About the course
Our one-year PGCE Secondary Education with QTS (Biology) course will prepare you to teach the 11-16 age range. You will develop your subject specialist knowledge and gain hands-on classroom experience. On successful completion of the course you will be ready to start your teaching career within the secondary school sector.
The course programme is divided into two main themes:
1: Developing Specialist Subject Knowledge -
You’ll have the opportunity to develop your subject teaching in a stimulating way, using different methodologies and new technologies to inspire and engage young people. We’ll help develop your understanding of the Biology and the Sciences curriculum; how learners make progress in Biology and the Sciences; planning and curriculum development in Biology and the Sciences; examination requirements and inclusion issues in Biology and the Sciences. You are prepared for teaching all the sciences at Key Stage 3.
2: Supporting Learning and Progress in the Secondary School -
We’ll prepare you for the classroom, allowing you to develop your teaching skills and understanding of how to meet the needs of all learners. Themes include how young people learn, teaching and learning techniques to support pupils’ progress; behaviour management, assessment, inclusive, creative and innovative teaching methods and how to plan lessons and sequences of lessons. You will research evidence based learning theories, gain a greater understanding of current professional issues in secondary schools and begin to develop your own educational philosophy.
In school you will receive in-house training on a variety of topics including literacy and numeracy, behaviour management and the examination process etc. You will gain experience in both the curriculum and pastoral care of pupils and have access to a range of professionals to support you with your classroom practice.
In University, you will learn in small, friendly and supportive groups, designed to give you the confidence to succeed in addition to your course tutor. Teaching is through workshops, tutorials and lectures, some with guest speakers, and through group work. Two of the PGCE modules are at Master’s level.
Assessment is typically through the completion of a range of classroom activities, written assignments, reports, personal subject audits and the development of portfolios of evidence. There are no formal examinations and the assignments are carefully designed to help you to develop your teaching practice further. Upon successful completion of the programme you will be recommended for Qualified Teaching Status, awarded by the Department for Education.
You will be shortlisted for interview based on your application. The interview process typically lasts for half a day. The following selection procedures are designed to assess your suitability to train to teach:
- You will be asked to teach a concept from your subject area
- You will participate in a group task which is designed to investigate your understanding of teaching and learning and the role of a secondary school teacher
- You will complete tasks designed to evaluate your fundamental English and mathematical skills
- You will also have an individual interview with a member of the course team which will include a discussion about your subject knowledge.
How school placements work
School based training is a fundamental part of your initial teacher training. You will undertake at least two placements as part of the course and will spend at least 120 days in school. You will observe experienced teachers, gain practical hands-on experience and receive supportive mentoring to help you develop into an outstanding and confident teacher practitioner. Your in-school experience will introduce you to the wider role of the teacher in secondary education.
Your Subject Mentor and Professional Mentor will support you throughout your placements and will give you access to observations, planning meetings, resource development, weekly mentor meetings and extended professional studies sessions.
Your university Link Tutor and The Valley Partnership Manager will visit you also in school to guide, support and evaluate your progress. There is an emphasis on practical engagement with the curriculum whilst developing your understanding of the theoretical perspectives which underpin the best models of practice.
As part of the course you will spend a period of time observing the Primary, Key Stage 2 provision and the Sixth Form, Key Stage 5 provision in one of our thriving Sixth Form Colleges.
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
The University of Huddersfield determine the fees.
You can apply for a tuition fee loan as part of your application to Student Finance England for loans and grants. Student Finance England will pay your fees direct to the University.
You don’t have to pay the loan back while you study. It will only be repayable when you have left the course and earn over £25,000 a year.
When you enrol at the university they will ask you who will be paying for your fees and whether you have requested a loan. If you have not taken the loan, they will send you an invoice for the fees, which will require payment in full during the relevant academic year.
If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance (https://www.hud.ac.uk/international/tuition-fees/) pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.
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
We will endeavour, where possible, to take geography and personal circumstances into account when organising school placements. Trainees are expected to travel to the placement school and may be required to travel up to 60 minutes (public transport) from their residence. Please be aware of potential associated travelling costs.
- Honours degree in Science (2:2 or above).
- Two science A levels at a minimum of grade C or equivalent, with one subject being Biology.
- GCSE English and Maths at grade 4 or above, or grade C or above if awarded under the previous GCSE grading scheme.
- If the degree qualification does not meet our normal entrance requirements, a place may be offered conditionally on the successful completion of a Subject Knowledge Enhancement programme (SKE).
What we look for in our applicants:
- A positive approach to life and ‘can-do’ attitude
- A genuine enthusiasm for securing and safeguarding the best opportunities for young people
- A commitment to life-long learning and a reflective approach to problems
- Mental strength and resilience
- Strength in the ability to communicate effectively and build strong relationships
- High level of personal organisation
- The ability to communicate effectively, and the intellectual and academic potential to meet the required Teachers’ Standards.
- Two references. Where applicants have current / recent experience working with children or young people, one of the referees should be a member of staff who can comment on your potential to train to teach.
- Offers are subject to satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service enhanced disclosure check and trainees must not previously have been barred from teaching or working with children. You need to complete a health declaration to ensure that you have the health and physical capacity to teach.
About the training provider
The Valley Learning Partnership has a strong focus on staff development and support. We pride ourselves in the bespoke provision offered to trainees and colleagues at differing stages of their careers and believe that life-long learning is the key to effective teaching and a happy workforce. The Valley Learning Partnership and its lead schools (Brighouse High School /The Brooksbank School) has a track record of developing skilled teachers who are fully equipped to enter the secondary phase of teaching, working with young people form the age of 11-18. If you are searching for a high quality, supportive and innovative school based route into teaching, The Valley Learning Partnership could very well be the place for you.
The school and its partner schools are easily accessible from a wide area including Leeds and Manchester yet are at the heart of the local community and, on choosing us, you will become part of that team and our community.
Beyond the school itself we have strong links and effective partnerships with schools in the local area and beyond and our work with The University of Huddersfield ensures that our trainees are always up to date with the latest developments in education and training. Our overarching aim is provide you with a route into one of the most rewarding professions and to ensure that your time training with us is memorable, enjoyable and equips you with the desire and the skills to become a key player in the next generation of teachers.
About the accredited body
We are proud of the successful, close working relationship we have had with The University of Huddersfield as our provider over many years. The University of Huddersfield has been developing great teachers since 1947 and has a track record of producing highly skilled teachers for the early years, primary, secondary and lifelong learning (post-16) sectors. If you are looking to pursue a career in teaching and want high quality training, then working with The Valley Learning Trust and The University of Huddersfield could be the perfect choice.
Training with disabilities and other needs
We invite applications from suitably qualified persons from all backgrounds regardless of race, disability, religion, belief or sexual orientation. We are committed to supporting trainee teachers with a range of needs including specific learning difficulties, long-term medical conditions, mobility or physical disabilities or conditions, hearing impairments, visual impairments and social communication difficulties. Each of our partner schools has individual access arrangements but all schools in The Valley Learning Trust are Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant and we endeavour to place you in a school that meets your needs.
In addition, The University of Huddersfield’s Wellbeing and Disability Service works with students with a range of disabilities and long-term conditions that have a significant impact on their ability to study. Their main aim is to work alongside you to get the right support in place at the right time as we believe that nothing should stop you achieving what you're capable of.
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.
Finkil Street, Brighouse, West Yorkshire HD6 2NY
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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