About the course
The PGCE Secondary science programmes at Roehampton University (Science with Biology, Science with Chemistry and Science with Physics) are designed to enable you to teach, as a minimum, all the science specified in the National Curriculum for science at Key Stage 3, and your chosen science specialism from biology, chemistry or physics, at Key Stage 4 and, if appropriate, at post-16.
Students join the course with a variety of science degrees and backgrounds. Few, if any, are confident from the start in all aspects of science demanded by the National Curriculum or even by their own subject specialism. Early in the course you will complete a personal audit and begin an action plan to build on your general science and subject specialism knowledge. This is an important thread running through the programme. A similar approach is followed with your understanding and skills in ICT, so that you will be able to make appropriate use of these when teaching.
The programme is the result of close collaboration between school-based mentors and the Roehampton team. It is arranged into three terms. In the first term you begin to learn how pupils develop science understanding and skills while at the same time building enough confidence to plan and teach a science lesson. The second term extends this by using teaching experience to improve lesson performance and revisit and extend issues within science education. The third term addresses science education outside the classroom and broader issues concerning the role of science within the school curriculum. Towards the end of this term, you will develop an action plan to provide a basis for progression and development within your first year of teaching.
Science education at Roehampton is well staffed and resourced so that we are able to provide you with practical workshops as well as seminars and personal tutorials. Throughout the programme we aim to produce more than strong classroom practitioners; we aim also to produce reflective teachers who will go on to participate in, and influence, the future development of science education.
Science Subject Studies will take place throughout the year on Wednesdays - at university, in a partner institution or site of educational interest. On some Wednesdays you will focus on Professional Studies (more generic aspects of teaching and learning) with student teachers from other specialisms. This will take the form of lectures, seminars, workshops or research.
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We operate a one stage process on our Roehampton programmes.
Coombe Girls' School, as the lead school in the partnership, will co-ordinate the recruitment process. The University of Roehampton will carry out all the necessary academic eligibility checks.
Following successful shortlisting, you will be invited for an assessment day in school, up to twenty five working days after we receive your application. This may include an individual interview, a presentation task, leading part of a lesson, a subject knowledge assessment and a written task. This will also be an opportunity for you to learn about the training programme and partnership, see the school and talk to some staff and pupils. The process will be rigorous and will enable us to assess your potential for the teaching profession and to identify strengths and weaknesses for you to begin to address.
If you are successful at the school interview, our university partner will carry out a paper scrutiny of your application and may invite you to an interview day to clarify certain points and give you an opportunity to learn more about the PGCE course, the tutors and the facilities at the university.
How school placements work
Once you have been accepted onto the programme, your placement schools will be allocated from the pool of schools offering your subject.
This process is not normally finalised until late June, by when our schools will have fixed their staffing for September.
You will have two consecutive school placements (the A-B model). The first lasts three months and the second lasts five months, meaning you will gain a deep understanding of both schools, their challenges, approaches and contexts. We aim to give you two contrasting settings, in order for you to experience this variety. Schools will give you a balance of year groups and abilities and, where possible, arrange for you to teach KS5, but this is not always manageable in both placement schools.
Placement one runs from late September to mid-December and placement two runs from January to the start of June. During this placement time, you spend four days a week in school (not Wednesdays).
You may express a preference of school, which we will consider when drawing up the placements - but we cannot guarantee it. We aim to keep your travel time to a maximum of one hour, although in most cases travel time is much less.
From the beginning you will be treated as a member of staff, welcomed into your subject department and invited to attend staff meetings, development days, staff social activities and relevant educational trips.
Each trainee will have a dedicated mentor in their placement school, who will guide you and work alongside you to identify needs and provide personalised support as you develop. Our mentors are outstanding teachers who are required to undertake a rigorous training programme to develop their coaching, effective classroom observation and feedback skills. They will work with you to develop rigour, professional knowledge, understanding and skills in order to deliver creative, purposeful and challenging teaching and learning.
