PGCE in Science Partnership (Biology, Chemistry or Physics)
Aims of the Course
We believe strongly that to be able to teach successfully you must acquire a good understanding of the 'big ideas' of science as well as learning about how to teach science. The university-based time is therefore divided into two main parts:
- Core Science is a compulsory second method course for all science students. It addresses your own understanding of the key concepts underpinning science. Many students come to the course with excellent qualifications but have never had an opportunity to explore their understanding of these concepts. We are told that this part of the course is "thought provoking", "enlightening" and "challenging". You are expected to follow up this work with tutor and peer group support, using the extensive library facilities.
- Science Education Issues looks at areas relevant to how science is taught. We use various teaching and learning styles to enable you to explore issues such as:
- motivating pupils in science
- questioning strategies
- planning lessons to maximise pupils' active involvement
- planning to allow pupils' understanding to progress
- the value of different types of practical work
- the use of IT to enhance scientific understanding
The science team has an international reputation for its work on teaching pupils the understanding necessary for investigative science. This is often referred to as 'the thinking behind the doing'. The importance we place in this aspect of science is reflected in the course.
In our partnership schools you will have the opportunity to further develop your own subject understanding and continue to learn about science issues. Work within the school enables you to relate the university components of the course to classroom practice. This is described as "exciting", "rewarding", "hard work" and "stimulating" by our students. Science mentors within the schools support you in your work and teach aspects of the course directly relevant to their perspective within the school.
The achievement of the standards necessary to be awarded Qualified Teacher Status will be assessed by mentors in school, their judgements moderated by observations carried out by university tutors.
Several members of the science team contribute to the course, and you will be supported throughout by a science tutor who has recent experience in schools.
You must have a genuine interest in teaching science and be able to communicate this enthusiastically. Ideally, your degree will be broad based and you must demonstrate a willingness to extend your own subject understanding. A levels are usually required in at least two science subjects and ideally you must have GCSEs or equivalent covering all science subjects. This does not exclude candidates who have non-standard qualifications, e.g. access routes into higher education - each application will be judged on its own merits. We particularly welcome applications from mature candidates who are perhaps looking for a career change. Experience of Information Communication Technology is essential.