Harrow Collegiate Alliance Biology (H852)

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

Accredited body
Middlesex University
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 18
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023
Website
http://www.whitmore.harrow.sch.uk/schooldirect

Contents

Course summary

Biology is a fascinating subject which can engage and inspire children. It feeds their natural curiosity and supports them in developing their understanding of the natural world. Science teachers are in great demand and this course appeals to graduates who are passionate about biology but want to develop the skills and understanding to teach science across the curriculum. This one-year full-time course, enables you to meet the national standards for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS). Through this PGCE, you will learn to operate as a critically reflective biology teacher in a secondary school setting and develop competence across the entire range of the National Curriculum Programme of Study for Science. Specialising in biology, you will learn to integrate theory and practice, as part of a stimulating and engaging ambitious curriculum. Our PGCE Science with Biology course has fully embedded the Core Content Framework for Initial Teacher Training.

You will have the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills required to fully meet the Teachers’ Standards by the end of your training. We have a range of specialist science and teaching facilities, providing you with a solid foundation on which to develop your skills and experience. We have excellent relationships with schools in and outside London. During your studies, you will undertake teaching placements in at least two secondary schools and have the chance to acquire skills in the application of established pedagogical approaches and new technologies in teaching and learning science. We work closely with our trusted partnership schools to provide a variety of opportunities and experts from our partner schools are on hand to offer invaluable mentoring and support. We are proud of the excellent and comprehensive level of support that we offer our trainee science teachers in every aspect of our course.

The course gives you a strong understanding of how and why to teach biology in secondary schools whilst also enabling you to appreciate the unique aspects of other science specialisms in order to develop your confidence in teaching across the science curriculum. Middlesex University has dedicated subject tutors who have established strong relations with external specialists and partnership schools who will deliver contemporary and subject specific training sessions. The Science with Biology PGCE Programme at Middlesex University has been developed with input from partnership schools. The curriculum ensures that you develop a deep understanding of science pedagogy.

https://www.mdx.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/science-with-biology

School placements

You will undertake your training across two contrasting schools. Starting in ‘School A’ your first placement lasts from September until early January, then you move to ‘School B’ in early February through to late April, returning to ‘School A’ in early May, completing your training in late June.

Your training will be predominantly based at the two host schools, other than one day a week when you will be at the university (throughout most of the year).

Through an initial programme of observations and research you will become familiar with the organisation and working of the school and department (pupil groups and pastoral systems, staffing, curriculum, resources, facilities, methods of teaching, lesson planning, and assessment).

From the beginning, you will be treated like a member of the teaching staff by fellow professionals. With your departmental mentor, other expert colleagues and Professional Coordinating Mentor (PCM), you will feel supported as you progress and become ready to teach. Our mentors are experienced teachers and undertake rigorous training to develop their mentoring skills to support your development as a teacher. Your time in school provides you with the opportunity to develop your teaching expertise and relationships with children and young people in a familiar environment. Your university tutor will visit you regularly throughout your training year to monitor your progress and discuss your development with you and your mentors and you will maintain close links with other trainees in your subject across the Harrow Collegiate, through networking and subject development days.

Locations

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

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Alperton Community School
Stanley Avenue, Wembley, HA04JE
No
Bentley Wood High School for Girls
Bridges Road, Stanmore, HA7 3NA
Yes

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

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

We normally require a second-class honours degree 2:2 or above with at least 50% biology content supported by a strong A Level (or equivalent)

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.

Prior to enrolling on your teacher training course, you must have:

  • GCSE grade C / grade 4 or above in English and Mathematics or be retaking them this year.
  • We also accept the equivalency tests by Equivalency Testing, A Star Teachers or any other appropriately accredited provider.
  • We cannot accept functional skills or key skills or IELTS.

Personal qualities

You should be:

  • Enthusiastic about your subject;
  • Able to communicate clearly in written and spoken English;
  • Open to advice and positive professional criticism;
  • Diligent, organised, smartly dressed, punctual and committed to full attendance;
  • Able to shoulder individual responsibility and work collaboratively;
  • Committed to equal opportunities;
  • Willing to work with pupils beyond the school day.

Other requirements

We strongly encourage you to undertake school experience observation in UK secondary schools before applying. Although this is not mandatory, this will enable you to explore your motivation to teach, and your understanding of what teaching is like, when you are discussing this at interview.

