Secondary PGCE Programme
Trainees spend one-third of their training time at the University and the other two-thirds in two partner schools. At Hull we have always worked with a group of schools spread over a wide geographical area and in several local authorities. This gives us considerable opportunities to make trainee placements in a wide variety of school types: urban or rural, large or small, comprehensive or selective, denominational, county, grant-maintained or independent.
The training programme has been carefully constructed by tutors working in very close collaboration with colleagues in schools. In each partner school, trainees are supported by a senior member of the school staff, the ‘coordinator’, and in their subject work by a ‘mentor’, as well as being visited and supported by tutors from the University. Trainees are expected to consider carefully the links between the different elements of the course:
• principles and contexts of teaching and learning
• subject-based work
• practical classroom experience These core components are detailed below.
PRINCIPLES AND CONTEXTS OF TEACHING AND LEARNING
The Foundation in Professional Studies course is the core element of the PGCE programme, with a weekly focus on a theme which underpins the trainee’s work both in school and at the University. Each week the theme is introduced in a lecture attended by all trainees, and it is developed further in seminars facilitated by the PGCE tutors. The same theme is echoed in subject work and in school later the same week. Thus links are made between theory and practice throughout the programme.
This FiPS element of the programme assists trainees to develop their professional knowledge of key issues affecting pupils’ learning and the school, including cognition and learning, emotional and social development, communication and building relationships, and managing learning and behaviour.
A significant strength of the FiPS course is the way it allows trainees with varying subject backgrounds to discuss their learning around these issues and relate it to their experiences in school.
The PGCE is like no other course at university. Gone are the late nights drinking, the waking up and contemplating whether to go to a lecture or not.You have no choice… this is real work!
This is not designed to put you off – far from it. The PGCE at Hull is one of the most rewarding and challenging courses to undertake. The major appeal of the Hull course is that it offers a wide range of school experiences, something which I know is highly regarded by employers.
During my year I attended some wonderful schools with teachers whose enthusiasm and dedication were infectious. I felt at ease in every school and was treated as a member of the team.
The course combines practical and theoretical aspects of teaching, with various lecturers who are all experts in their fields. They impart knowledge, practical tips, lesson ideas, support (emotional as well as academic), management techniques – everything an ‘up-and-coming’ teacher would want.
I gained a great deal from the Hull PGCE – a job, for a start! It presented opportunities to improve my teaching and organisational skills as well as develop confidence within the classroom and in my own abilities.
PRACTICAL CLASSROOM EXPERIENCE
All trainees have two school placements and teach in two schools. Each teaching block is 8–9 weeks in length and is preceded by a developmental phase of structured preparation. In Phase II this involves observing experienced teachers working with individual pupils, working with groups of pupils, team teaching, and eventually taking responsibility for whole lessons. Trainees are advised and guided by their subject mentors in schools and observed teaching by University method tutors. Each trainee has a teaching profile document in which they and their mentors record their developing competencies. This document is formative in that trainees use it throughout their training. It also contains two summative sections for completion at the end of each major period of teaching.
To qualify for a Postgraduate Certificate, the candidate must satisfy the examiners in the practice of teaching and the professional elements of the course. Assessment of practical teaching is based on evaluations by University staff, by teachers in partner schools and, for a sample of trainees, by external examiners. As well as being required to demonstrate practical proficiency, trainees are assessed by essays, projects and the preparation of teaching materials. Candidates completing the programme successfully will be awarded 60 credits at Masters level