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PGCE Primary with Science

Course summary

This primary teacher education course is designed for graduates who are committed to becoming primary school teachers. It trains you to teach children in the five-to-11 age range.

As a trainee you will learn how to teach the entire primary curriculum as well as choosing a particular route. The Primary PGCE with Science route is for graduates who are enthusiastic about promoting science in schools. You will leave the course ready to become a Science Champion at your first teaching post.

East London offers multicultural, multilingual and vibrant schools in which to learn, but your training at UEL will qualify you to teach anywhere in England or Wales.

Our PGCE team is made up of experienced practitioners who have worked in a range of primary and early years settings across London as classroom teachers, curriculum coordinators, advisory teachers and school leaders.

At UEL you will be part of a diverse community of students. We want to bring to east London a teacher workforce that reflects the local community and, in 2013-14, 24 per cent of our Primary PGCE trainees were men.

Return to campus: dual delivery

In a Covid-secure environment, enjoy learning on our state-of-the-art campuses and flex between online delivery

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94%

of graduates working in teaching

Within six months of completing the course, 94 per cent of UEL Primary PGCE trainees have secured a teaching post.

QTS

Qualified Teacher Status

The University of East London has a particularly strong track record of supporting men and trainees from culturally diverse groups to gain Qualified Teacher Status.

30%

of new teachers in Redbridge came from UEL

In September 2014, the London Borough of Redbridge recruited 132 Newly Qualified Teachers, its highest number to date. Of these, 30 per cent came from UEL.

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Hester Enthoven

Primary PGCE student 2014-2015

A PGCE course at UEL is a great starting block for teaching in east London. Having not worked in the education sector before, I found the initial weeks of lectures gave me a good grounding and strong introduction to the teaching practice. You do three placements, which is a great opportunity to work with different year groups and experience a variety of school environments. The lecturers are really supportive throughout.

What you'll learn

You will learn how to be a primary class teacher. By the end of the year, you will understand how to teach the entire primary curriculum to a class of 30 pupils, and be confident and competent in doing so.

You will leave the course with outstanding subject knowledge across the curriculum. You will have an understanding of how to plan and deliver engaging and motivating lessons and how to support your pupils’ progress.

You will learn how to identify the strength and needs of your pupils and make sure that everyone in your class is included and challenged.

You will understand how to assess pupils’ learning, how to spot the gaps in their learning and how to plan to fill those gaps.

Everyone on the Primary PGCE learns how to teach the whole curriculum. The Science route will also enhance your knowledge, understanding and practice of science.

You will learn to think critically about the importance of science and its cultural impact. You will find out how learning outside the classroom can provide new experiences for pupils and help them enjoy learning about science by making the most of London’s unique resources.

You will also explore the role of Science Champions in promoting science at this level, and how to help your colleagues create links between science and other subjects across the curriculum.

“You grow to expect the unexpected in east London. When the unexpected confronts you in your teaching career, you’ll be ready,” says Andrew Read, Head of Primary Initial Teacher Education. “You get a rich experience in east London, in particular working with pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds and pupils for whom English is an additional language.”

What you'll study and when

We consistently review and develop our courses and modules to ensure they are up-to-date with sector and industry graduate skills demands. Course structure, modules and options are subject to change.

  • Learning and teaching across the curriculum and effective pedagogy (core)
  • Developing and extending understanding of a specific area/subject (Science) (core)
  • Professional practice: inclusive practice in multicultural urban settings (core)
  • Developing Understanding and Skills in English and Mathematics (core)
  • Managing Professional Change and Development : active inquiry leading to classroom intervention (option)
  • Critical Incidents in Teaching (core)
  • Technology-enhanced Learning (core)

How you'll be assessed

You are assessed against the Teachers’ Standards, leading to recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You also have to complete assignments that contribute to your understanding of teaching and learning and carry academic credit, leading to the award of a PGCE.

You will complete two Level 7 (master’s level) assignments. For both of these you will need to read and understand literature about good practice and then think and write about your own practice. The 60 Level 7 credits will contribute to the PGCE award.

Course specification

How you'll learn

You will spend most of the first seven weeks at the Cass School of Education and Communities, in our purpose-built education building. Here we will look at pedagogy (how to teach) and curriculum (what to teach). You will develop your knowledge of all subjects and your understanding of how to support pupils’ learning across the curriculum.

There will be one keynote lecture per week, with follow-up seminars in which you will discuss aspects of teaching, such as behaviour management and pupil progress, with your fellow trainees.

During this initial period, Mondays will be spent in schools observing. Here, you will develop your understanding of learning and teaching by watching examples of good or outstanding practice.

In addition, you will spend 12 hours over the year developing your knowledge and understanding of primary science. 

Each session will have a specific focus and before each one there will be reading, tasks and research to complete. You can also join a shared Wiki space, where you can keep in touch, upload tasks and share resources. 

There are three blocks of full-time school-based training on the course, each eight weeks long. Your first teaching placement will usually start in the middle of October.

Your UEL tutors will decide where you go on placement and arrange for it to be as convenient as possible for you.

You will be teaching, not helping, on the placement. You will start off working with groups of pupils but your role is not to help the teacher – it is to support and increase the pupils’ learning.

You will have a school-based mentor (a teacher employed by the school) as well as a professional tutor from UEL who will visit you during each placement. This is partly to moderate and assess the quality of your work, but also to give you support, guidance and feedback.

In principle, your three placements will be in different schools. However, schools sometimes ask for trainees to return for a second placement.                

Your future career

By working alongside schools and local authorities in our region, we are helping to meet the need for teachers in our local area and many of our students are offered posts by our partner schools. Some trainees have been offered jobs at schools where they have spent their placement.

Schools and local authorities have told us that they think our trainees are of a high standard. OFSTED’s 2012 inspection report quotes one school as saying, “They arrive in schools ready to start teaching and are well prepared for the rigours of the classroom.”

Backed by UEL’s excellent reputation, you will have a head start when it comes to securing a teaching post.

And when you are in a post and decide that you wish to take your academic qualifications further, we can help you to continue your academic and professional development.

Your PGCE will earn you 60 master’s level credits, which can count towards further qualifications on master’s courses at UEL.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal

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Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London.
 

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