PGCE Secondary English
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Study our PGCE Secondary English at the Institute of Education and benefit from award-winning tutors and consistently high employment rates.
This Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Secondary English 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 recognise the importance of being able to teach children to think, create and explore the world through language and literature.
Training to teach English at the University of Reading is a dynamic, cutting edge and a practical experience, which will enable you to share your passion for English with pupils, and develop professional skills so that you can become an excellent English teacher.
The course is linked with National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) and provides great networking and professional learning within a community of English teachers. This is at the heart of what we do.
We pride ourselves on the high quality of our teaching support, and your studies will include a blended mix of pedagogy sessions, professional studies, and school experience. This consists of around 45 three hour taught subject sessions and 14 Professional Studies sessions over the course of the year.
Subject pedagogy sessions include:
- teaching reading and literature
- teaching writing
- teaching talk and oracy
- teaching grammar, vocabulary and spelling
- teaching poetry
- teaching media in English
- teaching Shakespeare (including a trip to The Globe theatre)
- planning, progress and assessment
- teaching and using drama in English
- differentiation in English
- creativity in English.
These sessions are taught by highly experienced University tutors, with additional guest presenters drawn from the Institute of Education and a number of our partnership schools.
Sessions are based on recent research and seek to give trainees the opportunity to explore the connections between research and practice in a collaborative and stimulating environment.
Trainees are fully supported in school by University-trained subject mentors, and their progress is monitored closely by University tutors.
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 teachers.
98% of our research is of international standing (REF 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions – Education).
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.