This school experience does not need to be in the school you are applying to, but should be in the subject you are planning to teach (or a closely-related discipline).

All teacher trainees will undergo an Enhanced Criminal Records check, Health checks and Prohibition to Teach checks. Further information can be obtained at interview.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2023 to 2024 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £14,000

UK students

  • Full-time students: £9,250

For more information and to answer your frequently asked questions, please visit our postgraduate funding page.

EU/International students

  • Full-time students: £14,000

From October 2021, EU students who are resident in the EU or elsewhere outside the UK will be charged international fees, as the UK has exited the European Union.

EU students resident in the EU or elsewhere outside the UK starting in January 2021 will still be charged the same fee as UK students and this will stay in place for the duration of your course. You will also be able to access the same financial support as UK students.

EU students with settled or pre-settled status resident in the UK will continue to be charged UK fees and be eligible for tuition fee and maintenance loans.

Financial support from the training provider

Loans and Bursaries

UK students can apply for a tuition fee loan which covers your fees and is only repayable after your graduate. In addition, UK students may be eligible for additional grants and loans including those from:

The Department for Education - on the Department for Education website you will find a full list of designated ITT subjects and funding offers.

About the training provider

The Harrow Collegiate Alliance (HCA) is comprised of a wide range of high performing Outer London secondary schools, committed to transforming young people’s lives through inspirational teaching. We are an innovative and growing partnership with schools in Harrow, Barnet, Brent, Camden, Edgware and Hillingdon (click for a map of our schools).

We are looking for exceptional candidates with a passion for your subject grounded in academic achievement as well as a deep commitment to working with young people to enhance their life opportunities through education.

Whitmore High School is the Lead School, and partner schools include Alperton Community School, Avanti House School, Bentley Wood High School, Canons High School, Harrow High School, Hatch End High School, Haydon School, Kingsbury High School, Kingsley Special School, Nower Hill High School, Park High School, Regent High School, Rooks Heath College, Sacred Heart Language College, St. Mary’s & St. John’s School and Whitefriars School.

We offer the opportunity to train with experienced teachers in dynamic learning environments that foster talent. We have extensive opportunities for professional development including an excellent Masters Programme with St. Mary’s University, Twickenham.

In addition, we offer:

  • Genuinely comprehensive schools where you would gain experience of both challenging pupils and some exceptionally high achievers;
  • School-based tutorials led by experienced Leadership team members and school staff;
  • The chance to train amongst highly committed, positive, professional staff;
  • The opportunity to become part of a school community, gaining understanding of the richness and complexities of teaching.

Interview process

If selected you would be required to attend an interview at the host school. This will include:

  • a tour of the school
  • literacy/numeracy tests
  • classroom/teaching exercise
  • panel interview

You may be asked to teach a short segment of a lesson, in which case full details will be provided in advance. Do not worry! This is an opportunity for us to see you in a classroom setting, and we are fully aware you may have had no previous teaching experience. The lesson may not go as planned, but it’s important to be honest with your thoughts when we ask you about the lesson during the subsequent interview panel.

Further details of the interview structure will be emailed as part of your interview confirmation.

If you are successful at the Stage 1 (school interview), the university will call you for Stage 2 of interview at the university. This is an ideal opportunity for you to get to know the team at Middlesex University that you will be working with during your training year, and for them to get to know you.

If you are rejected at Stage 1 (school interview), we will contact you and upload the rejection to Apply including reasons for the rejection that you (alone) would be able to see.

If you are rejected at Stage 2 (university interview), the university will get in touch to outline the reasons for their decision.

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

HCA and our partner university are committed to supporting trainees with disabilities. The HCA invites you to contact us as early as possible in your application process so that your needs are met and support can be arranged – schooldirect@whitmore.harrow.sch.uk

Middlesex University offers advice and support to their trainees who have requirements as a result of a disability, specific learning difficulty (e.g. dyslexia), medical condition or temporary disability, such as injury.

Contact this training provider

Email
schooldirect@whitmore.harrow.sch.uk
Telephone
02088647688
Website
http://www.whitmore.harrow.sch.uk/schooldirect
Address
Whitmore High School
Porlock Avenue
Harrow
Middlesex
HA2 0AD

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).

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