About the course
Located in the heart of London, PGCE courses at King’s are rated Outstanding by Ofsted with excellent tutors on hand to support you through your training. In the last research assessment exercise, the department was rated second in the UK (REF, 2014). You will have the opportunity to work with experienced tutors who are actively engaged in research in their subject and in pedagogy more widely. 96% of 2017 graduates who sought teaching posts were employed within 6 months of qualifying. In our 2018 student survey, 92% of trainees rated the quality of their training as very good or good.
The PGCE Computing at King's trains Computing professionals and graduates to become effective teachers of Computing in secondary schools. The PGCE Computing programme examines in detail the specifications and expectations for Computing in UK secondary schools including GCSE and A-Level courses.
Learning to be a teacher of Computing involves:
- learning about teaching the Computing knowledge, skills and processes as laid down in the National Curriculum and examination specifications for Computing, Computer Science and Information Technology.
- learning how to incorporate computational thinking into other subject areas in schools.
A distinctive feature of the King's Computing programme is the emphasis on learning through critical reflection and discussion with colleagues. In the same way that you will encouraged to make your students think when they are analysing computing-based issues and problems, so staff at King's are keen for you to apply your developing understanding of teaching to help you think about your own practice.
At King’s we are at the forefront of research into computing education in schools, and this research impacts on the teaching in the programme. We also co-run the Computing At School (CAS) Regional Centre for London, running many professional development and networking events for teachers of Computing. Our PGCE students can get involved in all these activities.
This course aims to prepare students to:
- become effective secondary school teachers
- become knowledgeable subject specialists who can progress to take on responsibilities in curriculum development
- become good classroom managers
- become successful form tutors and collaborative colleagues.
In addition to meeting the shortlisting requirements, it is desirable that you can demonstrate the following if you are to be offered a place:
- conceptual understanding of some school Computing
- knowledge of an appropriate level of Computing
- ability to think and reason clearly
- clarity and accuracy of written and spoken communication
- successful experience with children or clear potential for this
- ability to interact with pupils and colleagues
- strong motivation to teach
- ability to recognise own shortcomings
- flexibility of mind and potential necessary to improve.
- ability to present ideas clearly and at an appropriate level.
If you are shortlisted you will be invited to a group interview. This process will take half a day and is designed to:
- enable you to demonstrate your potential for teaching Computing
- help you to decide whether Computing teaching is the right career for you.
During the interview process you will demonstrate your potential for teaching Computing through:
- subject knowledge test (including questions on algorithms and programming)
- oral answers during individual interview
- a brief introduction to a lesson which you prepare at the interview and present to the rest of the interview group.
Presentation - we will be looking for:
- ability to explain concepts at a school level;
- engagement with the audience;
- use of simple resources (e.g. visual aids);
- understanding of the subject you wish to teach;
How school placements work
School Direct trainees start at their chosen school during the first week of the autumn term. Term dates will be confirmed upon acceptance of an offer.
The university course starts in the second week of September and is full-time until late June. Sessions are usually from 9:30 to 4:30 but much of the time is spent in schools and you are usually expected to be in school by 8:00 or 8:30. The course is very intensive and most students find that they are not able to do part-time work during this time.
Around half of the 38 schools within the Catholic Teaching Alliance offer training placements. Those who are able to support the main placement are listed for each respective course.
Candidates usually apply to schools that are located close to where they live and we are happy to arrange tours and an observation day in your preferred school prior to application.
When applying please select your preferred school. Once your application passes our vetting process you will be invited to interview at KCL followed by an interview at the school.
We offer an ABA placement route, this includes a 6-week placement at another school within the CTA in the spring term before you return to your original school for the remainder of the course. Your two placements will cover the 11-18 age group.
At the start of the academic year we will contact all trainees to confirm where you live and to ask about the type of school that you would like to be placed in for your second placement. Where possible, we will try to accommodate your request and placements are arranged with a maximum commuting distance of 1 hour 15 minutes based upon the address provided. Travel time is usually significantly less than this.
We are able to offer contrasting placements in single-sex or mixed schools and in schools with sixth forms where your main placement school is 11-16. Where you have completed a placement in a single-sex school your second placement will be in a mixed school or a school with students of the opposite sex.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
Tuition fee loans are available for those who meet the Government’s criteria for this scheme. Further information is available at GOV.UK
Government Training Bursaries:
Please note training bursaries are only available to students who have been classified as Home/EU for fee purposes.
