About this Training Course

Joseph Whitaker School and the University of Nottingham work closely together to ensure that your progress on the course is closely supported and quality assured.  You will spend four days in school and one day at the University on a Friday.  Fridays will be an opportunity to work with primary and secondary trainees and the sessions will form an integral part of the work you do in school.

You will have a mentor assigned by the school who will undertake regular training at the University and support you throughout the year as your teaching allocation and experience increases. Regular meetings will also be held by the coordinator and other senior teachers to deliver key sessions linked to the University programme.   Opportunities to participate in a wide range of extra curricular activities will also be on offer in the school. The Duke of Edinburgh Award, school sports teams, performing arts shows, Young Engineers clubs and many more are on offer to you.  You will also be attached to a year 7 form group alongside an experienced colleague in order to work pastorally with a group of students for the whole year.  The positive and respectful relationships developed between teachers and students at Joseph Whitaker School make it a fantastic place to develop your teaching skills and a love of teaching.

You will also be allocated a University tutor who will work closely with you and your mentor and coordinator. From the beginning of the course, which starts at the end of August, you will be regarded as a beginning teacher and will attend development days, consultation sessions and extra-curricular activities.

In the second term you will undertake a placement in a second school for a period of three weeks.  This is an opportunity to learn within a different context and share your experiences with other trainees.

The practical experience is underpinned by theoretical approaches that are discussed and explored on the Friday sessions. There is a focus on both ‘Schools and Society’ and ‘Teaching and Learning’ and your assignments will ensure that these aspects are closely considered in relation to your teaching in school.


The School Direct PGCE course is assessed at postgraduate certificate level.  It incorporates two 30-credit modules which may be counted towards the MA in Education.

For the award of the PGCE and to achieve Teacher Standards, you must have reached the required standard in both the theoretical and practical elements of the course. In keeping with the nature of the course, which is vocational and postgraduate in approach, there are no written examinations.

Practical Teaching is assessed by the University tutors, school based mentors and coordinators, and External Examiners.  Account is taken of your work over all school based elements of the course and your own written records of such work.

The University does not allow an automatic right to re-sit practical teaching if you fail this part of the course. If the right to re-sit is granted then the opportunity is dependent upon locating a partner school which agrees to place you.

On the course, you are required to submit various pieces of work related to your course.  The assignments may be written pieces or presentations and may include collaborative work.