Biology  (11-16 age range QTS)

Subject Information

The School Direct PGCE course will help you to develop the professional skills and knowledge you need to teach all aspects of science to pupils at least up to age 16, as well as biology to pupils aged up to 18. We are committed to creative approaches to teaching science, and you will be encouraged to develop resources during the programme. The experienced tutors have previously been classroom teachers and heads of school science departments, and have worked in industry. They are actively involved in science education research, work on national curriculum development, and lead sessions for Science Learning Centre London.

You will acquire a critical understanding of current debates and issues relating to science education and, particularly biology, and we will guide and support you in developing your subject knowledge. You are expected to engage with reading and research in science education and to regularly reflect upon your own progress.

The PGCE course covers health and safety, management of teaching and learning in laboratories and outdoors, the use of ICT, facilitating small group discussion, meeting pupils’ special needs, and assessment. The facilities include a suite of laboratories and a micro-computing laboratory. You will also have the opportunity to teach outside the classroom in a variety of London venues such as Kew Gardens

Biology subject entry requirements

You should have a good degree in biology or biology related subject (including psychology), or a joint degree with biology as the major component (i.e. at least two years of biology studies at undergraduate level). We expect you to have a good basic knowledge of biology, chemistry and physics, and be willing to learn more.

We normally expect you to have an A level in biology and one other science subject at minimum grade D, or the equivalent. Applicants without these qualifications may be accepted if they have acquired knowledge through other routes (e.g., work experience). You must have good practical skills and technical know-how. We particularly welcome applicants who have worked with young people in a variety of settings.

We expect you to have at least observed science lessons in secondary schools before your interview.