Teaching and Learning
At the heart of good teaching is the desire to promote learning, and the love of learning. Nothing is taught until it is learnt. To achieve this, the programme aims to develop teachers who are
- skilled and inspirational subject specialists
- confident and reflective practitioners
- effective communicators who can work in partnership
- informed intellectuals who promote a love of learning
- resilient professionals able to demonstrate high standards of personal conduct
The PGCE secondary (core and school direct) programme enables all trainees to become autonomous learners. The course is designed to support trainees of varying experiences, needs and background; to develop key/transferable skills and to disseminate good practice in learning and teaching. To achieve this we closely monitor the quality of your experience in university and on placement.
Training enables you to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to teach within the subject specialism and age phase for which you are training. All trainee teachers teach pupils aged 11-16 with post 16 enhancements apart from Economics and Business and Psychology trainees who teach pupils within the 14-19 age range.
All successful trainees will meet the Department for Education Teachers' Standards (2013). These postgraduate programmes with QTS are designed to meet specific requirements laid down by the DfE and against which judgements by OFSTED inspections are made. It is also informed by and reflects the most recent legislation concerning the well-being of children and young people expressed in government legislation with regard to Special Educational Needs and Disability and equality and diversity.
All trainees are required to spend 120 days in at least two contrasting schools/colleges. We find these placements for you and your subject tutor will visit you whilst on placement as well as delivering taught sessions in university.
Subject tutors are also Personal Academic Tutors. All Personal Academic Tutors at Worcester have three basic roles:
- To support your academic development
- To act as the first point of call if you are experiencing issues or problems arising whilst at University or on placement
- To provide your official University reference
These roles are a minimum expectation and are expanded on the PGCE course to include additional functions such as placement support. University policy explains that the main focus of the Personal Academic Tutor role is to support you in relation to your course and studies as follows:
- To support you in becoming a member of the university and making the transition to studying at level 6 and 7 (Masters' level)
- To help you to understand the requirements of your course in terms of knowledge and understanding, skills development and assessment requirements
- To support you in taking responsibility for your own learning through helping you to reflect on your progress, identifying your learning needs and developing appropriate strategies to achieve them
- To help you to make the most of the learning resources and other forms of learning support available
- To support you in academic, professional and career related planning and development, and the appropriate recording of this
- Advise and guide you on issues or problems arising whilst you are at the university or on placement and, where appropriate, direct you to the broader range of services provided by the university
- To support you if there are particular challenges you face
There is no typical week on the PGCE course - every week is different. Your time will predominantly be spent on school placement (a minimum of 120 days). When you are not in school you will be in university attending either subject sessions or professional studies (for school direct professional studies is delivered in school).
Typically university contact time will be structured around a range of teaching, learning and assessment methods including
- peer group activities
- directed reading
- independent research
- directed study
You will be taught by a teaching team who have expertise and knowledge of teaching and learning in schools. Tutors are all experienced teachers and many have worked in advisory roles for local authorities, examination boards and professional associations. The expertise of university tutors is very strong, and informed by recent and relevant pedagogical research. Many tutors have an academic writing profile having written or published books. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.
The programme aims to train you to meet the Teachers' Standards (2013) for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Assignments provide the opportunity to gain 60 credits at Master's level. The course is packaged as four modules although it is taught in a more holistic fashion with constant re-visiting of themes, topics and skills. Some of the modules are time related but one (PSEC 3004) is effectively a 'long thin' module whose outcomes are addressed throughout the course. The four modules are:
Module 1: An Introduction to Learning and Teaching
This involves an induction period for all trainees supported by university sessions. During this time, you will be introduced to both school life in general and to your department in particular. Your school experience in the autumn term contributes towards the learning outcomes of the module culminating in Assignment 1 (PSEC3001).
Module 2: Developing Learning and Teaching
This module builds on taught sessions at the beginning of the spring term and school experience in a second school placement. This culminates in Assignment 2 (PSEC3002/4002) that is marked at level 7 (Masters' level).
Module 3: Evidence Informed Teaching
This module focuses on school experience in the later section of the course and develops research skills to support you towards becoming an evidence informed practitioner. This work commences in the autumn term and culminates in Assignment 3 (PSEC3003/4003) in the summer term that is marked at level 7 (Masters' level).
Module 4: Meeting the Teachers' Standards
This involves all study from September that relates to meeting the Teachers' Standards (2013) as assessed by your final school report. For this module you complete a series of progress reviews that culminate in three accumulative action plans. The first two build on school experience in the autumn and spring terms. The final plan builds into the University of Worcester Career Entry Profile that bridges the transition into the Newly Qualified Teacher phase of the training.
You are supported at every stage of the assessment process. For example, you work with peers to review your progress towards assignment 4, tutors provide formative feedback on practice drafts for all assignments and tutors host writing retreats to support you with academic writing. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with your tutors.
We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.