Important

Courses are currently closed but you can get your application ready

Courses starting in the 2022 to 2023 academic year are closed.

You can start or continue your application to get it ready for courses starting in the 2023 to 2024 academic year.

You’ll be able to find courses from 9am on 4 October 2022 and submit your application from 9am on 11 October 2022.

Odyssey Learning Alliance Biology (2H5F)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Gloucestershire Initial Teacher Education Partnership (GITEP)
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
12 October 2021
Date course starts
September 2022
Website
http://www.odysseyla.org

Apply

Courses are currently closed but you can still start or continue an application anyway.

You’ll be able to:

  • find courses starting in the 2023 to 2024 academic year from 9am on 4 October 2022
  • submit your application from 9am on 11 October 2022

Contents

Course summary

Our programme mirrors GITEP’s 3 phases:

  1. Explore Explore covers induction and parent placement 1. Three weeks of taught GITEP professional studies in September are followed by three weeks of school induction, exploring the application of education theory in the context of the parent school. After October half-term, assessed teaching time gradually increases, to 9-11 hours a week by Christmas. In addition, trainees continue to explore aspects of subject pedagogy with their subject leaders and mentors. The PGCE assignment focuses on special educational needs and disabilities. Trainees will explore the differing needs of pupils and how teachers adapt their practice to include them in learning.

  2. Embed Embed covers the twin placement, taking place between Christmas and Easter. This gives trainees the opportunity to embed their practice in a different school context, a contrasting one as far as possible. Trainees will be encouraged to try new approaches and to be more creative as they look to embed their learning from Explore. Assessed teaching time increases to 11-13 hours a week. The PGCE assignment focuses on short to medium term planning, giving trainees the opportunity to reflect on their subject learning and embed this in their planning.

  3. Enhance Enhance covers parent placement 2, from Easter to June. Trainees return to a familiar environment with the opportunity to really progress and enhance their practice. The placement aims to give a better understanding of the big picture, with longer term planning and use of a variety of assessment techniques. Assessed teaching time increases to 13-15 hours a week. The PGCE assignment will focus on researching an area of interest within the subject curriculum, enhancing trainees understanding of subject pedagogy.

Subject pathway Subject sessions take place weekly with the subject leader and other trainees in your subject. These sessions focus on exploring current issues in your subject, developing practical teaching strategies and subject expertise for teaching.

Odyssey Professional Studies Trainees attend ‘Odyssey Professional Studies’ with all Odyssey trainees. These sessions revisit concepts introduced in GITEP professional studies and provide some opportunities for unique and beneficial cross phase working with primary colleagues.

Assessment Trainees complete the above three assignments, supported by school-based training managers and subject leaders. The programme leads to a PGCE awarded by the University of Bristol, with 60 Master’s level credits. No training takes place at the University - subject tutors from the University will visit the GITEP sessions.

School placements

All trainees will undertake placements in 2 schools following a ‘parent/twin/parent’ structure. Trainees are placed in a “parent” school from October to December, a contrasting “twin” school from January to March and return to the “parent” school from April to June. Placements are 9-10 weeks in length.

Each school has a training manager, responsible for overseeing all the trainees within the school, and trainees are allocated a mentor, a subject specialist who will see them most days and meet with them individually once a week to review their training and plan next steps.

Working alongside GITEP, our partner schools are:

  • Pate’s Grammar School, Cheltenham
  • Sir Thomas Rich’s Grammar School, Gloucester
  • Tewkesbury School, Tewkesbury
  • Barnwood Park School, Gloucester

Placements are arranged in discussion with trainees, depending on grammar/comprehensive preference, home location etc. We cannot guarantee any particular school placement, however we are always keen to work with trainees to find the right school for them. All trainees must undertake at least one placement in a comprehensive school - it isn’t possible to qualify as a teacher in the UK by completing 2 grammar school placements.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:1 or above, 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.

Personal qualities

We know that outstanding teachers come from many different backgrounds and have a range of prior experiences. We welcome applications from trainees from all walks of life and recognise the different qualities and skills that they can potentially bring to the profession. Passion, resilience and a willingness to reflect and learn as a professional are however key.

Other requirements

All trainees will be subject to an enhanced DBS check prior to the start of the course. Trainees with less prior experience in school may also be required to undertake a short period of work experience. Subject Knowledge Enhancement may be offered if appropriate.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2022 to 2023 are £9,250.

