vital that we place you with great teachers to help you ‘be the best you can be.’

Our lead school, Orleans Park, was re-awarded an outstanding grade by Ofsted in 2017 who described it as ‘an inspirational teaching and learning environment where pupils can flourish and excel.’ Moreover, they praised how seriously we took our staff training and our focus on ‘getting it right in the classroom.’ It is this which underpins our teacher trainee programme and we have vast experience of successfully training students in a range of different subjects; many who continue to work with us once qualified.

Interview process

You will apply to OPTA directly and have two interviews. We will invite you into our lead school for an interview and a short subject knowledge activity, as well as giving you the chance to tour our school and meet key staff. You will also have an interview with St Mary’s University who accredit our School Direct programme.

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

We make it a priority to support all of our recruits with the necessary help to ensure they can thrive both in their training year and once qualified. This may include specific support from St Mary’s, for example extra support with assignments and directed tasks. Moreover, our sites are accessible for a range of physical, hearing and visual impairments; indeed we have many pupils with similar needs in our schools too.

Our mentors are well-experienced in providing emotional support and, when needed, we have provision in place for trainees who may experience difficulties.

Contact this training provider

020 8891 0187
Orleans Park School
Richmond Road

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.

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