School Direct

The Park School Partnership PGCE School Direct Training to Teach in association with The University of the West of England

 The Park School Partnership is able to provide a unique learning experience, which will provide diverse opportunities through school-based training, whilst also offering links to the expertise of the University of the West of England for aspects of the core teacher training programme. You will be part of a cohort of up to 7 PGCE students training for Primary Teaching.

The Primary PGCE programme is based at the schools within the partnership. The schools are:

The Park Primary School, Parkwall Primary School, The Ridge Junior School, Crossways Junior School and Crossways Infant School.

We are able to provide a diverse experience of working in the primary age range with schools that serve a wide variety of socio economic areas, all through primary schools, separate Infant and Junior schools and different sized schools.

Trainees will be based in one of the schools where they teach for most of the week. Mentors in each school who are expert practitioners will support trainees in becoming members of the various teaching teams in the schools during the year. Many of the teaching staff have been mentors for PGCE students over the years and are confident and skilled in school-based aspects of the training programme.

The programme will offer exposure to a number of different settings, with placements in two different schools, in addition to training time at UWE.


About the Partnership

The Park School Partnership is based on 5 local institutions with a common vision and approach.

The schools in our Partnership are:

The Park Primary School. A large, 3 form entry, urban primary school in Kingswood, Bristol (but South Gloucestershire authority)

Parkwall Primary School. A smaller, 1 form entry, urban primary school in Cadbury Heath, South Glos.

Crossways Infants and Crossways Junior schools. 2 form entry schools in Thornbury, South Glos.

The Ridge Junior school. A 2 form entry junior school in Yate, South Glos.


We are unable to provide accommodation.

Child Care Facilities

We are unable to provide child care facilities but may be able to signpost towards local provision.

Disability Access

We are able to provide full access and support for disabilities – please ask for further information.

Public Transport

There are good public transport links around our centres. Further information can be provided on request. Maps are available on the institution websites.

Student Facilities

Transport links to the University of the West of England are good and within easy reach of Bristol city centre. Trainees will have access to study facilities at the university.

Study Facilities

There will be space for trainees to study within a school setting but all trainees will also have access to the library at the university. Much of the training time will be spent in the specialist areas in the schools.

About this Training Programme

The Primary School Direct Postgraduate Certificate in Education is a one academic year (37-week) course that trains graduates to be primary school teachers. The programme has been designed to train teachers for the full primary age phase (4-11). You are assessed against the standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The course offers an exciting and developmental model of training to teach with an emphasis on developing your professional competence alongside ensuring a high level of knowledge, skills and understanding. This is also underpinned by a clear understanding of the philosophy of teaching across the primary age and ability range.

The course is just the beginning of what we hope will be a process of continual professional development throughout a challenging and rewarding career.

The Aims of the Programme

We will support you in becoming a confident, competent, creative and effective primary school teacher; you will develop your practical knowledge and theoretical understanding to successfully work with primary school children. We will enable you to continue your professional development in order that you can become an innovator, capable of active involvement in the future evolution of primary education.

Structure: Content

The programme recognises that teaching children of early years and primary age is rewarding and challenging and aims to produce teachers who are creative, resourceful, reflective, and professional. Working alongside the UWE programme, you will develop the skills to succeed in contemporary classrooms demonstrating a capacity to be creative and innovative. You will be supported in acquiring the skills you need to teach reading, English and mathematics and the new primary curriculum, linking in educational theory and research with your practical experiences.  The course is designed to produce primary teachers who are reflective practitioners and who are constantly learning, growing and questioning themselves.

You will spend the majority of your training based in two of our five contrasting schools. In school you will work alongside class teachers and teaching assistants starting with observation in classes and working towards shared planning for learning. You will have two placements during which you will take on more of the teaching for small groups and whole classes. Over time you will be encouraged to develop a specialism to in order to support your employment and placement in schools.

You will be encouraged to work collaboratively and to share your knowledge, skills and understanding with other trainees through small group projects. There will be a range of assessments linked to the UWE programme.

Study Time: Personal Support

Although we have links with UWE for the accreditation for the programme and there will be academic support linked to that, the great advantage of training with the Park Partnership is that it is bespoke and focused on individual trainees as we will have a small cohort who will have a personalised training experience.


In order to pass the course, trainees are required to pass each unit. They are assessed on a number of written assignments and also on classroom practice against the standards specified by the Secretary of State for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Special Features: Placements

There are two placements, usually one in the Autumn term in your preferred Key Stage and then a shorter one in a different Key Stage. You then return to your first placement to complete the year’s training.  As well as teaching, the programme includes contact time with tutors, directed study time and personal study time.


