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 you Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Our course has recently been inspected by Ofsted which resulted in an “Outstanding” grading for all aspects of our provision.
Subject pedagogy is explored in curriculum groups, examining techniques for making each subject accessible and stimulating in a classroom environment.
Why does a minus times a minus make a plus? Preparing to be a secondary mathematics teacher at Durham means that you will have to question your own way of thinking and doing mathematics before teaching. Some students find that they have never really understood some basic procedures, but simply followed rules. On the course, you will be strongly encouraged to find out the reasons behind rules so that you are in a better position to teach pupils well. This can be quite unsettling, but with peer and tutor support it can be a positive learning experience
You are encouraged to show where mathematical concepts are applied in everyday life, but also to recognise that mathematics is a fascinating and creative subject in its own right, and can be studied with no immediate application. The common thread is that pupils need to engage with purposeful activities in a supportive environment.
Our popular Mathematics course aims to:
-Empower you with the necessary knowledge, understanding and skills needed to become an effective and innovative teacher of Mathematics.
-Extend your awareness of the range and scope of Mathematics as a subject in schools today.
-Provide opportunities for you to experience and explore a variety of approaches for teaching.
Throughout the course you will have many opportunities to observe, research and share different teaching approaches. We will ask you to reflect on your experiences at school, and evaluate your own teaching regularly. While this may not be an easy process, the teachers and tutors supporting you will be sensitive to your needs and give constructive praise and criticism.
Each week, the school based and university based work will complement each other. You will focus on specific mathematical issues, but also link to whole school concerns. The programme will include an exploration of the following topics:
-The ‘nature’ of mathematics.
-The mathematics curriculum.
-Misconceptions and errors.
-Positive strategies for classroom management.
-Teaching the curriculum: associated pedagogic strategies for each curriculum strand.
-Teaching and learning approaches.
-Assessment for learning: using assessment techniques to improve teacher and pupil performance; pupil and teacher reflection.
-Differentiation and Inclusion.
-Equality and Diversity: teaching in an inclusive and supportive environment.
-The image of mathematics and mathematician.
-Creativity in mathematics.
You will be based in one of our Partnership schools where you will have the opportunity to develop your skills in a practical context.
School-based activities will involve structured classroom observations, planning and research projects and teaching - the latter starting by teaching individual pupils, eventually leading through group work to full classroom teaching.
The course is organised as three modules:
-Professional Issues in school based education
-Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum
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.
On successful completion of the course, student teachers will have 90 credits and QTS.
Other admission requirements
-A demonstrable interest and involvement in the lives and development of young people.
-GCSE English and Mathematics at Grade C or above (or equivalent) which must be achieved at the time of application. If your equivalent qualifications are from an overseas institution, you must apply for a Statement of Comparability from NARIC.
-Applicants with non-standard qualifications, for example, access routes into higher education are welcome to apply.
-We welcome applications from mature applicants pursuing a career change.
-Pass the QTS Skills Tests by 1st August prior to the beginning of the programme.
-Must have undertaken at least ten days of work experience in a UK mainstream school environment within the three years prior to application.
-Must have completed the 10 day Primary School Experience in a UK Primary School (or a Primary School which follows the English National Curriculum) prior to commencing the University course in mid September. Offer holders will arrange this for themselves in their own local area.
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 are issued with offer letters. If you have a criminal record of any kind, you may contact the School of Education DBS Manager, Steph Tunstall, 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 processed by Durham University
unless you have applied to the Update Service.
The equivalent of a UK upper second class honours degree of which approximately 50% is comprised of Maths or a similar subject. If your degree is from an overseas institution you must apply for a Statement of Comparability from NARIC. Significant and relevant subject knowledge and recent experience of the Maths teaching environment. This should be demonstrated at both application and interview. See course description for further admission details.