About the course
The PGCE Biology course combines theory and practice of education to prepare you to teach all three sciences (biology, chemistry and physics) in the 11-16 phase and you will benefit from some post-16 input to further develop your teaching skills. During the course you will develop your knowledge of how pupils learn science, how to plan effective lessons and practicals; and how assessment can improve learning and teaching in science. You will develop as a reflective teacher who makes informed decisions about how to teach science with high professional standards.
The PGCE course consists of three modules designed to support the award of the PGCE and Qualified Teacher Status.
Module 1 Professional Practice
This combines theory and practice in developing your subject knowledge and pedagogical skills and understanding. You will be immersed in professional studies sessions enabling you to develop holistically as a teacher.
Module 2 Reflective Teacher (Masters level)
This module aims to develop your theoretical understanding of what it is to be a teacher as well as your practical skills as a reflective practitioner. This will help you to critically analyse your own teaching and grow as a teacher.
Module 3 Policy, Practice and Professionalism (Masters level)
This module aims to develop your understanding of teaching as a research-informed profession and how policy and practice impact upon each other.
The PGCE course is organised in two strands: subject days and three blocks of school experience days.
You will spend subject study days at the university taught by leading practitioners in science who are effective, research-engaged teachers. They will help you to develop your knowledge of learning and teaching science through research-led innovative practice that will model new approaches to learning and teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
The three blocks of school experience days, spread through autumn, spring and summer terms, will be spent in schools developing practical teaching skills with the support of experienced science mentors and teachers.
We work in close collaboration with partner schools who help to deliver sessions and prepare students for interviews in schools.
Assessment is based on practice in schools and by written assignments on our Level 7.
Following successful completion of this course, you will receive a Postgraduate Certificate in Education leading to Qualified Teacher Status and gain 60 credits of postgraduate study. These credits can be imported into our Masters of Research course taught at the university.
If you meet the initial criteria of the course, you will be invited to interview at Kingston University. The interview session can take up to four hours and will involve you delivering a short presentation; completing an English task and a written task associated with your subject.
An individual interview will follow where your awareness of current issues in secondary education; passion for teaching your subject and familiarity with the National Curriculum will be explored.
How school placements work
You will spend a minimum of 120 days across two contrasting schools. The first placement builds confidence in teaching and planning lessons.
The second placement develops understanding and practice in assessing pupils work and the final placement consolidates knowledge, skills and understanding of pedagogy and will aim to make you increasingly independent and ready for your year as a Newly Qualified Teacher.
In addition to the above, you are required to undertake pre-course observation experience in a primary and/or secondary school the week before the course starts in September. These initial 5 days experience form part of the 120 days school requirement and you will need to organise this yourself.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
UK honours degree relevant to your subject specialism (or at least 50% needs to be subject specific).
GCSEs in English language & mathematics at grade C or 4 ( new grading structure) or above. Equivalency tests from recognised institutions will be considered.
Pass Professional Skills tests in literacy and numeracy.
Satisfactory medical check clearance and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance. These will be organised by the university following acceptance of any offer given.
It is recommended that you spend time in a school in your chosen subject to familiarise yourselves with the demands and expectations of teaching.
We explore the following areas when selecting candidates:
- Understanding of secondary school curriculum, including the identification of area for development before and during the course;
- Depth of subject knowledge, including understandings of the nature and methods of the discipline;
- Enthusiasm for their specialist subject;
- Interest in teaching and motivation for seeking entry to the profession;
- Experiences of working with young people and what has been learned from secondary school visits;
- Knowledge and understanding of the aims and content of the National Curriculum and
- Experience of using ICT with areas for development identified.
Any offer given will be subject to you passing the Professional Skills tests in literacy and numeracy; DBS & Medical Check clearance and receipt of outstanding qualification certificates
About the training provider
Kingston University's School of Education has a strong tradition of teacher training at Kingston Hill, going back to the formation of Gypsy Hill College (1917). External evaluation justifies and confirms the excellent reputation of the School in the local and national community.
One of the key elements of our course that students feel define their experience at Kingston is the excellent support they receive from tutors and school based mentors on placement. We believe that this is a key factor in the success students have in gaining their award of QTS and the PGCE as well as finding employment.
The School's departments are located in a spacious and beautiful site on Kingston Hill. The Centre is set in about fifty acres of natural woodlands adjacent to Richmond Park, yet within easy access of both Kingston upon Thames and Central London. This self-contained campus, with a range of facilities, is linked to other parts of the university by a free bus service.
The School of Education has an outstanding reputation for providing teachers of a high quality that are in demand by schools situated locally and nationally.
Training with disabilities and other needs
We welcome applicants from a wide range of backgrounds in addition to those with disabilities and specific needs to apply for our courses. Our Disability Team will be available to offer any guidance and support you may need for your interview at Kingston University or during the course.
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