Your Future

Initial Teacher Training

The Wonder Institute of Education is delighted to announce that we will be working collaboratively as a lead partner with York St John University to deliver an Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme from September 2024.

The Initial Education Programme

The ITE programme involves partnerships between universities and schools to provide professional education and development for student teachers. It is a full-time course that runs for a complete academic year, and on successfully completing the ITE programme, you will be awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from York St John University, with your graduation ceremony taking place in York Minster.

Our ITE Programme offers both a PGCE in Primary Education and a PGCE in Secondary Education, a list of our courses is shown below:

  • Primary Education
  • Secondary Art & Design
  • Secondary Drama
  • Secondary English
  • Secondary Design & Technology
  • Secondary Geography
  • Secondary History
  • Secondary Mathematics
  • Secondary Modern Foreign Languages
  • Secondary Physical Education
  • Secondary Religious Studies
  • Secondary Science: Biology
  • Secondary Science: Chemistry
  • Secondary Science: Physics

Over the course of the academic year, you will be spending time at both York St John University and the Wonder Learning Partnership Schools. After an initial induction period at York St John University, you will move to your first school centred placement at your base school. There are three school centred placements over the course of the year, the first and third placement will be in your base school and your second placement will be in a different school with a contrasting environment, so that you are able to experience different types of schools.

During your programme there will be opportunities for enrichment activities and experiential placements. These range from spending time in nurseries, primaries and secondary schools and will be dependent on your chosen phase of teaching.

Throughout your course you remain in close contact with York St John, by attending the university on a regular basis, to do your own independent academic study and to take part in a wide variety of lectures and activities, that support your teaching pedagogy and enhance your subject knowledge.

Masters Modules 

The PGCE involves two Masters level modules which represent one third of a full master’s qualification.  One module relates to teaching, learning and assessment and the other to wider professional learning.

Intensive Training and Practice (ITAPs) days

New for 2024, all student teachers will be participating in ITAPs, these are days devoted to helping student teachers to put theory into practice and will cover key “foundational areas in learning” that all student teachers should know before finishing their training year.  These will focus on slightly different areas depending on whether you follow a PGCE primary or PGCE secondary, but student teachers will all do ITAPs on key areas like inclusion.

Entry Requirements


GCSE in English (or approved equivalent) at grade C/Level 4

GCSE in Mathematics (or approved equivalent) at grade C/Level 4

GCSE in Science (or approved equivalent) at grade C/Level 4 (for primary applications)

A first degree from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent.  For this programme successful applicants will normally have at least an lower second-class honours degree from a UK higher education institution, or the equivalent.

For secondary …. your degree should be specific to the subject-based PGCE you are applying for. In some circumstances candidates without a subject specialist degree may be considered if, for example, they can provide evidence of strong subject knowledge, and have at least an A level in the subject.

In addition to these qualifications, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the intellectual and academic capabilities to train to become a teacher. These include speaking, listening and communication and writing, that are fundamental to a teachers role.

Other requirements 


All entrants to the programme will undergo checks as part of our duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.  As part of this you are required to undertake an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal records check and children’s barred list. Applicants who have lived or worked outside the UK undergo the same checks as all other student teachers and in addition further checks will be carried out so that any events that occurred outside the UK can be considered.

Medical Questionnaire

All entrants must have the health and physical capacity to train to teach.  If you are successful at interview, you will be expected to complete a medical questionnaire in order to assess your fitness to teach.

Personal qualities

The YSJ/Wonder Institute of Education partnership are looking for student teachers with an enthusiasm and passion for teaching children and young people, and for secondary a passion for their subject area. Successful student teachers  are those which combine this enthusiasm with an ability to organise planning, teaching and classroom management; to reflect on their training experience and develop as critical professionals; to integrate their teaching approach and delivery with cross curricular initiatives; to express ideas clearly and succinctly using language appropriately for a range of different audiences; to show personal initiative and work well with peers, pupils, tutors, staff and parents; to demonstrate an understanding of wider professional issues within education; to have a love of learning and to communicate this to pupils.

