Summary of the Programme

Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education is a full time Primary Teaching programme leading to the following awards:

  • Post-Graduate Certificate in Education with recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status
  • Professional Graduate Certificate in Education with recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status

This full-time programme can be taken through one of the following routes:

  • PGCE
  • School Direct

We offer the following Specialisms across all routes within our programme:

  • General Primary (3-7) with Early Years
  • General primary (5-11) with English and the Connected Curriculum
  • General primary (5-11) with Foreign Languages
  • General primary (5-11) with Geography and History (Humanities)
  • General primary (5-11) with Mathematics
  • General primary (5-11) with Physical Education
  • General primary (5-11) with Science

We also offer Primary Pedagogy and SEND (5-11) (please see separate tab for further information).

Each route involves a minimum of 120 days on professional placement and a minimum of 60 days taught input delivered both at Keele University and in schools and other learning environments. All participants undertake modules in:

  • Learners, Learning and Assessment
  • Subject Identity and Pedagogy
  • Effective and Outstanding Practice

Programme participants are assessed through written assignments, presentations and portfolios. Throughout the programme participants are asked to reflect on their developing professional capabilities and competences. Throughout teaching placements participants are assessed against the Teachers’ Standards (May 2012).   To gain Post-Graduate Certificate in Education with recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status or Professional Graduate Certificate in Education with recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status all elements of the programme have to be passed at the appropriate standard.

Programme Overview

Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education is a full time Primary Teaching programme leading to the following awards:

  • Post-Graduate Certificate in Education with recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status
  • Professional Graduate Certificate in Education with recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status
  • Post-Graduate Certificate in Education Studies without recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status
  • Professional Graduate Certificate in Education Studies without recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status.

We work with Keele University which has a long established reputation in Initial Teacher Education. This one year (38 weeks) full time programme is aimed at enabling participants to achieve an academic award along with the recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for working in maintained schools in England. To be recommended for QTS participants are required to meet National Teacher Standards.   The Primary Programme is offered through conventional PGCE, and School Direct, and all routes offer opportunities for specialisms as follows:

  • General Primary (3-7) with Early Years
  • General Primary (5-11) with English and the Connected Curriculum
  • General primary (5-11) with Foreign Languages
  • General primary (5-11) with History and Geography (Humanities)
  • General primary (5-11) with Mathematics
  • General primary (5-11) with Physical Education
  • General primary (5-11) with Science

 

Specialisms

These enable you to develop an in depth understanding of curriculum development, whilst also ensuring that you are qualified to teach the full range of primary curriculum subjects. Through this innovative aspect of the programme you will a strong understanding of why and when to use particular teaching approaches within your specialism and how to evaluate their effectiveness. You will also benefit from a whole-school view of the teaching of your specialism and be able to contribute to its leadership and development. This could include, when appropriate, instigating new initiatives alongside experienced colleagues. We believe that, by having a specialism, not only do you gain a distinct career advantage but you also develop a more in-depth understanding of the role of subject knowledge in primary education.

 

Evidence Informed Practice

Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education (KNSTE) foregrounds evidence informed practice. Centre-based sessions are, whenever possible, led by school based colleagues in one of our teaching classrooms, either at Keele University (ST5 5BG) or at Seabridge Primary School (ST5 3PJ). These classrooms are set up for young children to be taught within it as well as yourselves. The rooms are fully equipped and you will have access to an extensive set of resources to support all curriculum areas within primary education. Many of these can be loaned to support you whilst on placement. We also have web based technology that enables us to regularly view classrooms within our partnership schools. These lessons can then be analysed as part of the programme.

 

The Programme Aims

Our vision is a powerful one: ‘Rooted in evidence; reaching for excellence’. We value both the scholarship and practice of teaching. This means that not only do we examine and consider different teaching strategies but that we also excite you about being curious to learn more about how pupils learn. We think that this is vital if you are to truly reflect on the impact that you are having on enabling pupils to progress.   The broad aim of the curriculum component of the PGCE/School Direct programme is to:

  • develop your subject knowledge and teach you how to put that knowledge into practice (pedagogy) in order to thrive in the culture of our schools;
  • enable you to become a highly motivated, outstanding effective, creative and reflective practitioner;
  • prepare you for a career in teaching that will prove to be successful and rewarding;
  • develop in you a commitment to and enthusiasm for continuing professional and personal development;
  • provide you with sufficient information, experience and opportunity in order that you might achieve the QTS Standards.

 

Programme Content

The programme involves a minimum of 120 days on professional placement and a minimum of 70 days taught input delivered both in the University and in schools and other learning environments. During the professional placements (which will take place in at least two different schools) participants undertake observation and study alongside a teaching timetable that increases as the placements progress.   It is the beginning of your development as a primary teacher, and as such opportunities for reflection and critical evaluation are embedded in each module. A minimum of 120 days is spent on professional placement in at least two schools. There are also opportunities to engage in other educational settings as appropriate.

