Catholic Schools’ Partnership Biology (2Q5K)

Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS)

Accredited body
King’s College London (University of London)
Financial support
Bursaries and student finance are available if you’re eligible
Qualification
PGCE with QTS

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) will allow you to teach in state schools in England and may allow you to teach in other parts of the UK.

It may also allow you to teach overseas, though you should always check what qualifications are needed in the country you’d like to teach in.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Age range
11 to 16
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023
Website
http://catholicschoolspartnership.org.uk/

Contents

Course summary

Located in the heart of London, PGCE courses at King’s are rated Outstanding by Ofsted with excellent tutors on hand to support you through your training. In the last research assessment exercise, the department was rated second in the UK (REF, 2014). You will have the opportunity to work with experienced tutors who are actively engaged in research in their subject and in pedagogy more widely. 96% of 2017 graduates who sought teaching posts were employed within 6 months of qualifying. In our 2022 student survey, 99% of trainees rated the quality of their training as good, very good, or excellent.

This course aims to prepare students to:

  • become effective secondary school teachers
  • become knowledgeable subject specialists who can progress to take on responsibilities in curriculum development
  • become good classroom managers
  • become successful form tutors and collaborative colleagues.

The course encourages learning through critical reflection, making connections between the theory and practice of teaching, and continuing to self-evaluate and improve throughout a teaching career.

We work to enable students to teach pupils to think, and to interpret pupils’ understanding, building their subsequent teaching on this.

Programme description

The special features of the PGCE science programmes at King’s are:

  • Separate groups for each of the four science specialisms: Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Physics with Mathematics. These focus on how to teach your specialist subject to the age range 11-18.
  • Sessions designed to help you teach science topics which are outside your science subject specialism. These are designed to help you contribute to science programmes at Key Stage 3 and 4.
  • ‘Science Pedagogy’ sessions where you work in mixed groups of science students on topics like scientific enquiry, formative assessment, use of discussion in science lessons and cognitive acceleration through science education. These classes are often taught by people who are at the forefront of research about innovative teaching strategies. The Science Education research group at King’s is the largest in the UK and has a strong national and international reputation. This allows us to feed new ideas into the PGCE programme and creates a dynamic and forward-looking course.
  • The course is set in the context of a friendly department with a strong commitment to our students.

KCL Biology Course Information

School placements

School Direct trainees start at their chosen school during the first week of the autumn term. Term dates will be confirmed upon acceptance of an offer.

The university course starts in the second week of September and is full-time until late June. Sessions are usually from 9:30 to 4:30 but much of the time is spent in schools and you are usually expected to be in school by 8:00 or 8:30. The course is very intensive and most students find that they are not able to do part-time work during this time.

Around half of the schools within the Catholic Schools’ Partnership offer training placements. Those who are able to support the main placement are listed for each respective course.

Candidates usually apply to schools that are located close to where they live and we are happy to arrange tours and an observation day in your preferred school prior to application.

When applying please select your preferred school. Once your application passes our vetting process you will be invited to interview at KCL followed by an interview at the school.

We offer an ABA placement route, this includes a 6-week placement at another school within the CSP in the spring term before you return to your original school for the remainder of the course.

At the start of the academic year we will contact all registered trainees to confirm where you are living and to ask about the type of school that you would like to be placed in for your second placement. Where possible, we will try to accommodate your request and placements are arranged with a maximum commuting distance of 1 hour 15 minutes based upon the address provided. Travel time is usually significantly less than this.

We are able to offer contrasting placements in single-sex or mixed schools and in schools with sixth forms where your main placement school is 11-16. Where you have completed a placement in a single-sex school your second placement will be in a mixed school or a school with students of the opposite sex.

Locations

You can select one of the following locations when you apply.

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Bonus Pastor Catholic College
Winlaton Road, Bromley, BR1 5PZ
Yes
St Michael’s Catholic College
Llewellyn Street, Bermondsey, London, SE16 4UN
Yes

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:2 or above, or equivalent.

Bachelor’s degree with at least 2:2 honours usually in the subject you wish to teach.

Knowledge and understanding of the subject you intend to teach. GCSE grade C or above (or an equivalent qualification) in English language and mathematics. Applicants without these English or mathematics qualifications at the time they apply may be considered, but they must obtain them, or pass an equivalent test approved by King’s, before the course starts.

Your degree subject should be in biology or a similar subject. Otherwise you’ll need to prove your subject knowledge in some other way.

Grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths, or equivalent qualification.

We’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

We’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English or maths.

A Star Equivalency, or Birmingham City University. Please note that the Birmingham City equivalency tests are currently being offered online.

Personal qualities

We are looking for:

  • commitment to teaching;
  • good communication skills (both oral and written);
  • good interpersonal skills;
  • a good knowledge of science in the specialist science chosen and potential to teach this up to A level;
  • a good knowledge of science in most of the areas of the National Curriculum for Science and potential to develop competence to contribute to a science programme up to age 16 (Key Stage 4);
  • an ability to explain science clearly;
  • potential to manage young people effectively;
  • awareness of current educational issues;
  • commitment to equal opportunities.

Other requirements

You should provide:

  • a reference which identifies your academic strengths and personal qualities required for teaching
  • a reference with no reservations about suitability e.g. relating to academic achievement, effort, health, commitment, consistency, group working skills, communication skills

Police Clearance Candidates offered a place will be asked to complete an enhanced check with the DBS to ensure they do not have a criminal background which might prevent them from working as a teacher. Trainees who have lived or worked outside of the UK in the last five years are required to provide a certificate of good conduct from abroad.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £9,250.

