Congratulations on being offered a place on our PGCE primary university-centred programme.

Key Programme Dates

Induction Day: Saturday 10th June 2023
Virtual Induction Catch-up: Friday 21st July 2023

First day of the programme: Monday 4th September 2023.
The first day will begin at 9.30am in DG/017 (the lecture theatre in the De Grey building). Please arrive in good time. We will finish at 4.30pm.
Please bring your safeguarding reflection task and your notes from the professional expectations task.

The following information has been provided to ensure you are ready to begin your career in teaching and prepare you for the professional and academic expectations of the PGCE.

Please make sure you work through all the information and tasks provided for you as this will ensure you are able to make a positive start to your training programme.

York St John University

As you prepare to start your PGCE, please make sure that you have met all of the conditions attached to your offer by the stipulated deadline.

This will include:

  • DBS documentation
  • GCSE confirmation or equivalency tests 
  • Degree confirmation 

Please note there are drop-in sessions for your ID checks to be done on campus between 1pm & 3pm on the following dates:

 Tuesday 16th May in DG019

Thursday1st June in DG126

Wednesday 14th June in DG127

Wednesday 28th June in DG127

Wednesday 12th July in DG127

Thursday 27th July in DG127

Thursday 10th August in DG127

If you have any questions in relation to your conditions, please do contact our admissions department at

Please also note that our admission team will be available on our face-to-face induction day on Saturday 10th June. There will be more information about the university induction day to follow; for now, save the date in your diary.  

Course Calendars 2023-24

The calendars below indicate your placement dates for 2023-24. When not in school, you will be on campus for your university-based training, including during some of the school half-term holidays. A detailed timetable will be shared with you on the first day of the course.

The Importance of Reading for Pleasure

Reading is a fundamental skill that unlocks learning across the whole curriculum. As primary school teachers, it is essential that we promote the joy of reading, as research shows that those children who choose to read develop academically and socially. Therefore, you must become a role model for the children in your class and promote the value of reading across the whole curriculum. To support you with this, we have provided you with the following list of recommended texts. Please select the age range that you will be teaching and spend some time over the summer enjoying examples of children’s literature. There is no need to buy these texts but I would recommend visiting your local library and accessing the children’s section. Happy reading!

100 best books

There is no deadline for this task – start building your knowledge of children’s literature now and continue throughout your course (and career!)

Developing your General Knowledge

As a primary school teacher, 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 you 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.

Tracking and auditing your subject knowledge

Our subject knowledge audits ensure you are aware of the level of subject knowledge required to be a primary school teacher. They cover key aspects of the curriculum’s core subjects English, mathematics and science. There is no ‘pass mark’ for these audits; they are for you and your tutors to identify your strengths and areas for development throughout your induction and the course You need to be prepared to teach these subjects, so revision in weaker areas will be needed during the summer.

Complete the audits before your face-to-face induction day: Saturday 10th June. We will be holding subject knowledge taster events and you can select the most appropriate workshops that will support your areas for development. These audits will be repeated later in the year to demonstrate your progress.

Please access the audits via the links contained within the tracker documents below. Once completed, record your scores on the tracker document and record any revision work you have done in preparation for your start in September. Save a digital copy of each of your trackers, as you will need to bring them to your first subject workshops in September. 

Suggested reading and resources have been provided to support your revision and again these can be found in the documents below. These should be a starting point and not a definitive list. Please be as proactive as you can be and use the time over the summer to revise and build confidence in areas where development is needed.

Professional Competency Test

The Professional Competency Test has been devised to allow you to demonstrate the required skills in essential literacy and numeracy that have been identified by the DfE. All teachers are required to be effective communicators and interpret data. Therefore, you need to demonstrate a minimum level of these skills to be awarded Qualified Teacher Status. 

To help you demonstrate your competency in these essential skills, you should take the following test which can be accessed via the link below.
The pass mark is 65%. If you reach the required pass mark, you will not need to take the test again. If you do not reach a pass mark, please do not worry as there will be further opportunities throughout your programme to re-sit.  