In Partnership with York St John University

York St John University’s heritage is anchored in teacher training and education. York St John established in 1841, developing into a teacher training college and later a university and has a successful history of educating and training outstanding student teachers. We have a strong record of contributing to our local and national teaching community.  We strive for our graduates to become transformative professionals as they enter the teaching profession and many of our graduates are now mentoring current student teachers within our partnership schools and are in leadership positions.

Partnership is at the heart of our programmes at YSJ.  We work in partnership with our Lead Partners to run school-centred PGCES for both primary and secondary and also have university centred provision (PGCE Primary and Undergraduate Programme).  Our recent Ofsted report (2022) indicated that ‘there is something special about York St John trainees. They are diligent, kind, caring and self-reflective’ and that ‘leaders run a genuine partnership between schools and the university’.  Overall, we currently have over 500 student teachers across our teacher training and education programmes and work across the region with over 450 primary and secondary schools in 20 local authorities.  We have a highly experienced team of staff who work alongside colleagues in partnership schools to ensure our programmes are current and reflect the latest evidence and research.  Ofsted (2022) indicated that ‘leaders provide trainees with considered insight into educational research (Ofsted 2022) and that ‘staff undertake continuous research to support their decisions and show trainees how to do the same’.  YSJ is the largest provider of ITE in the region with subject specialist staff for all curriculum areas in primary and for the subjects we offer at secondary, ensuring that you have the very best teachers leading your sessions and supporting your professional development.

We have a strong record of our student teachers being recruited to local, regional and national schools with Ofsted (2022) indicating that ‘the partnership makes a valuable contribution to meeting local and national need for the supply of knowledgeable, resilient and confident teachers’

The strengths identified by Ofsted are complemented by positive annual reports from our External Examiners, who have a responsibility to quality assure the programme on an annual basis, taking feedback from our student teachers and school partners. 

Trainee support

York St John University is an inclusive university and there is a range of support services for students with disabilities and other needs accessed via our Disability support and Inclusion team and other services related to health and wellbeing.  On the PGCE programme we have a strong track record of supporting students with additional needs to enable them to complete their studies successfully.

Placement Locations

Your school centred placements will take place in our Wonder Learning Partnership schools in the Pocklington and/or Beverley area.


How school placements work

This PGCE is a school-centred route and hence the majority of your time will be spent in school.  For the majority of the year, you will be in your base school and will do a second school placement for 6 weeks during the Spring term before returning to your base school for the remainder of the programme.

This school experience provides structured opportunities for you to observe experienced teachers and other professionals and support you in progressively building your confidence towards independent teaching. You will be given the opportunity to participate in all aspects of school life and the wider school context.  For example, you will attend school meetings, and participate in school professional development activities, that will support you in developing your knowledge and understanding of the whole school environment. We build a range of experiential and enrichment opportunities into the programme to further support your journey into the teaching profession.

You will be supported on your school placements by a mentor and other school staff, as well as university tutors, who are all committed to your education and training and work together to secure your progress and development.

Once qualified we continue to support you as you make the transition from ITE into your first teaching role, and you will have a dedicated member of staff for this at YSJ.

We have a strong record of employment for our PGCE with many of our student teachers being employed in partnership schools. Ofsted (2002) indicated that ‘transition into employment as an early career teacher (ECT) is particularly strong’.

Why Train with Us?

When you choose York St John and the Wonder Institute of Education for your teacher training, you are choosing to become part of the Wonder family. As with all families, we care about all our trainees and to demonstrate what this means, we have developed our own WE CARE support package.

