Harrow Collegiate Teaching School Alliance
Biology (374J)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Middlesex University
Financial support
Bursary or student finance if you’re eligible
Qualification
PGCE with QTS

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) allows you to teach in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It’s also recognised internationally.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
8 October 2019
Date course starts
September 2020
Website
http://www.whitmore.harrow.sch.uk/schooldirect

About the course

Are you passionate about inspiring young people to learn about diverse topics from the human body to the natural world? Then our Biology Teacher Training course is for you.

This course will help you to develop the professional skills and knowledge you need to teach all aspects of science to pupils at least up to age 16, as well as biology to pupils aged up to 18. We are committed to creative approaches to teaching science, and you will be encouraged to develop resources during the programme. You are working with experienced classroom practitioners, many of whom have experience in industry and are on hand to support you to develop your skills in planning, teaching and assessment.

The course begins with a stimulating mix of biology, chemistry and physics education. You will then focus fully on biology, allowing you to specialise in the teaching of this diverse and engaging subject at Key Stage 4.

The range of specialist science and teaching facilities in your host school and at Middlesex will provide you with a solid foundation on which to develop your skills and experience. We have excellent relationships with schools in and outside London and during your studies, you also will undertake teaching placements in at least two secondary schools and have the chance to acquire skills in the application of new technologies in teaching and learning. Schools are carefully selected to suit each individual and expose them to a variety of imaginative and thought provoking learning strategies. Key experts from our partner schools are on hand to offer invaluable mentoring and support.

You will acquire a critical understanding of current debates and issues relating to science education and, particularly biology, and we will guide and support you in developing your subject knowledge. You are expected to engage with reading and research in science education and to regularly reflect upon your own progress.

Throughout the course you will learn how to:

  • develop the confidence and competence of all pupils in thinking scientifically
  • teach and assess pupils' understanding of the different branches of science
  • help pupils to develop as independent and collaborative learners
  • use practical exercises, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and ‘the real world’ in the teaching of science.

Interview process

If selected you would be required to attend an interview at the host school. This will include:

  • a tour of the school
  • literacy/numeracy tests
  • classroom/teaching exercise
  • panel interview

You may be asked to teach a short segment of a lesson, in which case full details will be provided in advance. Do not worry! This is an opportunity for us to see you in a classroom setting, and we are fully aware you may have had no previous teaching experience. The lesson may not go as planned, but it's important to be honest with your thoughts when we ask you about the lesson during the subsequent interview panel.

Further details of the interview structure will be emailed as part of your interview confirmation.

If you are successful at the Stage 1 (school interview), the university will call you for Stage 2 of interview at the university. This is an ideal opportunity for you to get to know the team at Middlesex University that you will be working with during your training year, and for them to get to know you.

If you are rejected at Stage 1 (school interview), we will contact you and upload the rejection to UCAS including reasons for the rejection that you (alone) would be able to see.

If you are rejected at Stage 2 (university interview), the university will get in touch to outline the reasons for their decision.

How school placements work

You will undertake your training across two contrasting schools. Starting in ‘School A’ your first placement lasts from September until early January, then you move to ‘School B’ in early February through to late April, returning to ‘School A’ in early May, completing your training in late June.

Your training will be predominantly based at the two host schools, other than one day a week when you will be at the university (throughout most of the year).

Through an initial programme of observations and research you will become familiar with the organisation and working of the school and department (pupil groups and pastoral systems, staffing, curriculum, resources, facilities, methods of teaching, lesson planning, and assessment).

From the beginning, you will be treated like a member of the teaching staff by fellow professionals. With your departmental mentor and Professional Coordinating Mentor (PCM), you will feel supported as you progress and become ready to teach. Our mentors are experienced teachers and undertake rigorous training to develop their mentoring skills to support your development as a teacher. Your time in school provides you with the opportunity to develop your teaching expertise and relationships with children and young people in a familiar environment.

Your university tutor will visit you regularly throughout your training year to monitor your progress and discuss your development with you and your mentors and you will maintain close links with other trainees in your subject across the Harrow Collegiate, through networking and subject development days.

Fees

The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250
International students £12,900

Financial support

You’ll get a bursary of £26,000 if you have a degree of 2:2 or above in any subject.

You don’t have to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out about eligibility and how you’ll be paid.

You may also be eligible for a loan while you study.

Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.

Requirements

Qualifications

  • 2:2 or above Honours Degree in the subject you wish to teach (or a closely related discipline)*
  • Strong academic record at A-level*: at least grade B* in the subject you wish to teach (or grade C* if you can demonstrate academic progression since A-level*).
  • GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above*.

