This course takes one academic year.
If a teacher wishes to become a qualified teacher in the UK there are three stages:
- The training (typically a PGCE).
- Gaining Qualified Teacher Status
- Successfully completing induction for newly qualified teachers
All three stages employ the UK government Teachers’ Standards as the basis for assessment.
PGCE course outline
The International Postgraduate Certificate of Education is similar in format and structure to our Independent School PGCE. It offers teachers based in schools outside the UK, who have not undergone a period of formal training, the opportunity to participate in a structured programme of professional development.
What is the point of doing a PGCE if I am already working in a school?
- A doctor does not simply learn to recognise symptoms and the best-known response to those symptoms. He/she knows the deeper causes of each illness and the way such an illness might impact different people. In the same way a teacher should know the deeper theoretical background to different teaching strategies, such as mixed ability teaching or differentiation, something which will enable them teach with professional confidence. To achieve this they need to read and evaluate recent research and texts.
- Although part of a teacher’s ability depends on their subject knowledge and force of personality, there are specific skills (the ‘craft of the classroom’) which need to be grasped if they are to be truly effective. All teachers, for example, need to know about pupils with special needs. All need to know about the most effective ways of maintaining good behaviour. All should know about the best ways of ensuring pupils capture what you are teaching them in their long-term memories.
- Having taken the trouble to gain this qualification will show your employer and future employers that you are a serious, professional employee.
- The PGCE at The University of Buckingham is a Level 7 course and is therefore designed to be intellectually stimulating.
The PGCE is a 37-week school-based course, during which time you will work under the guidance of a mentor and receive weekly tutorials to review progress and set targets. It is available in most subjects and to all age levels. There are two residentials (six days overall) to attend and these are supplemented by a weekly programme on the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You will be assigned a University tutor who visits twice to assess your progress and guide your development. You will be assessed by both your mentor and your tutor and there are three assignments to complete.
For teachers undertaking their first year of teaching we highly recommend your participation in our Ab Initio course and PGCE Introductory Day in late August. This will provide you with some basic knowledge and skills to start teaching.
There are two tutor visits per trainee per year, generally in the autumn and summer terms. A tutor visit takes the best part of a full day when we observe three lessons, give feedback (including one paired feedback session with the mentor), meet with the mentor, give e-portfolio guidance to the trainee, and tackle any other troubleshooting that may arise.
In most cases, trainees come to the autumn and summer residentials at the University of Buckingham, with each visit lasting three days. However, in some cases these six days of training can happen in the country where the trainees work, delivered EITHER by the University of Buckingham staff OR by staff trained and accredited by us. This occurs when there is a large enough number of trainees in the host country to make this a viable option.
IF a teacher has been teaching for 5 or more years it is possible to fit the Assessment Only Qualified Teacher Status assessment into the same school year as the PGCE, otherwise it is not.
Your subject specialism
Different school subjects demand different teaching methods and resources, so part of the residential course will be taught by a subject specialist. Our subject specialists this year include Art, Music, Design Technology, Business Studies & Economics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Computer Science, English, Drama, Classics, Modern Languages, Geography, History, Religious Studies, Psychology and PE.