PGCE Secondary Partnership (with QTS)
The overall aim of this course is to help you develop the range of skills you need as a newly qualified teacher for the 11-16 age range with post 16 enhancement.
More specifically, it will train you to
- cope effectively in the classroom by developing the skills of classroom management and control
- develop a critical understanding of the curriculum and pedagogy of specialist areas
- develop an understanding of a range of whole school issues, the values and assumptions which underpin them and their application to school and classroom practice
- develop an understanding of pupils in school, their similarities and differences, particularly in terms of their needs, their behaviour, motivation and levels of attainment
The course achieves these aims through the linked programme of subject specialist work and cross curricular themes which focuses on school and classroom based issues. This programme is supported by the pattern of school based work which, together with the School of Education based work, provides an integrated course of professional training.
In addition, the PGCE (Secondary) Partnership is the first year of the University of Durham's MA Education programme. Successful completion of your PGCE year enables you to progress into the subsequent part-time second year of the higher degree.
Cross-Curricular Themes: QTS lecture series
While the central focus of secondary school teaching is usually your subject (see left menu list for subjects offered), it is impossible to consider subject teaching outside of a complex social, psychological, political and economic context. Thus, for example, the linguist cannot set on one side the issues of testing and appraisal, nor can the chemist ignore the needs of the less able. These issues are a central challenge to all teachers, and during training they are best faced in integrated learning situations.
These areas are explored in weekly lectures and subsequently followed up in subject-based seminars.
The first section of the QTS lecture series takes place in the first term and covers the following topics:
- Classroom management
- National curriculum/law and the teacher
- Adolescence, maturation, how people learn
- Language and learning - language across the curriculum
- Teaching and assessing
- Pastoral care
- Child protection
The second section of the course, in term 2, looks at related issues in a wider context:
- Equal opportunities
- Multicultural and anti-racist education
- Special needs
- Pathways post-14
- Pupils' moral and spiritual welfare
- Education for citizenship
- Education for enterprise
There are three elements involved:
- Home Area School Experience (two weeks in a Keystage 2 environment)
- Serial Visits and Diagnostic Teaching Practice (three days per week for four weeks, and then one week teaching induction, followed by 4 weeks' practice
- Serial Visits and Main Teaching Practice (three days per week for four weeks, and then eleven weeks' practice in Terms 2 and 3)
Home Area School Experience
You are required to make arrangements, during the period June to September preceding the course, for two weeks' 'home area' school experience in a junior or middle school. Advice is given to successful candidates on how to approach the local education authority in this connection.
These two weeks are an important and integral element of the course, providing you with the opportunity to observe a variety of teaching styles and to engage in some initial group and class teaching.
The placement aims to develop an understanding of the concepts and skills of the specialist subjects at Key Stage 1 and 2 of the National Curriculum, and the question of progression and continuity across the primary-secondary divide. It also gives you an understanding of pupils at an earlier phase of their development in terms of their needs, levels of motivation and attainment and behaviour. Above all, it provides an introduction to the world of education and teaching and provides a background for the study of curriculum and cross curricular issues which are examined in the course.
Serial Visits and Diagnostic Teaching Practice
For four weeks in Term 1, you spend three days a week (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) in the relevant subject department of a partnership school. Through a programme of observation, research and teaching activities, you will become familiar with the organisation and working of the school and department (pupil groups, staffing, curriculum, resources, facilities, methods of teaching, lesson planning, timetabling, National Curriculum requirements, assessment, examinations, pastoral system etc.). You are under the direction of the school tutor and departmental tutor in the partnership school.
These serial visits together with work in the School of Education are intended to provide a strong integrated beginning to the development of subject expertise and the ability to share that expertise effectively with children. You also develop an awareness of and ability to respond professionally to the full range of cross-curricular demands made in schools today particularly the ability to manage pupil behaviour and the ability to secure effective learning.
The serial visits lead to the Diagnostic Teaching Practice which occupies the last five weeks of Term 1. This practice provides the opportunity to develop your teaching expertise and relationships with children in a familiar environment and to experience a greater range in diversity of the work of the partnership school and department.
Serial Visits and Main Teaching Practice
In Term 2 you are allocated to a different partnership school. Once again the block practice is preceded by four three-day serial visits (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) intended to serve as a preparation for the main practice.
The three-day weekly visits lead to Main Practice which comprises eleven weeks and straddles the Easter vacation.
This two-part eleven week practice is the longest and most important period of school experience on the course. You will be able to draw on the stock of skills and techniques developed in Term 1 and to apply and develop these in a new context, but a context made familiar by the serial visits.
To successfully complete the course and be eligible for QTS, you must be assessed against and achieve all the Standards for the award of Qualified Teacher Status, as listed in the DfEE Circular 'Qualifying to Teach' 02/02. In summary, your classroom practice will be assessed under the following headings:
- Professional values and practice
- Knowledge and understanding
The standards are given in detail on the National College for Teacher Training and Leadership web site.
General Entry Requirements
There are approximately 250 students on the PGCE Secondary course each year and these are recruited from more than forty universities and other higher education institutions, a number from overseas. The majority of the students are straight from their degree courses but a substantial minority enter from industry and commerce.
Only candidates who already possess GCSE/ GCE 'O' Level passes in English Language, Mathematics and Science (Grades A-C) or equivalent can be considered. Unfortunately the pressure on places now means that we can no longer consider candidates lacking these qualifications but hoping to obtain them before beginning the PGCE course
All students must have by 1st September of the year of entry:
- Successfully completed an undergraduate degree in your chosen subject area. If your degree is not subject specific at least 50% of your degree must be in your chosen subject.
- GCE 'O' level / GSCE (Grades A-C) passes in both English Language and Mathematics or equivalent qualifications
GCE/GCSE certificates for Mathematics and English Language will need to be presented for checking by the School of Education at the time of interview. Degree parchments will need to be checked shortly after students' arrival on the course.
Please refer to the subject-specific pages, listed to the left, for further entry requirements, exclusive to your subject, or contact the Admissions Office(0191 334 8406).
Successful candidates will receive an offer conditional on a medical and police check. The latter is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service and full instructions on how to go about this will be issued as part of your Welcome pack (Please note, all DBS Enhanced disclosures for our students must be processed by Durham University- it is Durham University's policy not to accept disclosures from other institutions). If you have a criminal record of any kind, you may contact the School of Education's Administrative Manager, Steph Tunstall for further advice and information (all enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence). For other enquiries please contact the Admissions Office (0191 334 8406).