The PGCE is financed as an undergraduate course with annual fees of £9,000

For funding options and bursaries, please see funding for PGCE students.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree (usually at 2:1 or above)
  • GCSE Maths, English and Science at C grade or equivalent
  • Pass in the numeracy and literacy skills tests
  • Evidence of school experience
  • Good references
  • Satisfactory Health and Safeguarding (DBS) checks

All applicants should also have GCSE grade C or above in mathematics, science and English language.

You should be able to demonstrate recent experience of observing or supporting teaching in a school. This must be conducted in a primary school (minimum of 10 working days or two weeks equivalent within the last three years).

Please note that this course starts in late August with an induction week. We are unable to agree any requests for holiday due to the number of days required to complete the course.

You can apply through UCAS Teacher Training now to start in 2017. There are a limited number of places for the programme, so you should apply as early as possible to give yourself the best chance of obtaining a place.

Please read through the UCAS Teacher Training pages carefully for guidance on how to apply.

Additional Requirements

Applicants must pass an initial selection process and short-listed candidates will be invited for interview. All offers will be subject to satisfactory health checks.

Disclosure of Criminal Background

Applicants who are offered a place must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and will be required to complete a Disclosure Application Form. All information will be treated in confidence and only taken into account when absolutely necessary.

Department for Education Professional Skills Tests

All trainee teachers are required to pass skills tests in numeracy and literacy before they can be recommended for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS) and before starting their course. We recommend that you complete the skills tests in Numeracy and Literacy as soon as possible after you have submitted an application for an Initial Teacher Education programme. If practicable, you should take these tests before any interview that you may be invited for, but if this is not possible, you should take them as soon as possible thereafter. If you have not passed the tests at the interview stage, any offer will be conditional until you have passed both tests. You will need to pass both tests by 30th June. Information about the tests can be found at The Department for Education.

Standards and Requirements

Following the review of Standards and Requirements for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) by the Secretary of State in 2012 (revised in June 2013), our full-time courses have been designed to be compliant with the latest standards and requirements.


The Department of Education is not able to approve deferrals under any circumstances. Applicants unable to start their programme during the year of application will be required to withdraw and re-apply the following year.


For Further Information

Telephone: +44 (0)1454 868872

If you have any specific questions these should be directed to Mark Dee

What We Are Looking For

We are looking for creative and dynamic individuals who can motivate and inspire young people.  We are looking for ambitious trainee teachers who are passionate and enthusiastic about wanting to become teachers and have a desire to work with young people of all abilities in the primary age range. Resilience and determination, self-awareness and willingness to learn through success and mistakes are essential personal attributes for a career in teaching.

In your application you should demonstrate that you have had meaningful experience of working with young people of primary age. For example, you may have been involved with some work with young people in previous jobs or on a voluntary basis. You may have direct experience in schools through visits which you have organised or through some other scheme. We will also expect you to be able to write in your application about what interests you in teaching, what you think you have to offer and what you think you have to learn.

We will expect you to show a commitment to primary teaching and demonstrate an enthusiasm and desire to be around young people. Your first degree can be in any relevant subject We will expect you to have some basic ICT skills to build on but will not necessarily expect these to be directly linked to how ICT is used in teaching that will be part of your work on the programme.

We expect applicants to come from a wide range of backgrounds and, therefore, with a wide range of skills. This is a strength of the programme as it allows us to use your differences so that you can learn from one another. Some trainee teachers will be coming straight from a first degree, some will be making a fairly early career change, some will be returning to study and work after spending time bringing up children and some will be changing career later in life. All are very welcome and we believe our School Direct Programme is enriched by this variety.

How We Select Our Trainees


How to Apply

You can apply through UCAS Teacher Training now to start in 2017. There are a limited number of places for the programme, so you should apply as early as possible to give yourself the best chance of obtaining a place. We will close the course once we have filled all available places.

We will publish our dates for interview and ask that applications are completed on UCAS 2 weeks before these dates.  ( )

Please read through the UCAS Teacher Training pages carefully for guidance on how to apply.

The Selection Process

Applicants must pass an initial selection process through UWE and short-listed candidates will be invited for interview at one of the schools, which may include some observed activities in the classroom, planning and discussion activities and a formal interview. All offers will be subject to satisfactory safeguarding and health checks.