About the course
This English PGCE is an 11-16 programme designed by the Waverley School Direct and South Birmingham SCITT teams to develop your skills and confidence as a teacher in our schools. You will develop an understanding of effective techniques used by experienced teachers, including the use of ICT, and how they can be used to help children of all abilities grasp the more complex ideas in the secondary national curriculum.
Your induction starts in July, with an opportunity to meet your host school and mentor and to link up with your cohorts at both the South Birmingham SCITT and Waverley School training centres. You then join your host school for the full academic year at the start of September. We organise a second school placement for you, which usually takes place for ten weeks from January to March.
You will receive a full Professional Studies programme at South Birmingham SCITT, plus subject pedagogy and Master's modules delivered at Birmingham City University. This input equates to about 26 days of training. You will attend 12 twilight training sessions at Waverley School, delivered jointly by practising primary and secondary teachers. There is also the daily support and guidance offered by your mentor and subject colleagues at your school. The training input takes place every Monday through to the end of May, with the twilight sessions taking place once or twice a month through to July.
You are assessed against the Teacher Standards through regular lesson observation with supportive feedback and ongoing self-reflection on your progress. You will also complete Master’s Level work offering 80 Level 7 credits, enabling you to achieve a Post Graduate Qualification in Teaching and Learning (min. PGCertEd,) a secure route onto a Masters programme; this is equivalent to a PGCE, but we separate the qualification out, so we can make it bespoke and flexible to you. You can go on to achieve the full Masters in Teaching and Learning in the subsequent years if you choose to.
We review all applications to assess eligibility and potential suitability for the programme to which a candidate is applying. We recruit and fill places from when UCAS opens in October, so do not delay in submitting your application. We close courses as they are filled; and at the latest by 30 June 2019.
We work with South Birmingham SCITT to co-ordinate the recruitment process and hold interviews on a regular basis at schools around Birmingham and Solihull. You will be asked to attend one interview day and a senior Waverley School Direct colleague and a SBSCITT representative will join the interview panel as a minimum.
The interview consists of an observed teaching activity, involving a small group of students, where we gauge your ability to interact with the young people you wish to teach. You will be given information about this in advance. There is also a set of formal interview questions where we evaluate your experience of working with young people to date, your subject knowledge, and your commitment to, and understanding of, the role of a trainee and teacher. We will also set a number of written exercises to gauge your written English skills and your understanding of the role of a teacher.
How school placements work
We actively recruit for the trainees we want and need for Waverley School and other local schools in our partnership. Through working with South Birmingham SCITT, we have access to up to 50 schools around the Midlands. We allocate your placement in the first instance on your location and ability to travel, and then we look to find the right school for you. This is also true for the ten week second placement.
Our English programme is focused on the 11-16 age range, but we will ensure that you are able to spend a week in both a primary and post-16 setting.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
- An honours degree from a UK Higher Education Institution, or equivalent qualification. At least 50% of the degree content will usually be in the subject that you wish to teach, but we consider applicants on a case by case basis.
- GCSE in English language and Maths at grade C/4 or above, or equivalent qualifications.
You must meet these academic requirements by the start of the course, not necessarily before application. At interview your subject knowledge will be discussed and a Subject Knowledge Enhancement programme may be made a condition of any offer.
You need a passion for teaching and developing young people. You will want to make a difference in some of the most socio-economically deprived areas of Birmingham. You will have excellent communication skills and be reflective, able to respond positively to feedback and learn from your mistakes. We are looking for resilience, trainees who can both work hard and keep trying when things do not go to plan. We need team players, willing to support others – and to be supported. You need to be organised and highly professional at all times. You need to enjoy learning yourself!
The requirements below need to be met by successful applicants following acceptance of our offer:
- Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance.
- Fitness to Teach process.
- Literacy and Numeracy Skills Tests.
About the training provider
Our partnership of schools work in areas of significant socio-economic disadvantage and, together with our university partners, we are passionate about providing high-quality teaching and learning opportunities to all the children in our care. We really make a difference and we work hard to recruit, train and retain talented new colleagues in our schools. We are now recruiting for our sixth cohort of aspiring teachers.
Key features of our programme include:
- A range of courses for Foundation/KS1, Primary and Secondary;
- Full postgraduate PGCE award including 60 credits at Master's level;
- A three year commitment to supporting your early career;
- School-led sessions delivered jointly by primary and secondary teachers;
- Extensive support provided by high-quality tutors, subject colleagues and School Direct staff;
- 100% employment rate for our trainees across the last three years;
- The option to develop a SEND focus or other area of interest;
- Starting your teaching career in Birmingham: great diversity, social life and affordability!
When designing our training programme we draw on some of the unique features of Waverley School, an all-through school housed in brand new award-winning facilities. Please come and visit us to find out more!
Training with disabilities and other needs
Trainees are encouraged to declare any additional needs that they might have through the initial application process and the Fitness to Teach process for successful applicants. Needs are also addressed through the nature of our individualised training programmes. Our aim is to enable trainees to participate fully in all aspects of their training. All trainees attend Waverley School for school-led sessions plus the relevant university/college provider for their course. Please see more information about each site below.
Waverley School provides lift access to all floors and numerous accessible toilet facilities. There is also step-free access to the Training facility via the car park should lifts not be in service.
Newman University has accessibility arrangements across its site and offers a full Disability and Mental Health Service for its students. Please see their website.
Birmingham City University (MFL and Music Programmes only) is based at City South campus where all areas which require student access are accessible to wheelchair users. There is a full Disability Support Team available. Please see their website.
South Birmingham SCITT (Secondary English alternative option only) is based at The 6th Form College, Solihull, where most areas of the College are fully accessible or with alternative arrangements if not. Please see their website.
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Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
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