You could be eligible for either:
- a scholarship of £28,000
- a bursary of £26,000
To qualify for a scholarship you’ll need a degree of 2:1 or above in Computing or a related subject. For a bursary you’ll need a 2:2 or above in any subject.
You can’t claim both a bursary and a scholarship - you can only claim one.
Find out how to apply for a scholarship. You don’t need to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out how you’ll be paid.
Financial support if you’re from outside the UK.
A degree with a minimum 2.2 that meets at least one of the following criteria:
- a degree in Computing, Computer Science or IT
- a degree that includes significant elements of Computing, Computer Science or IT
- a degree and additional courses that, considered together, are equivalent to Computing/IT degree-level courses.
- a degree and significant work-based experience and training in Computing/IT at degree-level.
- a higher degree containing a range of Computing or IT.
All applicants must possess a grade C/ grade 4 in GCSE English and Maths (or equivalent).
Personal qualities we look for include:
- Ability to engage interest and communicate your own enthusiasm for mathematics
- Commitment to working with young people
- Ability to explain ideas clearly and to think on your feet
- Evidence of good interpersonal skills
- Awareness of current educational issues
All applicants for teacher training programmes must pass the Department for Education’s Literacy and Numeracy Skills Tests prior to commencing their teacher training course.
The Department for Education requires the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau) to vet the background of persons working in their schools. Candidates offered a place on a PGCE course will be asked to complete an enhanced check with the DBS to ensure they do not have a criminal background which might prevent them from working as a teacher. This must be completed before you register on the programme.
About the training provider
The Catholic Teaching Alliance (CTA) is a strong and growing alliance of 38 schools. It is a cross-phase partnership from primary, through to secondary and sixth form colleges. Our partner schools are based throughout South-East London and Kent covering Southwark, Lewisham, Bromley, Bexleyheath and Chatham. This diversity in type of school and location gives a richness to our shared work. Our shared vision is Growing Teachers, Growing Learners, Growing Schools.
Our schools have a long history of Initial Teacher Education and have offered School Direct places since the initiative began. We have selected several universities that match our ethos. By carefully selecting the right universities to work with we are able to offer you an excellent start to your career in education.
We offer both Primary Salaried and Tuition Fee School Direct places and are able to provide training in a range of secondary subjects. Some subjects are available with a choice of provider.
We run an extensive CPD programme for trainees and most secure an NQT position within the group of schools. We also provide flexibility as your career progresses, with opportunities to move between schools.
We would encourage applicants to contact us to arrange a school tour prior to application and we are happy to answer any questions that you may have. Please contact the CTA Co-ordinator, Clare Barclay for more information or visit our website here to find out more about our schools and the career opportunities that we are able to offer.
About the accredited body
Experience: King’s has been training teachers for over 120 years and has developed a reputation for excellence in its training methods. The PGCE academics are qualified teachers themselves and are highly experienced in teacher training.
Reputation: King’s has developed a reputation for excellence in both training methods and the standards of new teachers we train. At the most recent Ofsted inspection King’s was graded 'Outstanding'.
Location: Based in the heart of London, King’s is surrounded by landmarks and cultural institutions that we incorporate into our training. Transport links are extensive as the campus is only minutes from Waterloo station.
Training with disabilities and other needs
All School Direct trainees must meet the Secretary of State's requirements for physical and mental health, but few health problems past or present preclude applicants from teaching.
The activities that a teacher must be able to perform are set out in the Education (Health Standards) (England) Regulations 2003.
We welcome applications from people with additional needs and disabilities. Successful applicants will be asked to complete a fitness questionnaire prior to commencing the programme.
Within our group of 38 schools, we are able to provide support for a range of disabilities and other needs and are usually able to arrange appropriate school placements and additional support as required. We have trained applicants with dyslexia, physical, hearing and visual impairments, as well as students with mental health issues. If you have any questions about health, disability, or the support provided or wish to discuss your own requirements further, please contact the CTA Co-ordinator, Clare Barclay, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information on the support provided by our university partners please see the links below.
King's College London
St Mary's University
Student Wellbeing Service
University College London
School Direct students are entitled to support from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) team. You can find more information here
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