St Mary’s Catholic School Physics (3D5Y)

Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS)

Accredited body
Sacred Heart Newcastle SCITT
Financial support
Scholarships or bursaries, as well as student finance, are available 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 - secondary
Course length
1 year - full time
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

We are an alliance of 10 placement/ partner schools which span across the Newcastle, Durham and North Tyneside areas. We have a track record of providing an outstanding, bespoke and inspirational School Direct teacher training programme. Successful completion of the course will result in QTS (Qualified Teacher Status), PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate of Education) with Newcastle University and an opportunity to gain 60 credits towards Masters accreditation.

Our course begins with an induction days at St Mary’s Catholic School in the summer term of 2019. At the beginning of the autumn term 2019, you will be part of the staff at your first training school, which will give you the opportunity to be involved in the school training days and be able to familiarise yourself with general school life. During this induction time, observe and jointly plan and team teach lessons, and spend time in your subject area working with small groups of students. You will also attend alliance development days and twilight sessions throughout the year where you will have training on key areas. You will also spend every Friday in Newcastle University to be introduced to the Professional Studies aspect of the course.

Your first assessed teaching practice will begin after October half term and will involve you teaching 50% of a normal newly qualified teaching timetable. Additional placements will require you to teach up to 60% of a normal NQT timetable. These final placements will be in your second training school, enabling you to build strong relationships with colleagues and students, maintain continuity teaching and, to fully become part of the school.

During your training, you will have regular contact with the university in order to complete the professional studies aspect of the course as well as full access to the university facilities and lecturers’ expertise. You will also take part in school-based training within your training schools. This will be delivered by a wide range of experienced teachers.

All trainees must show evidence that they have fully met each of the Teachers’ Standards by the end of the course. Assessments against the Teachers’ Standards are carried out through lesson observations, review of practice, formal assessments, mentor and tutor visits. By the end of the course, you must submit a detailed and comprehensive portfolio which contains evidence you have gathered over the one year course.

School placements

School Direct is a way for passionate and enthusiastic people to train to become teachers. You will be trained in a highly professional and supportive environment and will develop the skills, knowledge and expertise that will enable you to plan and deliver engaging learning experiences for pupils of all abilities and dispositions.

You will be placed in one of our host schools, where you will complete most of your training. You will begin your training on the first day of term in September. You will attend staff meetings and professional development days and will be treated as a member of staff from the outset. You will spend 4 days a week working and learning alongside teachers in the classroom. Friday is our designated training day. The majority of these training days take place in our schools, with some Fridays throughout the year spent at the university. You will do two assessed placements. The first assessed placement (AP1) takes place in October/November in a second placement school. The second assessed placement (AP2) takes place in the host school from the end of January until June. Your training will cover 2 consecutive key stages.

You will be required to submit 3 assignments to the university. Assignments will be founded upon educational theory as well as school based action research. In 2 of the assignments you will have the opportunity to demonstrate achievement at level 7, gaining 60 credits towards a Masters degree. You will attend training at the university on a regular basis to prepare you for these assignments and you will have full access to the university library.

Mentoring is a crucial part of our training programme. During your time in school you will work closely with a mentor in order to develop your knowledge and practice. Mentors are carefully selected for their ability to support and train aspiring teachers. You will also be assigned a university academic tutor who will provide guidance for the modular assignments.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree, or equivalent.

Your degree subject should be in physics or a similar subject. Otherwise you’ll need to prove your subject knowledge in some other way.

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.

Personal qualities

We are looking for a dynamic, committed and ambitious trainee teacher with a passion for teaching and learning. You must have a desire to inspire young people in the secondary age range and an ability to share and communicate your enthusiasm for your subject. We would expect you to be well-organised, hard-working, empathetic, approachable and resilient. You need to be willing to evaluate your practice and be able to respond to feedback given. A willingness to co-operate and share ideas during the course is also essential. Finally, we expect you to act and dress professionally at all times.

Other requirements

Successful applicants will also not be permitted to begin their training without being in possession of an Enhanced Criminal Bureau check which verifies your suitability for working with young people. Once the offer of a place has been made, forms which need to be completed will be sent out to you.

Fees and financial support

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

About the training provider

St Mary’s School Alliance and its partner schools work closely with a number of providers, to provide exceptional support for teachers beginning their careers through the School Direct route into teaching. The St Mary’s School Alliance is an inspirational partnership of 10 placement schools which consists of a number of primary and secondary schools offering an education from Reception up to Year 13 across the Newcastle, North Tyneside and Durham areas.
Our Alliance is led by St Mary’s Teaching School Alliance, a school based in Newcastle upon Tyne. This outstanding school has a rich history and a long standing reputation for academic excellence, and continues to be a central part of the local and regional community. St Mary’s was designated a Teaching School by the National College of Teaching and Leadership in 2017 and, as a school, has a very long and extensive history of successfully training ITT students. St Mary’s, the lead school and many of our partner schools, have been judged outstanding by Ofsted and all placements will be in good and outstanding schools. All of the schools within our alliance are very experienced in working with trainee teachers and operate with similar teams of staff whose responsibility it is to support and develop trainee teachers and allow them to experience a diverse and varied range of teaching and learning opportunities during their training. You will be placed in a school within our alliance that best meets your needs.

About the accredited body

Sacred Heart Newcastle SCITT is a partnership of over 20 Primary and Secondary schools. We are passionate about recruiting, developing and employing the very best graduates into the profession. We offer a unique, bespoke training programme which blends the best of both worlds; on the job experience and high-quality academic study. Train with us and you’ll be based in a school that cares about your future. From day one, you’ll be treated like a member of staff.

Interview process

Shortlisting Course Leaders and Leadership from the alliance of schools will look at application forms and references very closely. Your choice of referees is very important; if possible, select referees who are able to comment on your suitability of becoming a teacher, for example, a teacher from your recent school experience. Once the application has been considered, a shortlist for interview will be agreed.

The Interview Day St Mary’s School is the Lead school will be co-ordinating the recruitment process. Interviewing will take place across a number of schools within our alliance, including St Mary’s School. The process will involve spending time at the school, having a carousel of interviews, talking to a range of experienced staff about your school experiences and subject knowledge, as well as an opportunity to discuss a lesson you will be expected to plan prior to the interview.

Offers All offers to train within St Mary’s Teaching School Alliance are conditional to the applicants obtaining: a DBS, professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy, as well as original documentary evidence of degree and GCSE qualifications - which must be provided at interview. You may be required to complete a subject enhancement course (SKE) before your training begins.

Once you have been interviewed, you will be informed that day of the alliance’s decision which will be uploaded onto UCAS. Please note, if you are successful, your place will be held with UCAS and CANNOT be offered to any other applicant until you have made your decision.

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

All Schools within the St Mary’s School Alliance are fully accessible. Provision for additional support where needed is provided on site. Please contact Anne Clough on with any specific disability access requirements.

Contact this training provider

Benton Park Road
Tyne and Wear

Support and advice

You can speak to a teacher training adviser for free, dedicated advice. They are all experienced teachers who can give you one-to-one support with your application. They can also help you get school experience, and find events where you can speak to training providers and teachers.

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).

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