This course prepares graduates to teach in a Foundation Stage/Key Stage 1 setting (3-7 years).The focus of the course is split between university-based studies and two block school placements, so you will develop both the theoretical knowledge and practical experience required for a successful career in teaching.
As a student on this course, you will study the foundation stage and the primary, and develop the ability to evaluate critically and reflect upon the principles of teaching and learning. You will gain a thorough knowledge and understanding of a range of teaching, learning and assessment strategies, and learn how to use and adapt them to meet the varying needs of the youngest learners.
The course is taught at the university's School of Education, one of the UK's largest providers of teacher training with an excellent national reputation, and by tutors who are themselves all experienced teachers.
This course leads to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) which allows you to teach in England and Wales. The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (POSTGCE) award includes masters-level credits which can be used towards a masters degree. The Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PROFGCE) award is available for students who do not achieve the masters-level elements of the course.
This course is developed in accordance with the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework (EYFS) and the primary curriculum.
The university-based studies comprise group work and independent study, seminars and lecture sessions. Here you will study the newly revised primary curriculum as well as a broad spectrum of issues concerning teaching and learning. Your studies will encompass both area of learning specific sessions as well as integrated project learning that spans multiple areas. The links between theory and practice will be explored throughout the year. In addition to your university-based studies, the course includes two block school placements to help you gain an understanding of both the Key Stage 1 and the Foundation Stage settings. You will also spend an additional three weeks in an early years or primary school setting, focusing on classroom-based research and group teaching.
Areas of study
This is an intensive year, approximately half of which is spent in partnership schools/settings where the training of student teachers is a shared activity between the university and practitioners. Students take six taught modules (in addition to the two school placement modules). These sessions support and extend the school/practice-based study so that links between theory and practice are explored throughout the year.
The Education Studies programme develops students' understanding of the processes through which learning occurs, including an appreciation of individual differences and the study of the principles and practices of learning and teaching. Students study the National Curriculum at Key Stage 1 and the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum with modules that support the development of subject knowledge in curriculum areas as well as the themes and principles relevant to the Early Years.
The design of the course is underpinned by modules that facilitate students' engagement with subject curriculum areas (KS1) and the Early Years Foundation Stage 6 areas of learning as well as the skills and dispositions that encourage a confident, meaningful and creative interpretation of the curriculum.
A discrete Early Years studies module focuses on the distinct nature of the context and age-phase specific issues, eg transition, partnership with families and parents and leadership. Students learn about the role of play, the environment, the role of the Early Years practitioner and value of talk and sustained shared thinking as integral to all modules. The Professional Studies module provides students with the skills necessary for the role of the reflective and critical teacher and this includes some study at masters-level. All students are enrolled onto the Postgraduate Certificate in Education but an alternative exit award, the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education, which also includes QTS, is available for students who do not achieve the masters-level elements of the postgraduate programme.
Most graduates of this course begin their careers as primary school teachers where they work to make a difference in those important years of a child's education. From primary school teacher, your career could develop in a number of ways, for example, curriculum or foundation stage coordinator, special educational needs teacher or head teacher.