At the heart of the English PGCE course at Sussex is a belief in the importance of reading. Enabling pupils to become independent, critical readers who love reading and talking about texts with teachers and peers will allow them to succeed in all other areas of the English - and indeed the school - curriculum. Therefore, you will gain understanding of how to develop the reading abilities of your pupils, drawing connections between your own knowledge and love of literature and the comprehension strategies and exposure to challenging texts that will enable your pupils to become similarly enthusiastic, engaged readers. Exploratory talk about texts is also central to developing pupils’ talk and writing, combined with rich, textual models. You will deepen your own grammatical understanding and that of your pupils, enabling them to become creative, effective writers.
Our English team draw equally from the University and our school partnership. Teaching faculty include tutors with experience as Heads of English in school, Lead Examiners for GCSE examination boards and teacher-educator researchers, who specialise in developing pupils’ reading and higher-cognitive talk and in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Our dynamic partnership includes excellent school practitioners leading sessions on topics including A level English Language, Drama and E-learning.
Your subject and pedagogic knowledge will also be enriched by visits to, for example, the British Library, the Globe Theatre and the Mass Observation Archive, modelling ‘out-of-classroom’ experiences, central to your pupils’ learning. Our focus on reading is pivotal to raising the achievement of disadvantaged students, and our partnership is currently involved in a range of research interventions on reading, including evaluating the most effective strategies for improving educational outcomes, such as ‘Drop Everything and Read!’ With us, you will develop your understanding of innovative, evidence-based practice, fusing theory and practice in academic assignments.
You will learn to be an English teacher through a combination of taught sessions at the university and school-led professional development and classroom practice. You will start your course with a 2-3 week induction at the University in September, which is followed by a programme of lectures, seminars and workshops every Friday. These involve presentations, group work, role play, classroom modelling and peer teaching, for which you will explore ideas and approaches and reflect on your own experiences.