Financial support from the training provider

For the most up to date advice, visit Get Into Teaching (Funding your training). You may be eligible for a loan while you study – note that you’ll have to apply for undergraduate student finance.

GITEP does operate a hardship fund for trainees experiencing financial difficulties. They are supported by Gloucestershire Association of Secondary Headteachers Ltd, a charity dedicated to supporting teacher training and professional development in Gloucestershire schools. The trustees of GASH Ltd, who are all secondary headteachers, are aware that the decrease in bursaries means that some trainees will find training difficult financially and have increased the amount available to our hardship fund. Any awards made do not have to be repaid. The fund is limited and discretionary and we cannot guarantee that an award will be made. Applications can be made at any point in the programme.

About the training provider

Why chose to train with Odyssey?

  • An opportunity to train in an Alliance led by Pate’s Grammar School - a school rated Outstanding by Ofsted in every category and awarded the title Sunday Times School of the Year 2020. Our exam results consistently place us in the top 10 state schools nationally.

    • Our professional studies programme offers a unique opportunity to work cross phase to gain an understanding of the full learning journey from 3 - 19.
    • We have an excellent employment track record.
    • At secondary level, an opportunity to train equally in both the grammar and comprehensive sectors, with four schools proudly working collaboratively to develop and train staff to the highest standards. An opportunity to work with most able and academic students through 11 – 18. Alongside fantastic opportunities to get involved with wider school life; Pate’s, Barnwood Park, Sir Thomas Rich’s and Tewkesbury all have vibrant, thriving extra-curricular programmes. You will receive a GITEP PGCE awarded by the University of Bristol.
    • At primary level, a unique opportunity to train in an alliance of strong Gloucestershire based primary schools – all recognised for their exceptional staff development, who share a rich history and commitment in employing School Direct trainees over the last 6 years. You will receive all the benefits of the University of Gloucestershire Course (including the PGCE accreditation), however spending more time in school learning ‘on the job’.

Together, we are able to offer an unrivalled opportunity to start a career in teaching.

About the accredited body

GITEP SCITT is a highly successful school centred initial teacher training provider, rated outstanding by [Ofsted]. GITEP SCITT works with the University of Bristol to offer the academic PGCE. GITEP and the University both focus solely on secondary teacher training and share a commitment to developing outstanding subject expertise.

Interview process

All interviews are held in Alliance schools. Your interview will have 3 parts.

Part 1: General Interview

This will be a panel interview, made up of staff from partner schools and a representative from GITEP. We will look to explore with you your reasons for wanting to teach.

Part 2: Subject Knowledge Interview

This will be an interview with a subject specialist and will explore where your current subject knowledge strengths and weaknesses lie.

Part 3: Lesson

We will ask you to prepare (in advance) a short lesson to deliver to a group of students.

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

As an alliance we take great pride in knowing and supporting our trainees personally. Our trainees come from a variety of backgrounds, and we are committed to enabling access to the profession for all. Please contact us if you would like to better understand how we may be able to support any access requirements that you have.

Trainees receive excellent support from mentors and training managers in schools, as well as their subject leader. Liaison between schools and Odyssey is very strong and we are used to making reasonable adjustments to help trainees, both short term and over the whole course.

All GITEP PGCE trainees are registered as students with the University of Bristol, and this gives access to the full range of student services offered by the University. This includes support with academic assignments for trainees with dyslexia and all the University counselling and student support services. Trainees with disabilities and other needs are strongly encouraged to register with the University Library Support service.

Contact this training provider

Email
admin@odysseyla.org
Telephone
01242 538276
Website
http://www.odysseyla.org
Address
Pate's Grammar School
Princess Elizabeth Way
Cheltenham
Gloucestershire
GL51 0HG

Support and advice

For support and advice, you can speak to a teacher training adviser for free. They’re all experienced teachers who can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events.

You can also 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).

Find out about the different ways to train if you do not have a degree, or are already an experienced teacher.

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

Apply

Courses are currently closed but you can still start or continue an application anyway.

You’ll be able to:

  • find courses starting in the 2023 to 2024 academic year from 9am on 4 October 2022
  • submit your application from 9am on 11 October 2022