Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

PGCE Primary

Inspire the next generation

In this Section:

This exciting programme recruits high-quality graduates and equips them with the knowledge and skills to become effective, successful primary teachers.

You can choose from two pathways on this programme, allowing you to specialise in teaching the 3-7 or 7-11 age range – but you’ll also have the chance to work with teachers and children across the whole primary age range.

A third of your time will be spent in the classroom, learning from expert practitioners and researchers in education and exploring different strategies for teaching core subjects. You’ll also apply this knowledge to the classroom: you’ll spend around two-thirds of your programme on two different placements in schools around the district, gaining experience of teaching in different environments across our diverse network of placement schools.

It’s an excellent opportunity to gain all you need to succeed in a challenging and hugely rewarding profession.

Learning and teaching

Because the course combines school and university-based learning, you’ll benefit from a range of teaching and learning methods including tutorials, lectures, seminars and practical teaching. Independent study is also an important element of this programme, supporting your studies and allowing you to build your knowledge and skills as a professional.


You’ll be assessed using a variety of methods. Your practical teaching will be observed and assessed regularly by your tutors and school-based mentors to allow them to judge whether you’ve met the Teachers’ Standards. However, you’ll also submit four written assignments of around 3,000 words each.


The 38-week course combines University and school-based learning. You’ll spend 24 weeks overall in two contrasting placement schools, gaining broad experience of teaching in different environments. But you’ll underpin this experience with time in the university environment, where you’ll develop your understanding of educational theory and research, discuss issues arising from your reading and placements and form practical strategies for primary teaching.

You’ll build your knowledge of National Curriculum requirements in core and non-core subject areas and explore how children develop their own knowledge and skills, giving you the tools to achieve them in the classroom and beyond. You’ll focus on topics and activities for use in the classroom and think about different learning styles, classroom organisation and behaviour management.

In the final week of the course, you’ll improve your understanding of issues such as assessment, special educational needs, teaching reading and phonics and behaviour for learning through a series of ‘enhancement days’ in the setting of your choice.

You will study the following elements.

Primary Educational and Professional Studies examines the theoretical context of primary education and the primary curriculum, and explores the practical aspects of teaching and learning, such as assessment, differing learning styles, classroom organisation and behaviour management. 

Primary Practical Teaching covers your work placements in two local schools where you will acquire direct teaching experience for a total of 24 weeks. We design our placements to prepare you to teach either the 3-7 or 7-11 age range, but you will also have opportunities to work with teachers and children across the whole Primary age range.

Foundation Subject Studies examines the non-core subject areas in the primary curriculum: art and design, design and technology, geography, history, music, computing, religious education, physical education, modern foreign languages, citizenship, and personal, social and health education. In addition to examining the theoretical elements behind each subject, sessions are also practical with a focus on topics and activities for use in the classroom.

Primary English, Mathematics and Science all investigate the principles and concepts of 'best practice' for teaching, learning and assessment in the relevant subject, and explore the development of children's knowledge and skills, enabling you to understand National Curriculum requirements and how best to achieve them in the classroom and beyond, while considering issues of equality and difference.


Mr Graham Chambers
Senior Lecturer
Tel: 0113 3433577
Email: g.chambers@education.leeds.ac.uk

Mrs Rosemary J Livesey
Lecturer in Primary Mathematics Education
Tel: 0113 3434573
Email: R.J.Livesey@leeds.ac.uk

Margaret Smith
Lecturer in Science Education
Tel: 0113 343 4546
Email: m.a.f.smith@leeds.ac.uk

Ms Lucy Taylor
Teaching fellow, Primary English
Tel: 0113 3434538
Email: l.taylor@leeds.ac.uk

Mrs Clare Donnison
Tutor for Education and Professional studies (EPS) / Personal Tutor
Email: c.e.donnison@leeds.ac.uk


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