*or equivalent

Applicants may be accepted if they have other relevant experience (e.g. work experience).

Visit the National Academic Recognition Centre (NARIC) website to confirm qualification equivalents if you studied outside the UK.

Personal qualities

You should be:

  • Enthusiastic about your subject;
  • Able to communicate clearly in written and spoken English;
  • Open to advice and positive professional criticism;
  • Diligent, organised, smartly dressed, punctual and committed to full attendance;
  • Able to shoulder individual responsibility and work collaboratively;
  • Committed to equal opportunities;
  • Willing to work with pupils beyond the school day.

You should also have:

  • Basic computing skills, with a commitment to developing these;
  • Good health, physical and mental;
  • A sense of humour;
  • A vision of teaching more than just giving information or crowd control

Other requirements

We strongly encourage you to undertake school experience observation in UK secondary schools before applying. Although this is not mandatory, this will enable you to explore your motivation to teach, and your understanding of what teaching is like, when you are discussing this at interview.

This school experience does not need to be in the school you are applying to, but should be in the subject you are planning to teach (or a closely-related discipline).

All teacher trainees will undergo an Enhanced Criminal Records check, Health checks and Prohibition to Teach checks. Further information can be obtained at interview.

About the training provider

The Harrow Collegiate Teaching Schools' Alliance (HCTSA) is comprised of a wide range of high performing Outer London secondary schools, committed to transforming young people's lives through inspirational teaching. We are an innovative and growing partnership with schools in Harrow, Barnet, Brent, Camden, Edgware and Hillingdon (click for a map of our schools).

We are looking for exceptional candidates with a passion for your subject grounded in academic achievement as well as a deep commitment to working with young people to enhance their life opportunities through education.

Whitmore High School is the Lead School, and partner schools include Alperton Community School, Avanti House School, Bentley Wood High School, Canons High School, Harrow High School, Hatch End High School, Haydon School(http://www.haydonschool.com/), Kingsbury High School, Kingsley Special School, Nower Hill High School, Park High School, Regent High School, Rooks Heath College, Sacred Heart Language College, St. Mary's & St. John's School and Whitefriars School.

We offer the opportunity to train with experienced teachers in dynamic learning environments that foster talent. We have extensive opportunities for professional development including an excellent Masters Programme with St. Mary’s University, Twickenham.

In addition, we offer:

  • Genuinely comprehensive schools where you would gain experience of both challenging pupils and some exceptionally high achievers;
  • School-based tutorials led by experienced Leadership team members and school staff;
  • The chance to train amongst highly committed, positive, professional staff;
  • The opportunity to become part of a school community, gaining understanding of the richness and complexities of teaching.

About the accredited body

The School Direct programme at Middlesex University allows trainees to benefit from the provision of a range of high-quality central training, delivered by research-leaders and academics, who are widely published across many disciplines.

The team at Middlesex University are dedicated to supporting you throughout your training and work in close liaison with schools to ensure an excellent experience for all trainees.

All programmes provide the opportunity to gain a postgraduate qualification, which can be used towards a master's degree in the future. This enables you to develop your skills for teaching and for understanding the interrelationship between learning and teaching.

Training with disabilities and other needs

HCTSA and our partner university are committed to supporting trainees with disabilities. The HCTSA invites you to contact us as early as possible in your application process so that your needs are met and support can be arranged – schooldirect@whitmore.harrow.sch.uk

Middlesex University offers advice and support to their trainees who have requirements as a result of a disability, specific learning difficulty (e.g. dyslexia), medical condition or temporary disability, such as injury.

Contact details

Email
schooldirect@whitmore.harrow.sch.uk
Telephone
02088647688
Website
http://www.whitmore.harrow.sch.uk/schooldirect
Address
Whitmore High School
Porlock Avenue
Harrow
Middlesex
HA2 0AD

Apply

Apply on the UCAS website. You’ll need to register with UCAS before you can apply.

Visit Get into Teaching for guidance on applying for teacher training.

When you apply you’ll need these codes for the Choices section of your application form:

  • Training provider code: 1EF
  • Training programme code: 374J

Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.

Location Vacancies Code
Alperton Community School
Stanley Avenue, Wembley HA04JE
Yes A

Support and advice

For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.

Get support and advice about teaching

Register with Get into Teaching, the Department for Education’s free support and advice service, for personalised guidance from teaching experts. They can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events. You can also call them free on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service, from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.

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