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Course content

Description

The PGCE Secondary is the first phase of a career-long process of personal and professional development, which will equip you to become a secondary school teacher. The PGCE Secondary is a course in Initial Teacher Training which is accredited by the DfE, the successful completion of which will accord Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Our course has recently been inspected by Ofsted which resulted in an “Outstanding” grading for all aspects of our provision.

Students who have successfully completed the PGCE at Durham in the previous academic year have the option to use 90 credits they have accredited towards a part-time MA Education. These students only need to do the core modules, Education Enquiry and the Dissertation over 2 years, to complete the course.

Subject pedagogy is explored in curriculum groups, examining techniques for making each subject accessible and stimulating in a classroom environment..

After a preparatory 5 days in a primary school the course begins a series of school visits, curriculum sessions and tutorials which combine the theoretical and research based dimensions of the course, school observations and personal perspectives of issues prior to the short Preliminary practice. This pattern is repeated in the New Year before the long practice. 

Structure

The course is organised as three modules:

  • Professional Issues in school based education
  • Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum
  • Self-directed Study

The Professional Issues in School Based Education relates to the Teacher Standards and is delivered in two parts, prior to each of the two extended teaching practices. The teaching is related to those classroom-based issues such as the psychology of learning, the law, curriculum groups, examining techniques for making each subject accessible and stimulating in a classroom environment and is followed up in subject groups and during school placements The block practices in the Autumn and Spring allow for practical opportunities for full professional development where there is a progression from observation, structured activities and group work to whole class work.

Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum and Self-directed Study are studied at Masters Level. The Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum Module draws on the international research expertise within the School of Education enabling student teachers to engage critically in issues relevant to the classroom and school, particularly those that impact on the success of children as learners. The Self-directed Study module draws on students’ experience during weekly visits to schools and their own small scale action research, and links this to critical engagement with published educational research.

These Masters modules provide an opportunity to explore, in a more theoretical way, the issues to do with teaching and learning through lectures and mixed subject and phase seminar groups taught as a conference week usually after Christmas. In addition to covering Teacher standards these modules will enable assessment work to be carried out for the award of PGCE.

On successful completion of the course, student teachers will have 90 credits and QTS.

Course Learning and Teaching

Issues addressed usually include:

  • Lesson planning and planning for progression and differentiation
  • The National Curriculum, examination courses and Geography's contribution to the wider curriculum
  • Teaching styles including fieldwork and approaches to teaching the most and least able
  • Cultivating the imagination and thinking through Geography
  • Monitoring and assessing children's progress
  • The potential of I.C.T., audio-visual aids and other resources for enhancing Geographical learning
  • Geography's contribution to the development of core skills, personal development and cross-curricular themes

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.

Most people have vivid memories of their school fieldwork experiences and not only is it highly motivating for pupils, it plays an important part in the enquiry process. The course features a fieldwork course in Durham City exploring approaches to fieldwork, planning activities in the field and, in the summer, taking pupils from a local school to undertake them.

Geographers, together with Modern Foreign Linguist or English trainees, have the opportunity to spend two weeks following the main practice in the Czech Republic planning, preparing and teaching a module of Geography to school students.

In addition to the general course demands, assessment is by a combination of assignments which focus on practical issues drawing upon the theoretical and practical perspectives of both university and school based elements of the course. 

Admissions Process

At UCAS you can apply for this course by using the following code: F8X1

Your professional and interpersonal qualities and your commitment to teaching will be considered when making an admissions decision. Candidates who meet the criteria, will be invited to a selection day. Selection days will involve individual interviews with a pre-prepared presentation element and tests to assess written English and other skills.

Successful candidates will receive an offer conditional upon successful medical and criminal record checks. The latter is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service and full instructions on how to apply for a DBS Disclosure will be provided.

If you have a criminal record of any kind, you may contact the School of Education DBS Manager, , for further advice and information. All enquiries will be treated in confidence.

We strongly encourage you to register for the DBS Update Service, which lets you take your certificate from one employer to another without having to apply for a new check. Please note, all DBS Enhanced Disclosures for our Students must be applied for through Durham University unless you have applied to the Update Service.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.


Visit the PGCE Secondary (Geography) page on the Durham University website for more details!

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