About the course
The Sussex Schools Partnership PGCE Geography course is offered as either a 1 year full-time programme or for 2 years part time.
Successful candidates are awarded Qualified
Teacher Status (QTS) and a PGCE of 90 Masters Level Credits allowing progress onto our Part-time Masters in Education for newly qualified teachers.
We believe that Geography helps young people make sense of the world: from the fascinating power of earth-shaping forces, to the contemporary challenges of climate change, food security and energy choices, Geography provides the knowledge, understanding and skills to help pupils navigate their future. The importance of the subject is recognised by its inclusion in the English Baccalaureate, and its popularity evidenced by a rise in Geography exam entries. At Sussex, our approach to the subject roots Geography education in real-world enquiry, decision-making and a commitment to out-of-classroom learning through which young people become more aware of their place within their local, as well as their global, community.
The Sussex PGCE aims to produce creative, inspiring, highly skilled and rigorous, Geography teachers. We introduce trainees to a range of teaching and learning strategies, including the use of data handling (cartographic, numerical, visual, digital) and analytical skills. Sessions are taught both on and off campus with fieldwork an important component, including a residential weekend.
Integrating education theory and practice and encouraging critical reflection on approaches to learning and teaching is key to the Sussex approach. Excellent teachers from partnership schools are seconded to the tutor team and contribute additional currency to teaching and trainee support.
You will attend a full-time three week induction course on our campus during September to prepare you for starting your school placement.
Thereafter our full-time candidates spend Monday to Thursday each week training in one of our partnership schools and attending the University Campus on Fridays for lectures, workshops and seminars with our team of experienced subject tutors. Part-time candidates also attend the university on Fridays and train for two days a week in school in year 1 and three days in year 2.
Over the year you will be placed in two different schools and will be required to pass both placements. Additional assessments are via a Masters level essay submitted in late February and an innovative Viva style Masters level exit interview at the end of the course.
Further course information http://www.sussex.ac.uk/education/ite/pgceandschooldirectsecondary/drama
Geography Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course
Applicants who meet the entry requirements will be invited to a selection day either on the University campus or in one of our partnership schools.
At a Sussex selection day candidates would usually expect to;
- Listen to a talk giving further information about the course with an opportunity to ask questions
- Have an individual interview with a Sussex tutor and an experienced teacher from a partner school
- Deliver a short pre-prepared classroom type teaching task or presentation
- Present your degree, GCSE Maths and English certificates (and Science for Primary and KS2/3) and Photo ID for checking
- Complete some paperwork including our Suitability for Teaching Declaration
Showing an awareness the curriculum and school life is part of the selection process so candidates may wish to prepare themselves by spending some time in an appropriate school setting for the subject/phase they intend to teach beforehand.
How school placements work
Our Full-time Course
You will undertake two periods of Professional Practice in two contrasting schools over the academic year September to June, training to teach in Key Stage 3 (11-14) and Key Stage 4 (14-16) with enhancement opportunities at Key Stage 5 (16-18).
Placement 1: End of September to February halfterm. Trainees benefit from a serial placement where the working week is divided between four days in school and a day of reflection and training at the University on Fridays. This ensures a weekly focus on theory and pedagogy as well as practice.
Placement 2: February Halfterm to May halfterm in a contrasting school. There are fewer University days to give you experience of working a 5 day school week.
Our Part-time Course
Year One: 2 days* a week in school and Fridays at the University
Year Two 3 days* a week in a second contrasting school and occasional University days. Towards the end of your course you will undertake a full-time 5 week teaching block.
- Days of the week individually negociated to suit both school and trainee.
Our longstanding and historic partnership with around 300 schools across East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, Surrey, Kent, Hampshire and South London Fringes helps us secure placements where our trainees will thrive and be well exceptionally supported. We invest a lot of time in carefully arranging the most appropriate school for each individual in our cohorts.
Your Sussex tutor will personally select your two school placements based on a combination of factors; the practicalities such as living location and transport needs but also on personality, subject knowledge level and previous experiences and using our in depth knowledge of the features of schools within our partnership.
We are also proud to offer an innovative optional training strand in Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) which includes enhanced training opportunities and a bespoke Placement 2 in a local partnership special school. This strand would suit any trainee interested in working in a SEND environment.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
You could be eligible for either:
- a scholarship of £28,000
- a bursary of £26,000
To qualify for a scholarship you’ll need a degree of 2:1 or above in Geography or a related subject. For a bursary you’ll need a 2:2 or above in any subject.
You can’t claim both a bursary and a scholarship - you can only claim one.
Find out how to apply for a scholarship. You don’t need to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out how you’ll be paid.
Financial support if you’re from outside the UK.
An undergraduate degree 2:2 or above in Geography or a related subject that contains a substantial amount of Geography and a C or above at Geography A level (or equivalent qualification).
Where applicants do not meet the normal requirements but are offered a place on the basis of other qualities - such as experience or skills - Subject Knowledge Enhancement course is available at Sussex.
English and Maths GCSE at grade C or above (pre-2017), Grade 5 or above (post-2017), or equivalent qualifications.
At Sussex we are looking for;
- A passion for Geography and an interest in the subject beyond your degree
- Knowledge and understanding of Geography and an awareness of how the subject is taught in UK secondary schools.
- Effective communication skills and good organisational skills
- Awareness of current educational developments and issues
- Experience with young people and commitment to developing individuals
- The ability to evaluate practice and to address your weaknesses
- Initiative, flexibility and responsiveness to change
- A sense of responsibility
- The ability to work in a team.
We also require the following
- Working with children: You must not be excluded from working with children, as a result of a criminal record or other reason. The Disclosure and Barring Service provides access to records held nationwide through its disclosure
service. All trainees must obtain successful DBS clearance before starting an initial teacher-training programme.
- Health requirements: All trainees must be screened for mental and physical fitness to teach by the University's Occupational Health Department before admission to the programme.
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