PGCE Secondary Computer Science
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Start date: September 2021
Develop teaching skills, acquire curriculum knowledge in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Computer Science (CS), and benefit from our excellent placement opportunities with our PGCE Secondary Education with Computer Science.
Please note that all Secondary PGCE programmes are now closed for 2021 applications.
This Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Secondary (Computer Science) course leads to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), qualifying you to teach the 11-18 age group in secondary schools in England and Wales.
We teach you about inclusive approaches to teaching computer science, computational thinking, problem solving and demystifying computer science for young people.
You have the opportunity to work with an experienced community of tutors, established in the field of Computing education and IT, who are engaged actively in teaching, research and national developments in Computer Science education and international projects in Technology Enhanced Learning (TL).
We have guest speakers from local, regional and national groups come in to talk to students including the British Computer Society (BCS), micro: bit and Computing at School (CAS) and provide opportunities to participate in a hackathon and coding club.
We show you how to use physical computing in the classroom including micro: bit, Raspberry Pi and Lego, and have active and engaged alumni who come in to deliver guest talks and are also mentors.
You will learn through a series of practical seminars, workshops, micro-teaching activities, presentations by subject experts as well as independent and group research in a purpose-built IT suite with an extensive range of resources. Interactive and discussion-based teaching techniques will encourage you to engage, reflect and challenge ideas around computing education and pedagogy.
In addition to your school placement, your training will include:
- opportunity to undertake professional subject-specific micro-qualifications
- one to one tutorials with your academic tutor
- three school visits by your academic tutor whilst on placement to observe your teaching and monitor your progress
- weekly one to one tutorial with a subject-specialist school-based mentor whilst on placement
- additional visits to schools or other education settings with a particular focus on computing pedagogy
- visits to sites of educational interest, such as The National Museum of Computing
- writing assignments on aspects of subject teaching and Professional Studies
These learning activities will help you to develop a toolkit of knowledge and skills, ensuring you are well prepared to tackle challenges and opportunities throughout your training and your career.
Alongside the University tutors, you will be taught and guided by a team of committed and experienced University-trained school mentors.
Placements enable you to develop the skills and knowledge valued and desired by employers - you will build your confidence in the classroom and gain practical teaching experience. Placements also provide you with the opportunity to connect with potential employers and build your professional network.
At Secondary level we have strong relationships with around 90 schools in the local and surrounding area. It is a testament to the strength of these partnerships and the regard with which our graduates are held, that most schools in Berkshire employ at least one graduate of the Institute of Education.
On your Secondary PGCE course, you are required to carry out three placements in two different age groups — ensuring you receive a broad range of experiences. Two placements must be undertaken in a school setting, but the third can be taken in a different setting, allowing you to sample teaching in an alternative environment.
We offer our students an unusually flexible and broad range of contexts and educational environments - you will have the opportunity to gain experience in special needs schools, Pupil Referral Units, independent schools, museums and charities.
You will have plenty of opportunities throughout your course to apply your developing skills in real settings. In schools, you will be involved in:
- observation of other teachers
- planning and teaching small groups and whole classes
- planning and teaching elements of lessons and whole lessons
- reflecting on and evaluating your teaching
- receiving feedback on your teaching
- gaining experience of the range of responsibilities of classroom teachers.
The quality of our research was recognised in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, placing the Institute of Education in the top quartile of education departments in the UK.
REF also rated more than 80% of our research publications as world leading or internationally excellent. The impact of our research on educational policy and practice in first and second language education was judged to be world leading.
This subject is also available via School Direct as well as the University-based route. Those students following a School Direct route may be studying for a PGCE or QTS only. However, all students come together as a subject group in University sessions.
Those taking the PGCE will spend more time in the University than those taking the QTS-only course. The PGCE will involve writing assignments that are designed to help trainees to plan their teaching effectively and imaginatively, and to evaluate their developing knowledge and skills, particularly in terms of the quality of learning achieved by pupils. Successful completion will result in 60 master's-level credits.
For more information, please visit the Institute of Education website.