If you’ve got an undergraduate degree and are striving to become a secondary school Biology teacher, then studying our one-year Secondary Science with Biology PGCE with QTS will help you on your way. You’ll develop your subject specialist knowledge alongside hands-on classroom experience. Successful completion of your PGCE course prepares you to start your first teaching post within a secondary school setting. Our course is designed to prepare you to teach pupils in the 11-18 age range.
The course programme is divided into two main themes:
Developing Specialist Subject Knowledge
Subject sessions provide you with an understanding of subject pedagogy in biology and generic science sessions offer you the opportunity to explore a wide range of issues such as ‘practical aspects of science’, assessment of science and literacy in science as well as the more practical considerations whilst teaching this subject. We help you to prepare for teaching all the sciences at Key Stage 3.
Supporting Learning and Progress in the Secondary School
We’ll prepare you for the classroom, allowing you to develop your teaching skills and understanding of how to meet the needs of all learners. Themes include how young people learn, teaching and learning techniques to support pupils’ progress; behaviour management, assessment, inclusive, creative and innovative teaching methods and how to plan lessons and sequences of lessons. You will research evidence based learning theories, gain a greater understanding of current professional issues in secondary schools and begin to develop your own educational philosophy.
You’ll learn in small, friendly and supportive groups, designed to give you the confidence to succeed. Course tutors are experienced teachers and you’ll have a personal academic tutor to support you through your studies. Teaching is through workshops, tutorials and lectures, some with guest speakers, and through group work with other trainee teachers.
Two of the PGCE modules are at Master’s level and you’ll have the opportunity to continue your studies further to complete a Master’s degree, supporting your ECT year and early professional development.
Assessment is typically through the completion of a range of classroom activities, written assignments, reports, personal subject audits and the development of portfolios of evidence. There are no formal examinations and the assignments are carefully designed to help you to develop your teaching practice further.
A significant amount of your learning will take place whilst on placement within our partnership schools. You will undertake two compulsory placements as part of your course and will spend at least 120 days in at least two schools. You’ll benefit from being able to observe experienced teachers, from practical hands-on experience and from supportive mentoring to help you develop into an outstanding and successful teacher.
You’ll experience the wider role of a teacher in secondary education. You’ll have the support of mentors in schools who will help you to develop your practice through observations, planning meetings, weekly tutorials, reports and lesson evaluations.
You can select one of the following locations to indicate a preferred placement when you apply.
List of locations and vacancies
Ferrybridge Road, Castleford, West Yorkshire, WF10 4JQ
University of Huddersfield
Queensgate, Huddersfield , HD1 3DH
An undergraduate degree at class 2:2 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 will not consider candidates with pending GCSEs.
We’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English or maths.
You must demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively, and that you have the intellectual and academic capabilities to meet the required Teachers’ Standards by the end of the programme.
Offers will be subject to satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service enhanced disclosure check and trainees must not previously have been barred from teaching or working with children. We also ask you to complete a health declaration to ensure that you have the health and physical capacity to teach.
You should provide two references. Where applicants have current or recent experience working with children or young people, one of the referees should be a member of staff who can comment on your potential to train to teach.
Fees and financial support
The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £9,250.
You can apply for a tuition fee loan as part of your application to Student Finance England for loans and grants. Student Finance England will pay your fees direct to the University.
About the training provider
We work closely with the teams at Leeds Beckett University and the University of Huddersfield to offer primary and secondary training places across the Wakefield area. Both of the universities have successfully produced highly skilled teachers for many years. Together with their academic team and our partnership schools, we have successfully developed the Five Towns ITT Partnership. We offer placements with a large number of primary and secondary schools to ensure you gain practical school experiences and academic knowledge throughout the course to equip you with the most relevant and up to date skills for a career in teaching.
We are a small alliance so we know each of our trainees’ individual needs and can ensure placements accommodate any family commitments and additional needs.
We offer primary 5 - 11 in partnership with Leeds Beckett University a wide range of secondary courses 11-16 (with Leeds Beckett) and 11-18 ( with Huddersfield).
You will be shortlisted for interview based on your application. The interview will take place at Castleford Academy, or a partner school and typically lasts for two hours. The following selection procedures are designed to assess your suitability to train to teach:
You will be asked to teach a concept from your subject area
You will complete a literacy task to evaluate your ability to communicate effectively
You will also have an individual interview with two members of the Five Town’s partnership staff which will include a discussion about your subject knowledge.
You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:
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
We ensure candidates with disabilities and other needs are aware of the support they can access through the universities so that they have the right support in place. We also look to place candidates in schools which are best suited to their specific needs.
Castleford Academy Ferrybridge Road Castleford West Yorkshire WF10 4JQ
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
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).