Primary Education 5 - 11 years BA (Hons)
Study to become a Primary School Teacher at one of York's oldest teaching institutions.
Education impacts everybody’s lives and York St John University has a long and proud history of providing high quality Initial Teacher Education. If you share our passion for teaching and our belief in the power of education then this is the degree for you.
94% of Primary Education students were satisfied with their course (NSS 2019)
- UCAS Code – X320
- Duration – 3 years full-time
- Start date – September 2020, September 2021
- School – Education
UK and EU 2020-21 £9,250 per year
International 2020-21 £12,750 per year
The York St John Experience
The course combines academic study and practical teaching experience at every level. These two sides of the degree are constantly feeding into each other as you learn, with the knowledge and theory you gain on campus informing your teaching practice on school placements. Your university-based study will cover both the primary curriculum, building your subject knowledge and pedagogy in preparation for your placements and professional studies modules which give you the skills and understanding to ensure all children in the classroom make progress in their learning.
Meanwhile, in your school-based placements you will gradually take on more and more responsibility as you progress through the course until you are ready to lead a class of your own. We have very good relationships with our school partnerships across the region and you will get involved in all aspects of school life while you are on your placements.
You will have opportunities to personalise your course, specialising in the areas which interest you most. When you apply you will choose either the 3-7 or 5-11 route. These two Primary Education programmes study some modules together but others separately, giving you specialist knowledge for the age group you will work with. In your final year you can choose a further specialism selecting a module from a range of options. You will also have the opportunity to design, plan and carry out a research project with a focus of your choosing.
York St John University is an accredited Initial Teacher Training provider and on successful completion of this course you will be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by the Teaching Regulation Agency.
Professional studies 1: Awareness of learning and teaching (20 credits) Professional studies modules will be taught though key themes that cover the Teachers’ Standards:
- Planning and assessment for pupil progress
- Meeting different needs
- Classroom and behaviour management
- Professional expectations and employability
- Theories of and approaches to teaching and learning
Learning and teaching in the primary core curriculum 1 (40 credits)
This module will focus on learning, teaching and subject knowledge in English, mathematics and science.
Learning and teaching in the primary foundation curriculum 1 (20 credits)
This module will focus on learning, teaching and subject knowledge in the other subjects of the primary National Curriculum, plus RE, with a focus on Key Stage 1.
Developing your wider skills (20 credits)
This module will allow you some choices to personalise your study. A range of academic and teaching skills will be on offer to help you establish firm foundations in your assignments and build up additional skills to support your school placements. These skills may include: academic writing and presentation, BSL, first aid, practical music and sports coaching.
School experience 1 (20 credits)
Your first school placement will typically involve being in school with other students, having visits spread through your first year with a five week, full-time placement in May and June, during which you will typically teach around 50% of the timetable.
In year 2 you will be taught for all modules in just 5-11 age phase teaching groups, allowing a sharper focus on that age range.
Professional studies 2: Becoming a teacher (20 credits)
The same themes will be addressed as for year 1, covering new ground, at a higher level. In year 2 there will be strong focus on special educational needs, disabilities and inclusion, through theme 2, meeting the needs of different pupils.
Learning and teaching in the primary core curriculum 2 (40 credits)
This module will build on the first year module, with a sharper on the 5-11 age range.
Learning and teaching in the primary foundation curriculum 1: (20 credits)
This module will focus on learning, teaching and subject knowledge in the other subjects of the primary National Curriculum, plus RE, with a focus on Key Stage 2.
The research informed professional 1 (20 credits)
This module will begin your critical journey as a teacher-researcher. First of all you will engage critically with a range of established educational research before moving on to learning how to plan, design and carry out your own research project.
School experience 2 (20 credits)
This placement steps up from your first placement in that you will be placed in a class on your own, the placement is longer and you will build up to teaching 60-70% timetable.
In year 3 you will have further chances to make choices and personalise your study.
Professional studies 3: The emerging professional (20 credits)
The same themes will be addressed as for year 1 and 2, covering new ground again, at a higher level. In year three, the focus themes will be pupil progress and assessment and also employability, with theme 1 (planning and assessment for pupil progress) and theme 5 (Planning and assessment for pupil progress) being the main ones. For this module you will be taught in your 5-11 age range group.
