How this course is organised?
The PGCE course at the University of Leicester is divided into two halves, Phase A and Phase B, each with clearly delineated priorities to guide progress towards successful completion.
Two-thirds of the time (currently 24 weeks out of 36) is spent in schools, starting with a two-week preliminary attachment to a primary school with time spent in a secondary school that its pupils transfer to. A pack of materials incorporating designated tasks and critical reading enables student teachers to make the most of this experience and also supports the completion of a preliminary assignment.
On arrival in Leicester, students begin Phase A of their training, starting with an intensive University-based programme consisting of days devoted to subject work and days for the core Professional Studies Programme, which all students follow (A1). This helps prepare students for their first school placement, which at Leicester comes early in the PGCE course. By Christmas, everyone will have completed over a month’s teaching in school (A2). Students then return to the same school after Christmas, continuing with their teaching for a further two weeks.
A similar format is repeated in the second half of the year (Phase B). Some mainly University-based weeks (B1) lead into a substantial period of teaching experience in a different school (B2). A concluding spell in the same school, working on a subject project and other activities while continuing with a reduced teaching load, (B3) is followed by a final week in the School of Education.
What is taught on this course?
There are two inter-related strands: subject work and the Professional Studies Programme, with elements of both developed through taught sessions in the University and through practical teaching experiences in schools.
A number of features are common to all courses, regardless of the specific subject students are preparing to teach:
Close links between the University and its partner schools/colleges, ensuring placement experiences in different institutions draw on and inform each other
Individual Action Planning that helps students identify their own development needs and make appropriate plans to fulfil them as they progress through the course
Subject sessions, particularly in the early part of the course, which concentrate on fundamental matters such as lesson planning and evaluation, literacy, preparation of resources, adapting to various levels of pupil ability and the importance of assessment, recording and reporting achievement