About the course
Our mission is to open minds to the realities and possibilities of teaching and learning by developing reflective, creative and inquiring teachers.
Our course prepares you to teach your specialist subject(s) to pupils in the 11-19 age range.
The course is a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) which offers exactly the same teaching experience as a PGCE, but with additional Masters credits, meaning that you will be able to complete your Masters as soon as you qualify as a teacher.
You will spend two thirds of the year in school, and one third at the University, giving an excellent blend of practical experience and also chance to reflect and make use of the research expertise of university-based tutors.
To complement your development as a teacher you will complete four assignments at Masters level, exploring key issues relating to your subject and your role.
Key Features of the Sheffield University St Mary's School Direct course
- A dedicated team of tutors who provide excellent support for all students.
- The School Direct partnership between St Mary's High School and Sheffield University enables us to ensure continuity for students. Your placement schools will be selected from the St Mary's cohort and you will usually know where you will be placed before the programme begins.
- A strong subject-specific cohort. You will have chance to develop working relationships with your peers whilst in the university, which provides you with a support network once out on placement.
- The chance to reflect. Teaching is an intensive profession, and at the start of your career it is essential that you have the opportunity to develop skills as a reflective practitioner. During your first placement, for example, you will spend every Friday in the University sharing your experiences and considering ways in which you can develop your teaching.
For information about course assessment please click here
Once we receive your UCAS application we will consider a number of factors in making our decision about whether to interview you:
- Do you demonstrate a clear interest in becoming a teacher?
- Do you have strong references that suggest you have the capacity to train to be a teacher?
- Do you have highly developed subject knowledge, or an awareness that you need to develop this?
- Have you written a strong personal statement, demonstrating your commitment to teaching, your passion for your subject and an understanding of the realities of the profession?
Your interview day will take place either at St Mary's High School or in a partner school, and will consist of the following elements:
- Introduction to the course
- A task designed to ensure that your subject knowledge is strong
- A chance to interact with other candidates or with pupils, and to reflect on this experience
- A written task
- A formal interview, carried out by a University tutor, the School Direct Coordinator and a representative from participating schools.
How school placements work
You will undertake four periods of school experience:
- One week in a primary school early in the programme
- An eight-week placement between October and December
- A 13-week placement between January and May
- A 2-week enrichment/enhancement placement in June
In all curriculum areas you will also have the chance to visit a number of schools as a part of the University-centred parts of the PGDE. These visits will focus on specific themes such as working with pupils with EAL or supporting examination groups and will give you the opportunity to gain experience of schools beyond your main placements.
St Mary's works with a growing cluster of schools in the Chesterfield area and further into Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. We aim to deliver diverse and balanced experiences in schools, and we work hard to secure you two contrasting placements.
When we are arranging placements, personal circumstances such as child-care and additional needs are taken into account as much as possible.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
As this course leads to a professional qualification, student teachers will be required to undertake a DBS Enhanced Disclosure and Work Health Assessment. All Student teachers will also be required to complete Safeguarding training. The cost for these will be £71 and payable via the University's Online Shop. Student teachers who have already paid for a previous DBS Enhanced Disclosure and signed up to the DBS update service will need to pay the reduced cost of £27 via the University's Online Shop. These fees also include the cost of a learning journal, which will be provided at the start of the course.
Further information about fees and funding for the PGDE can be found here
Applicants should have an undergraduate degree class 2:2 or above in a relevant subject. If less than 50% of your degree is in your specialist subject you will be required to undertake a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course as a condition of entry to the programme.
If you have a 3rd class undergraduate degree and a strong (grade A or B) A level in your specialist subject we may consider your application but you should be aware that you will not be eligible for a bursary.
If you have non-standard qualifications you are welcome to contact us to discuss your eligibility.
We consider six key elements when selecting students for our PGDE programme:
- Commitment to teaching
- Insight into the realities of teaching
- An analytical approach to problem solving
- Enthusiasm for your subject
- Interpersonal and communication skills
We will consider your strengths in each area during the selection process, including when considering your application form.
As this course leads to a professional qualification, student teachers will be required to undertake a DBS Enhanced Disclosure and Work Health Assessment. All Student teachers will also be required to complete Safeguarding training. Full information about how to undergo these checks will be provided once you accept your place on the course.
About the training provider
St Mary's is a high performing Catholic secondary school in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. St Mary's is rated Ofsted outstanding, achieving consistently high results and outcomes thanks to a highly skilled, consistent and committed staff. We thrive on hard work and the mutual respect between staff, students and families. Our long tradition of high standards of performance and behaviour gives us an excellent reputation amongst the local community and the wider educational community. We are proud to offer School Direct teacher training programmes of the highest standard in partnership with Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam Universities. We have been offering School Direct programmes since they began and have consistently developed students into good or outstanding practitioners at the end of their course.
About the accredited body
We enjoy a very successful partnership with Sheffield University. We offer secondary programmes across the EBAC subjects. To date, all of our students have successfully completed the courses.
Training with disabilities and other needs
We endeavour to accommodate the needs of all our students. Together with the universities we would always offer the support necessary to address specific requirements. The schools where students are placed vary in nature and we would take all considerations into account when selecting placement schools.
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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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