Contemporary issues in education (20 credits)
This module will focus on critical engagement in a range of issues that are contemporary in our education system at that time. There will be direct teaching about those issues, but the main focus will be on your participation in rigorous, critical, reflective and informed debate. For this module you will be taught in your 5-11 age range group.
The research informed professional 2 (40 credits)
This module will build directly on its level 5 equivalent. You will apply your learning from year 2 and will plan, design, carry out and present, typically through a dissertation, a small scale education research project, the focus and title of which is largely your choice (subject to tutor approval).
Professional focus elective (20 credits)
This module is another area where you can make choices and personalise your course. You will choose one module from a range, which is likely to include:
- Early Years (this is available to 5-11 students as well as 3-7)
- Creativity in primary education
- Thinking and philosophy for children
- Digital learning in primary schools
- Learning outside the classroom
School experience 3 (20 credits)
This is the culmination of your professional studies. You will undertake an extended placement of around 10 weeks, where you will build up to teaching 80% of the timetable. You will become, to all intents and purposes, the class teacher and show you are ready to take on your own class as an NQT.
The minimum entry requirements for this course are:
120 UCAS Tariff points
5 GCSEs at grade C/4/Level 4 or above (or equivalent) including:
- English Language
- Maths and Science
- Pass a satisfactory medical report and a satisfactory Enhanced DBS check.
Terms and conditions
Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.
Teaching & Assessment
You will be placed into a teaching group in year 1, which is usually a mixture of 3-7 route and 5-11 route students. In years 2 and 3, the two routes are taught in separate teaching groups, apart from year 3 electives. Teaching is focussed on developing both your academic and teaching knowledge, skills and understanding and always reflecting critically on how the two relate to each other.
Teaching is mainly done through class sized groups of around 25 students. A typical session will be interactive with practical work, discussions, debates, group work and the chance to ask questions and raise points as well as direct teaching from tutors. There will also be times when students are expected to prepare and run parts of sessions under supervision of tutors.
The Primary Education timetable in years 1, 2 and 3 has inbuilt flexibility, varying from week to week due to the wide range of staff involved in teaching the course and because around 120 days are spent on school placement across the whole course. Consequently there are busier and lighter weeks which may range from 6 to 18 hours in a week. There will also be additional timetabled tutorials, assessments and independent study sessions timetabled in some weeks. As a general guide, semester 1 is busier than semester 2 in all years, but especially in years 2 and 3 as block school placements typically start in semester 2.
In year 1, the timetabled contact hours reduce across semester 2 as more time is gradually spent on assessments and in school, prior to the first year block placement which is usually at the end of the year. Year 1 therefore, typically finishes a month later than years 2 and 3.
When you are on school placement, you will be working the full day of a primary school, with additional preparation for lessons the next day, marking etc. School placements are full on!
Self-study time is critical to success on the Primary Education course. This will be a combination of independent learning activities set by tutors and also your own self-directed study. These will build on your taught sessions and guidance for your assignments, and during placement, will be driven by the requirements of your teaching in school.
You will take three formal assessed school placements, one in each year of your course. The placements get longer and you take a greater timetable and level of responsibility as you move from year 1 to 3 of your course. In your final placement, you be expected to take on almost the full role of the class teacher, showing that you are ready to be appointed and paid to take on your own class as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) on completion of your course and award of QTS. Your placements will be in at least two schools and you must take placements in the EFYs and KS1, the two age phrases of your course. Each placement will be supported by a mentor as well as a university link tutor. Securing placements is overseen by the university placement’s office.
Assessment is through a combination assessed course work and assessed school placements. 80% of the course is assessed by course work and 20% by school placement’s. Your final degree classification will be based only on the assessed course work. School placements are pass/fail but will be graded using Ofsted grading classifications. These grading are important to future employers but do not affect your academic degree classification.
All assessed coursework is graded given detailed, constructive feedback within stated timescales. All modules have formative feedback within the module provision; this may be verbal or written. School placements are assessed continually; you will receive regular formative feedback on your teaching as well as formal interim and final written and graded reports.
We have a variety of approaches to assessment, allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding in different ways. These include:
- Written assessments ranging from short pieces to an extended dissertation
- Individual and group presentations
- Subject knowledge audits in the core curriculum
- Practical artefacts
- Assessed school placements