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 the 2018 student survey, 92% of trainees rated the quality of their training as very good or good.
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.
The course encourages learning through critical reflection, making connections between the theory and practice of teaching, and continuing to self-evaluate and improve throughout a teaching career.
We work to enable students to teach pupils to think, and to interpret pupils' understanding, building their subsequent teaching on this.
The principle of the mathematics course at King’s is a view of teaching based on the process of planning ‐ teaching ‐ reflection. The process looks at relevant research, the principles of the mathematical topic which is being taught and links with other areas of the mathematical curriculum. In general mathematics sessions are workshops where we consider how to build upon pupils’ prior knowledge and address any misconceptions they might have. A sequence of lessons can then be planned to enable successful learning and teaching. Suitable responses from pupils are identified to assess their progress and understanding, and the effectiveness of the teaching approach used. Additional areas covered in the mathematics programme include:
- Growth mindset
- Motivation and engagement
- Mathematical modelling
- Problem solving
- Reasoning and proof
- Assessment methods
- Resources beyond textbooks
- Government initiatives
This is a full-time course consisting of four required modules and two placements in secondary schools within the Catholic Teaching Alliance. You will complete the course within ten months, studying September to June. 120 credits are required for the qualification. Two assessed pieces of coursework give you 60 Master’s-level credits (a third of an MA) which can be put towards to a Master’s degree later in your teaching career.
The King’s process includes an interview, short written task and a mathematics task.
Before a place is offered all applicants will be invited for an interview. The interview is looking to see whether you have a reasonable understanding of mathematics for teaching pupils aged 11‐18 years, to see if you can communicate with an audience, to see that you have prepared yourself for taking a career move towards teaching and to look at your commitment to teaching. You will complete a written task and a mathematics task and an individual interview. The individual interview will explore your views about teaching in general and more specifically teaching some aspects of the secondary mathematics curriculum.
During the individual interview and the mathematics task, we will be looking for:
- An ability to explain concepts at a school level
- How you engage with the audience
- Understanding of the subject you wish to teach
In your written task we will be looking for:
- An ability to express yourself clearly
- A considered view of the profession you wish to enter
- Accurate grammar and spelling
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.
At the start of the academic year we will contact all registered trainees to confirm where you are living 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 £22,000
- a bursary of £20,000
With a scholarship or bursary, you’ll also get early career payments of £5,000 each in your third and fifth year of teaching (£7,500 in some areas of England).
To qualify for a scholarship you’ll need a degree of 2:1 or above in maths 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.
Ideally you will have a good degree in mathematics. However, there is a significant difference between school mathematics and the wide variety of topics which are studied in mathematics degrees. Therefore degrees with a significant mathematical element are also acceptable (for example, physics, engineering, chemistry, economics).
All applicants must possess a grade C/ grade 4 in GCSE English and Maths (or equivalent).
- 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
Potential for Teaching
Previous experience of teaching or voluntary work in a school is desirable.
Spend at least one day observing your subject being taught in a secondary school and reference this in your application.
Demonstrate an awareness of what good teaching entails (or why some teaching you experienced was bad) and indicate a desire to teach.
You should provide:
- a reference which identifies your academic strengths and personal qualities required for teaching
- a reference with no reservations about suitability e.g. relating to academic achievement, effort, health, commitment, consistency, group working skills, communication skills
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.
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.
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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