W: Well- being

Teaching is without doubt one of the most rewarding careers. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to shape minds, to make a difference and to provide our children and pupils with life choices, enriching experiences, as well as a first-class education. Teachers are so important, and we therefore want to make sure that all are trainee teachers are well cared for as they progress through their own educational journey. You will therefore have:

  • Access to a dedicated Early Careers Mental First Aider if you need to talk.
  • Receive a 10% discount card for the KP resort in Pocklington, for their spa, fitness suite and restaurant, if you need to relax.
  • Will have a dedicated weekly CCC (coffee, cake, and chat) break with your Lead Early Careers mentor on a Friday afternoon.

E: Environment

When you become a member of the Wonder Family, we want you to feel comfortable in your environment. We therefore plan a full school centred induction over a number of days, so you have an opportunity to meet your mentors, and colleagues within your departments/phases/years/ school over lunch. You will receive a comprehensive handbook on everything that you need to know before you start on your educational journey. We also ensure that you have time to complete any statutory training for working in a school, so you can focus only on training to be the best teacher possible when you walk into your first classroom.

C: Communication and support

You will have your own dedicated mentors, who are excellent teachers, but also outstanding and experienced mentors. They will meet with you every week to discuss your progress, to watch your lessons, to give constructive feedback, to deliver instructional coaching, to set targets and to support you in your educational journey. Your mentors will determine the speed of your progression, based on what they see and these discussions, helping to tailor the ITE programme to meet your needs.

A weekly ITE bulletin will also pop into your inbox every week, with educational updates, news, and celebrations from the previous week.

And of course, there is also your CCC break on a Friday afternoon.

A: Aspiration

To assist you in your career as a teacher, we guarantee all our ITE trainees an interview, if a suitable position becomes available in our school; not only at the end of your placement but also anytime you apply for a role with the Wonder Learning Partnership Trust.

Our Well-being and personnel department will also run a mock recruitment event during you placement and you will receive feedback on both your application and your performance on interview, helping you to maximise your employability, when you go for your first teaching interview.

Financially, we also want to help. If something happens that is unexpected, such as a broken laptop or you need smart clothes for an interview, we offer a one-off Wonder Bursary up to £250.00, so that we can make sure, you have the resources you need for your role or look great at your interview!

R: Resources

We will ensure that you have access to the necessary resources that you need during your school centred placement. You will receive a trainee teacher welcome pack, so that you are ready for the classroom, as well as textbooks and links to all the trainee teacher memberships available.

E: Enrichment

As the Wonder Institute of Education also runs a training school, you are entitled to attend any of our courses free of charge. You might want to know more about safeguarding, governance, teaching and learning, SEND or leadership, if so, just book onto the course at any of our Centres of Excellence.

You will also have full membership of the National College. This will give you free access to literally hundreds of online courses and webinars on all areas of teaching and education.


How to Apply

How to train to teach with York St John and the Wonder Institute of Education School Centre ITE Partnership Programme


Before applying for our ITE course you need to ensure that you enjoy working with children and that teaching is definitely your vocation in life. You can do this by having some experience of working (either paid/unpaid) with children. Many schools offer experience days, and you are able to book these at the Wonder Learning Partnership schools at various dates across the year or contact by joining one our Back-to-School days. 

Step 2:

The School Centre ITE Programme is a Postgraduate course and applicants will need to have completed a degree or be due to complete their degree in 2024 in order to apply for this course. You also need to have achieved, a Grade C or above in mathematics and English and if you are looking to become a primary school teacher, you require a science qualification at grade C or above.

Please Click here to apply.

Once you are on the Department for Education website, please search for the Wonder Institute of Education to apply for one of our courses.

 Step 3:

If you are application is successful, you will be invited to attend an interview.

Interview process

 The recruitment process has been developed as a YSJ/Wonder Institute of Education partnership to ensure it is rigorous and thorough and enables you to have opportunities to demonstrate your potential to become an effective teacher.

