The PGCert primary programme at Brunel offers you the opportunity to qualify as a teacher of children across the whole primary age range 5-11 years with an emphasis in either the 5-8 or the 7-11 age range. It is a one-year full-time course that equips graduates to teach in primary schools.Entry Requirements
Applicants are required to hold a good UK honours degree (or an equivalent qualification accepted by the University), normally 2:1 or above, in a National Curriculum or Education related subject area.
Applicants must have GCSE English, Maths and Science grade A*-C and must hold these qualifications at the point of application. Equivalent overseas qualifications, if accepted by the University, will be considered.
Core subject skills tests are conducted on interview day and the results will be used to support the outcome of the interview process.
Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to being a Primary School Teacher and are normally expected to have undertaken an equivalent of four full time weeks experience in a primary school setting, at least two weeks of which must have been in the academic year prior to application. All four weeks should be within the previous three years. Dates and settings must be clearly indicated on the application.
It is preferable that all four weeks should be undertaken in an English state primary school. Particular circumstances (e.g. home base is abroad) may mean that some applicants find this difficult to achieve; however, a minimum of two weeks experience in an English state primary school is a mandatory pre-condition of offer for all applicants and must be met by mid-June in the year the course commences (the exact date will be confirmed in your offer).
Applicants are required to demonstrate knowledge gained from their school experience at both application and interview stage.
Should you be successful in gaining a place on the course, you will be required to secure a two-week, pre-course, initial school experience (ISE) opportunity in key stages one and two, and one day in a secondary school. This must be completed in September prior to the commencement of the course (mid-September). This is in addition to any other experience that may have been specified in our offer. This ISE is a requirement of the course and candidates will not be able to register on the course if this has not been completed. Please note that the ISE tasks represent the first phase of the training programme and must, therefore, be undertaken within English state schools.Pre-professional Course SkillsEssential
Recent and relevant experience of state school primary education in England. This may involve working as a teaching assistant or voluntary work over a sustained period of time.
This experience must be for a minimum of two weeks in the academic year prior to the commencement of your PGCert training.DesirableIdeally pre-professional preparatory school experience should be across two phases of education i.e. Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Evidence that you have planned, delivered and reflected on teaching or coaching episodes to pupils or young people in either educational contexts or within a learning community.The Application ProcessFollowing receipt of your application form from the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR), there are three stages:
Initial screening by the Admissions Office for status, degree classification and GCSE requirements. In the case of some overseas qualifications, Brunel International may be consulted about the equivalence of these with British qualifications;
Applications will then be passed to admissions tutors for the PGCert course you are applying to. The form will be scrutinised according to the criteria set out above. In addition, your application may highlight any questions or areas that tutors may ask or explore if you are invited for an interview;
If you are invited for an interview, the criteria set out above will again be used to assess your application. The interview will involve: documents checks by Admissions Office staff; an introduction to the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCert) course with the Brunel Primary Partnership; a written exercise and subject knowledge audit for English and mathematics; a group interview involving a discussion about issues in primary education with members of the Primary Partnership.
Following the interview we will consider all components of the process and will inform you of our decision as soon as possible.
It is important to realise that the above criteria are the ones we will use in assessing your application. Judgements, using these criteria, are based on our considerable experience as primary school teachers and university-based teacher trainers, judgements from school-based colleagues who are part of the Brunel Primary Partnership and are validated by regular quality enhancement procedures from Brunel University, the Brunel Primary Partnership Management Group and by the cycle of rigorous Ofsted inspections carried out on a national basis.
Should you be successful in gaining a place on the course, you will be required to secure a two-week pre-course initial school experience (ISE) opportunity in key stages one and two, and one day in a secondary school. This must be completed prior to the commencement of the course (mid-September) but please bear in mind that schools will be closed from mid-July to early September, so we strongly advise that you arrange this by July. This ISE is a requirement of the course and candidates will not be able to enrol on the course if this has not been completed. Course AimsThis programme offers you the opportunity to qualify as a teacher of children in the age range 5-11 years.
It is a one-year full-time course that equips graduates to teach in primary or secondary schools. The University works in partnership with local schools for initial teacher education through an associate tutor system (teachers in school who act as mentors during school placements) which not only helps to ensure that courses are meeting the needs of schools but also gives students a sound appreciation of the profession.
The intensive programme combines courses in principles and methods of teaching with practical school-based teaching placements and students are assessed on both elements. Course ContentStudents talking about their experiences on the PG Cert Course
Students take all the primary National Curriculum subjects, with the exception of Design and Technology and Geography, through teaching experiences at the University and in partnership schools. Personal, social and health education, together with citizenship, are also featured on the course, with complementary work undertaken in schools. The course aims to equip students to teach across the whole primary age range with an emphasis in either the 5-8 or the 7-11 age range.
Trainees will study the equivalent of four modules at Masters level giving 60 M-Level credits which can be counted towards appropriate Master's Degrees at Brunel and at many other Universities. The modules focus on the core National Curriculum subjects and Special Educational Needs; ICT across Foundation Subjects and General Professional Studies.