There is no need to record this score anywhere as we will track who has passed and who needs to re-sit later in the year. Please remember to include your full name when completing the test. 

Your first attempt at the professional competency test needs to be completed by Monday 4th September 2023. 

Student C.V.

As part of your induction, you are asked to complete and save an up to date CV. This will, once you have received training, be uploaded onto your electronic portfolio (Pebblepad). For now, please just complete the below template and save this electronically. Once you have enrolled onto the programme and received Pebblepad training, you will be able to share this with your school-based mentor.


Disability Support and Inclusion

Our Disability Support and Inclusion Team can work with you to make adaptations to your programme to support any specific learning needs you may have. You are entitled to use these services if you have a disability, long-term health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty for which you can provide evidence. 

This may include: 


-Depression and anxiety 

-Dyslexia, dyspraxia, and AD(H)D 

-Eating disorders 

-Epilepsy, diabetes and IBS 

You should make an appointment as soon as possible to discuss what support would be helpful to you, which will be used to create a document known as a Learning Support Plan (LSP). This document will be seen by your tutors, the School Admin Unit and you should share this plan with your placement school. Please note that any undergraduate LSP will not automatically translate to postgraduate study. Therefore, if you have an existing LSP, a new plan will be needed to ensure you are supported at university and in school. 

Once an LSP is in place adaptations can be made to academic deadlines as well as giving you access to resources that match you needs. Please note that adaptions cannot be made without an LSP being in place. 

If you intend to apply for an LSP, please start this process before you begin the programme. You can find more information and book an appointment by visiting this webpage .

Professional Expectations

Professionalism is a fundamental aspect of the role of all teachers. Each and every one of us must uphold the highest standards and demonstrate the core values of acceptance, respect and kindness at all times.  

Part Two of the Teachers’ Standards outlines expectations, and you will be assessed against these expectations throughout your programme.  These professional expectations focus on how you communicate with other, present yourself in a professional capacity and how you adhere to school values and policy.   

The transition to a professional programme can be a challenge for some student teachers, but to support you, the following PowerPoint outlines expectations as well as giving you a range of case studies for you to consider. Please access the PowerPoint from the link below and make notes/reflections on the scenarios given to you. Further reading is also offered for those who wish to read more around the focus of professionalism.  Please download the PowerPoint and save this electronically before 11th August 2023 as access is time sensitive.

Experiential Placements

Student teachers need to arrange and complete their own experiential placements. There are six days set aside within the programme to do these: 

  • Pre & Post Placements:

Thursday 14th & Friday 15th September; Monday 18th & Tuesday 19th September

  • Nursery Placement:

Thursday 28th & Friday 29th September

You should aim to make arrangements for these placements as soon as possible – ideally before schools close for the summer in July.

This handbook details the experiential placements and tasks.

Induction Day Resources

Here are the resources from the induction day subject workshops, including grammar, phonics, maths, science and ‘How to thrive on your PGCE’.

These resources are for your reference; there are no specific tasks to complete, but they may well be helpful for revision and subject knowledge development.

Critical Reading Task

This PowerPoint offers you a narrated workshop to support your understanding of criticality. Please work through the activities outlined and contribute to the Padlet wall. The link to this can found within the Powerpoint. This workshop will be followed by your formative writing activity which should be completed over the summer holiday.

Critical Writing Task

This workshop has been designed to support your critical writing skills. Criticality is an essential component of M Level study and this workshop will highlight the academic expectations of your PGCE as well as support your understanding of how to plan and compose a piece of critical writing.

Please ensure you have completed the critical thinking and reading workshop before engaging with this workshop as this will support your understanding.

The written outcome from this workshop will be submitted early in the programme. Please ensure you have completed the written task before 4th September and that you have printed a paper copy. You will bring the paper copy to one of your professional workshops (date tbc), where you will receive feedback from your tutors and peers. Your tutor will collect in the paper copy of the written task at the end of the workshop.