Our processes are designed to enable Wonder Institute of Education and York St John University to assess candidates’ suitability for training and to appoint the best candidates for the places available.  Interview days take place at one of our partnership schools with typical activities including a short teaching or group activity and an individual interview.  Prior to the interview you will be asked to complete a safeguarding declaration form and will be asked questions relating to safeguarding in the interview. There will also be opportunities for you to discuss your prior achievement/experience and ask us any questions.

The programme is both academic and professional.  It leads to the academic award of PGCE and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).  Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate their capacity to manage the academic requirements of the programme and the professional expectations.  Selection for a place on the PGCE programme is based on evidence given throughout the application process including the following:

  • Your personal statement
  • References
  • Academic, professional or vocational qualifications (including subject specific knowledge)
  • Your interview

If you are successful at interview and offered a place on the programme you will then be supported to prepare for the programme through our comprehensive induction programme that can be tailored to meet your individual needs.

Bursaries and Scholarships

Post graduate bursaries and scholarships are available for some of subjects. Although you cannot receive both a bursary and a scholarship.

2024 – 2025 Bursaries and Scholarships

Subject Bursary Scholarship
Art & Design £10,000  
Biology £25,000  
Chemistry £28,000 £30,000
Computing £28,000 £30,000
Design Technology £25,000  
English £10,000  
Geography £25,000  
Languages (German, French and Spanish only) £25,000 £27,000
Languages (all other languages, including ancient languages) £25,000  
Maths £28,000 £30,000
Music £10,000  
Physics £28,000 £30,000
Religious Education £10,000  


You do not need to apply for a bursary, if you are eligible, you will receive this automatically.

To be eligible for a bursary you need at least one for the following:

  • At least a 2:2 (honours) in your bachelor’s degree
  • A master’s degree
  • A PhD

If you degree combines 2 subjects, such as (psychology and biology) at least 50% of the content of your course must be made up of the bursary subject.


Scholarships are awarded from charitable bodies that have a keen interest in a particular area, and you will need to complete an application process.

To be eligible for a bursary you need at least one for the following:

  • At least a 2:1 (honours) in your bachelor’s degree
  • A master’s degree
  • A PhD

You may be eligible for a scholarship if you have achieved a 2:2 (honours) in your bachelor’s degree, if you have significant experience.

By applying for a scholarship, you will also receive some non-financial benefits from your charitable organisation. These can include:

  • subject specialist events and webinars
  • online and face-to-face workshops
  • mentoring and coaching
  • a community of ex-scholars, teachers, and subject leaders
  • access to classroom resources
  • networking events during your teacher training and beyond

Applying for a scholarship

Scholarships are offered by independent institutions. They set their own eligibility criteria and you’ll need to apply through the relevant scholarship body:

Each scholarship body will have its own deadline for applications. You can find these on their individual websites.

Event Back to School Days

We offer a number of Back-to-School-Days across our schools. These days are intended to provide you with a brief overview of what it is like to work in a school and are aimed at helping you decide whether teaching is the right career for you.  To attend one of these days you must have a degree and have a genuine interest in becoming a teacher.

To find out when our next Back- to School- Day is planned visit our Events page.


3rd October 2023              An opportunity for you to preview our teacher training Courses on DfE Find, in case you have any questions before applications open.

12th October 2023           Applications for teacher training open via the Department for Education  Click here to apply.

14th October 2023           Teacher Training Information Event at York St John University  (4pm – 7pm).





Our Vision


We Educate

We are committed to educating the whole child and believe that every child should reach their potential. We enable leaders and schools to be ambitious in the education we offer.



We Empower

We will empower our whole school community through support, development and value in the pursuit of excellence.


We Engage

We will engage in best practice to develop the personal qualities and aspirations of pupils and staff whilst supporting each school’s ethos and values and embracing each local community.


We Enrich

We will ensure our children and colleagues are exposed to a wealth of experiences and opportunities that broaden their understanding of the world, building both character and confidence.


Telephone 01759 302395


If you require a paper copy of any information on our website, please contact us.


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Wonder Learning Partnership is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales with Company Number: 10518602