The PGDipEd (QTS) Science: Chemistry course is noted for the support that it provides, and the quality of the partnership between schools and the University. This high status extends into the early years of teaching, where demand for trainees from Birmingham is high, and trainees stay in the job for longer than average. The course tries to develop an understanding of issues and complexities which surround the teaching and learning of Science and Chemistry. We wish to develop you as a thinking teacher who can be aware of choices in how to teach Science and Chemistry and make informed decisions about how you work with learners. This course attracts bursaries of up to £25,000 (depending on qualifications) in line with the government’s priority to attract more well qualified chemistry teachers.
All applicants to the Secondary PGDipEd(QTS) Science: Chemistry course must hold a degree or equivalent qualification. We will expect at least of 50% your degree to be chemistry related and require a good A-level equivalent in a science other than chemistry.
All candidates also have to:
have a GCSE in Maths and English (grade C or above) or an equivalent qualification; alternatively you might be advised to take an Equivalency Test. The DfE require us to check the original certificates; you therefore cannot start a PGDipEd(QTS) course unless you already hold these qualifications.
pass Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy; please see the Professional Skills Tests section of the Department for Education web site for more information on the core skills required by trainee teachers
provide a satisfactory medical form
complete an enhanced DBS/police check
complete a Declaration of Suitability to Teach
adhere to a Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise
The School of Education at the University of Birmingham has a long tradition of delivering teaching training courses. Its teaching has recently been graded as ´outstanding´ for the third consecutive time by Ofsted inspectors which reaffirms the University’s status as one of the UK’s leading institutions for excellence in teacher training. The Ofsted report states that “such is the confidence of schools that trainees from the University of Birmingham are of high quality, employment rates for both primary and secondary phases exceed national averages by some margin. Trainees display excellent professional qualities: they are clear that good teaching leads to pupils who are interested in their work, enjoy learning and behave well.”
The Initial Teacher Education course
The Initial Teacher Education (ITE) course, is 36 weeks long of which 24 weeks are spent on placement in a partnership school. There are five phases: Preparation (university and some school-based activities); School Placement 1 (seven week placement in school); Development (university and one week in your second school); School Placement 2 (12 week block placement and some university days); Completion (two further weeks in second school and two weeks in university).
The teaching and learning of science is complex and an effective teacher needs to be able understand how children learn and how a range of approaches enables this to happen. This course aims to equip you to be able to do this through a carefully designed programme of workshops, seminars and practical sessions which will let you experience the methods and resources you can use. You will explore the place of science in the school curriculum, what students are required to learn, the difficulties and misconceptions they have and the strategies that can facilitate their learning. Through this you will learn how to plan effective lessons, assess the success of those lessons and manage the children that you will work with. You will also learn how to critically reflect on your own practice to ensure your own professional development.
As science teachers are required to teach across the sciences at Key Stage 3 there is a ´science´ component in addition to your subject specialism. Teaching the science content to PGDipEd students is not the primary aim of the course although the generic and specific requirements are addressed through various scientific phenomena.
Many local schools have a high regard for Birmingham Science: Chemistry PGDipEd (QTS) students and we have an excellent record of students gaining jobs at the end of the course. For 2013-2014 the employabilty rate was 100% and all graduates obtained employment in a teaching role. Many of our ex-students have been promoted to positions of responsibility, including Advanced Skills Teachers.
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