About the course
Our teacher education programmes have been designed for graduates who are passionate about the idea of becoming secondary teachers.
Our schools partnership network covers a wide range of areas: inner city, suburban, mixed and single sex, inclusive, non-selective and selective and high achieving, as well as those in more challenging circumstances.
This course leads to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for the 11-to-16 age range, which qualifies you to be a teacher in secondary schools in England and Wales. Where possible, we also give you the chance to gain experience in the 11-to-18 age range.
Biology is the most popular science choice at A level. In addition to being a key component of Science in the National Curriculum, it is also offered as a separate GCSE option in many schools. It is the third-most studied A level subject overall, so there’s always a need for great biology teachers.
We see the development of your subject knowledge for teaching as a priority. The subject studies element of your training programme enables you to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of science, and particularly biology, in the secondary school context.
Our ethos is based on collaboration, not competition. We encourage you to work collaboratively just as you will when you qualify and start teaching.
We are one of only a few institutions that provide a range of subject knowledge enhancement programmes to prepare you for teaching your subject.
For more information about the School Direct Biology course please see:
The entire interview process lasts about three hours. During the interview you will be asked to talk about a current educational issue. Please ensure you have done some research into current educational issues in advance of the interview. You could, for example, read recent editions of the Times Educational Supplement.
Our aim is to find out as much as we can about your attributes, skills, knowledge and understanding in order to shape training opportunities for you, should you be offered a place on the programme.
Your responses to these tasks and activities will be considered alongside all the other evidence to assess your suitability for the Secondary PGCE programme.
During the individual interview you will be given the chance to talk with a tutor about the programme and any other issues that are relevant.
How school placements work
The teaching year begins in September and ends in July. You’ll attend five days a week and spend the equivalent of 24 weeks in schools.
We are very well equipped for initial teacher training with three specialist laboratories, including multimedia training equipment and materials. To develop your confidence in teaching outside the classroom, you will participate in outdoor education centre-based training.
The university-based training initially consists of weekly lectures on themes that are then developed in seminar groups. You will work both in subject-specific groups and in mixed-subject groups.
We organise our training so that it feels like a school. We teach students mainly in small groups of 30 rather than in large lecture halls of 150 or 300 because it is important that you have plenty of time in your subject groups.
Your subject tutor will be like your form tutor at school. We believe that we should model good practice to you so that you can learn by example.
You will undertake two long placements in contrasting schools within the Agnus Dei Teaching School Alliance, totalling 24 weeks. We work in partnership with a variety of schools within East London and Essex with experienced mentors who provide a high-quality programme of support.
You will be on placement from week three, so right from the beginning of your training you will have a strong link between theory and practice.
While an experienced teacher will be in the classroom with you, it is you who will be planning the lessons and teaching the lessons. You will start by observing the teacher, then helping. By the end of the Secondary PGCE course, you will be teaching 60 per cent of a normal teacher’s timetable.
Our tutors and subject mentors will advise and support you throughout each placement as you learn to teach.
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.
Financial support from the training provider
You can apply for a loan to cover the cost of your tuition fees, which will be paid directly to UEL. There are no up-front fees required. Repayment only starts after you finish your course and are earning over £25,000. If you haven’t finished repaying your loan after 30 years it will automatically be cancelled.
Home and EU students studying for a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) may be eligible for a tax-free bursary from the government, worth up to £30,000. These are paid in ten instalments from October to July, directly to your UK bank account, starting in October each academic year.
As a PGCE student, your eligibility for financial support and the amount you receive depends on the subject you plan to teach - as well as your degree classification or highest relevant academic qualification.
For more information on the funding available visit the Get Into Teaching website.
All applicants must have a minimum 2.2 Honours degree or above in the subject area the applicant plans to teach.
All applicants MUST have GCSE English and Maths grade A*-C.
We accept a range of qualifications from across the world. Please see our country pages for information on specific entry requirements for your country.
If you don’t quite meet the academic requirements for this course, you can apply with an additional foundation year.
Please look at (http://sta.education.gov.uk/) for more information.
We are looking for applicants who have the potential to become outstanding teachers, and who are able to work independently on their studies while training in a school context.
A successful applicant will be highly self-motivated, hardworking and deeply reflective. In addition, applicants should be willing and ready to take on advice and feedback, adapt their teaching to suit different learning styles and work successfully in a professional whole-school environment.
About the training provider
Agnus Dei Teaching Schools’ Alliance is an outstanding place to work and learn. It provides a supportive and tailored learning opportunity in partnership with St Mary’s University, University of East London, Roehampton University and the Institute of Education (UCL).
The Alliance is a partnership of 15 Catholic secondary schools across South, East, North East London, and Essex, many of whom have achieved an outstanding rating and all of whom have considerable experience of training teachers. Our staff are professional and talented practitioners who regularly share their knowledge, skills and expertise with trainee teachers in their own schools and across the Alliance. Our partnership of secondary schools is led by St Bonaventure’s School and incorporates the following schools:
-Bishop Challenor Catholic Federation
-Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School, Brentwood
-Cardinal Pole, Hackney
-De La Salle, Basildon
-Holy Family, Walthamstow
-New Hall Independent School, Chelmsford
-Notre Dame School, Southwark
-Sacred Heart of Mary, Upminster
-St Angela’s Ursuline School, Forest Gate
-St Benedict’s College, Colchester
-St John’s, Chigwell
-St John Payne, Chelmsford
-St Thomas More, Leigh-on-Sea
-The Campion School, Upminster
-The Palmer Catholic Academy, Seven Kings
-Ursuline Academy, Ilford
Our vision is that staff and students feel valued, experience success and enjoy learning. We aim to recruit, train and retain the very best Catholic school teachers and develop them into the best Catholic school leaders.
Our programme is open to applicants from all faiths, not just Catholics but we expect applicants to be sympathetic to the Catholic ethos of our partner schools.
About the accredited body
UEL is one London’s leading centres for teacher training, offering highly successful courses for the primary, secondary and further education and training sectors. Capitalising on our east London location, we’ve earned an excellent reputation for working in partnership with schools to prepare teachers to work in multi-ethnic and multilingual urban schools.
The Cass School of Education and Communities trains approximately 600 teachers every year. You will be joining a large department with a long and impressive track record and benefit from subject specific coaching and mentoring from experienced and expert practitioners.
Training with disabilities and other needs
School Direct students are entitled to support from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) team.
You can find more information here:- (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/students/disability-support)
The University of Roehampton welcomes students with disabilities and offers flexible support services tailored to your needs. Our Disability and Dyslexia Services are on the main campus, Digby Stuart, along with our Access Centre: Access@SW15.
For more information on support for students please see here:
St Mary's aims to provide an inclusive environment for all students, including students with additional support requirements.
We offer advice and support to our students who have requirements as a result of a disability, mental health condition, specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia), medical condition or temporary disability, such as injury.
For more information about student support please see here:
The Disability & Dyslexia Team provides a completely confidential service and any information such as diagnostic reports, medical evidence or DSA Needs Assessments that are received on your behalf will be held confidentially in line with the University’s Data Protection Policy.
For more information on training with disabilities and other needs please go to:
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.
St Bonaventure's School
Boleyn Road, Forest Gate, London E7 9DQ
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
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