School Direct Initial Teacher Education

PGCE with recommendation for QTS

The University of Chester is working with a number of leading partnership schools to educate teachers through the new School Direct course (please see the 'Careers' tab for information on current schools we are in partnership with).

Training is offered in the following areas: Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS 3-7 age phase), Primary (5-11 age phase) and Secondary (11-16 age phase with 6th form enhhancement).

Secondary subjects on offer include: Art and Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computer Science, Dance, Design and Technology, Drama, English, Geography, History, Mathematics, Media Studies, Modern Languages, Music, Physical Education, Physics and Religious Education.

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Course PGCE with recommendation for QTS
Length 1 year Full-time
Start date September 2016

General course information

The professional aims of all School Direct courses are to produce high quality teachers who are commited to learning, are open-minded, creative and reflective in their practice.

The programme comprises two main elements:

60 professional learning days which involve:

  • Academic learning at Masters level.
  • Professional development learning
  • Enrichment
  • Subject based learning

120 (minimum) school-based learning days which involve:

  • Learning and experience in at least two contrasting schools
  • Training across the appropriate age phases within Early years, Primary or Secondary
  • Additional learning opportunities, for example in special school education

The intention of School Direct is for leading schools to recruit and educate candidates in subject and age phases most in need of employment and choose how the Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme should be delivered in partnership with the University.

There are two routes available via the School Direct programme. School Direct (Bursary) and School Direct (Salary).

  • School Direct (Bursary) is open to all graduates and funded by tuition fees paid by the candidate.
  • School Direct (Salary) is open to graduates with three or more years’ career experience; candidates will be employed as an unqualified teacher with a salary subsidised by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).

All School Direct places will lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)  and the award of Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

Applicants will be able to apply to the lead school to which the NCTL allocates places through UCAS ITT

Programme Structure

As part of the School Direct Programme, the following subjects available are:

Art & Design, Computer Science, Design Technology, Drama,English, Geography, History, Maths, MFL, PE, RE, Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

If your Teaching Alliance chooses to use University of Chester secondary subject specialist modules, below is  the outline of the module you will study.  You will also study three academic modules.

ART & DESIGN

The Qualification
A one-year, full-time programme, that leads to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE Secondary) from the University of Chester. Successful completion also results in the completion of three M level modules which may be used towards a Master's Degree.

The Programme
The programme is intended to produce reflective practitioners who teach the 11-18 age range. They will be:

- enthusiastic and confident in the classroom
- pedagogically skilful and adaptable
- specialists in the teaching Art and Design: demonstrate practical skills and knowledge of the history of Art and Design.
- able to see their subject in the context of the whole curriculum
- competent in a number of areas that cross secondary school curriculum boundaries
- able to work as part of a team

During the program you will learn how to activate children’s learning of art and design through your subject specialism. The course is designed to ensure you are confident in all basic national curriculum requirements. There will be organised visits art galleries where you can develop methods of making artists work accessible to children.

Assessment on the programme takes many forms. Whilst on placement progress is measured against the Teacher Standards and through monitoring of performance in lessons, trainee explanations and professional files. At University M level work is assessed through more formal written assignments.

Distinctive Feature of the Course
A distinctive feature of the course is Subject Enrichment Week, which falls in the block between the two school placements. This has been designed to consolidate and extend particular aspects of subject knowledge.

For Art and Design trainees this means attending a residential trip design to enhance your understanding of art and design. Each year we visit a major European city exploring the culture, architecture and visiting galleries. This year we intend to accompany other creative subject trainees in Venice.

School Experience
Students will be expected to complete their training in two schools, which are allocated from the University's secondary school partnership. During these two placements, trainees will be closely monitored by a mentor at the school who will support their progress in relation to the Teacher Standards. Further guidance will be provided by tutors who will frame the school experience with specific sessions at the University.

Partner schools are largely, though not all located in Cheshire, Wirral, Runcorn, Warrington, Merseyside, Shropshire, Flintshire and Denbighshire.

Deadline for Applications
There is no early closing date for PGCE Secondary applications, though it may be pertinent to explain that the programme is oversubscribed and the course is usually full by the end of December.

