About the course
The course seeks to promote biology specialism at 16+ but recognises the need for all science teachers to be able to teach outside their specialism to at least Key Stage 3.
All science trainees study a jointly taught course of which covers areas of concern common to the teaching of all the sciences such as laboratory safety, new developments in science courses and the implementation of science education research in the classroom, to enable them to teach National Curriculum science to Key Stage 4 (11-16). They also follow a chosen specialism of either Biology, Chemistry or Physics to enable them to teach this to Key Stage 5 (16-18).
The Biology course puts a strong emphasis on trainees collaborating together. It has a strong practical and fieldwork focus. There are opportunities to learn about organising fieldwork in the outdoors, and using molecular biological techniques within the classroom. There is also a key focus on plant biology, to develop and enhance students' teaching and learning strategies when teaching plant science.
Trainees will also learn about risk assessment, and will work in many laboratory-based practical sessions, and reflect upon and evaluate the effectiveness of widely used school science courses. As the course continues, trainees will have the opportunity to learn about the use of new technologies in education, such as blogs and wikis, and consider how to approach controversial and ethical issues with school students.
All interviews take place at the Faculty of Education and last approximately half a day. There are generally 4-6 candidates on each panel, with two interviewers, and the interview is a mixture of group activities/discussion and individual tasks. There are no tests but candidates will be expected to demonstrate their subject knowledge and language capabilities both verbally and in writing.
How school placements work
Trainees spend at least 120 days of the course in Partnership schools, undertaking four block placements (in a minimum of three different schools), across the entire 11-18 age range.
Trainees have the opportunity to work together with experienced mentors to develop their own practical teaching skills and competence. Trainees initially work together in the classroom with other trainees and their subject mentor, before gradually taking on more responsibility for planning and teaching as the year progresses, and to gain experience of many of the important tasks and responsibilities teachers take on outside the classroom, such as pastoral care and parents' evenings.
In the final placement there is also the opportunity for trainee involvement in a wider range of school activities: for instance, curriculum development and evaluation within their specialist subject(s); work experience and other activities related to careers education and economic and industrial understanding; fieldwork related to environmental education; and other similar activities which seek to extend the experience and education of pupils beyond the conventional classroom context.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
A minimum of upper second class honours degree in Biology or a closely related subject, eg. life science degree courses, including psychology.
GCSE English Language and Mathematics (minimum grade C)
We will consider applicants holding overseas qualifications that are equivalent to those described above. We may consider applicants with a 2.2 if they have an otherwise strong academic background but please contact the PGCE Admissions Office for advice before you apply.
- A desire to teach and enthuse young people
- Commitment to state education
- Strong subject-based academic background
- Good communication skills
- Experience working with young people
- Flexibility and humour
- Energy, perseverance and stamina
- Ability to work collaboratively
- Ability to learn and act on advice
We do not require applicants to have prior experience in a school as long as they have experience with children of the relevant age phase in other capacities.
However, we do recommend that you spend some time in school if possible to help you decide if teaching is right for you. Those considering your application will be looking for evidence of commitment to, and enthusiasm for, working with children and young people. You should consider how you might demonstrate this in your personal statement and be prepared to discuss during an interview.
About the training provider
The Faculty of Education provides high quality courses in both the Primary and Secondary age-range. Our trainees are always in demand from headteachers and many of our ex-trainees go on to positions of school leadership very quickly.
We consistently receive outstanding feedback from our trainees on course evaluations. We are delighted to be ranked as the number one teacher training provider in England in the 2017 Good Teacher Training Guide.
School colleagues are involved in all aspects of the course from interviewing through to Faculty course teaching.
Our outstanding benefits are:
- Well-established and diverse school partnerships
- Exceptional employment rates
- The stimulation of being a part of a group of high-attaining future leaders in education
- Expert staff - experienced teachers and research active subject specialists in the Faculty
- An intellectual and social hub to live in, comprising College life in the dynamic city of Cambridge
The PGCE courses are assessed at Masters level and trainees who successfully complete all examined elements of the Cambridge PGCE course can apply to undertake the part-time Master of Education (MEd) in just one year.
Training with disabilities and other needs
The Faculty is committed to equal opportunities for all and to the provision of support for students with a disability and aims to ensure that no present or prospective student receives less favourable treatment than another on grounds of any condition or status not directly affecting study or work.
The University's Disability Resource Centre works with the Faculty to provide support to trainees throughout the PGCE course.
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||Faculty of Education, 184 Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2PQ
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