COURSE OVERVIEW The aim of the PGCE Primary and PGCE Early Years course is to enable you to become a reflective, critical and enquiring primary teacher, able to respond flexibly to changing circumstances and to continue to develop your knowledge, understanding and skills throughout your professional life.
Whilst the PGCE is an academic qualification, the emphasis is very much on practical experience with approximately two thirds of the course spent in school.
We are able to offer applicants a choice of routes:
• Full-time 3-7 Age Phase - 1 Year Course • Full-time 5-11 Age Phase - 1 Year Course
In addition to the age phase options, students on all routes will also be able to opt to take a specialist module in either a National Curriculum Core area, Modern Foreign Languages or another specialism depending on numbers. In addition students on the 3-7 route can opt to take a specialist module in Early Years, this combined pathway of study leads to the PGCE Early Years qualification.
All trainees are trained to teach across the range of subjects in the Primary National Curriculum with a strong focus on English and mathematics.
The main aims of the course are to:
• become committed, confident, autonomous, creative and reflective primary teachers; • develop a deep understanding of the role of a professional teacher in particular, preparing trainees for a career in primary education in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 (3-7 years) or Key Stage 1 and 2 (5-11 years); • value and understand the needs of every child and how to personalise learning for individuals; • teach in culturally diverse and varied environments; • respond flexibly to changing circumstances and develop knowledge, understanding and skills throughout your professional lives; • work with originality and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in education; • lead and support colleagues in a specific area of Primary Education (for example English, mathematics, science, primary languages or Early Years)
KEY FACTS This course has very high employability rates and many of our trainees gain employment in local primary schools. Trainees are supported with the application process as part of their course.
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 degree class.
We work hard to ensure that we have strong relationships with more than 900 primary schools in the region. All schools sign a partnership agreement in which they pledge a commitment to the quality of experience they offer our trainees.
In the latest Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) Survey (2011-13 aggregated data) 94 per cent of Birmingham City University trained primary teachers rated the quality of their training as 'good' or 'very good'.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Applicants will have (or expect to achieve before enrolment) a Bachelor's Honours degree, at upper Second Class level or above from a UK higher education institution or a recognised equivalent in a subject that provides the necessary foundation for work as a primary teacher. Trainees expecting to take a specialist module in a core subject, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) or Early Years must have an appropriate degree or be able to demonstrate equivalent understanding and experience.
GCSE at grade C or above (or its equivalent) in English, mathematics and a science subject is also necessary at the point of application. For entry onto a teaching course from September 2013 you will also be required to pass the Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy.
It is essential for applicants to have spent time in British state primary schools and have some familiarity with the current National Curriculum before submitting an application.
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 Attendance on the full-time course is Monday to Friday, while faculty sessions for part-time students take place on no more than two days per week. However, the part-time route block teaching practice modules are full-time. The full-time course runs over three terms from September, ending in July the following year. The part-time course runs over six terms from September in the first year to July in the second year.
The delivery of the modules is often workshop-based, covering professional subject and age-range methodology, as well as general pedagogical skills and all other major educational issues.
ASSESSMENT There are assessments on course work, teaching practice and the achievement of The Department for Education for the award of QTS. You will also undertake written assessments and some presentations derived from both faculty-based modules and school experiences.
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. On successful completion of the PGCE course you will be entitled to enter these programmes. Master's level credits from the PGCE course will count towards the Master's qualifications.
EMPLOYABILITY Our graduates are highly successful in finding teaching posts and many take jobs in the West Midlands.
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 knew that Birmingham City University had a good reputation for the quality of their teacher training which was important to me as I wanted an experience which would help my employment prospects upon graduating. I also knew that the university had a high standard of facilities in the School of Education, such as the gym and specialist classrooms for each subject area. This was particularly pleasing as it allows lecturers to demonstrate what lessons might look like in the primary classroom.
I believe the practical side of the course was the most important and is where I feel that I did the most learning. I had two placements which were very different, one being in a large inner-city school in Birmingham and the other in a small, rural school in Warwickshire. Both presented a range of challenges and gave me a broad experience which has proved valuable to me in my new role as a Year 2 teacher.
Support on the course was excellent. Lecturers were always willing to make time for you, particularly my personal tutor and placement link tutors. This helped particularly on the academic side, which after a few years out of university I found harder than I expected, especially as the Level 7 aspect of the course is a step up from undergraduate study. During my placement I created a blog about my time as a PGCE Primary Education student, which is available to read on the School of Education’s website.
Over all I was very pleased with the course and feel it has left me in a great position to start my career. Be under no illusion that it isn't hard work, it is. However once you get into school the children remind you what it's all about and before you know it, it will be over and you will be preparing for the next leg of the journey - being an NQT!
A 2:2 Honours Degree or above from a UK University or recognised equivalent. Grade C GCSE or above in English, Mathematics and a Science subject.
Recipient: Birmingham City University
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