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 the main qualification required of successful teachers in the UK. It is only available to teachers who already have a job in a school. It is a 37-week school-based course, during which time trainee teachers work under the guidance of a mentor (appointed by the school in which they work) and receive weekly tutorials to review progress and set targets. It is available in most subjects and age levels. We employ external examiners to quality assure the qualification.
For teachers undertaking their first year of teaching we recommend your participation in the Ab Initio course and PGCE introductory day in late August. This will provide you with some basic knowledge and skills to start teaching.
For those able to come to England there are two three-day-long courses held in Buckingham in October and February (so six days overall) to attend and these are supplemented by a weekly online programme. Trainees are assigned a University of Buckingham tutor who visits their school twice, wherever it is in the world, to assess their progress and guide their development. You will be assessed by both your mentor and your tutor and there are three written assignments to complete.
So 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 issues that may arise.
For those unable to come to England for the six days of training, this 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 is only possible when there are ten or more trainees in one area of the host country to make this a viable option. In addition, the tutor from Buckingham will observe lessons, normally in the trainee’s school or, if this is difficult, in another agreed central school.
If a teacher wishes to teach in a state school in England they will also need what is called Qualified Teacher Status. For 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 can happen in a few months at the start of the next year.
For all the course is based on the UK Teachers’ Standards.
The ability of trainees to meet these standards is assessed by the mentors in your school and the University of Buckingham tutor observing you in the classroom and asking you to put evidence that you have met the standards on the eportfolio. In addition there are three written assignments as follows (L6 means level 6, L7 means Level 7):
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.