COURSE OVERVIEW The aim of the PGCE in Secondary Education: Design and Technology (Food, Textiles and Product Design) course at Birmingham City University is to develop capable and articulate teachers who can inspire children to combine designing and practical skills with knowledge and understanding.
The course seeks to develop committed, confident and dynamic teachers with a passion for their subject in an environment that offers top quality facilities, including modern food preparation areas and textile amenities.
We believe that Design and Technology is an exciting subject that allows pupils to be innovative and creative if they are taught by teachers who can motivate.
KEY FACTS This is a professional teacher training course that leads to Qualified Teacher Status and it is available at both Level 6 (H) and Level 7 (M).
The National College for Teaching and Leadership bursaries are available for trainees on eligible postgraduate courses in England who are not employed as a teacher. Bursary amounts will vary depending on teaching subject and degree class.
Our facilities are second-to-none and include a new, dedicated teaching suite for food and textiles and a specialist room for design and technology teaching and independent work.
In the latest Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) Survey (2011-13 aggregated data) 95 per cent of Birmingham City University trained newly qualified secondary teachers rated the quality of their training good or very good.
All students are guaranteed outstanding support from both their tutors at the University – all of whom have been exceptional classroom teachers themselves - and from the partnership secondary schools, of which there are more than 200 across the Midlands.
Two thirds of the course takes place in school and we ensure that students are offered a number of placements in a wide range of educational establishments - at least two different schools, plus visits to other schools, including a primary school - so valuable experience is gained in a variety of settings.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS You will need to have a good degree (minimum 2:2 but 2:1 or 1st preferred) from a UK higher education institution or equivalent, at least 50 per cent of which is in a food or textiles-related subject.
You must have a GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent) in both English language and mathematics prior to application and if you are offered an interview you will take a written test to assess your standard of English.
For entry onto a teaching course in September 2014 you will also be required to pass the Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy. Please visit the Department for Education website for further information.
There is an expectation that you will have had some general experience of working with secondary age students in a school setting. In preparation for the selection interview you are required to engage in a teaching episode, observed by an experienced qualified teacher.
As part of the selection procedure, the interview panel will expect you to demonstrate your knowledge of design and technology and will also assess personal qualities such as the potential to relate well to secondary age students, enthusiasm, sensitivity, communication skills and robustness and resilience for teaching.
Applicants must also meet The National College for Teaching and Leadership requirements for Initial Teacher Training, which means being medically fit and successfully completing an enhanced disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
COURSE STRUCTURE This is an intensive and demanding course, which offers superb preparation for anyone who is committed to educating young people. Central to the curriculum is the study of education, pedagogy and professional practice from both generic and subject-specific perspectives, which is delivered using a combination of workshops, lectures, seminar groups and individual study.
To complement this is a programme of subject knowledge and enhancement that supports the development of subject pedagogy. Specialist subject knowledge is updated throughout the course to ensure trainee teachers are fully conversant with curriculum requirements.
ASSESSMENT Modules are assessed through a range of directed tasks and targeted assignments. Trainee teachers are also required to complete a profile of evidence towards the achievement of the standards required by the National College for Teaching and Leadership for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Evidence for the Professional Development Profile is verified by mentors.
FURTHER STUDY Our MA Education and Masters in Teaching and Learning (MTL) programmes are designed to serve the continuing professional development (CPD) needs of teachers. Birmingham City University trained teachers with PGCE credits at level 7 benefit from advanced standing on these programmes.
EMPLOYABILITY This is an “11-16” course with post-16 enhancement, offering graduates maximum flexibility when looking for a teaching post. Employment prospects are excellent based on consistently high employability scores and demand for Birmingham City University trained D&T teachers.
HOW DO I APPLY? All applications for 2014 entry need to be made via the UCAS Teacher Training website. For more information on how to apply for a teacher training course please visit the UCAS how-it-all-works information page on their website. The UCAS Teacher Training helpline number is 0871 468 0 469.
I chose Birmingham City University, quite frankly because it is the best at what it does. Ofsted says so, alongside previous students and teachers. The course attracted me because it is challenging yet supportive, backed up by lots of experience and there is a great amount of prestige in being trained at Birmingham City University.
The most enjoyable part of the course is the fact that you are realising your ambitions. I was expecting it to be tough and it has been the toughest course I’ve ever done, but also the most rewarding – I have gained new skills and developed professional links that will help me through my career.
Over the year I completed two placements. On the first, I remember thinking it was the hardest thing ever. Now I look back and realise how easy it was in comparison to the second! You can only learn so much in the lecture theatre and the experiences I had in school have definitely made me the teacher I am today.
The faculty is the best thing about Birmingham City University. The thing I like most about the people there is the support and understanding that they demonstrate, paired with the push they will give you if you even think about dropping the pace.
My tutor was amazing; she was always there no matter what time of day or night it was, and was always looking to give me the chance to do my best. She left me in no doubt of what was expected of me and the high standards I needed to strive for.
In terms of my plans for the future, I have a fantastic teaching job lined up and I have also been asked to write for the Design and Technology Association after the Head of the association observed me in her capacity as external examiner of the course at Birmingham City University.
My advice for future students would be firstly to forget your preconceptions of what you think it is like and prepare for the unexpected. Get everything done as early as possible – the tasks always take longer than you think and school demands will always swallow up any spare time you have.
The most important thing is to remember why you are doing the course, keep smiling and talk to your tutor. They have seen it all before and can give you the words to get through.
Birmingham City University is in the heart of a fantastic city, and from visiting the City North campus on an Open Day, I knew this was the place to be. There was a warm and friendly welcome, and the atmosphere was genuine. Staff took the time to answer all of my questions, and were interested in me as a student and not just another statistic.
I completed my degree at a very small art college, so I was anxious about getting lost within a bustling city campus, but nothing could be further from the truth. You don’t feel overwhelmed by hoards of other students, yet there is still everything you could possibly want – a students’ union and lounge, a library with more resources than you could ever need, a corner shop, a gym and, more importantly, two Costa coffee shops on campus!
The staff are incredibly knowledgeable and supportive, and the fact that they have been through the same process and have years of experience and wisdom to pass on is reassuring. Our personal tutor, who is also the route leader for the course, is exceptional – her subject knowledge, enthusiasm and passion is clear to see it has been invaluable to have such an inspiring tutor.
The subject workshops are days which everyone looks forward to. In textiles we’ve experimented with dye sublimation, embroidery, felting, electronic microscopes and CAD/CAM. In food, other students are always jealous about the gorgeous smells coming from our room!
The school placements have been an incredible experience. They really put everything into perspective, and the only way to learn is to get in there and do it. On our first placement, we make the huge leap from observing lessons to singlehandedly planning and teaching a maximum of six lessons per week, while at the second school we up that to four lessons per day! You have your bad days, but the good ones outweigh those by far!
My plans for the future are to secure employment as an NQT textiles specialist in the Midlands. I have previously studied in the North East and also worked in London but Birmingham is where I want to be. I hope to take everything I have learnt from this course and put it into action, to inspire and motivate the next generation of students through innovative and exciting opportunities.
You will need to have a good degree (minimum 2.2 but 2.1 or 1st preferred) from a UK higher education institution or equivalent, at least 50 per cent of which is in a food or textiles-related subject.
Recipient: Birmingham City University
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