This Geography PGCE course combines the development of professional skills needed to teach the subject together with knowledge of contemporary issues in geographical education.
Why study Secondary Geography?
Our Geography PGCE course aims to prepare you with the practical skills needed to help foster the 'geographical imagination' of young people. This is achieved by teaching this vibrant and exciting subject in an innovative way to support pupil learning. In addition, it explores current debates and research to help understand the purpose of teaching geography and support trainees in their school placements.
Through critical reflection the programme makes links with literacy, citizenship and sustainability, highlighting the importance of geography in helping young people to become more informed global citizens. Geography PGCE trainees are assessed on their ability to teach pupils in the 11-16 age range, but opportunities for A Level teaching is also included in the programme as appropriate.
Why St Mary's?
The Geography PGCE programme covers all aspects of geography teaching with an emphasis on developing an enquiry approach to learning using fieldwork and ICT to support practical activities and strategies for use in the contemporary classroom. Trainees will be encouraged to use a range of techniques and approaches creatively to teach a wide variety of geographical topics.
Key features include an emphasis on assessment for learning as a tool for development, and on effective planning for the whole ability range to facilitate progress. The experienced geography tutor works in close partnership with trainees, the PGCE secondary team and the placement schools.
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.
You are prepared for teaching in partnership with schools that are formally linked to St Mary's, providing an excellent framework to develop teaching skills.
During your studies you'll be 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.
Our partnership schools offer a rich and diverse training programme for our trainees. We work with partner schools throughout the London area. During your placements, you will be guided from working with small groups of pupils alongside a subject teacher towards taking responsibility for whole classes.
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 - such as 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.
Trainees are recommended for Qualified Teacher Status by successfully meeting the Teachers’ Standards (DfE). Continuous assessment throughout the programme will determine success.
Master's level assignments complement the work in schools and assist in meeting the Teachers’ Standards. These assignments aim to encourage you to be thoughtful and reflective, but also reinforce the evidence-based nature of the course assessment.
Self-assessment is also recognised as a valuable perspective in the evaluation of both school and university-based work.
Other assessments are used to ensure students understand and can apply the knowledge. This is done through a range of methods:
- Practical sessions
- Lesson observations
Assessment is on-going and against the Teachers’ Standards. High standards of attendance, punctuality and participation are requirements of all course elements.
- 100% of our 2015/16 Secondary PGCE graduates were in employment within six months (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education, HESA)
- Innovative and imaginative use of ICT is encouraged, including a GIS (Geographical Information Systems) supported by ESRI
- Varied and dynamic fieldwork opportunities including both residential and local visits organised in association with the Field Studies Council
- Strong 'Geography Community' developed with local partnership schools, as identified by external examiner in latest subject report
- Significant teaching input by local and successful school teachers
- Strong links with both Geographical Association (GA) and Royal Geographical Society (RGS)
- Strong focus on subject knowledge development
- Meaningful and practical links with Primary Geography courses at St Mary’s