Modules (all core)
Developing Cross-Curricular Approaches
Investigating Professional Practice
Learning, Teaching and Assessing the Primary Curriculum
QTS Skills Test
Developing Cross-Curricular Approaches
The National Curriculum for Information and Communications Technology for Key Stages 1 and 2, with reference to the Foundation Stage curriculum and Key Stage 3
Ways in which the web, e-mail, CDROM, DVD and multimedia sources can enhance teaching and learning in schools
The educational potential of software and hardware such as IWB
Thorough understanding of aspects of planning, organising and managing ICT activities in the classroom
The assessment of pupils’ capability in ICT through the application of various methodologies
The impact of technology on communication and New Literacies within education, including the use of word processing, DTP presentation software and web applications
The National Curriculum for Foundation subjects (art, music, modern foreign languages, history, physical education) and religious education with reference to Key Stages 1 and 2 and appropriate reference to the curriculum for the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 3
Curriculum theory relating to cross-curricular work.
Teaching styles and strategies
Investigating Professional Practice
Lesson planning for teaching and learning, including differentiation
Evaluating teaching and learning in relation to precise objectives
Researching learning and teaching
Establishing and maintaining order in the classroom
Key teaching skills
Working with other adults (including support staff and parents) and developing key interpersonal skills
Government guidelines and statutory and legal frameworks, including the ‘Code of Practice for Pupils with Special Educational Needs’ and ‘Every Child Matters’
Meeting the needs of children with EAL
Meeting the needs of the most able pupils Learning, Teaching and Assessing the Primary CurriculumThe National Curriculum for English for Key Stages 1 and 2, and insights into the relevant aspects of the curriculum for the Foundation Stage and KS3
The National Literacy Strategy
Subject knowledge for teaching English, including phonics, handwriting, spelling, grammar
children’s literature, poetry and drama
SEN specific to English/Literacy (e.g. dyslexia)
Assessment specific to reading, writing, speaking and listening (e.g. Miscue Analysis)
The National Curriculum for Mathematics for Key Stages 1 and 2 and relevant aspects of the curriculum for the Foundation stage and KS3
The National Numeracy Strategy
Subject knowledge for teaching mathematics, including written and mental calculation strategies, the nature of the four operations, problem solving and investigative work, shape, space and measurement, data handling and the effective use of ICT in mathematics teaching
SEN specific to numeracy (e.g., dyscalculia) and the effects of other types of SEN (eg autism) on mathematical achievement.
The National Curriculum for Science for Key Stages 1 and 2
The QCA guidelines for the teaching of science.
Subject knowledge for teaching science, including the main aspects of life processes and living things, materials and their properties and physical processes.
Subject knowledge and understanding of approaches and strategies to promote the development of children’s science process skills.
SEN specific to science.
Theories of learning, teaching and assessment
Nature and interpretation of assessment
Assessment systems, instruments and techniques, including assessment for learning
Public policy and SEN
The Code of Practice for pupils with SEN
Inclusive practice in mainstream schoolsSchool ExperienceTrainees normally spend eight weeks in school for the first School Experience module and the final synoptic module is compulsory for all trainees (usually of eight weeks). QTS Skills TestThis is a pass/fail dummy module employed on teacher training programmes within the School of Sport and Education to indicate when students have successfully passed all the TDA National Skills tests. The module allows exam board paperwork to clearly illustrate whether the requirement for Standard Q16 in Numeracy, Literacy and Information and Communications Technology (for recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status) has been achieved for which students.
Through school-based learning the course also focuses on a range of professional issues relevant to teaching in a primary school. For example, the legal responsibilities of teachers, personal tutoring, working with parents.
In common with all PG Cert / PGCE courses, approximately 50% of the course takes place in schools. School experience includes visits to a link school, serial school experience and two blocks of full-time school experience. The schools where this takes place are all in partnership with Brunel University which gives you as trainees many added benefits. There are two formal teaching placements.
Before beginning the University-based part of the course, you are required to arrange two weeks of structured observation in a primary school. AssessmentYou are assessed through module assignments and by assessment of the Teaching Practices.
As the PG Cert is a professional course, full attendance is required both in college and during Serial and Block Practices.
In addition to the above, all trainees are required to take and pass the DfES / TDA QTS Skills Tests in English, Mathematics and ICT.
Recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status will be made by the Education Examination Board for all those who successfully demonstrate the Standards for QTS as shown in the requirements for University and school-based work; and also successfully pass the required QTS Skills Tests.Special FeaturesThe primary centre has well-equipped resource bases including study areas, and a computer area where you can become familiar with hardware and software used in schools. We also have our own fully-equipped computer classroom. There is ample library provision, including a special children's library and youth services provision in the local area.
At Brunel we welcome applications fronm students with disabilities. Our Dyslexia and Disability Service has a particularly successful track record of supporting students on the Primary PGCE course.