Physics is one of the PGCE Science subjects that we offer and there are normally around 15-18 student teachers studying each of those subjects. Within the cohort on the PGCE Science programme we find a diversity of age, experience and background. Some student teachers come straight from undergraduate studies, while others are undergoing a move from successful roles in other professions. There is no one model for learning to teach Science, but all our student teachers do share an enthusiasm for physics, the other sciences, and learning.
Our workshops at the University are designed to help you develop their subject knowledge across all the aspects of physics that are relevant to the school curriculum. You will also be developing your knowledge of biology and chemistry, enabling you to teach across the sciences to GCSE level in school. Hence, collaborative learning and teaching with student teachers from the other programmes will be an important feature of your work, with sessions at the University providing the opportunity to work in specialist and mixed subject groups.
Workshop sessions are practical and active in approach, based in our facilities in the School of Education and in “We The Curious”, an internationally renowned hands-on Science Centre in Bristol. Both venues have up-to-date school laboratories and excellent technical support. Underpinning much of the work will be the development of concepts and pedagogy in key curriculum areas such as forces, energy, and electricity. Tackling the challenging areas of physics is a key component of the programme, along with thinking about how to help young people engage with difficult topics.
We are aware that some physics applicants may have an interest in teaching mathematics. There is scope within the programme for linking up with the PGCE Mathematics programme to take part in school-based projects and to examine some of the key issues involved in effective teaching and learning of mathematics.
The PGCE Physics programme is demanding and challenging, but our student teachers enjoy and value it. Employment rates are very high with many of our physics student teachers securing jobs in schools within Bristol and the surrounding area. We also take a long-term view of teacher development; enabling trainees to find that science teacher in them that will deliver sustained good practice for a number of years. Excellent practitioners, leaders and innovators emerge from our PGCE Physics programme.