Primary PGCE

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 The PGCE Primary programme

The PGCE Primary programme is designated as 'outstanding' in the most recent Ofsted inspection. Our knowledge of and support of each individual is a particular strength, as is our inspirational teaching. We are graded third in the country for preparing trainees to teach phonics. External examiners and students year on year report that this is a fantastic training programme.  This is reflected in our employment rate which is substantially above sector average with many trainees going on to work in local Partnership schools.



The programme allows you to select an Early Years (3-7), Primary (5-11) or Primary with French Specialism (5-11) Pathway. The programme prepares you to teach specific ages, however once qualified you are able to teach any age.    We offer the opportunity to undertake placements in special schools and schools with resourced facilities.  



We are fortunate to have a number of internationally and nationally recognised figures teaching on the programme.  Helen Bilton is an Early Years expert in the area of The Outdoor Teaching and Learning Environment.   She has published extensively in this area.   Professor Rhona Stainthorp has been researching the development of reading and writing for many years. Her work includes studying children with exceptionally precocious skills as well as those children with typical development and those with difficulties. Her work had contributed to national developments in the teaching of reading and writing since the start of the National Literacy Strategy. Dr Cathy Tissot is a national figure in Special Educational Needs.  She contributes regularly to the programme.


Programme structure

The PGCE Primary programme runs from September to the beginning of July. The programme is organised, with a balance of school and university based training which will support you on your learning journey. 

Whilst on the programme you will work in two different age ranges, in four school placements, to ensure the broadest possible experience. In each placement you will work alongside experienced teachers and gradually assume more responsibility for planning and teaching as your training progresses.    Throughout this process, you will be supported by school based mentors and a University tutor.   Assessment is on-going and against the Teachers Standards.

The University based aspect of the programme comprises curriculum subjects and the wider professional role. We aim to develop the pedagogical and practical skills necessary to be an Outstanding teacher, as well enhancing subject knowledge.

On the programme you will study two Masters modules leading to 60 M level credits and will have the opportunity to top up to full Masters in the early years of their teaching career.


Primary (5-11 years) Pathway X100

The Primary pathway gives you the experience, opportunity and knowledge to work in KS1 and KS2 in infant, junior and primary schools. You will work with tutors who are highly knowledgeable about their subjects and who will support you in the development of your pedagogy. You will work alongside and support children to develop their literacy skills, to understand and apply mathematics and to appreciate how the world works. Choose this pathway if you are interested in shaping the child on their journey through the Primary phase.  

Early Years (3-7 years) Pathway X121Primary school pupils working together

The Early Years pathway gives you the experience, the opportunity and the knowledge to work in both Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) settings and Infant/Primary school settings.  The EYFS is a unique phase of education which involves learning through play and first hand experiences both inside and outdoors. This phase leads into Key Stage 1, when children really start to grapple with learning to read, applying their mathematical knowledge and making sense of how the world works.  

Choose this pathway if you are interested in early learning and early child development.  By choosing this pathway you will experience both the EYFS and KS1 phases and therefore be highly skilled in two curricula.   If you are interested in the rewards and challenges of being an Early Years expert teacher choose this pathway.

Primary (5-11 years) with French Specialism Pathway XR11

This programme prepares you for teaching in primary, infant & junior schools. It enables you to teach languages to young learners and become effective Language Co-ordinators. The structure and much of the content follows the Primary programme. You will need a minimum of an A level in a language other than English.  Choose this pathway if you are interested in becoming the Languages Co-ordinator in your future school.


For further information please see our FAQs PGCE Primary

PGCE Primary Information meetings

The University of Reading hosts Information Meetings for the PGCE Primary Programme, where there is an opportunity to find out:

  • General information about training to become a teacher
  • Information about the PGCE Primary Programme
  • Structure of the Primary PGCE
  • Entry requirements, deadlines and how to apply


Throughout the presentation, there are opportunities to ask any questions you may have. The Information Meetings start at 4.00 pm and the formal part of the meeting finishes by 5.30 pm. There are then further opportunities to ask questions of a more individual nature.

The PGCE Primary Information Meetings will be held at the London Road campus of the University of Reading, 4 Redlands Road, Reading RG1 5EX (RG1 5AQ for Sat-Nav). Please do not enter the room before 3.45pm as there may be other classes taking place. If you arrive early, you can visit the cafe 'Eat and Drink'. Parking on the campus is normally for permit holders only.

PGCE Primary Information Meetings take place on the following dates:

  • Date


    Room on London Road

    Monday 7 September 2015

    4.00 - 6.00

    L24 G06 Primary

    Monday 5 October 2015

    4.00 - 6.00

    L22 103

    Monday 2 November 2015

    4.00 - 6.00

    L22 103

    Monday 30 November 2015

    4.00 - 6.00

    L22 103

    Monday 11 January 2016

    4.00 - 6.00

    L22 103

    Monday 1 February 2016

    4.00 - 6.00

    L22 103

    Monday 29 February 2016

    4.00 - 6.00

    L22 103

    Monday 11 April 2016

    4.00 - 6.00

    L33 G12

    Monday 9 May 2016

    4.00 - 6.00

    L33 G12

    Monday 6 June 2016

    4.00 - 6.00

    L33 G12

For further information, contact:

PGCE Primary Administrator

0118 3378 2620 

Please click on links below for information about the London Road campus, a campus map and travel advice.

London Road Guide

TravelWise London Road

Primary PGCE Entry Requirements

Candidates must have obtained:

  • A good honours degree of a UK higher education institution or equivalent qualification
  • GCSE grade C or equivalent in English, Mathematics and Science
  • For PGCE Primary, we prefer candidates to have a GCSE in a language other than English or equivalent language learning experience

Applicants must:

  • Be able to communicate effectively in both spoken and written English
  • If offered a place, obtain an enhanced DBS disclosure, arranged through the University. All non-UK candidates need to provide a certificate of no criminal convictions - provided by their own police force before entering the UK
  • If offered a place, meet the requirements for 'physical and mental fitness to teach', assessed by a declaration of health questionnaire and, in some cases, a medical examination
  • Pass computer-based Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy, prior to starting the programme (September 2013 entry onwards)
  • Undertake a placement, minimum two weeks, in a state-maintained, mainstream primary school prior to the start of the programme

Skills Tests

Applicants for ITT courses which begin in 2015/16 are required to have passed the Skills test before the start of the course. In order to help applicants with their planning the DfE has enhanced the process to allow applicants to register and book skills test appointments before they apply.

Applicants must submit an application before taking the tests and will need to provide evidence of this when they attend the test centre. They will be prevented from taking the test if they are unable to do so. Further details about acceptable evidence will be provided on the DfE website.

Applicants who have passed their Skills tests will be viewed favourably for interview. professional/b00211200/registration

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