St Mary's University has a long tradition of teacher training since 1850 and about a third of our students are involved in some form of teacher education. The high quality of the St Mary’s Secondary initial teacher training (ITT) provision has been graded as 'outstanding' by Ofsted and we work in close partnership with a wide range of schools in the London area.
In particular, we pride ourselves on the level of care to support trainee teachers at the start of their professional journey. Our tutors are experienced teachers, who have worked in a range of schools before specialising in ITT. They are actively involved in research to inform practice and they hold a number of important external roles which enhance the provision.
The Secondary PGCE course at St Mary’s integrates core PGCE trainee teachers with School Direct (non-salaried) trainees to lead to the award of a Master's level qualification and recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
- Science (Biology, Chemistry or Physics) https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/postgraduate-courses-london/pgce-secondary-science
- Mathematics https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/postgraduate-courses-london/pgce-secondary-maths
- Religious Education https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/postgraduate-courses-london/pgce-secondary-re/
- Modern Foreign Languages https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/postgraduate-courses-london/pgce-secondary-mfl
- Geography https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/postgraduate-courses-london/pgce-secondary-geography
- Physical Education https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/postgraduate-courses-london/pgce-secondary-pe
- English (School Direct only) https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/postgraduate-courses-london/pgce-secondary-english
- History (School Direct only) https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/postgraduate-courses-london/pgce-secondary-history
Why St Mary's
Our experienced science tutors work in close partnership with trainees and the placement schools. We offer an extensive range of government funded subject knowledge enhancement courses that will enable applicants to develop their specialism further or ‘top up’ existing knowledge in preparation for the PGCE course.
If you wish to study for the Catholic Certificate of Religious Studies you will be able to complete several of the modules during your PGCE year. This certificate is often a requirement for teaching in a Catholic school. http://www.stmarys.ac.uk/teacher-training/catholic-certificate-religious-studies/
St Mary's University is fully committed to supporting applicants in shortage specialist subjects and we offer pre-PGCE Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses in mathematics, modern languages and science.
In addition to our core PGCE provision, we offer a range of enrichment activities (e.g. First Aid and IT sessions). This also includes an Academic Reading Club for trainees who wish to explore key issues in greater depth.
At the end of the PGCE course, all trainees have the opportunity to complete a three-week placement in a special education setting. This is highly valued by trainee teachers to broaden their understanding of specific learning needs for some learners.
Tutors are involved in a range of research activity, including teacher resilience and wellbeing, and this informs the provision throughout. There is also a strong focus on digital literacy throughout the course.
Trainee teachers are prepared for teaching in partnership with schools that are formally linked to St Mary's and this provides an excellent framework to develop teaching skills.
Trainee teachers are allocated two school placements during the 36-week course. In total, 24 weeks is spent in school to ensure close links between theory and practice throughout.
In line with the University Mission Statement, the programme seeks to prepare teachers for both religious and secular schools at home and abroad with special provision for those intending to teach in Roman Catholic and other Christian schools.
The PGCE Secondary course provision is enhanced by frequent and valued input from practising classroom teachers and colleagues from the senior leadership teams in our partnership schools.
The PGCE course aims to produce teachers of the highest quality. This quality is achieved when you match the commitment and dedication of teachers and tutors throughout the programme. As one trainee commented in the end of course evaluation: 'The support from dedicated university tutors and school-based mentors has been unbelievable.'
The PGCE course enables you to gain experience at Key Stages 3 and 4 and also at post-16, though formal assessment is normally only for two of these phases.
The stimulating content of St Mary's-based professional studies programme aims to equip you with an understanding of general issues in education, such as the use of data to inform pupil progress and strategies for managing behaviour for learning. The subject-specific sessions include teaching methods, lesson preparation, monitoring and assessing pupils' work and classroom management.
A variety of methods and approaches are considered. Trainees are encouraged to follow up taught sessions through practical work in schools. Trainees must be prepared to take an active part in group work and presentations, and to carry out preparatory and follow-up work outside of taught sessions.
Teaching and Learning
The course tutors use a variety of teaching and learning approaches, including lectures, workshop sessions, collaborative and small-group work, paired work, practical activities, with positive use of technology, individual and group student presentations and some self-supported study.
A number of external cross-curricular visits (e.g. field trips and visits to museums) also take place.
This range of strategies both caters for a range of preferred learning styles and provides good teaching role models for trainees.