Modules

All participants undertake modules in:

  • Learners, Learning and Assessment
  • Subject Identity and Pedagogy
  • Outstanding Practice
  • Teaching Practice

Learners, Learning and Assessment

This module examines the relationship between learning theories and classroom practice. You will be asked to consider questions such as:

  • what do we know about how pupils’ learn?
  • how do these ideas affect my practice as a primary teacher?
  • what factors affect pupils’ learning?
  • how might we take those factors into account when deciding what we want pupils to know, understand and be able to do?
  • why do we assess pupils?
  • who decides what to assess and how fit for purpose are the assessment instruments that we use?

You will examine these issues in relation to your own practice and the contexts within which you will be working. Our ambition is that by undertaking such critical and reflexive analysis, you will develop a deeper understanding of your role as a primary practitioner within a wider context than simply the setting that you are placed in.

Subject Identity and Pedagogy

This module will enable you to grapple with developing an informed understanding of the complex concept of knowledge. You will do this in relation to your specialism. You will critically examine the notion of ‘what comprises subject knowledge?’ the way that your specialism’s subject knowledge is framed, academically and pedagogically, and how it is presented within the National Curriculum and other government documentation. You will consider the processes that lie behind the creation of such ‘definitions’ so that you better understand the political, social and cultural dimensions of subject knowledge.

Outstanding Practice

This module will engage you in critically reviewing the ways in which ‘outstanding practice’ can be articulated. You will be asked to consider the perspectives from which ‘outstanding practice’ is defined and the criteria that are used to underpin such definitions. You will be asked to identify different features of outstanding practice in relation to either inclusion or behaviour management in the primary phase of education. You will be asked to explore the practical implications of these in relation to your own developing practice and associated pedagogy. You will be introduced to the ‘lesson study’ approach to reflective and reflexive practice.

Teaching Practice

Undertaken in two different schools, each experience includes an extensive block of time. Overseen by a School-based Teacher Educator you are supported in addition by a SCITT based Personal Tutor. Your schools are carefully selected for you, and may involve some travel. Across the course we endeavour to minimise travel, though you may have to travel for up to 1 and a quarter hours from Seabridge School (ST5 3PJ) our base – note that travel time is not determined from where you live.

 

Teaching and Assessment

The Primary programme recognises that our Associate Teachers (our term for trainees) come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and have already completed degree level study or higher, and are in a position to learn from each other. Thus the programme makes use of lead lectures, seminars, group activities, individual and group tutorials, practical workshops, directed activities in professional contexts, school based placements, support self-study and the use of IT to support learning via the website.   To gain Post-Graduate Certificate in Education with recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status or Professional Graduate Certificate in Education with recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status all elements of the programme have to be passed at the appropriate standard.   All participants undertake the same assessments with the Certificate part of the final award determined by the written work associated with the modules. The recommendation for QTS is determined by success in all the written work and by successfully completing and passing both Teaching Practices.

Specialisms

Whilst you will be applying for a General Primary Programme, the initial teacher education course offered through Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education enables you to benefit from also studying for a specialism. These include Early Years, English and the Connected Curriculum, Geography and History, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Physical Education or Science.

Early Years

The Early Years Specialism provides you with the experience, the opportunity and the knowledge to work in both Early Years Foundation Stage settings and in Key Stage 1 Infant/Primary school settings. The Early Years (EY) is a unique phase of education which involves learning through play and first hand experiences both inside and outdoors. Your sessions will enable you to become familiar with the requirements and expectations of both the Early Years phase and Key Stage 1. You will come to recognise that Key Stage 1 is also a distinctive and important part of a child’s educational experience. This is the time when children develop a curiosity to learn more, including engaging with reading, applying their mathematical knowledge and making sense of how the world works.

This specialism is for you if you are particularly interested in early learning and early child development. By choosing this specialism you will experience both the EY and KS1 phases and therefore be highly skilled in two curricula. Our programme will help you to become a reflective practitioner. We will enable you to lead learning and support pupils so that you can improve outcomes for children. Learning through play is reflected by the hands on/practical approach offered in some of your own sessions.

English and the Connected Curriculum

Our English and the Connected Curriculum specialism is innovative. It enables you to both draw on your passion for English and develops your capacity as a curriculum maker. You will be supported in carefully considering how through disciplined thinking you can connect English with other areas of the curriculum. English is not only a core National Curriculum subject but it is also a context for learning in all subjects whether that be through reading, writing, speaking or listening. You will also be introduced to meaningful curriculum opportunities that can be enriched using drama.

This course will help you to appreciate the significance of a broad and balanced curriculum in helping to progress pupils’ learning. You will be encouraged to consider how best to harness children’s curiosity in relation to a variety of texts and literary stimuli. Developing children’s capabilities so that they can use and apply their literacy skills is a key aspect of primary education. Through practice-based sessions that carefully consider both pedagogy and curriculum content, we will inspire you to think about the significance of English in the primary phase. We will also enable you to think carefully about progression, assessment and curriculum organisation. You will benefit from the expertise of practitioners currently working in our partnership schools who will reflect on their day-to-day actions with you.

