About the Department of Primary Education

The department offers two undergraduate degrees (a three year degree leading to the recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and a two year, accelerated degree in primary education), as well as a postgraduate route to qualified teacher status.

For the two programmes leading to the recommendation for QTS, the department works in partnership with schools in London, Kent and Essex and can offer a varied teaching experience to students ranging from the inner city to the rural and suburban context.

Our teacher education programmes provide students with the skills, knowledge and understanding to enter the profession with enthusiasm and confidence as a newly qualified teacher, so that they are able to motivate and inspire young learners. A measure of our success is the very high employment rates shown on completion of our primary teacher training programmes.

In the most recent inspection (May 2011), Ofsted graded us as 'good' identifying the following key strengths in provision:

  • High quality pastoral, academic and individual support, and intervention which contributes well to trainees’ good progress
  • Well-planned opportunities for trainees to learn about and to experience a range of diverse and varied teaching contexts
  • The contribution of school partners in ensuring high quality school-based training and in shaping and steering improving provision
  • The good contribution of the provider in supplying teachers who are retained and enhance the quality of teaching in the local area
  • Professional, reflective trainees who are prepared to take risks in planning lessons that interest and enhance the enjoyment of learners resulting in positive working relationships between them and their pupils
  • The modelling of effective strategies by trainers and the coherence between the school- and centre-based training which enables trainees to make good links between practice and theory.

All taught sessions take place at the university’s Avery Hill Campus and periods of school based training are undertaken in primary schools who work in partnership with the university. Staff in the department are well-qualified and experienced primary practitioners and Ofsted (2011) noted that overall, trainees are very positive about the centre based training and highlighted, ‘the good contribution made by primary school partners to improving the quality of training and assessment across the partnership’ as a particularly strong feature of the programmes.

In the most recent Newly Qualified Teacher (2013), 94% of the NQTs rated the overall quality of their training as good or better.

The two year, accelerated degree in Primary Education is a brand new programme and an exciting opportunity for a new generation of undergraduate students. Primary education is of critical importance for society as a whole and through engagement with a range of aspects across the broad scope of the programme, students will develop a range of skills and explore new areas of knowledge in this fast changing arena. The concentrated two years of study maintains the quality and rigour of a traditional three year degree and will prepare students thoroughly for a range of employment opportunities. It is particularly appropriate for those who would like to progress into a one year primary teacher education programme.