PGCE Secondary Religious Education
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Start date: September 2022
Address all aspects of secondary religious education teaching, and learn from experienced religious education teachers and specially trained mentors with the PGCE Secondary Religious Education.
This Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Secondary Religious Education (RE) 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.
This course explores secularism and non-secularism education. You’ll consider the purpose of religious education in schools, exploring topics such as morality, philosophy, ethics and logic.
You will have the opportunity to visit places of worship to explore how these buildings can be used in teaching, but also to engage in dialogue with people of different faiths, particularly in the local areas in and surrounding Reading. We are lucky to host guest speakers from both the local area and further afield across the country – the Humanist UK Society, the County Inspector Adviser for Religious Education and speakers from a number of faiths including, Buddhism, Christianity and Judaism.
As part of the course we also look at Personal, Social, Health and Education (PSHE), pastoral care, and citizenship.
Your assignments are designed to help you plan your teaching effectively and imaginatively and to evaluate your skills, particularly in terms of the quality of learning achieved by pupils. Tutors weave together personal experience, practice and research into challenging but highly practical and relevant sessions.
You will learn in first-class facilities through a series of practical seminars and workshops, where interactive and discussion-based techniques will encourage you to engage, reflect and challenge.
Sessions may include:
- talks on religious education from the University of Reading and our partnership schools
- micro-teaching sessions on topics such as how to assess pupil's work and support them to GCSE and A level
- visits to sites of religious interest and places of worship
- participating in workshop style sessions with your peers on how to enable pupils to understand the beliefs and practices of different religions
- working on tasks in groups to learn how to develop critical thinking skills in pupils so they can explore ethical and philosophical issues
- having individual tutorials
- 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.