You will gradually build up your contact time with students as you develop your confidence, teaching skills and time management.
You will be assigned to a tutor group, in order to regularly shadow a tutor and support all-important pastoral work.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
Roehampton University requires a minimum of a 2:2 honours degree, with GCSEs in English Language and Maths at Grade C or Grade 4, or above. For equivalency testing, we will accept tests from equivalencytesting.com
You should have a good degree in biology or biology related subject (including psychology), or a joint degree with biology as the major component (ie at least two years of biology studies at undergraduate level).
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We are looking for ambitious trainee teachers who are passionate and enthusiastic about their subject, with a real desire to share this with young people of all abilities, needs and backgrounds at secondary level.
We expect you to have a good basic knowledge of biology, chemistry and physics, and be willing to learn more. We normally expect you to have an A level in biology and one other science subject at minimum grade D, or the equivalent. Candidates without these qualifications may be accepted if they have acquired knowledge through other routes (e.g. work experience).
You must have good practical skills and technical know-how, particularly in biology-related practical work.
You will ideally have some experience of working with young people, perhaps through volunteer work, young clubs, sports teams or charities.
We strongly recommend that you gain some experience in a classroom prior to interview.
All places on the PGCE are subject to satisfactory health and criminal convictions assessments. Applicants will be required to complete an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. We expect you to share our commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
About the training provider
Our partnership aims to create a caring and vibrant environment, where trainee teachers can develop their teaching expertise, knowledge and skills while feeling valued and supported by expert professionals and inspirational leaders. Our teachers are excellent practitioners, committed to sharing their skills, knowledge and practice with the next generation of teachers.
Coombe Girls' School is a nationally designated Teaching School judged 'outstanding' by Ofsted outstanding in every category at its last inspection.
Schools involved in our programme have included:
Chessington Community College, Coombe Boys' School, Coombe Girls' School, Hinchley Wood School, King's College School (Wimbledon - independent), Raynes Park High School, Richard Challoner School, Rutlish High School, Southborough High School, The Holy Cross School, The Kingston Academy, The Tiffin School, The Tiffin Girls' School and Tolworth Girls' School.
And in our primary programme:
Burlington Juniors, Christ Church Primary (New Malden), Coombe Hill Infants, Coombe Hill Juniors, Ellingham Primary, Green Lane Primary, King's Oak Primary, Knollmead Primary, Robin Hood Primary, Sacred Heart Primary (Teddington) and St Mary's and St Peter's Primary (Teddington).
The unique strength to the secondary partnership lies in the diversity of provision, offering our student teachers an enriching, contrasting experience. The partnership includes co-educational schools, single sex, selective and non-selective and one independent. Our secondary programmes provide opportunities to develop post-16 teaching practice.
Our schools enjoy a highly valued reputation locally, many oversubscribed due to the competitive, high-performing profile of our borough. Student behaviour is generally excellent and results show that many students consistently out-perform their national peers.
About the accredited body
The Roehampton University School of Education is one of the principal providers of teacher training in the UK, with partnerships of over 350 schools and a rich history of over 175 years.
Students enjoy high quality teaching and excellent employment prospects: 99% of teacher training graduates are in work or study six months after leaving (Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education 2013/14).
The beautiful parkland campus in south-west London is only 30 minutes from the West End. The School is ranked third in London for the quality of our research in the field of education (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
Training with disabilities and other needs
All school direct students have full access to the student services in our university provider partners. This includes support services for students with a range of physical and mental health needs. Their campuses have full disability access.
Students may also access well-being and counselling services and support services for specific learning needs, including dyslexia and dyspraxia, through academic achievement advisers.
The Institute of Education has a nursery available (run by University College London). However, for student teachers we recommend you look into childcare options near your place of residence or host teaching school.
Our partner universities also offer accommodation for student teachers, although it may be better to find accommodation near placement schools.
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:
Training programme code:
Choose a training location
You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.
Coombe Girls' School, Clarence Avenue, New Malden, Kingston-Upon-Thames KT3 3TU
Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
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