COMPUTER SCIENCE

In almost every sphere of business and leisure Computers are ubiquitous. They are embedded in every day devices; Mobile Phones are very sophisticated devices more powerful than the desktop computers of 5 years ago; Games are increasingly driving websites, marketing and movie production; the internet and parallel information networks are driving every aspect of business. All the above areas are experiencing a sharp increase in the demand for skilled staff which Universities cannot keep up with, and which is largely a result of school leavers not recognising that Computer Science is an exciting and rewarding subject for a career.

The Government, early in 2012, recognised this fact and dramatically changed the school curriculum so that ICT was replaced by a Computer Science curriculum. This shift presents a challenge to schools and their staff which this programme seeks to address.

Based upon the curriculum developed in 2012 by Microsoft, Google and The British Computer Society the trainees will engage with the current suggested curriculum, and investigate how to develop lesson content which will fire the minds of pupils and help them appreciate the potential of Computer Science for their future careers.

 

DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

The Qualification
One-year, full-time programme, which leads to the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE Secondary) of the University of Chester.

 

The Programme
The programme is intended to produce Design Technology teachers who are reflective practitioners who will teach in the 11-18 age range and who will be:

- enthusiastic and confident in the classroom
- pedagogically skilful and adaptable
- specialists in the teaching of Design Technology
- aware of how children learn skills in Design Technology and apply their skills in a broad range of projects
- able to see their subject in the context of the whole curriculum
- competent in a number of areas that cross secondary school curriculum boundaries
- able to work as part of a team

Assessment on the programme takes many forms, including lesson observation feedback, development of subject knowledge, assignments and the submission of teaching and professional files.

PGCE students enjoy a variety of educational experiences, including a subject enrichment week. This will include working with Primary and Secondary pupils, looking at the development and practice of Design Technology in outstanding Secondary Technology departments, Design Technology practice in the Primary school and the role of designers in the classroom.

Successful completion of the course results in obtaining 3 level M modules which may be used as part of a Master's Degree.

All candidates wishing to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) will be required to pass skills tests in numeracy and literacy before you can start the course.

Distinctive Feature of the course

A distinctive feature of the course is the subject enrichment week, which falls in the block between the two school placements. This has been designed to consolidate and extend particular aspects of subject knowledge.

For Design Technology, this will enable trainees to develop and extend their personal subject knowledge through engagement across key stages.

School Experience
Trainees will have two blocks of school experience in different schools selected from the partnership, where they will demonstrate standards for the award of QTS. During this time in school, trainees will teach a reduced timetable, but responsibility will be that of a practising teacher. They will have a subject mentor at the school who will work closely with them on a day to day basis, and a college tutor will make regular visits to monitor progress.

Partner schools are largely, though not all, located in Cheshire, Wirral, Runcorn, Warrington, Merseyside, Shropshire, Flintshire and Denbighshire.

DRAMA

This year the cohort will be involved in an Enrichment Week in Barcelona, providing opportunities for associate teachers and tutors to learn with and from each other and work with Spanish educators and pupils.

The Subject Enrichment Week is always based in a European city and to date has included Amsterdam, Venice, and Prague. Associates are given the opportunity to work with teachers, performers and academics from schools, theatres and university, as appropriate, during the course of the week. Associates are also encouraged to consider the historical and cultural context of the theatre and educational drama practice they engage with in comparison to that of the UK.

A journal of thoughts and experiences is also developed during this time. On their return to the UK, trainees devise group or individual projects which form the basis for schemes of work and practical workshops which are delivered to partnership schools.

"What a rollercoaster ride this year has been, exciting in its twists and turns, ups and downs, and definitely the best year of my life!" (Reflective statement from Drama trainee)

 

ENGLISH

The Qualification
One-year, full-time programme, which leads to the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE Secondary) of the University of Chester.

The Programme
The programme is intended to produce secondary English teachers who are reflective practitioners, who have a love of the subject and who will be:

  • enthusiastic and confident in the classroom
  • pedagogically skilful and adaptable
  • specialists in the teaching of English
  • aware of how children learn English
  • knowledgeable across all areas of English – literature and language
  • able to see their subject in the context of the whole curriculum and understand how the skills of English transfer across all subjects
  • competent in a number of areas that cross secondary school curriculum boundaries and able to see English in the wider context - contributing to pupils' personal, social, moral, spiritual and cultural development
  • able to work effectively as part of a team
  • able to critically examine issues raised within the study of the subject
  • prepared for teaching English in the 21st Century

 

Assessment on the programme takes many forms, including lesson observation feedback, development of subject knowledge, assignments and the submission of teaching and professional files.

