Summary of the Programme
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Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education is a 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
The programme can be studied either full time or via our 2 year flexible course and is offered by Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education either as a provider or through our cluster of School Direct Lead schools.
Both our provider and school direct route offer exactly the same course i.e. the content, experience and outcome is identical for both routes. The only difference between the 2 routes is that with the School Direct route your placements will usually be within a specific cluster of schools.
Whilst our programme trains you to become a General Primary Practitioner, we are also delighted to 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 Pedagogy and SEND (5-11).
Our course involves a minimum of 120 days on professional placement in at least 2 schools and a minimum of 70 days taught input delivered both at Keele University and in schools and other learning environments. All participants undertake modules in:
- Effective and Outstanding Practice
- Learning and Assessment
- Subject Identity and Pedagogy
- Learners and Learning
Our programme is aimed at enabling trainees to achieve a PGCE alongside the recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
To gain a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education with recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status or a 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.
Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education foregrounds evidence informed practice and recognises that our Associate Teachers (our term for our 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.
Our programme involves:
- a minimum of 120 days on professional placement which take place in at least 2 different schools, and involve our Associate Teachers in undertaking observations and study alongside a teaching timetable that increases as the placement progresses. These placements are overseen by a school-based Teacher Educator and supported by a SCITT based Personal Tutor. Placement schools are carefully selected, and may involve some travel. Across the course we endeavour to minimise travel, though you are expected to travel for up to 1 and a quarter hours determined from where you live during the course.
- a minimum of 70 days of taught centre-based sessions, which whenever possible are led by school-based colleagues and involve lead lectures, seminars, group activities, individual and group tutorials, practical workshops, as well as directed activities in professional contexts. The sessions take place in one of our teaching classrooms, at Keele University (ST5 5BG), our Midlands Hub based at Streethay Primary School (new from September 2019) or Seabridge Primary School (ST5 3PJ). All our 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 early years, primary and special needs education. Many of these can be loaned to you whilst on placement.
Whilst our programme trains you to become a General Primary Practitioner, we are also delighted to offer specialisms across all routes. More information about these specialisms can be found here.
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 enable you 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.
Opportunities for reflection and critical evaluation are embedded in each of the modules that you study. These modules are as follows:
- Effective and Outstanding Practice
- Learning and Assessment
- Subject Identity and Pedagogy
- Learners and Learning
Effective and Outstanding Practice
This module will enable you to grapple with the complex concept of knowledge including the relationship between practical and academic knowledge, subject knowledge and pedagogy. You will do this in relation to your specialism. You will critically examine the idea of subject knowledge and explore the ways in which your specialism’s body of knowledge is distinctive, both academically and pedagogically. The representation of your subject within the National Curriculum (England), other policy documents and by professional bodies will be compared to classroom practice. Through a consideration of the processes that underpin the creation of such definition and positioning of subject knowledge, you will explore the political, social and cultural dimensions of curriculum pedagogy. You will consider the ways in which being an expert teacher differs from being an expert in the subject.
Learners and Assessment
The module examines the relationship between learning theories and classroom practice. You will consider questions such as: What do we know about how students learn? How do these ideas affect our practice as educators? What factors affect student learning? How might we take those factors into account when deciding what we want students to know understand and be able to do? How has the concept of multiple intelligences affected classroom practice? Why do we assess students? Who decides what to assess? How fit for purpose are the assessment instruments that we use?
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.
Learners and Learning
This module provides an opportunity for you to develop your understanding of the diverse experiences of schooling which young people have and the issues which need to be considered in developing approaches which can support their learning. You will consider learners in terms of different social groups and what is known about provision and outcomes for those groups. The module helps students to develop their position with regards to key concerns for educators in meeting the needs of learners such as: approaches to equal opportunity, diversity and differentiation; teaching by ability; the significance of school context for learner outcomes; and approaches to behaviour management.
Whilst our programme trains you to become a General Primary Practitioner, we are delighted also to offer specialisms. Our specialisms include, Early Years (PGCE with QTS), English and the Connected Curriculum, Foreign Languages, Geography and History, Mathematics (specialism NOT specialist), Physical Education, Science.
The Early Years Specialism is for you, if you are particularly interested in early learning and child development. The Early Years (EY) is a unique phase of education which involves framing first hand learning opportunities both inside and outdoors in relation the curriculum and children’s prior experiences. 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. We will enable you to lead learning so that you can improve outcomes for children.
English and the Connected Curriculum
Our English and the Connected Curriculum specialism enables you to 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 be encouraged to consider how best to harness children's curiosity in relation to a variety of texts and literary stimuli. You will be encouraged to think carefully about progression, assessment and curriculum organisation by benefitting from the expertise of practitioners currently working in our partnership schools.
