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Postgraduate Certificate in Education - PGCE (Suffolk and Norfolk Primary SCITT)

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Full-time: One Year

Typical Offer: 

Qualifications and management experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Please see Entry Requirements below.


The Suffolk and Norfolk School Centred Initial Teaching Training programmes for Primary teachers aim to bring together the very best of school centred and academic training to produce competent and confident Newly Qualified Teachers who consider and reflect upon the purposes of education, as well as having high levels of knowledge, understanding and skills in the learning and teaching of children. 

The Suffolk and Norfolk Primary SCITT offers both Salaried and Tuition training routes. Both Primary SCITT programmes are designed to facilitate maximum experiential learning. Trainees on the courses specialise in either early years education 3-7 years or primary  education 5-11 years. In addition, both the Tuition and Salaried routes offer the opportunity to undertake an SEN specialism. On successful completion of the course, all Tuition trainees will gain QTS and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and be qualified to teach across the primary range.  Salaried trainees all gain QTS and have the choice of gaining a Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

Course Aims

The Primary SCITT Programme draws upon partnership arrangements between schools and education providers in Suffolk and Norfolk, to provide a programme of training that is designed to:

  • Prepare trainee teachers to teach across the 3-11 age range in one of three specialist areas

  • Enable trainee teachers to engage in a reflective and practice based programme of training and to demonstrate that they have met the Standards for award of Qualified Teacher Status

  • Enable trainee teachers to develop a thorough grounding in the academic skills and knowledge that support the role and professional practice of teachers and to demonstrate that they have met the standards of the PGCE award

  • Enable trainee teachers to consolidate their knowledge and understanding of teaching young children and of how this applies to the National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage

Course Learning Outcomes
The following statements define what students graduating from the Suffolk and Norfolk PGCE Primary SCITT course will have been judged to have demonstrated in order to achieve the award.  These statements, known as learning outcomes, have been formally approved as aligned with the generic qualification descriptor for level 7 awards as set out by the UK Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)

At the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate achievement against and meet each of the Teachers’ Standards for the Award of Qualified Teacher Status
  • Meet the QCA level 7 objectives in the context of the award of a Postgraduate Certificate in Education

Trainees will be expected to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Establish high expectations of children’s learning and to raise their educational achievement
  • Display a secure knowledge and understanding of the subjects they teach
  • Plan for effective teaching
  • Provide an appropriate curriculum for all the children in their care, taking into account prior attainment, diversity of background and individual difference
  • Assess children’s progress and work systematically and constructively, using the information from assessments to plan what should be learnt next
  • Create an organised and purposeful learning environment where diversity is valued and where pupils feel secure and confident
  • Manage the work of others and the resources for learning efficiently and effectively
  • Develop ICT skills to enhance their teaching and enable children to extend their own use of ICT across the curriculum.
  • Contribute to the personal and social development of the children in their care
  • Recognise their own contribution to the team of teachers and other staff in the school, to develop a culture of learning and achievement
  • Build effective partnerships with parents, governors and members of the wider community
  • Take responsibility for their own professional development with a particular emphasis on evaluating and improving their teaching skills and increasing their subject knowledge

Trainees should also demonstrate the following level 7 objectives:

  • A systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current initiatives, new insights and research in education and schools which is informed by professional practice
  • A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to own research
  • Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge of learning and teaching

Conceptual understanding that enables the student: to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the learning and teaching in a primary school.

Tutorial and Study Support
Trainees have access to the tutors throughout their course and benefit from formal information sessions to enable them to plan for summative assignments and tasks as well as personal and individual or small group module tutorials. These tutorials include critical feedback on performance and assessment on the module, academic advice associated with each topic and opportunities for trainees to identify concerns related to the module in general.

Each trainee also has a SCITT Tutor to offer support and guidance whilst on placement.

Opportunities on Completion of the Course
The vast majority of trainees gain their first teaching post in the Eastern Region after the successful completion of the SCITT year.

Students applying for the SCITT programmes must apply through the Teacher Training application form found on UCAS.

Please visit for more information. 

Howard Lay's Top 5 Tips

Howard Lay, Executive Principal of Samuel Ward Academy and Chief Executive of the Samuel Award Academy Trust, was awarded an Honorary Fellowship at the 2014 Graduation Ceremony for the Department of Children, Young People and Education. During his speech, Howard shared his top 5 tips for graduates:

  • Listen to advice but trust your gut. Your goal is to become an authentic teacher. By all means steal ideas but be sure that they align and resonate with your core beliefs. Trust you inner voice.
  • Don t wear your really cool clothes at school. Have comfortable clothes with pockets, which do not reveal attractive or unattractive flesh, and are impervious to all bodily fluids, and getting snagged on pencil sharpeners.
  • You are the adult in the room. Don t get into power struggles with students, where you feel the need to come out ahead by cracking down. Remind yourself: you have already won you are the teacher. You can be magnanimous, decide on the outcome to benefit all kids, rather than gratifying your ever present sense of control
  • The most important people to get on side are the secretary, the kitchen staff and the caretaker. Make cleaning up at the end of the day a habit out of respect for the cleaner. Its good karma and means that he or she will hustle to your room when someone throws up.
  • Expect to make hideous mistakes. Expect crushing disappointments. Expect to feel like quitting, at least a dozen times. Expect to anticipate holidays with pathetic longing. And know that experienced teachers experience these things too.

Course modules

Course modules

  • Professional Studies
  • Early Years Specialism or Primary Specialism
  • Professional Practice consisting of: Classroom Practice including observation of, and working alongside, an experienced teacher; Teaching Practice including taking a leading role in planning, organisation of and teaching a class
  • Core Subjects
  • Foundation Subjects, MFL and RE
  • Information and Communications Technology

Teaching, Learning and Assessment
A range of assessment techniques is used, including the trainee’s continuing professional development record, practice files, assignments, portfolio of evidence and lesson observations

Good practice is shared and discussed, particularly the need for tutors to model the expected future styles of the trainees. Tutors employ a range of learning and teaching strategies. The trainees encounter a range of approaches that appeal to differing learning styles with opportunities for individual guided discovery, collaborative and group learning. The course meets the professional standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The trainees are asked to attend induction days in the summer term prior to the course start date in early September.

The course follows the primary school year and consists of 190 days. It is delivered in two parts.

  1. Centre-based Training -  held at venues in Norwich, Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds
  2. School-based Training - Trainees are placed in partnership schools with the majority of trainees placed within 40 minutes travelling distance of their home address


Trainees are in school for at least two thirds of the course. During this time, they are provided with opportunities to observe good teachers at work and to work alongside them.

  • Early Years trainees will have sustained experience in Reception and Yr1 or Yr 2
  • Primary trainees will have sustained experience in KS1 and KS2

All trainees will have experience of at least two different schools; some may have experience of three

Trainees have substantial teaching opportunities, including individual, group and whole-class teaching. Levels of responsibility are incremental, leading to the point where the trainee takes on the planning and teaching of a class in full in the final teaching block.

Mentor Training and Quality Assurance
All mentors are invited to attend termly mentor training with additional support visits according to need. School Mentors and Professional Tutors receive visits at least termly from a member of the SCITT team. Partnership Head teachers play a strong role in assuring the quality of the school-based training, alongside the programme leader and SCITT team.

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Further information about the University's relationship with the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and Ofsted is available in the PSRB register.

Fees and finance

Trainees undertaking PGCE through Suffolk and Norfolk Primary SCITT will be charged tuition fees in accordance with SCITT and should contact SCITT directly for further finance related information.

Further Information

  • At the University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for.

Entry requirements