About the course
This Post Graduate Certificate Education (PGCE) Secondary English course leads to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), qualifying you to teach the 11-18 age group in secondary schools in England and Wales.
We recognise the importance of being able to teach children to think, create and explore the world through language and literature.
Training to teach English at the University of Reading is a dynamic, cutting edge and a ‘hands-on' experience, which will enable you to share your passion for English with pupils, and develop professional skills so that you can become an excellent English teacher.
The course is linked with National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) and provides great networking and professional learning within a community of English teachers. This is at the heart of what we do.
We pride ourselves on the high quality of our teaching as support, and our blended course is a mix of university-based subject pedagogy sessions, Professional Studies and school experience. This consists of around 45 three hour taught subject sessions and 14 Professional Studies sessions over the course of the year.
Subject pedagogy sessions include:
• Teaching reading and literature
• Teaching writing
• Teaching talk and oracy
• Teaching grammar, vocabulary and spelling
• Teaching poetry
• Teaching media in English
• Teaching Shakespeare (including a trip to The Globe theatre)
• Planning, progress and assessment
• Teaching and using drama in English
• Differentiation in English
• Creativity in English
These sessions are taught by highly experienced university tutors, with additional guest presenters drawn from the IoE and a number of our Partnership schools.
Sessions are based on recent research and seek to give trainees the opportunity to explore the connections between research and practice in a collaborative and stimulating environment.
Trainees are fully supported in school by university-trained subject mentors, and their progress is monitored closely by university tutors. Outcomes for trainees are excellent and employment rates are excellent.
More information about the course
You will be invited to one interview, conducted by an academic member of staff with subject-specific knowledge.
If you are a candidate who holds a degree in a subject other than English, you could be eligible to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement prior to the course. Further details will be discussed at interview.
How school placements work
Placements enable you to develop the skills and knowledge valued and desired by employers - you will build your confidence in the classroom and gain practical teaching experience. Placements also provide you with the opportunity to connect with potential employers and build your professional network.
At Secondary level we have strong relationships with around 80 schools in the local and surrounding area. It is a testament to the strength of these partnerships and the regard with which our graduates are held, that most schools in Berkshire employ at least one graduate of the Institute of Education.
On your Secondary PGCE course you are required to carry two placements across the Key Stages, ensuring you receive a broad range of experiences. In addition, you will have the opportunity to gain experience in special needs schools, Pupil Referral Units, independent schools, museums, and charities as part of the Enrichment programme.
You will have plenty of opportunities throughout your course to apply your developing skills in real settings. In schools, you will be involved in:
- observation of other teachers
- planning and teaching parts of lessons/small groups
- planning and teaching lessons and sequences of lessons
- reflecting on and evaluating your teaching
- receiving feedback on your teaching
- gaining experience of the range of responsibilities of classroom teachers.
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
Please note these are the 2019/0 fees. Fees for 2020 entry will be confirmed as soon as an announcement has been made by the DfE concerning financial support for 2020/1.
You’ll get a bursary of £12,000 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
Students who have previously graduated from an undergraduate course at the University of Reading will be eligible for an alumni discount amounting to 10% of the tuition fee (up to a maximum of £1,000) for Home/EU students or £1,000 for International fee-paying students.
This discount will also be available to Reading alumnus undertaking a non-salaried School Direct with PGCE course with one of our school partners.
We would normally expect you to have a 1st, 2:1 or 2:2 honours degree (or equivalent from a university outside the UK) in a subject that is related to the subject that you intend to teach.
You will also need to have achieved Grade 4 (or C) or above in GCSE Mathematics and English Language or equivalent qualifications.
You will also need to demonstrate competence in Fundamental English and mathematics by the end of the course. This is a new DfE requirement which replaces the QTS skills tests in literacy and numeracy.
If you are passionate about and committed to children's education and would like a a career in which you can make a difference, then apply to the University of Reading.
We welcome applications from prospective students who have an understanding of and insight into the role of the teacher, the classroom environment and the processes involved in learning and teaching.
If you accept an offer with us you will also be required to successfully complete Occupational Health and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure checks.
These checks are required to ensure you meet the Department for Education’s requirements for physical and mental fitness to teach, as well as assessing your suitability for working with children.
About the training provider
The Institute of Education (IoE) at the University of Reading is an established provider of high-quality teacher training and research in education. The impact of our research and the breadth of our experience feeds directly into everything we do and the world around us.
Train with us and have a direct and positive impact on the lives of young people. We offer teacher training courses in primary, secondary and early years. In our latest Ofsted inspection in 2016 all our teacher training courses were rated 'Good'. We are currently ranked 12th in the UK for Education in the Guardian University League Tables 2020.
Our networks and the impact of our work are both local and global. Locally, we have well-established partnerships with over 400 schools, who we work closely with to train the next generation of outstanding teachers. Globally, our research, consultancy and other projects extend to countries as varied as China, Jamaica, the USA and Singapore.
In the latest national assessment, the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 80% of our research outputs were rated world leading or internationally excellent, positively impacting educational policy and practice.
At the Institute of Education we have the research, the expertise and the passion to help others grow into engaged and active citizens; individuals with resilience and the confidence to tackle challenges.
Training with disabilities and other needs
The University of Reading welcomes disabled students and has a dedicated Disability Advisory Service. The service offers advice and guidance to students with any disability, mental health condition, or specific learning difficulty (SpLD).
If you have not yet told the University about your disability, or have not disclosed it on your application, you can discuss the implications of a disclosure in complete confidence, with one of our disability advisers.
We offer support, advice and guidance with:
- physical disabilities e.g. mobility
- sensory disabilities e.g. visual impairments
- mental health difficulties e.g. anxiety
- medical conditions e.g. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diabetes
- autism/Asperger Syndrome
- SpLDs e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia
DAS may be able to assist in study related support in the following ways:
- Disability Advisory Service (DAS) may assess the impact of your disability on your studies and recommend any reasonable adjustments required
- Provide information on funding for study support, including the Disabled Students Allowance and how to apply.
- Liaise with your Department/Schools/Hubs including Senior Tutors and Disability Representative on reasonable adjustments, including extensions to deadlines and alternative modes of assessment where appropriate.
- Flag students (with permission) in order that tutors are made aware of individual requirements.
- The Disability Advisory Service can provide assistance on arranging non- medical helpers e.g. one to one support arrangements such as mentors and specialist study skills.
- Liaising with the exams office re special exam arrangements
Referral and signposting to other services
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.
Institute of Education, University of Reading
London Road Campus, 4 Redlands Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 5EX
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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