The science PGCE course at St Mary’s University offers the opportunity to train to teach Biology, Chemistry and Physics. All trainees offer one science subject area as a specialism and can show evidence of understanding of the other two specialisms for Key Stage 3 level.
Why study Secondary Science?
Trainees are assessed on their ability to teach pupils in the 11-16 age range, but opportunities for A level teaching are also included in the programme as appropriate.
The Science PGCE course covers all aspects of science teaching and learning, with an emphasis on practical activities for use in school. There is a strong emphasis on investigative science, as well as planning for the whole ability range to ensure that all pupils are able to make progress.
Why St Mary's?
Our experienced science tutors work in close partnership with trainees and the placement schools. We offer an extensive range of government funded subject knowledge enhancement courses that will enable applicants to develop their specialism further or ‘top up’ existing knowledge in preparation for the PGCE course.
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)
- International Links: Tutors work with Malaysian Government to train teachers
- National Physical Laboratory (NPL): Talks and seminars held in their laboratories
- Links with Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC): Talks and workshops at the beginning of the course
- Charterhouse School: Saturday morning Physics enrichment sessions
- Field Studies Council (FSC): Biology A level KS3/GCSE, three day field trips
- Experienced tutors actively involved in research. Presentations given at Association for Science Education (ASE) Annual Conferences.
- Local primary and secondary schools links: Trainees take sessions with Year 6 (G+T) and Year 11 (revision workshops)