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School of Education

PGCE in Science Partnership (Biology, Chemistry or Physics)

The Ofsted Inspection in April 2013 resulted for the second time, in an Outstanding grading for all aspects of our Initial Teacher Training provision. This is an exceptional result and reflects the excellence of the quality of our partnership, training and teaching. We have historically produced high quality teachers and will continue to do so.

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.

You will be based in one of our Partnership schools where you will have the opportunity to develop your skills in a teaching background.

The school-based activities involve structured classroom observations, planning and research projects and practical teaching - the latter starting by teaching individual pupils, eventually leading through group work to full classroom teaching.

The achievement of the standards necessary to be awarded Qualified Teacher Status will be assessed by mentors in school, their judgments 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 an honours degree for Physics, a 2:2 or above for Chemistry, or a 2:1 or above for Biology. Science or a similar subject is at least 50% of the overall degree
  • Be able to demonstrate in your applications and interviews, significant and relevant subject knowledge and recent experience of the science teaching environment
  • Have A levels in at least two science subjects (this is usually required)
  • Demonstrate an interest and involvement in the lives and development of young people
  • Have GCSE English and Mathematics at Grade C or above (or equivalent)
  • 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.

Find out how to apply here.

If you would like to know more about the programme, please ring or email the course tutors, Liz Parker-Berry and Cath Reading or Tel: 0191 334 8367