PGCE students enjoy a variety of educational experiences, including a subject enrichment week, designed to consolidate and extend English related skills and knowledge in a range of creative, innovative forms.

Successful completion of the course results in obtaining 3 M level modules which may contribute towards a Master's Degree.

All candidates wishing to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) will be required to pass skills tests in numeracy and literacy before embarking on the course.

Distinctive Feature of the Course

School Experience
Associate Teachers (as students are referred to it when in school) will have two blocks of school experience in different schools selected from the partnership, where they will demonstrate standards for the award of QTS. During this time in school, Associate Teachers will teach a reduced timetable, but responsibility will be that of a practising teacher. They will have a subject mentor at the school who will work closely with them on a day to day basis, and a university tutor will make regular visits to monitor progress.

Partner schools are largely, though not all, located in Cheshire, Wirral, Runcorn, Warrington, Merseyside, Shropshire, Flintshire and Denbighshire.

GEOGRAPHY

 

The programme is designed to support, stimulate and develop the emerging secondary geography teacher. The main areas of focus will assist in the development of reflective, professional, practioners eager to engage, contribute and lead in school based learning for children and young adults. They will demonstrate:

  • confidence and enthusiasm that engages and inspires.
  • an understanding of best practice and a growing repertoire of effective learning and teaching methods.
  • a value of and commitment to collaborative learning.
  • a recognition of assessment as a key to successful learning; and develop a range of effective approaches, strategies and techniques that engage and stimulate the learner.
  • an understanding of the place and purpose of the subject within the curriculum today... securely knowing why it is relevant to young people.
  • a wide range of teaching skills being applied in contrasting settings, showing adaptability and flexibility.

Assessment is on-going, with interim feedback on teaching being regularly provided during the programme. Assignments are designed to enhance and support the pedagogic development of the Associate Teacher. The purpose of the assessment process is to identify specific strengths and diagnose areas for improvement, securing the development of a high calibre geography teacher.

HISTORY

The Qualification
One-year, full-time programme, which leads to the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE Secondary) of the University of Chester.

If you have a 2.1 degree or higher, either single or joint honours in history or allied subject, with a passion to share your love of the subject with young people then this programme is for you.

The Programme
The programme is intended to produce secondary history teachers who are reflective practitioners and who will be:

- enthusiastic and confident in the classroom
- pedagogically skilful and adaptable
- specialists in the teaching of history
- aware of how children learn history
- able to see their subject in the context of the whole curriculum
- competent in a number of areas that cross secondary school curriculum boundaries and see History in the wider context, contributing to pupils' personal, social, moral, spiritual and cultural development
- able to work as part of a team

Assessment on the programme takes many forms, including lesson observation feedback, development of subject knowledge, assignments and the submission of teaching and professional files.

PGCE students enjoy a variety of educational experiences, including a subject enrichment week working with Primary and Secondary pupils, supporting you in the ability to employ a wide range of imaginative and appropriate teaching styles across the 11-18 age range, allowing for a variety of learning styles and experiences.

Successful completion of the course results in obtaining 3 level M modules which may be used as part of a Master's Degree.

All candidates wishing to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) will be required to pass skills tests in numeracy and literacy before you can start the course.

Distinctive Feature of the Course

School Experience
Trainees will have two blocks of school experience in different schools selected from the partnership, where they will demonstrate standards for the award of QTS. During this time in school, trainees will teach a reduced timetable, but responsibility will be that of a practising teacher. They will have a subject mentor at the school who will work closely with them on a day to day basis, and a college tutor will make regular visits to monitor progress.

Partner schools are largely, though not all, located in Cheshire, Wirral, Runcorn, Warrington, Merseyside, Shropshire, Flintshire and Denbighshire.

Deadline for Applications
There is no early closing date for PGCE Secondary applications, though it may be pertinent to explain that the History programme is heavily oversubscribed and the course is usually full by the end of December.

