Welcome to Year 1 and the start of your Primary Education journey!

The information below is for student teachers who are joining the programme in September 2024


An Introduction from Dr Richard Day, Year 1 Lead

Dr Richard Day

There’s a great deal to think about at the start of your degree programme; as year lead for the first year, I try to make that transition from whatever came before, whether school, college or work, to the demands of becoming a teacher and University as easy as possible. It’s a time of great excitement and possibility, but also of hard work and commitment. The progress students make in their first year in terms of their personal and intellectual development, their understanding of teaching and their professional expertise, is the reason I enjoy my work so much.

As well as taught content you will be allocated a personal Academic Tutor who will support you throughout your entire degree programme. Both your academic tutor and I are responsible for pastoral as well as professional care and we can direct you to any number of university-based support structures for help with personal or work-related issues.

I am the School Experience Director for School Experience 1 (SE1) and also work on the Year 1 Professional Studies module. Here, we look together at the concept of education itself, child development, philosophy and the central key skills required to be a teacher such as planning and behaviour management. This module is accompanied by Core and Wider Curriculum modules, and by introductions to vitally important and up to date research into how children learn and what might work best in classrooms.

Module content is designed to integrate with your experience in school. SE1 consists of a series of weeks from January, leading up to a block of time in the Summer term. You share responsibility for planning and teaching with a small group of other students in class and are supported by a trained mentor. The purpose of your first experience is to provide you with the knowledge, skill and confidence to take control of the teaching for a class on your own in Year 2 of the programme.

Key Staff Contacts

Programme Lead: Dr Louise Whitfield (l.whitfield@yorksj.ac.uk) 

Year 1 Lead: Dr Richard Day (r.day@yorksj.ac.uk) 

Academic Tutors: 

Dr Louise Whitfield (l.whitfield@yorksj.ac.uk)

Ian Wilson (i.wilson@yorksj.ac.uk)

Dr Sarah Trussler (s.trussler@yorksj.ac.uk)

Dr Ruth Unsworth (r.unsworth@yorksj.ac.uk)

Steph Jach (s.jach@yorksj.ac.uk)

Module Information

In Year 1 you will study five modules (including school experience).  Details of module titles, codes and Module Directors, and a brief summary of the module content are below.

Module Code & Title Module Summary Module Director

QTS4007M – Starting the Journey to QTS: Professional Studies 1

In this module you will begin to learn and build the core skills, knowledge and understanding needed to become an outstanding primary teacher. We will discuss safeguarding processes, professionalism in an educational setting and behaviour management in the classroom. You will also learn to plan for and assess pupil progress and be introduced to philosophies of education, and some of the important theories and research about how children learn which will underpin your professional practice.

Dr Sarah Trussler

QTS4008M – The Primary Core Curriculum 1 

The core subjects for the primary National Curriculum are English, Mathematics and Science. This module will ensure you are equipped with specific knowledge and skills in these core areas. You will develop effective strategies for teaching and learning within these individual subjects. This is an opportunity to identify gaps in your own knowledge as well as developing the values and philosophies you bring with you to your teaching. 

Ian Wilson, Dr Katy Bloom & Jen Huntsley

QTS4009M – The Primary Wider Curriculum 1 

A primary teacher is required to have a strong subject knowledge and pedagogical understanding across a broad range of areas. Focusing on Key Stage 1, this module will give you the tools you need to plan, teach and assess across the wider curriculum, and respond to diverse learning needs. This includes art, computing, design and technology, geography, history, languages, music, PE, PSHE and RE. You will be introduced to and evaluate both subject-based and thematic ways of planning and organising the curriculum.

Richard Crabtree

QTS4011P – School Experience 1

This module will introduce you to the classroom environment and the role of the teacher. It is the first step towards a more responsible teaching role and eventually gaining ECT status. Your first placement will typically involve being in school with other students, with visits from January of your first year and a five week, full time placement in May and June.

Dr Richard Day

QTS4010M – Professional & Academic Skills

This module supports you in your transition into Higher Education and the expectations of this in terms of academic skills and professional expectations of the programme.  The module addresses student teachers’ agency and autonomy, academic skills and knowledge enhancement.  These areas will support in terms of your preparedness for both the programme and the teaching profession.  

Dr Katy Bloom


Designed to sit alongside student teachers’ first placement in school we also introduce two Intensive Training and Practice (ITAP) focuses: Routines and transitions (relating to managing behaviour/ high expectations), and Automaticity in the decoding process (relating to subject & curriculum knowledge in Early Reading/Phonics). These combine expert inputs, focused observations, critical analysis, deliberate practice and opportunities to receive feedback on these two important foundational aspects of teaching.

Developing your general knowledge

As a primary school teachers, you are required to teach the full range of National Curriculum subjects and areas of the EYFS Framework, and although we acknowledge that each teacher will have curriculum strengths, all teachers need to develop a secure grounding across all subjects. To support with your broader curriculum knowledge, we request that you spend some time reflecting on those areas where your general knowledge is weak and begin to gain experience.
To facilitate this, you should visit local museums, art galleries and places of worship as these are rich sources of curriculum knowledge.
The following is a useful website to locate museums and galleries in your area.