Geography and History (Humanities ) Specialism
This specialism focuses on developing your understandings of the purpose of geography and history 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 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.
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 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 enable you to think carefully about mastery, progression, assessment and curriculum organisation. You will benefit from the expertise of practitioners currently working in our partnership schools.
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 cultures 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 pedagogic choices 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.
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.
Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Pathway
In conjunction with Blackfriars Teaching School Alliance (1JA), we offer a Pedagogy and SEND PGCE (5-11) programme with subject specialisms. The subject specialisms include English and the Connected Curriculum, Geography and History, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Physical Education and Science. Associate Teachers on this pathway, benefit from a combination of placements in Special School and mainstream Primary School settings. On successful completion, ATs will be able to seek employment in either a mainstream or special school setting.
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.
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.
If you would like any help or advice in applying for this programme please do get in touch with us. Our 'Back to School' days may provide you with an opportunity to see if the course is for you.
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.
Secondary Teacher Training
Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education also works with the OAKS SCITT which is an OFSTED Outstanding Secondary SCITT that also works in conjuction with Keele University.
If you are interested in Secondary Teacher Training please visit the OAKS website https://theoaks.org.uk/ for more information about their courses.
2 Year Flexible PGCE Programme with KNSTE
Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education is pleased to announce that from September 2019, it will offer a 2 year flexible training route for all its primary courses (including the SEND pathway). This route is directed particularly at career changers, or those with caring responsibilities and will offer the opportunity to phase in your Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme, combining it with other commitments. Whilst this route will appeal to many and it is a great opportunity, it is a demanding option and one that will draw on your organisational skills and capacity to prioritise how you use your time.
How does it work?
On the 2 year flexible route you will receive one day per week of core, professional and subject knowledge training during your first year and one day of school experience. These will be on a Thursday and Friday. The proportion of time that you spend in school will increase in the Summer Term of Year 1, but never exceed two days. You will be in one school throughout the year. The course runs from the end of August through until the end of June. During your second year you will spend three days per week with us, during the Autumn and Spring Terms, two of these will be school based (Wednesday and Thursday) and Fridays will be SCITT based. In the Summer Term of Year 2 you will then need to commit to spending 6 weeks full time in a school. You will be in a different school in Year 2 to that which you were in for Year 1. The reason for being full-time during your final term is so that you can assure yourself and ourselves that you can sustain the demands of full-time teaching. This will enhance your employability as well as develop your passion for the profession. You can opt to complete your NQT and RQT Years on a part-time basis following your successful achievement of your ITE programme.
What qualifications will you achieve?
At the end of the two years of ITE you will gain QTS, together with a Keele University PGCE Academic Award worth 60 Master's credits (4 modules of 15 credits. The four modules are Effective and Outstanding Practice (EOP), Subject Identity and Pedagogy (SIP), Learning and Assessment (LA) and Learners and Learning (LL)) You will be expected to complete your first module during the Autumn Term of Year 1, and second in the Spring Term. The remaining two modules are completed in the Autumn and Summer Terms of Year 2. Additionally you will be required to complete school based professional enquiries. Details of these will be provided at the start of the course. You will receive the same amount of SCITT Tutor and academic tuition visits as the full time trainees, but spread across the two years. The table here provides you with additional information.
You can apply for our 2 year flexible route via UCAS Teacher Training. For any additional advice please contact us. You are welcome to attend one of our open days or back to school days that are advertised on our website. These are available regularly throughout the year.
Training with Disabilities
It is a privilege for us to be working in a diverse region with exceptional teachers who value supporting trainees who also come to us with a range of prior experiences and needs. We enable you to take as seriously as ourselves issues related to inclusion, equity and social justice.
Keele University and our school based teaching rooms have full access. Applicants who would benefit from additional support in relation to access should let us know on their application so that we can facilitate appropriate placements. We regularly support trainees with a variety of needs including for example dyslexia and dyspraxia, and find that they are able to thrive on our course. At the start of the programme you will all have the opportunity to disclose any needs that they may have so that the appropriate support can be put into place.
Your mental health and well-being is a prime concern of ours. On the course you will be enabled to support others and so we will ensure that you are aware of how we can help you to meet your own needs so that you can thrive and enjoy our amazing profession.
Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher have an Assistant Director who is pleased to be responsible for student welfare and also acts as the enabling coordinator. She can assist students in accessing the various excellent support services offered by Keele University. More information can be found at https://www.keele.ac.uk/students/supportingyou/.