About the course
With so many important careers in healthcare and science dependent on people with skills and knowledge in this area, your ability to get your students excited about biology is vital.
This course will give you the skills and understanding needed to successfully meet the needs of children in the classroom. You will explore, test and develop the links between science and biology in education theory and its practice.
The workshops and seminars facilitate a space for learners to conduct this, which is then supported by school placements.
This relationship, between theory and practice, alongside two contrasting school experiences, ensures that you are offered a well-rounded teacher education.
Your course will feature a range of modules with support from colleagues in our Teaching School Alliance and experienced University tutors. So while the School Direct PGCE is an academic qualification, the emphasis is very much on practical experience.
Bishop Challoner Catholic College is the Lead School for the Central Midlands Science Learning Partnership, allowing schools to access the high quality materials and courses provided.
You will be required to attend one interview. Interviews include:
- exploration of curriculum knowledge
- discussions about relevant experiences
- a presentation or small teaching exercise
- written task
We also look for:
- good communication skills
- potential / suitability to be a good teacher
- robustness to cope with the demands of the course
How school placements work
The main placement school for an applicant is discussed at interview, so that individual requirements can be taken into account. With most of our schools being located in or near the Birmingham area, travel time is not usually a problem.
You will be based at your main placement school for the whole of the programme except for a second complementary school placement which will take place in the first half of the Spring Term. The second placement school will be discussed with you and your school mentor before any decisions are made.
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.
You may also be eligible for a loan while you study.
Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.
An undergraduate Honours degree at 2:2 or above from a UK higher education institution, or a recognised equivalent, in a relevant subject.
GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or its equivalent) in English language and mathematics at the point of enrolment.
Personal qualities we are looking for include:
- good communicator
- able to inspire and enthuse
- good organiser
- imaginative and creative
- confident and resilient.
Applicants must meet the Department for Education’s Initial Teacher Training criteria, which means being medically fit and successfully completing an enhanced disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and satisfying any other safeguarding checks required for this course.
While not essential, you may wish to gain some school experience before attending interview.
About the training provider
Bishop Challoner Teaching School Alliance (BCTSA) consists of over 60 schools, including 30 primaries, mainly located across the Birmingham area with some schools situated in the surrounding areas of Solihull, Dudley, Walsall and Worcestershire.
Being a large TSA, with a long and proven track record of training teachers, we can offer a large number of subjects and primary places all through the School Direct PGCE route. Every year we have large numbers of trainees who successfully pass the programme with Good or Outstanding grades. Having a large Alliance also means that the majority of trainees are employed in Alliance schools after completing their training year. Over the last few years we have had a 100% employment record after the training year.
There are experienced mentors in Alliance schools who will support you. They undertake training for their role every year with the University and with BCTSA. We have an ITT Support Team, which consists of experienced mentors from Alliance Schools who visit schools/trainees at least 3 times a year. This is in addition to the support provided by the University.
To teach within our Alliance means that you will have a unique opportunity of an individualised leadership development programme throughout your career, from trainee to senior leadership and beyond.
Come and train to teach with us and 'Inspire : Teach : Excel'
Training with disabilities and other needs
Within our Alliance of schools, BCTSA hopes to be able to provide a welcoming, accessible route into teaching for candidates with disabilities and other needs. The caring, nurturing focus of our mentors and trainers aims to look after those who are keen to progress through the programme and become classroom teachers. The University also provides a range of academic and professional support.
Previously we have supported trainees with a range of physical impairments, including timetabling of lessons to ground floor classrooms for those who cannot use the stairs; extra preparation time for those with dyslexia and autism, and extra support for those with mental health conditions.
By seeing our trainees as individuals, no two types of support are the same. By encouraging a caring and supporting ethos within our partner schools, we work with individuals to work out the best way to help them gain the most from their School Direct year and to start their teaching careers confident and ready to teach.
Apply for this course
Choose a training location
You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.
Institute Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 7EG
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 of charge 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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