Thorndown Primary School Primary (3-7) (T473)

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

Accredited body
University of Bedfordshire
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 7
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

This route is Primary Early Years (age 3-7)

All PGCE courses offer 60 Master’s Level Credits with placements across two different settings/schools over the year. Each week of this popular course sees Monday-Thursday being school centred with Fridays in University using the prestigious facilities of the Bedford campus. The innovatively designed course helps prepare you for a successful future as a specialist primary teacher in which you will be prepared to attain Chartered Teacher Status in the future.

In studying a primary (early years) route, you will be on a course designed to enable you to join a challenging and rewarding profession – becoming an effective and inspiring teacher who draws on broad subject knowledge and secure understanding of teaching and learning theories - with the knowledge and skills to lead learning and initiate change in educational settings

  • You will explore your understanding of primary and early years teaching and learning, as you apply your subject knowledge and expertise to planning teaching and managing the classroom; honing your skills of critical self-evaluation and improvement
  • You will develop your creativity and team-working skills, preparing you to influence and lead in educational settings and enhancing your own sense of independence
  • You will gain confidence in analysing the evidence of your own practical experience during placements in settings/schools, informing your future actions as you evaluate the impact of applying theory to your teaching practice
  • Finally, you will benefit from a qualification that gives you recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), enabling you to gain employment in a school, with opportunities for continuous development through further study at MA/MSc, MPhil, PhD and EdD levels

School placements

We take care to select appropriate settings/schools for your course. During your course you will spend a minimum of 120 days across two different schools so that you can develop your teaching skills for Early Years and KS1 across the 3-7 age range. You are based at your placement setting/school Monday - Thursday and act as any teacher would, albeit with a much lighter teaching timetable. The teacher’s day at school varies from school to school, but will include before and after school meetings, extra curricular events, open and parents’ evening and other non-timetabled activities. You are expected to attend activities at your placement school just like other teachers at the school. On Fridays, you attend the Bedford Campus of The University of Bedfordshire for taught sessions. You are a teacher Monday-Friday and are expected to work to the same professionalism throughout the week, regardless of location.

We give all our Trainee Teachers a quality placement. To do this we work with settings/schools within our school partnership that are able to support you fully. The University offers teacher education through a partnership with a rich variety of different schools which provide Trainee Teacher placements across a geographically wide region.

We aim to place you in a school inside our partnership area and within one hour journey from the Bedford Campus and your term time address. For those trainees living outside of our partnership area, we will endeavour to secure a school placement as near to your address as possible but still inside our partnership area.

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 will not consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test.

Personal qualities

We believe that everyone on our course has the potential to be an inspirational teacher so we are looking for people that demonstrate a commitment to meeting the needs of all children. As well as a genuine passion for developing learning in young people, and themselves, our trainees are collaborative, engaging, strong communicators and collaborative.

Other requirements

All suitable applicants will be interviewed and any offer of a place will be subject to receiving DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) and medical clearance.

Fees and financial support

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

Financial support from the training provider

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.

About the training provider

Thorndown Primary School in collaboration with the HE provider University of Bedfordshire, are pleased to offer School Direct places for Initial Teacher Training. Our training will provide trainees with a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) from the University of Bedfordshire. Places are available in an excellent and varied network of schools across the Huntingdon and St Ives area. The schools who are partnered with the Thorndown will offer high quality training for trainees who wish to train to teach in Primary Phases. You will be assigned an experienced mentor in your placement school to support you through your day to day and also a link tutor to guide and assess you through each stage. Your wellbeing and success is our priority.

About the accredited body

This course is designed for you spend four days in the classroom and one day a week in the University

Interview process

We are using webinars and video interviews to replace face to face methods during COVID19 - please apply as normal. The interview process is a friendly process designed for you to find out about us and for us to learn about why you wish to teach in a primary setting. It will consist of an introductory talk, followed by a group activity and finally a personal interview. University lecturers and representatives from partnership schools will conduct the interviews. You should be aware that subject knowledge across Early Years and Key Stage 1 will be explored at interview to help set you subject knowledge development targets ahead of the start of the course and you should prepare for such questions.

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

We value inclusion and are committed to equitable treatment and elimination of discrimination in all its forms at all levels and throughout all programs and training. All schools within the schools offering School Direct placements have full disabled access. Applicants who would benefit from disabled access should let us know on their application so they can be considered for placements accordingly. For more information please view disability access information on the University of Bedfordshire website.

Contact this training provider

Thorndown Primary School
Hill Rise
St Ives
PE27 6SE

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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