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

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

  • PGCE
  • School Direct

Or a part time programme through the following route:

  • PGCE

For our course both these routes offer exactly the same course with the only difference been with the School Direct route, your placements will usually be within a specific cluster of schools.

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 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:

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

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.

Full Time 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 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 our Staffordshire Hub (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.

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:

  • 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.

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 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.

Early Years

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.

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 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.

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.

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

In conjunction with Blackfriars Teaching School Alliance (1JA), we now offer a Pedagogy and SEND PGCE (5-11) 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.

Experience in a special school setting is desirable.

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

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.

 

Part-time PGCE Programme with KNSTE

Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education is pleased to announce that from September 2019, it will offer a part time 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 part time 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 part-time route from 9th October 2018 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/.