Congratulations on being offered a place on our PGCE primary School Direct programme.

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

As you prepare to start your PGCE, please do 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 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 which will be help as York St John University on Saturday 10th June. There will be more information about the university induction day to follow but do save the date in your diary.  


The following calendars show the days when your university training will take place. Please note that these are just your YSJ training days and not those provided by your alliance. For Esk Valley, Hope Sentamu and Polaris students, all of your university training will take place at York St John. For Campus Stockton, Middlesbrough and Scarborough Teaching Alliance students, some of your university training will take place in York (blue days) and for those days showing red, your training will take place within your alliance, but delivered by your university tutor. Please make sure you access the calendar that corresponds to your alliance and be aware that these are still in draft form and may change due to timetabling requirements.

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

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.

Subject Knowledge Audits

The following subject knowledge audits have been written to ensure you are aware of the level of subject knowledge required to be a primary school teacher. The audits are a formative tool and enable you to reflect and identify areas of personal need. The audits cover key aspects of the English, mathematics and science curriculum content and to ensure you are prepared to teach these, revision in weaker areas will be needed during the summer.  

Please access the audits via the links contained within the following word documents. Once completed, record you scores on the same tracking document and record any revision work you have done as preparation for your start in September. Please note that these audits will be repeated in January 2024 to demonstrate progress. You should be prepared to show your subject knowledge audit scores with your alliance in September as areas of development will inform your early targets. Please also save your completed subject knowledge trackers electronically because you will need to upload these onto your electronic portfolio (Pebblepad) at a later date.

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 develop is needed.

We would suggest that you complete the audits before your face-to-face induction day (Saturday 10th June) as we will be holding subject knowledge taster events on this day and you can select the most appropriate workshops that will support areas of development.

Professionalism In Teaching

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 8th June 2023 as access is time sensitive. 


Professional Competency Audit 

The professional competency audit has been devised to allow you to demonstrate the required knowledge and skills in essential literacy and numeracy that have been identified by the DfE. All teachers are required to be effective communicators and to be able to interpret data and, therefore, you need to demonstrate a minimum level to be awarded Qualified Teacher Status. 

To help you demonstrate competency in these essential areas, you should take the following audit which can be accessed via the link below. Please note that for this audit, there is a minimum pass mark that must be met to show competency. That pass mark is 65%. If you reach the required pass mark, you will not need to take the audit again. If you do not reach a pass mark of 65%, please do not worry as there will be a further opportunity in January to re-sit this. There is no need to record this score anywhere as we will track who has passed and who needs to re-sit at a later date. However, do remember to include your full name when completing the audit. The deadline for completion of this audit is 4th September 2023.

Student Teacher CV

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 the webpage below.

Induction Day

The following resources were shared during the face-to-face induction day on the 10th June.


Critical Thinking/Reading

The following 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.

Link to Criticality PowerPoint.

Critical Writing Workshop

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 during the first week of the programme. Please ensure you have completed the written task before 4th September and that you have this saved electronically. Once submitted, your university tutors will mark your work and give formative feedback including targets for you to work towards. Please note that early submission will not be possible as you will need access to the university VLE (Moodle) to submit this work. Therefore, just save this electronically for now.

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.

Link to critical writing workshop

Prevent Training

Please note that the remote module (Prevent Awareness – Course 1 only) must be completed before your September start date and you MUST present your certificate to your school as proof of completion on the very first day of attending school. Please do keep electronic copies of any 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.

Prevent Training

FGM Training

FGM training is an important aspect of your safeguarding training and the Home Office remote training module can be accessed from the link below. 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 and you have a copy of the certificate to show to your school on your first school-based day. An electronic copy of your certificate should be saved to allow you to upload this to your online portfolio later in the year.

FGM Training

Student Handbook

The following handbook gives you information about the structure of your PGCE programme. It is a handy guide that you can refer to throughout your course and gives an overview of your university training content, key contact information and programme expectations. Please do spend the summer becoming familiar with the content of the handbook as it may answer some of your early questions.

Safeguarding Training: Basic Awareness

Safeguarding is a statutory duty for all teachers and you are required to undertake basic safeguarding training before you attend your first school. Everyone, even those who have undertaken safeguarding training before, must complete the below training before the 4th of September and ensure you have copies of all of your certificates (safeguarding, FGM & prevent) to share with school on your first day.

The document below gives clear instructions on how to access the remote training provided by York St John University and how to access the Qualtics quiz which will ensure you are presented with your basic safeguarding certificate. Please ensure you follow all of the steps in the instructions as this will mean we are able to present you with your certificates. If you have any problems, please contact Sarah Trussler (our safeguarding lead) at

Arrangements for 4th and 5th September

Your programme begins on the 4th and 5th September at York St John University. The below overview outlines both days but should be read in conjunction with your university overview contained within your Student Handbook. Both days begin at 10 am and finish at 4pm/4:30pm. Please do make arrangements to be in York for the duration of both days.

Please do ensure you have met all of your condition before the deadline and ensure you bring identification with you on 4th September so that we can allocate you with your student ID card.

Map of the campus

We are looking forward to seeing you all on 4th September. Do remember to complete all of the above induction tasks as they have been designed to ensure you are ready to make a success for your PGCE and make sure you are ready to submit your formative writing piece in the first week of your programme.

Please also look out for emails from our admin team who have given you information about free parking options in the first two weeks of your programme.

Teaching PowerPoints if you are unable to access Moodle