  • Tuition fees: Tuition fee loans are available for those who meet the Government’s criteria for this scheme. Further information is available at GOV.UK

  • Government Training Bursaries: Please note training bursaries are only available to students who have been classified as Home/EU for fee purposes.

  • International Applicants - Please note we are not able to accept applications from international candidates.

About the training provider

The Catholic Schools’ Partnership (CSP) is a strong and growing group of schools. It is a cross-phase partnership from primary, through to secondary and sixth form colleges. Our partner schools are based throughout South-East London and Kent covering Southwark, Greenwich Lewisham, Bromley and Bexleyheath. This diversity in type of school and location gives a richness to our shared work. Our shared vision is Growing Teachers, Growing Learners, Growing Schools.

Our schools have a long history of Initial Teacher Education and have offered School Direct places since the initiative began. We have selected several universities that match our ethos. By carefully selecting the right universities to work with we are able to offer you an excellent start to your career in education.

We offer Primary Tuition Fee School Direct places and are able to provide training in a range of secondary subjects. Some subjects are available with a choice of provider.

We run an extensive CPD programme for trainees and most secure an ECT position within the group of schools. We also provide flexibility as your career progresses, with opportunities to move between schools.

We would encourage applicants to contact us to arrange a school tour prior to application and we are happy to answer any questions that you may have. Please contact the CSP Co-ordinator, Clare Barclay via email - c.barclay@catholicschoolspartnership.org.uk for more information or visit our website here to find out more about our schools and the career opportunities that we are able to offer.

About the accredited body

Located in the heart of London, PGCE courses at King’s are rated Outstanding by Ofsted with excellent tutors on hand to support you through your training. In the last research assessment exercise, the department was rated second in the UK. You will have the opportunity to work with experienced tutors who are actively engaged in research in their subject and in pedagogy more widely. 96% of 2017 graduates who sought teaching posts were employed within 6 months of qualifying. In our 2022 student survey, 99% of trainees rated the quality of their training as good, very good, or excellent.

Interview process

The King’s process includes an interview, a group task and a short piece of writing.

In the interview and group task we will be looking for:

  • evidence that you have a commitment to working with young people;
  • ability to explain clearly and to think on your feet;
  • evidence of good interpersonal skills;
  • knowledge of school level science in each of biology, chemistry and physics;
  • familiarity with the realities of teaching science in secondary schools;
  • awareness of current educational issues;
  • commitment to equal opportunities;
  • ability to work well in a group dynamic.

Writing In your writing we will be looking for:

  • ability to express yourself clearly;
  • accurate grammar and spelling.

Please note that the main placement for this subject for 2022/23 is at St Michael’s Catholic College in Bermondsey.

International candidates

You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:

  • are an Irish citizen
  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (you may still be able to apply)
  • have indefinite leave to remain in the UK

If you do not already have the right to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa. The main visa for fee-paying courses (those that you have to pay for) is the Student visa.

To apply for a Student visa, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Sponsorship is not available for this course.

If you need a visa, filter your course search to find courses with visa sponsorship.

Alternatively, check if you’re eligible for a different type of visa, such as a Graduate or Family visa, that allows you to train to be a teacher without being sponsored.

Find out more about training to teach in England.

International qualifications

If your qualifications come from a non-UK institution, we may want to see a ‘statement of comparability’ from UK ENIC. This will show us how they compare to UK qualifications.

You can call Get Into Teaching on 0800 389 2500 for:

  • guidance on the UK equivalents of your qualifications
  • a free statement of comparability once you’ve submitted your application (if we ask you for this)

Training with disabilities and other needs

All School Direct trainees must meet the Secretary of State’s requirements for physical and mental health, but few health problems past or present preclude applicants from teaching.

The activities that a teacher must be able to perform are set out in the Education (Health Standards) (England) Regulations 2003.

We welcome applications from people with additional needs and disabilities. Successful applicants will be asked to complete a fitness questionnaire prior to commencing the programme.

Within our group of schools, we are able to provide support for a range of disabilities and other needs and are usually able to arrange appropriate school placements and additional support as required. We have trained applicants with dyslexia, physical, hearing and visual impairments, as well as students with mental health issues. If you have any questions about health, disability, or the support provided or wish to discuss your own requirements further, please contact the CSP Co-ordinator, Clare Barclay, c.barclay@catholicschoolspartnership.org.uk.

For further information on the support provided by our university partners please see the links below.

Goldsmiths University Disability Service

King’s College London Disability Access:

St Mary’s University Student Services

University College London School Direct students can access the services provided by UCL’s Student Support and Wellbeing team. You can find more information here

We also strongly welcome applications from members of black and minority ethnic communities, as we are keen to ensure the teaching workforce is more representative of London’s diverse population.

Contact this training provider

Email
c.barclay@catholicschoolspartnership.org.uk
Telephone
0207 232 4569
Website
http://catholicschoolspartnership.org.uk/
Address
St Michael's Catholic College
Llewellyn Street
Bermondsey
London
SE16 4UN

Support and advice

You can speak to a teacher training adviser for free, dedicated advice. They are all experienced teachers who can give you one-to-one support with your application. They can also help you get school experience, and find events where you can speak to training providers and teachers.

Call Get Into Teaching free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or chat online Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).

Is there something wrong with this page?

If there is something wrong with this course listing, contact us by email.