The course is designed to prepare student teachers to teach pupils in the 11-19 age range in the schools of today and tomorrow.
Some key features of the University of Sheffield course are:
- A small, dedicated team of tutors who provide excellent support for all students. Our tutors work with you throughout the year on all aspects of your studies.
- Excellent school partnerships. Two thirds of the course is spent in school, and many of our partnership schools are closely involved in the university-based parts of the course. Our longstanding relationships with schools enable us to ensure excellent continuity for students.
- Constant innovation. Ofsted (2011) commented on the innovative features of the training which contribute strongly to developing trainees who are reflective, self-critical and capable of working independently.
- The chance to reflect. Teaching is an intensive profession, and at the start of your career it is essential that you have the opportunity to develop skills as a reflective practitioner. During your first placement, for example, you will spend every Friday in the University sharing your experiences from the week and considering ways in which you can develop your teaching over the next week.
The Structure of the PGDE Course
In the University based part of the course, students spend roughly 75% of their time in subject groups and 25% in cross-curricular Educational and Professional Studies (EPS) groups. Secondary school experience commences during October, with students returning to the university to share and reflect on experience. A longer period of school experience takes place from the end of January to the end of May. Students complete four assignments at Masters level, exploring issues and school experience through research investigations and critical reflection. In the summer term, students undertake an Enrichment or Enhancement Experience in a different educational context.
Sample Course Outline:
A broad outline of the course is shown below:
Week 1: Key Stage 2 Experience.
Weeks 2-7: University-based sessions including Curriculum Work, Educational & Professional Studies and School Induction Days.
Weeks 8-15: School Experience 1, which consist of university-based Curriculum Work and Educational & Professional Studies.
CHRISTMAS/NEW YEAR HOLIDAYS
Weeks 16-18: University-based: Building on Experience, including Curriculum Work, Educational & Professional Studies and School Induction Days.
Week 19: School Experience 2 begins.
Weeks 19-28: School Experience 2 continues; External Examiners' visits and March Review.
Week 29-41: Trainees return to School Experience 1 and complete May Review.
Weeks 40-42: Enrichment/Enhancement Experience, arranged by students, taking place in an educational setting outside of mainstream schooling. University-based Further Professional Development, including structured analysis, reflective debriefing and preparation for NQT year.
The University of Sheffield work with over 40 schools in and around Sheffield, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. These schools are nearly all comprehensive in the secondary age range, with some upper schools, sixth form colleges and tertiary colleges for post-16 education. In addition to Sheffield itself, Ashfield School have partner schools in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. This range of inner-city, suburban and rural contexts provides rich opportunities for diverse and balanced experiences in schools.