University of Worcester Supporting Unique 'Pre-PGCE' High School Course

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The University of Worcester was last week visited by a group of aspiring teachers as it strengthened its links with a unique ‘pre-PGCE’ course taught at a local high school.

Mark Drew, teacher at Droitwich Spa High School, developed the course two years ago, and loosely based its content on the University of Worcester’s PGCE teaching courses studied by some of his former pupils.

The course – which Mr Drew believes to be completely unique – has rapidly grown in popularity, and throughout this year, its current crop of students will be visiting the University of Worcester to be taught by subject experts on different aspects of teaching. Towards the end of the academic year, University staff will act as external verifiers to scrutinise the students’ work.

Mr Drew explains: “The course offers a unique insight into teaching which students at this stage of their development can’t find anywhere else, so is massively beneficial to any student wishing to go into teaching.

“Rather than simply ‘helping’ out in a classroom, students are able to gain practical experience of key teaching challenges, and most importantly take full responsibility for delivery, planning, assessment and differentiation.

“We believe the course gives students the most accurate simulation of teaching possible for their age group and prepares them for the next stage in this career path, be it an undergraduate course or a later PGCE.”

Thirteen of Mr Drew’s students visited the University of Worcester’s City Campus last week, where the University’s Head of Centre for Secondary and Post Compulsory Education, Alison Winson, spoke to them about pursuing this career path.

She explains: “We are delighted to support and endorse this very impressive programme which aims to educate AS and A-level students who are interested in both primary and secondary teaching.

“Thirteen students attended the first University of Worcester session of the year, which focused on the different routes into teaching, how to make an application and the interview process. Throughout the coming months, the students will return for further sessions on subjects such as behaviour management, assessment and marking and SEND – special education needs and disabilities.”

Mr Drew, Head of Politics and Assistant Head of History at the school, adds: “The first session was a huge success – it broadened the horizons of the students and gave them a flavour of University life and a priceless perspective on the career paths available to prospective teachers.

“We are proud and privileged that the University of Worcester and Alison Winson and her team have kindly given up their time and resources to support us, and we look forward to further building on the links set up between our two institutions.”