PGCert English (Secondary, Full-time)

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Comments about PGCert English (Secondary, Full-time) - At the institution - Uxbridge - Greater London

  • Objectives
    As a core subject in the National Curriculum, English is at the heart of education in the twenty-first century. Interest in the content and practice of the English curriculum is sharpened further by an increasing awareness of the importance of language in relation to learning and the role of communication in an advanced technological society. English teachers today need more than a solid grounding in the study of literature. They need to be aware of the ways in which children read a vast range of texts in a variety of media; they need to understand how speaking and listening skills are developed; they need to be able to respond to and assess pupils' use of language; they need insight into the needs of very able pupils, those with special educational difficulties and those for whom English is an additional language. Teaching English in the secondary school is a demanding but exciting and worthwhile career that should be rooted in a confident familiarity with the kind of innovative classroom practice to which, as one of our PGCert trainees, you will be immediately introduced. The Brunel PGCert (Secondary) course in English equips you with the skills of subject specialist teaching. It also allows you to gain an understanding of teachers' professional knowledge including the application of Information and Communications Technology.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Requirements You should have or expect to have by the start of the course a degree or equivalent qualification in English or if in a related subject - eg linguistics or media studies - from a UK or EU university at second class honours level or above together with GCSE or GCE O level passes at Grade C or equivalent in English Language and Mathematics. Some BA or MA degrees from institutions outside the EU are acceptable in accordance with DfES regulations. You must be able to demonstrate that your course has included a substantial proportion of relevant study in English in relation to the demands of the 11-16 English curriculum. In addition you must have enthusiasm and the determination to apply your knowledge of English within a variety of educational settings. You must have an interest in education and learning. Experience of working with young people is desirable too and preference is given to those who have worked in schools. You must be able to communicate clearly and grammatically in spoken and written Standard English. Trainees are recruited from a range of backgrounds and applications from mature students and ethnic minorities are particularly welcome. Protection of Children Act All applicants for Initial Teacher Training courses should note that institutions are required by the Department for Education and Skills to check the possible criminal background of all those who apply to work with children. The University reserves absolute discretion to withdraw any offer without challenge in the light of any information received.
  • Academic title
    PGCert English (Secondary, Full-time)
  • Course description

    The PGCert (Secondary) English course meets the requirements of the Standards for Qualified Teacher Status as set out in the TDA publication 'Qualifying to Teach'. The English course has a practical basis with attention given to resourcing, planning and productive classroom methodologies, but also requires trainees to engage with rigorous theoretical and philosophical concepts commensurate with M level study. Attention is given to the enhancement of trainees' subject knowledge through lectures, seminar discussion, seminar presentations, directed and independent study. The English course adopts a broad view of such subject knowledge including key works of English literature and literature from other cultures and traditions, language study, media, drama and the use of Information and Communications Technology.

    During the introductory weeks of the English course, trainees are involved in structured observation visits to local secondary and primary schools where they provide individual support and team-teach whole classes and year groups. From the outset trainees are expected:

        * to plan and present literacy sessions to Key Stage 2 and Year 7 pupils;
        * to team-teach selected examination texts for GCSE with pupils in Year 10 and Year 11

    In a busy year incorporating both university-based and practical school-based training, the English PGCert will enable you to:

        * explore the principles which underpin English in the National Curriculum;
        * develop a working familiarity with the demands of the English 11-18 curriculum including examination syllabuses, but focus on the 11-16 age range for the purpose of QTS assessment;
        * plan whole units of work, individual lessons and assess and record pupils' progress;
        * become familiar with appropriate materials and resources for teaching and learning, including the use of Information and Communications Technology;
        * pursue relevant individual enthusiasms eg active approaches in teaching Shakespeare and knowledge about language;
        * work collaboratively within a supportive, friendly group of colleagues;
        * feel confident in contributing to and initiating relevant cross-curricular activities including those which draw attention to the importance of language in learning in all subjects;
        * build a significant portfolio of subject knowledge, which provides a confident basis for first-post applications.

    Modules (all core)

        * General Professional Education
        * Planning, Teaching and Assessment
        * Subject Knowledge ands Understanding: Inclusive Practice
        * QTS Skills Test
        * School Experience (two modules)
          Trainees normally spend eight weeks in school for the first School Experience module and the final synoptic module is compulsory for all trainees (usually of eight weeks).

    Special Features

    The course is planned and taught in partnership with Heads of English in local schools. Serial and block school experience take place in partnership schools selected for the quality of teaching and learning and the support offered to trainees by experienced subject mentors.


    The Brunel PGCert (Secondary) English course has an excellent reputation both nationally and locally. The quality of teaching received by English trainees has been rated Grade 1 (Good with several outstanding features) by Ofsted. The course receives very positive evaluations from trainees, the overwhelming majority of whom are successful in achieving the first post positions of their choice. Some of these trainees are now Heads and deputy Heads of English in local schools.

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