Liverpool John Moores University
Biology: Secondary with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) PGDE
This course aims to develop inspirational teachers of Science who can enthuse learners in Biology by setting the subject content in real world contexts and emphasising the relevance of the subject to learners' everyday lives. You will prepare to teach Key Stage 3 Science and Key Stage 4 Biology as a component of the Secondary Science Curriculum, with complementary sessions aimed at consolidating your knowledge of Key Stage 3 Physics and Chemistry.
During your training you will focus on a variety of approaches and pedagogies used in Science education, emphasising the application of theory to practice. A sequence of micro-teaching experiences will allow you to develop and share your understanding of learning with your peers. You will also identify teaching strategies that support effective practice in the classroom. You will then explore the signature pedagogies of Science such as practical and investigative work, modelling, and problem solving. Sessions will help you deepen your understanding of the role and nature of Science in the curriculum and identify your own personal philosophy of Science.
Science education provides the foundations for understanding the world, and should excite in learners a curiosity about natural phenomena. The ability to apply logical thinking and use rational explanation are key transferable skills that learners develop through their Science lessons. The subject pedagogy sessions will help you identify strategies to support how children learn Science and develop key skills and ways of thinking about the world through the application of signature pedagogies of Science.
The subject knowledge sessions focus on common misconceptions held by Secondary Science students and are "hands on" with a strong emphasis on practical and investigative Science teaching. We focus on the "Big Ideas of Science Education" as identified by the Association for Science Education, which identifies 10 principles that should underpin the Science education of all students. As well as broadening your own Science knowledge, these sessions introduce you to strategies that allow you to make your Science knowledge as accessible and interesting as possible to Secondary Science students.
You will usually have a minimum 2:2 honours degree (or recognised equivalent) in a Biology-related discipline, normally with significant content in your chosen subject area.
Don't hold back from applying for teacher training in Biology because of your subject knowledge. You may still be able to train to teach Biology (and be eligible for the bursaries it attracts) by building up or refreshing your existing knowledge with a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) programme. So, if you want to teach Biology, but have an insufficient level of the subject in your degree to access the course, you should consider a fully funded subject knowledge enhancement course which could help prepare you to train to teach the subject effectively. For further details see Get into Teaching.
To join this PGDE, you should have a first degree (or recognised equivalent) in a Biology-related discipline, normally with significant content in your chosen subject area. The degree classification should be at 2:2 or above. Additional requirements for the programme include:
- GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above (or equivalent qualification).
- A demonstrable interest in teaching within the curriculum area. You could show this in a number of ways – time spent in schools, knowledge of the chosen curriculum area, relevant practical experience. A minimum of 10 days’ work experience in a UK secondary school is normally required prior to commencing the programme. We can help to arrange this for successful applicants
Please note: original evidence of GCSE passes (or equivalent) and your degree (if you have already graduated) will be required at interview. For the purposes of initial teacher training, level 2 numeracy and literacy qualifications are not considered as equivalent to GCSE grade C in Mathematics or English.
You are required by the Department for Education to undertake Professional Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy prior to entry to this programme. Successful completion of the Professional Skills Tests will form part of the conditions of any offer of a place.
If you accept a formal offer from LJMU you will be required to meet the Department for Education’s standards for physical and mental fitness to teach and clearance to work with children. Further information, including a Declaration of Health questionnaire and details of how to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure, will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer.
This is an intensive, full time programme leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) alongside your academic PGDE award.
University-based study includes: a full time block of three weeks at the start of the course; one day per week until January; week-long, full time study blocks between January and June and a number of conference days.
Placements are organised in our Partnership schools in the Greater Merseyside area. For the majority of the training you will gain your teaching experience in a “Home School” with a six week placement in an “alternative” school after Christmas. This innovative model ensures that you genuinely feel part of the staff whilst on school placement and can monitor and gain satisfaction from your impact on your pupils’ progress over time.
You will also be allocated a Teacher Mentor who will organise and supervise your school-based training. Your Mentor will be supported by your LJMU Tutor who will visit your school several times to monitor your progress. Additional professional development sessions are organised in school during placements.
The University element of the programme is based around six core modules focusing on:
- Professional Practice ( a series of school-based investigations of current issues)
- Developing Reflective Professional Practice (enabling you to effectively evaluate your school-based practice)
- Subject Pedagogy in Biology (in depth support and practical training in your subject specialist area, drawing on the latest research and classroom-based innovation)
- Pedagogy in Practice (focusing on the skills required for effective teaching and learning including medium-term planning and assessment in your subject)
- Learning Teaching and Assessment (developing your skills in school-based action research so that you can identify what works best for your learners)
- Inclusion (ensuring you are fully prepared to meet the diverse needs of your classes)
The course employs a variety of teaching methods including: lectures, seminars, interactive workshops, group discussion and reflection, problem solving and micro-teaching. Full use is made of online learning through BlackBoard (our virtual learning environment) and web-based resources.
School-based training involves the preparation and delivery of learning sequences and lessons to small groups and whole classes of learners, with expectations and workload increasing during the course. This work is supported by a Teacher-Mentor who will enhance your professional learning experience in school.
Course assessment methods include: critical reflections on research and practice, small scale research projects, the design and analysis of learning experiences, presentations and a portfolio of professional activities.
You will need to monitor your progression towards achieving the professional standards required for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and to maintain a professional development portfolio associated with these.
A final assessment of your achievement of the Teachers’ standards required will be based on observation and assessment of your teaching practice and the evidence base that you develop during training.
Bursaries are available to support those training to teach. The amount of Bursary depends on your subject and degree classification. If you are eligible for a Bursary you do not need to apply for one; once you are enrolled at LJMU you will begin receiving payments from the beginning of your course.
To encourage graduates to train as Science, Technology Mathematics and Languages teachers, Bursaries of up to £25,000 may be available.
Alternatively, if you have a good first degree, you can apply for a scholarship from professional subject bodies such as the IoP, RSC, IMA and BCS.
Full time students on PGDE courses are eligible for the same range of financial support as undergraduate students. This includes:
- a non means-tested student loan to cover your tuition fees
- a means-tested student loan to help cover your living expenses
- a means-tested maintenance grant, which does not have to be paid back
- a means-tested LJMU Bursary worth up to £500, which does not have to be paid back
- You will be charged a tuition fee of £9,250 (subject to yearly increases) for your PGDE course - you can take out a tuition fees loan to pay for this.
- Your tuition fees loan is not means-tested and covers the full amount of your tuition fees. This money is paid direct to LJMU.
- Maintenance loans are means-tested and the amount you receive will depend on your household income (parents’ or partner’s income plus yours).
- You only start repaying your students loan after you graduate and start earning over £21,000.
|Qualification||Study mode||Start month||Fee||Fee locale||Course duration|
|PGDE||Full-time||£ 9,250 (Whole course)||Home/EU||1 Years|
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