How to Become a Primary Teacher in UK

Primary Teaching Level 5

The role of a primary school teacher carries immense significance, shaping the foundation of young minds during a critical developmental stage. This guide provides an overview of the pathways available to aspiring individuals seeking to pursue a fulfilling career in primary education and obtain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in the UK

Choosing Your Path

There are a few different ways to become a primary school teacher, depending on your background:

  • Go to university full-time: This is the most common route. You can do a four-year degree like a Bachelor of Education (BEd) or a combined degree with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) like a BA with QTS.
  • Do a one-year postgraduate course: Already have a degree in any subject? You can do a fast-track program called a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) to get your QTS.
  • Become a Teaching Apprentice: This newer option lets you earn while you learn! You’ll work as a teaching assistant alongside experienced teachers while studying for a degree that leads to QTS.

Getting Ready

No matter which path you choose, you’ll usually need good grades in English, math, and science (usually GCSE grades 4-9 or old A*-C grades). You might also need A-Levels (or similar qualifications) for university degrees.

Building Your Skills:

Working with kids before you start training is a great way to show you’re serious. Here are some ideas:

  • Volunteer at a school: Help out in classrooms or libraries.
  • Join after-school clubs: Lead fun activities for children.
  • Work at holiday programs: Keep kids entertained during school breaks.

The Training Journey

Teacher training courses are where you learn the skills you need to be a great teacher. Look for courses that offer QTS or QTS with a PGCE.  These programs mix classroom learning (like how to plan lessons) with hands-on experience in real schools.

Making it Happen

  • Teacher training can be expensive, but there’s help available!  The UK government offers student loans and bursaries (financial help) to support teachers in training, especially for subjects like science or math.

Standing Out

To get accepted into a training program, you’ll need to apply. Here are some tips:

  • Get good references: Ask teachers, professors, or anyone who knows you well to write about your skills and passion for working with children.
  • Write a strong personal statement: This is your chance to tell the program why you want to be a teacher and what makes you a great fit.
  • Tailor your application: Read the program requirements carefully and make sure your application shows how you meet them.

Starting Your Career

  • Once you finish your training and get your QTS, you’re officially a qualified teacher! As a new teacher (called an Early Career Teacher or ECT), you’ll get extra support and mentoring during your first two years on the job.

Ready to Make a Difference?

Becoming a primary school teacher is a great way to use your skills and passion to help young minds grow.  This guide has shown you the steps you need to take. Now it’s your turn to start your teaching adventure!

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