PGCE Secondary Science with Biology
Start date: September 2022
Develop your teaching skills and qualify as a Secondary Biology teacher on this highly-regarded PGCE Secondary Education with Biology course at the Institute of Education. We are ranked 7th in the UK for Education (The Guardian University Guide 2021).
This Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Secondary Science course is consistently graded as good in Ofsted inspections, and will lead 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 recognise the importance of being able to teach children to explore, understand and make sense of their world through science.
Training to teach in one of the sciences at the University of Reading is an immersive experience that utilises many modes of delivery and participation with active learning at its core. You will develop your skills throughout the programme so that you are fully prepared to share your love of learning and knowledge about science with the children you will teach.
Our course is designed in collaboration with our strong schools partnership so that it meets both your needs as a learner and the needs of the children you teach.
You will be taught by staff with national reputations as experts in the field of science education. They are a diverse and incredibly experienced community of academics with extensive school teaching and academic experience.
Your teaching is through a series of practical seminars and workshops in purpose-built science laboratories where interactive and discussion-based techniques will encourage you to engage, reflect and challenge.
You will take part in activities designed to help you to plan your teaching effectively and imaginatively, discovering how to evaluate your skills, particularly in terms of the quality of learning achieved by pupils.
Sessions may include:
- participating in workshop style sessions with your peers
- attending presentations by subject experts
- working on tasks in groups
- having individual tutorials
- visits to schools or other education settings
- visits to museums or sites of educational interest
- writing assignments on aspects of subject teaching and Professional Studies.
Our course is linked with the Association for Science Education, the Royal Society of Chemistry, The Earth Science Teachers Association and other academic departments within the University of Reading who all provide guest speakers to our sessions.
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.
Climate and sustainability education
- what is happening to our climate, how to help children learn about climate and sustainability in an age-appropriate and accessible way, and how to develop your own positioning as a teacher
- climate justice, the impact of current and future changes to our environment and climate on ourselves and others and implications for teachers
- how to translate knowledge and theory into change and personal action through building climate and sustainability education into your planning, teaching, and children’s learning.
Visit Partnering for the Planet to find out more about the University of Reading’s world-leading work in climate science.
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 teacher.
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. 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 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.