The PGCE course
"The PGCE course was as challenging as I expected. Ultimately though, it has been the most rewarding and interesting experience I have ever had."
PGCE student teacher
The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Masters level) course is designed to prepare student teachers to teach pupils in the 11-18 age range. A major aim of the university tutors and teachers in Partnership schools who contribute to the course is to help student teachers acquire understanding and competence in strategies of teaching, learning, assessment and classroom management.
The course will help you to think about the place of your subject in the curriculum and about ways in which your speciality can be made relevant to the situations in which young people find themselves today. It will also ensure that you are familiar with new curriculum developments and the organisation and assessment of learning.
We think it important for new teachers to understand the changing context of education and to feel confident about reflecting on their work in the classroom. This will provide a basis for the continuing improvement of their practice as members of the profession.
Experience in schools is a key element in the course. The course is structured and planned on the basis of a strong three-way partnership between university tutors, teachers in our Partnership schools and student teachers.
Sheffield is a diverse and multicultural city. The PGCE course team is committed to this diversity through the recruitment of student teachers from black and minority ethnic groups and through an active membership of the TC21 project (please see p18 for more details). Furthermore in addition to the European languages commonly offered in schools linguists can choose to learn to teach community languages such as Mandarin, Japanese and Urdu to support and help develop the mosaic of languages spoken within the city and in the country overall. We also aim to place student teachers in a variety of schools representing the range of cultural and ethnic groups present in Sheffield and further afield.
OFSTED has carried out a number of inspections of the University of Sheffield PGCE course between 2000 and 2011, as part of its round of secondary course inspections. The grades awarded by OFSTED indicate the high quality of all aspects of the PGCE inspected.
The OFSTED report (2011) outlined the following key strengths:
- the rigorous selection process which enables the provider to recruit trainees with exactly the right characteristics for the course and to tailor their training very accurately to their individual needs, so that they get off to a flying start
- the innovative features of the training which contribute strongly to developing trainees who are reflective, self-critical and capable of working independently
- the stable partnership and mutually beneficial working arrangements with a small group of schools that provide a safe and stimulating environment where trainees feel very well supported
- the outstanding ability of course leaders to anticipate and plan for change so that trainees are well prepared for their future careers.
Masters Credits and opportunities for Continuing Professional Development
In addition to a PGCE qualification and Qualified Teacher Status, students successfully completing the course will leave with 60 Masters Credits. Students are able to build on these Credits in order to achieve an MA in Applied Professional Studies in Education (MA APSE).
This is run in partnership with 9 subject associations and local authorities, and supported by the government´s TDA (Training and Development Agency for schools). The overall aim is to support teachers´ development with very specific reference to the teaching and learning of their specialist subject. The School of Education has been ranked as one of the UK´s top 5 research institutions, and was awarded the highest grade of `excellent´ in the last HEFCE Teaching Quality Assessment. This means the programme is in a unique position to draw on a vast range of in-house expertise in order to build on the highly successful PGCE course foundation.
Equal Opportunities Statement
The Senate has approved an Equal Opportunities Policy Relating to Students:
"The University of Sheffield is committed to a comprehensive policy of equal opportunities for students and prospective students in its admissions policy, in all aspects of its teaching and examining, and in its provision of student services and related facilities. The aim of the policy is to ensure that all students are treated equally, irrespective of race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, age, disability, political or religious belief, or socio-economic class.
The University's equal opportunities policy relating to students is augmented by specific policies on personal harassment and on the support of students with disabilities. The equal opportunities policy for students reflects the University's comprehensive policy of equal opportunities in employment. The University is committed to a programme of continuous review and action to ensure that these policies remain effective."
Catering for individual needs and your welfare
Our first concern is your well-being: as part of its Equal Opportunities policy, the University actively values diversity, and aims to provide personal support on an individual basis to all its students. This kind of support is available in the first instance via personal tutors, but can also be obtained through dedicated specialised services run by the University and the Students' Union, for example financial assistance and advice, careers advice, nursery provision, personal counselling, advice on observation of religious festivals, etc. For information on the full range of support available, visit the Students´ Services Information Desk on: www.shef.ac.uk/ssid/welfare.
Students with a disability
The School of Education promotes the development of a diverse teaching workforce. We are happy to make any appropriate and reasonable adjustments to enable students with a disability to gain Qualified Teacher Status. In order for this to be possible, we invite anyone with a disability to contact the School's Disability Liaison Officer. Prof. Dan Goodley, Disability Liaison Officer T: 0114 2228185 E: email@example.com
For information about other sources of financial support please visit: www.shef.ac.uk/ssid/finance.
T: 0114 2228080