MATHS

Maths PGCE trainees enjoy a variety of educational experiences, including a subject enrichment week ‘Mathamagic' working with Primary and Secondary pupils, looking at physical, practical, engaging and collaborative mathematics activities and competitions.

Applicants may apply for the Mathematics Enhancement Course to study prior to the PGCE in order to gain a deeper understanding of mathematics.
Quote from Maths Reflective Assignment: "I learned so much, worked so hard and actually changed so much as a person, and I've got a job as well, what more could I ask?"

 

MFL

A distinctive feature of the course is Subject Enrichment Week, which falls in the block between the two school placements. The purpose of this week is to consolidate and extend particular aspects of subject knowledge. Modern Foreign Languages trainees pursue individually directed work in their chosen countries. Many choose to visit schools abroad to look at how languages are taught. It offers a welcome opportunity to brush up on second language proficiency and collect resources for use in the classroom.

  • "The MFL course is well structured and taught. It ties in neatly with the development of teaching in school."
  • "I have been able to explore many ideas and aspects of MFL methodology and theory and put them into practice in school."
  • "Friday sessions in University during the first placement are an excellent idea and were very useful."
  • "Subject enrichment week in Austria was a brilliant idea- very motivating." (Comments from previous trainees)

 

PE

The Qualification
A one-year, full-time programme, that leads to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE Secondary) from the University of Chester. Successful completion also results in the completion of three M level modules which may be used towards a Master'sDegree.

The Programme
The programme is intended to produce reflective practitioners who teach the 11-18 age range. They will be:

- enthusiastic and confident in the classroom
- pedagogically skilful and adaptable
- specialists in the teaching of Physical Education
- able to see their subject in the context of the whole curriculum
- competent in a number of areas that cross secondary school curriculum boundaries
- able to work as part of a team

Assessment on the programme takes many forms. Whilst on placement progress is measured against the Teacher Standards and through monitoring of performance in lessons, trainee explanations and professional files. At University M level work is assessed through more formal written assignments.

Distinctive Feature of the Course
A distinctive feature of the course is Subject Enrichment Week, which falls in the block between the two school placements. This has been designed to consolidate and extend particular aspects of subject knowledge.

For Physical Education, this has enabled trainees to engage in outdoor activities at the Conway Centre, Anglesey.

School Experience
Students will be expected to complete their training in two schools, which are allocated from the University's secondary school partnership. During these two placements, trainees will be closely monitored by a mentor at the school who will support their progress in relation to the Teacher Standards. Further guidance will be provided by tutors who will frame the school experience with specific sessions at the University.

Partner schools are largely, though not all, located in Cheshire, Wirral, Runcorn, Warrington, Merseyside, Shropshire, Flintshire and Denbighshire.

Deadline for Applications
There is no early closing date for PGCE Secondary applications, though it may be pertinent to explain that the PE programme is oversubscribed and the course is usually full by the end of December.

 

RE

The RE course has a strong emphasis on cultural awareness and trainees work closely with other trainees at a number of points in the year to enhance this awareness. The University has strong links with the local Development Education Centre. RE students also visit Southall in West London, where they meet with various Sikh communities. They also gain experience in schools within the area. This enriches their practice and subject knowledge, developing knowledge and understanding for their future careers.

 

Science (Enhanced with Physics, Chemistry or Biology)


The University of Chester offers PGCE Secondary Science enhanced with Biology, Chemistry or Physics leading to a Post Graduate Certificate in Education for the age range 11-16 with 6th form enhancement. This will enable you to teach science focusing on your specialism in a secondary school across the country. The course will develop your subject knowledge, practical skills and pedagogy in all aspects of science at KS3 whilst also developing your expertise in your preferred discipline of Biology, Chemistry or Physics at KS4 and 5 depending on your degree and experience.

During enrichment Week the Science programme links with the City Learning Centre to produce a Science fair which enhances trainee knowledge of the cross phase between KS2 and 3, as well as their subject knowledge and pedagogy. There are also numerous opportunities for the trainees to experience a variety of out of the classroom activities for KS3, 4 and 5 in a range of locations including The Wirral Science Discovery Centre.

 

You will apply for one of three pathways for this PGCE in secondary science:

Science enhanced with Physics.

