About the course
The PGCE Secondary course is a full time, one year Initial Teacher Education qualification introducing you to the requirements for teaching to the 11 – 16 age range. Where appropriate, opportunities to experience post 16 provision will be available. It has been designed to enable you to demonstrate evidence of having met the Teachers’ Standards that lead to Qualified Teacher Status. Whilst undertaking the University-led PGCE route into teaching you will work towards securing 60 Master’s level credits. This is an integral part of the programme. We strongly believe that innovative and effective teaching and learning is made possible through a teacher’s full engagement with research informed practice and underpinning theories of learning. This is fostered in two modules and developed through School Based Training. You will be well supported in becoming a critically reflective teacher capable of inspiring pupils to learn, achieve and flourish.
You will be supported and taught by specialist tutors with excellent experience, knowledge and research informed expertise. Partnership schools provide opportunities for you to learn about pedagogical approaches relevant to your subject specialism and the professional responsibilities of all teachers.
You will have two School Based Training placements, where, with the support of a teacher mentor and a university subject tutor, you will develop your skills to become an excellent classroom teacher. Training to teach is exciting, rewarding and demanding. By the end of the course you will be well prepared for employment as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT).
The ability to train to teach is assessed first on application and then at interview. The interview day is a two-way process in which we encourage all applicants to ask questions to ensure that our PGCE course is suitable for them.
We are looking to select student teachers who:
- have the passion, commitment and enthusiasm to teach their specialist subject in secondary schools
- have a strong knowledge, understanding and interest of the specialist subject that they wish to train to teach in
- are committed to working with children and adolescents and improving their educational outcomes
- have an understanding of the role of the teacher and the demands of the teaching profession
- have excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- have the ability to reflect upon what they are doing and can respond well to feedback
- are resilient and able to work under pressure
If invited to interview, you will be greeted by the Admissions Tutor and members of the PGCE team. Interviews will begin with a brief introductory talk on the PGCE programme, followed by the completion of a short written task. You will then deliver a 5 minute pre-prepared, micro-teaching activity from your subject specialism to other applicants and two members of the PGCE team. This will be followed by a one-to-one interview with the same two members of the PGCE team.
How school placements work
Schools in the University of Hertfordshire schools' partnership have a proven track record of strong engagement with Initial Teacher Education. Schools are evaluated and monitored in relation to the quality and effectiveness of school based training provision. School’s commit to enact the terms of the University of Hertfordshire Partnership for Initial Teacher Education.
During the course you will undertake School Based Training in two contrasting secondary schools:
- The first school placement will take place between September and December
- The second school placement will take place between January and June
Your School Based Training will total a minimum of 120 days. In addition to the two main placements you will:
- visit a primary school to consider Year 6 transition
- visit a special school to explore effective differentiation and inclusion for pupils with complex learning needs
- visit a school demonstrating excellent provision for pupils with English as an additional language
The University of Hertfordshire partners with a wide and diverse range of schools with whom we have a strong working partnership based upon the vision to work together to develop teachers with the confidence to:
- make professional judgements to enable the development and learning of all (Agency)
- articulate how research has informed their practice and contribute to new thinking and new ways of working (Professional Voice)
- respond innovatively to a changing educational landscape (Resilience)
- strive to ensure a child's learning and life chances are not limited by social or economic factors (Social Justice)
We will endeavour to place you at appropriate and supportive schools within a reasonable commuting distance. We place students in schools across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and North London.
During School Based Training you will be teaching students in the 11-16 age range. Where appropriate, you will have the opportunity to experience post 16 provision.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
Honours degree (2.2 or higher) from a UK university. Usually the degree should have a minimum 50% content of the subject applied for.
English language and mathematics GCSE grade 4 or above and Science grade 4 or above for primary teacher training or a qualification recognised as equivalent by the University.
Equivalent overseas qualifications are accepted when recognised as comparable by NARIC. We may require demonstration of English language proficiency through IELTS (Academic version) with an overall score of 6.5 (minimum of 6.0 in each band).
Contact us for clarification on non-standard qualifications: degree content or GCSE requirement.
In your application and during the interview process, you will need to demonstrate an ability to train to teach through the following:
- Genuine care for children’s learning, progress and achievement
- A commitment and passion for your subject specialism
- Your motivation and interest in training to teach
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
- A commitment to working with children and adolescents and improving their educational outcomes
- The ability to be organised, adaptable and resilient
- A willingness to work and learn from others and to be responsive to feedback
You will be required to pass the Professional Skills tests in literacy and numeracy before starting the course.
You will be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and a Declaration of Disqualification by Association form. You will also need to respond to targeted and relevant health questions. Guidance will be provided after you have been offered a place.
We recommend that you undertake observation time in a state secondary school prior to interview but this is not essential. Activities to support observation in school - either before or after interview - that you may find useful
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.
Barnwell, Stevenage SG2 9SW
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 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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