About the course
The Biology PGCE prepares students to develop the professional knowledge and skills they need to teach all aspects of science to pupils up to age 16, as well as teaching Biology to pupils aged 11-16.
Students will acquire a critical understanding of current debates and issues relating to science education, and will be guided and supported in developing their subject knowledge. We expect students to engage with reading and research into science education and to regularly reflect upon their own progress, towards meeting the Teachers’ Standards across the 11–16 age range.
Students undertaking this rigorous PGCE will work with a team of expert subject tutors who have all previously been classroom teachers and are actively involved with science education research, curriculum development and consultancy. During teaching practice, student teachers benefit from the support of subject specialist mentors within our network of over 200 schools throughout Greater London and beyond, ensuring each has the opportunity to become a skilled and confident teacher.
The Biology PGCE is delivered via keynote lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and directed study days at the IOE, as well as time spent in placement schools or colleges. Assessment is by the observation of practical teaching, assignments and a portfolio (which links with continuing professional development in the induction year). This PGCE also offers unique opportunities such as teaching sessions at museums and Kew Gardens, and residential trips, developing students’ understanding of learning science outside the classroom.
This programme consists of three core modules: two subject-related Master’s-level (level 7) modules, which are assessed through written assignments, and the Professional Practice module, which is assessed by the observation of practical teaching in placement schools.
Student teachers undertake at least two placements (totalling 120 days) at a school or college, during which time their teaching practice will be supported by a school subject tutor and mentor. The Professional Practice module is assessed through these placements, associated tasks and a portfolio. During their placement students may teach:
Key Stage 3: Science (including elements of Physics, Chemistry and Biology)
Key Stage 4: Science (all areas) and/or Biology (depending on school placement)
Key Stage 5: AS/A2 level Biology
The interview will be conducted at the school where your school experience will take place. The day will begin with a tour of the school followed by candidates observing a lesson in the subject area they are interviewing for. The Bexley Teaching School Alliance lead will then meet candidates and explain the following process.
The interview consists of an 40 minute English test followed by a student panel interaction in which students will ask candidates a variety of questions. If candidates successfully pass this stage of the interview process they will be asked to deliver a 5 minute presentation to the panel regarding an outstanding lesson they have observed during their school experience days, this is then followed by interview questions. At the end of the interview, candidates are free to leave and the panel will deliberate. The Bexley Teaching School Alliance aims to let candidates know the outcome of the interview the same or following day. As this is a modular programme, our university partner may well invite candidates for at interview before making a final offer. This will be communicated to potential trainee teachers directly from the university.
How school placements work
School Direct (tuition fee) programmes allow you to learn on the job as you work towards your Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) recommendation. This programme will allow you to train in a home school setting followed by a second school placement and an alternative placement for 2 weeks E.g. a SEN School. Although your training is based in a school, they’re not your employers, and in many ways your training will be similar to training programmes in universities and colleges
The training programmes will build your confidence and subject knowledge and give you the necessary skills to become an effective classroom practitioner. Throughout the year, you will be supported by a highly-trained mentor who will hold weekly meetings to review your progress and set targets. As your confidence grows, you will deliver parts of lessons on your own, taking on more responsibility until you are teaching full lessons. As part of your further development you will undertake one other main placement at another school, usually in a different context to your ‘home’ school. There will also be the opportunity to spend a varying amount of time at other schools to further enhance your learning through experiencing a diverse range of educational settings. Our placement strategy is aimed at giving you the best preparation possible for a successful teaching career.
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
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.
Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.
Financial support from the training provider
Bursaries and scholarships are available to trainees on a fee based teacher training course in England that leads to the award of QTS.
Availability is dependent on the highest relevant academic award and the ITT subject. To receive a bursary or scholarship trainees must be entitled to the student finance England criteria as either a home or EU student. www.gov.uk/student-finance/new-fulltime-students
Applicants with a degree from outside the UK should refer to the equivalency table to see if their degree is likely to attract a bursary.
Biology bursaries are available up to £26,000
A minimum of a lower second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in Biology or a Biology-related subject.
GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/ 5 or above. Applicants who do not offer a GCSE in English Language or Mathematics may demonstrate an equivalent standard by completing either the Mathematics Foundation, Mathematics Higher or English from www.equivalencytesting.com and achieving at least a grade 5.
We do not accept "applied" or "additional" GCSE subjects.
Great teachers are as diverse as the communities they serve. We look for candidates who have a real enthusiasm for engaging with young people, who are as excited about the process of learning as they are about teaching, and who understand that they will learn as much from their students as their students will from them. Sound subject knowledge is important, as well as students’ ability to break down their knowledge and see it through the eyes of someone for whom it is new. We particularly welcome a commitment to improving the lives of individuals and communities through education.
About the training provider
The Bexley Teaching School Alliance (BTSA) consists of a diverse range of partners, including primary schools, secondary schools, special schools and two universities. We work collaboratively with schools in Bexley, Kent and to share outstanding practice, provide training and CPD, drive school improvement and train new teachers. We welcome all schools to join our alliance.
School Direct is a route into teaching which moves the focus of study from a university based programme to a school based programme with university input.
Whether you’ve just finished a degree, or have been working in a career for many years (education based or otherwise), the School Direct route enables you to learn to teach, whilst actually doing the job, maximizing the time spent in school.
We are looking to recruit graduates to begin training in primary and secondary schools across Bexley. We work closely in partnership with UCL, Institute of Education, University of Greenwich and Canterbury Christ Church University to provide School Direct Tuition Fee and School Direct Salaried routes into teaching.
Training with disabilities and other needs
Bexley Teaching School Alliance and all our partner universities are committed to supporting students with disabilities. Please contact us as early as possible in your application process so that your needs are met and support can be arranged.
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.
Beths Grammar School
Hartford Road, Bexley, Kent DA5 1NE
Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
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