Applicants need a good honours degree with a significant proportion of Physics is ideal. There are a wide range of degrees which would give a suitable level of subject knowledge. However, enthusiastic scientists with a reasonable knowledge of Physics can follow a booster/enhancement course prior to starting the PGCE. These last from 10 days to 6mths but applications need a recommendation from a PGCE tutor. The University of Chester offers 10 and 20 day booster courses.

Science enhanced with Chemistry.

Again a good honours degree with a significant proportion of Chemistry is ideal. We will consider the eligibility of a range of degrees. However, enthusiastic scientists with a reasonable knowledge of Chemistry can follow a booster/enhancement course prior to starting the PGCE. These last from 10 days to 6mths but applications need a recommendation from a PGCE tutor. The University of Chester offers 10 and 20 day booster courses.

Science enhanced with Biology.

For this you need a good honours degree with a significant proportion of biology plus the ability to demonstrate an enthusiasm for science and science education. Again a there is a wide selection of degrees which will be considered.

The three academic modules will normally be assessed through written assignments or their equivalent. Assessment is undertaken in accordance with the University of Chester's regulations and requirements. In general terms Associate Teachers are assessed, at M level, on their ability to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding, in breadth and in depth, of the subject-matter studied;
  • discuss, interpret, and critically analyse a range of literature;
  • utilise effectively the transferable communication and rhetorical skills of speaking, listening, reading, writing, and arguing;
  • conduct independent and collaborative research, using relevant skills and methods (including ICT).

Associate Teachers will be informed about the assessment requirements of each element of their programme. The formal assessment requirements are described in each module descriptor and will be communicated through module handbooks. Associate Teachers will be provided with assignment specific criteria that relate to the learning outcomes for that module in the module handbook as well as generic level assessment descriptors appropriate for M level.

A teaching post in your host school at the end of you PGCE is not guaranteed but you may be employed in the consortium. The lead schools awarded School Direct Numbers in Partnership with the University of Chester are as follows:

 

First Degree: A relevant first degree from a UK higher education institution with a degree classification of 2.1 or above (exceptions may be made for shortage subjects), or an equivalent recognised qualification
GCSE: C or above in English Language and Maths (Essential); C or above in Science (Essential for Primary)
ICT: Satisfactory levels of Information and Communications Technology competence (your needs will be discussed at the interview stage)
LITERACY: Satisfactory levels of literacy competence (a literacy task will be undertaken at the interview stage)
Observation in School: 10 or more days (Essential)
This will undoubtedly enhance your potential at interview and will allow you to show a demonstrable interest in teaching, especially within the subject area. This could be shown in a number of ways such as Subject Enhancement Courses, Learning Mentor Scheme, Aim Higher Scheme, time spent as a TA or Cover Supervisor and/or other associated courses
Extra Information: If you accept a formal offer from the University of Chester you will be required to meet the Department for Education standards for physical and mental fitness to teach and clearance to work with children.  Once you have been offered a place at the University, you will be informed how to apply for a DBS Disclosure through the University as a DBS Registered Body and subscribe to the DBS Update Service. Further information is available here: http://www.chester.ac.uk/dbs
Professional Skills Tests Students applying for Initial Teacher Education courses need to be aware of Government regulations regarding mandatory skills tests in literacy and numeracy. These skills tests need to be completed prior to enrolling on the course and deadlines for these to be achieved tend to be stipulated by universities, e.g. 30th June 2016. The skills tests do not replace the standard GCSE grade C requirements in Maths and English.

Candidates will receive one free test and two resit opportunities which will need to be self-funded. If candidates fail three tests, resits will not be allowed within a 24-month period. The skills tests are computerised and can be taken at any of a number of learndirect test centres throughout the UK. The Department for Education has developed guidance and support materials to help candidates pass the tests: candidates are strongly advised to review the support material before attempting the skills tests.  

Tests can be booked via the skills test registration page at:

https://www.skillstestbooking.com/sta-web/registration?execution=e1s1

Or by telephoning learndirect on 0300 303 9613, Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm

Updated practice tests, including punctuation for the literacy test and further information about the tests, is available via the skills test pages at:

https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/passing-the-skills-tests