All trainees follow the core National Curriculum subjects (English, mathematics, science) and have short 'taster' courses in the foundation subjects. You also pursue a short course of study as a subject specialist choosing from one of the following: language development, creative development, child development, knowledge and understanding of the world. Within those four broad areas of study you may choose to focus on: history, geography, art and design, physical education, music, design and technology and religious education, information communications technology (ICT), English, science, maths. Trainees accepted for a course of Primary modern foreign languages (French or Spanish) will have additional training, and also engage in a specialist study of language development.
Primary French (course code XRCC) or Spanish (course code XRKC)
The French and Spanish specialisms are part of the primary PGCE and you study the core National Curriculum subjects. You then specialise in teaching French or Spanish in the primary school and issues surrounding French or Spanish as part of the primary curriculum. French specialists will be partnered with the IUFM, Rouen, Northern France and complete a four week placement in Rouen; Spanish specialists will be partnered with Malaga University, Spain and complete a similar placement.
On this 38-week course, you spend 19 weeks in schools and 19 in the School of Education at UWE. The course is designed so that your experiences in these two sites of learning are integrated. In school, you carry out directed tasks that support your learning in the School, and study in the School informs your practice in the classroom.
Seminars and lectures in General Professional Studies equip trainees to meet the standards to teach and assess the core subjects of maths, English and science and, with support, the foundation subjects of the National Curriculum. You are also offered a subject specialism.
School experience 1: Autumn term
During the four-week block after the autumn half term, trainees, who may be placed individually or in pairs, work under the guidance of the class teacher. Much of the work is in small groups, although towards the end of the period, you are encouraged to take on responsibility for the whole class. You are formatively assessed during this block.
School experience 2: Spring term
This three-week block has a particular emphasis on collaboration and trainees work in groups of three to a class. There is also a curriculum focus on Information Communications Technology (ICT). Working closely with the class teacher, you deliver and evaluate a three-week programme.
School experience 3: Summer term
This long block (seven-nine weeks) is formally assessed on a pass/fail basis. You are expected to take overall responsibility for the class by the fourth week. You have to be able to teach in two key stages.
Teaching and learning
The programme is conducted through lectures, seminars, tutorials and group tasks. The lecturing team has a wide range of recent teaching experience in schools.
The School of Education has workshop areas where trainees practise many of the practical and school-focused aspects of primary education. The School of Education has a contemporary approach to teaching and learning, making full use of up-to-date technology. You are allocated a General Professional Studies Tutor who acts as an anchor person during the course and with preparation for a professional career in schools.
Approximately half the course is school based where students gain in-depth experience in three different types of school during the year. Each block school experience (BSE) is preceded by several serial days of observation and planning. The School of Education arranges school placements.
Assessment is based on six professionally based assignments and the final block school experience.