Please ensure you take this opportunity to receive formative feedback on your academic writing as this will help ensure you are successful with your module assessment.

Prevent Training

This online module provides training on the Prevent duty. This must be completed before 4th September. You must complete this before undertaking any of the experiential placements for the programme. Please keep electronic copies certificates as these will need to be uploaded to your online portfolio at a later date. Even if you have undertaken this training previously, this must be renewed before your September start date.

FGM Training

This online module provides training on recognising and preventing female genital mutilation (FGM). It is provided by the Home Office and is an important aspect of your safeguarding training. You will need to register to access the training but you can simply do this by following the link.

Please ensure that you have completed the remote module by 4th September. An electronic copy of your certificate should be saved to allow you to upload this to your online portfolio later in the year.

Safeguarding Training

Before going into any school or setting, you must have received your DBS certificate, undertaken the Basic Safeguarding training, and completed the required reading and reflection task. You should also check the setting’s safeguarding requirements for visitors ahead of time. 

You must complete this training by 4th September, and before you undertake any of your experiential placements for the programme.

DBS Certificate

You must have received your DBS certificate before going into any setting. It is your responsibility to keep your DBS certificate safe for the whole of your programme.

Basic Safeguarding Training Schools Certificate

Please follow the instructions below:

1. Watch this Powerpoint video

2. At points in the video you are asked to complete the questions found here. (Note – the link has been updated and should now take you directly to the questions).

3. Once completed take a screenshot of your total % and score out of 18

4. Send that screenshot to who will issue you a certificate

5. Once you have started the programme, you will be asked to upload your certificate onto PebblePad (your online portfolio), so please keep it safe and accessible.

In addition to this certificate there are two other elements to your safeguarding preparation:

Required Reading

·Read the following document:
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023
Part 1 Keeping children safe in education 2023 (

Safeguarding Reflection Task

  • Locate and read a primary school safeguarding policy. All primary schools have their safeguarding policy available on their website. Note, some schools may call this their ‘child protection policy’ – don’t confuse ‘safeguarding’ with ‘health and safety’. 
  • Write a 300 word reflection on keeping children safe in schools, based on the required reading and school safeguarding policy. What are your responsibilities? What key aspects of the policy stand out to you and why? 

You should bring your written reflection to the first day of the course in September and be ready to discuss your ideas. You will be asked to upload this reflection to your online portfolio once you are enrolled.  

Placements information form

The placements team are already confirming schools that can provide assessed school experience placements in the next academic year. In order to undertake the mammoth task of placing students across all different routes, they require information about where you live and your personal circumstances. Please complete this form as fully as possible. You will need your university login details to complete this form; we understand you may not be able to do this immediately if you are waiting for your login details.  

Your placement schools will be confirmed at least a week before the placement begins, to give you time to contact the school in advance. It is unlikely that we will be able to inform students of their school earlier than this, due to the complexity of the task and the number of students across all routes. You will be briefed fully on each placement in advance and have access to the School Experience handbooks from early on in the programme.  

Teacher in a Jar

Choose a glass jar (the size is up to you). ​Try and think of small things/objects that may represent what type of teacher you would like to be.

This is my example below:

Here are a few more ideas to get you going:

  • an elastic band – to represent a feeling of being stretched to the limits​
  • googly eyes as teachers we need to have eyes in the back of our head​
  • an eraser – to symbolise the idea that a good education can never be erased (or that mistakes are part of the learning process!)  ​

Be prepared to talk about this to a group of your peers and about how your education has influenced the teacher you want to be. ​You will need to bring this into uni on Wednesday 6th September.

Try to include at least 5 objects, but don’t worry about filling the jar completely! Go for quality over quantity.

Programme Handbook

This is the Programme Handbook for 2023-24. You should familiarise yourself with the programme handbook before the start of the course, particularly the ITE Code of Conduct, which you will be asked to sign and submit in the first week of the programme.