 

Geography and History (Humanities ) Specialism

This specialism focuses on developing your understandings of the purpose of history and geography in the primary curriculum. John Berger once suggested that ‘time and space’ are the two key concepts that underpin what it means to be human. We will explore further these key concepts, together with others associated with these subjects. Through practice-based sessions that carefully consider both pedagogy and curriculum, we will inspire you to think about the significance of these disciplines in the primary phase. You will enquire into how young people both become more knowledgeable and are able to understand their world in more meaningful ways. We will also enable you to think carefully about progression, assessment and curriculum organisation. You will benefit from the expertise of practitioners currently working in our partnership schools who will reflect on their day to day actions with you.

Mathematics Specialism

Our mathematics specialism focuses on developing your understanding of how best to sequence the development of mathematical concepts. You will be encouraged to consider how best to harness children’s curiosity about numbers, shapes and patterns. You will reflect on the significance of empowering your learners to reason and justify their solutions to mathematical dilemmas. Developing children’s capabilities so that they can use and apply their mathematical reasoning skills is a key aspect of primary education. Through practice-based sessions that carefully consider both pedagogy and curriculum content, we will inspire you to think about the significance of mathematics in the primary phase. We will also enable you to think carefully about progression, assessment and curriculum organisation. You will benefit from the expertise of practitioners currently working in our partnership schools who will reflect on their day to day actions with you.

Modern Languages Specialism

Through our Foreign Languages specialism we will enable you to develop your own passion for learning languages into one that enables children to both enjoy and benefit from the accomplishment of learning a foreign language. You will carefully consider different pedagogic approaches that help to nurture pupil’s self-confidence as they acquire both an understanding of relevant words and phrases, but also appreciate the culture associated with the languages that they learn. Through practice-based sessions you will consider the curriculum requirements associated with language learning in the primary phase. We will also enable you to think carefully about progression, assessment and curriculum organisation. You will benefit from the expertise of practitioners currently working in our partnership schools who will reflect on their day to day actions with you.

Physical Education Specialism

We will nurture your own passion for physical exercise and sport by asking you to reflect on why it is important that all young people should benefit from a positive experience of physical education. You will appreciate why, from an early age children in the primary phase should experience both enjoyment and success through physical activity. You will develop a confidence in recognising pupils’ capabilities and you will develop an expertise in selecting activities which match pupils’ needs and interests. Through practice-based sessions that carefully consider both pedagogy and curriculum, we will inspire you to think about the significance of physical education in the primary phase. We will also enable you to think carefully about progression, assessment and curriculum organisation. You will benefit from the expertise of practitioners currently working in our partnership schools who will reflect on their day to day actions with you.

Science Specialism

Reflecting on how science influences our lives and the lives of others is a key aspect of primary children’s learning in this discipline. The science specialism focuses on developing your understanding of how to develop scientific enquiry with young people. You will carefully consider how best to enable children to develop ideas from evidence by ‘working scientifically’. You will reflect on how best to empower your learners to create, consider and evaluate evidence so that they can develop reasoned ideas from their data and findings. Through practice-based sessions that carefully consider both pedagogy and curriculum, we will inspire you to think about the significance of science in the primary phase. We will also enable you to think carefully about progression, assessment and curriculum organisation. You will benefit from the expertise of practitioners currently working in our partnership schools who will reflect on their day to day actions with you.

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

In conjunction with Blackfriars Teaching School Alliance (1JA), we now offer a Pedagogy and SEND PGCE (5-11 or 7-14) programme with subject specialisms. The subject specialisms include English, Geography and History, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Physical Education and Science. Trainees will benefit from a combination of mainstream and special school settings. On successful completion, trainees would be able to seek employment in either a mainstream or special school setting. In the past trainees have found that their experience in special schools has significantly enhanced their mainstream practice.

Blackfriars Teaching School Alliance is acting on behalf of a partnership of special schools in Stoke and Staffordshire. These schools have designed the programme alongside staff from KNSTE. You will cover all aspects required for a general primary programme in addition to your specialism and the SEND focus. You will be taught by a combination of staff, many of whom have current experience within either a primary or special school setting.

Entry Criteria

The standard entry criteria for a primary programme pertain to this programme (A minimum of a Grade C / 4 or equivalent in Maths, Science and English GCSE).

A first degree (noting that there is no requirement for primary trainee teachers to have a degree in a national curriculum subject).

Applicants are required to have either an A Level, an element of their degree or appropriate experience that relates to their selected specialism.

KNSTE ask for an additional requirement in relation to the Pedagogy and SEND programme in that at least 5 of the minimum 10 days recent school-based experience must be in a special school setting. Please do contact us should you like to access support in meeting this requirement.

Applicants for the Pedagogy and SEND PGCE will be subject to the same interview and selection criteria as for other KNSTE programmes. The exception being that you will be interviewed in a special school setting and would be required to work with a class using the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum.

We are very excited by this highly innovative and much needed programme. At the end of the course you will select whether you wish to apply for a job in a mainstream or special school