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PGCE Secondary (11-16) Science (Biology) with QTS course preparation

Science is a fascinating and exciting subject. The concepts and nature of science have always been at the forefront of key educational, cultural, political and philosophical debates. And we’re looking forward to welcoming you onto your PGCE Secondary (11-16) Science (Biology) with QTS programme.

Educating secondary pupils and being able to inspire them to share your passion for science is one of the main reasons why people choose to train as a secondary teacher. Imagination is crucial, as is the need for patience and the ability to develop and sustain excellent relationships with pupils, communicating clearly with them and breaking down complicated concepts into manageable building blocks for learning.

We’ll support you as you develop your academic and professional knowledge, understanding, skills and the values necessary to become a high quality and effective teacher of Secondary Science.

Throughout your studies you’ll gain reflective and critical analysis skills as well as getting practical experiences in planning effective lessons, helping pupils to learn, and creating effective teaching and learning strategies. Before your studies begin, please read the information below and complete any of the tasks required.

Pre-course events

These events give you the opportunity to meet your tutors and other applicants, learn about placements, and find out more details about the course.

The pre-course day is not compulsory but we recommend you attend if you can, and you have two dates to choose from, both taking place at our Ormskirk campus:

Student Allocation Profile Survey

The survey helps the Partnership Development Team (PDT) find an appropriate professional practice placement (PPP) for you. This is done by taking as many relevant details of your personal situation into account as possible.

If you’ve got strong links to a school where you’d like to undertake a PPP please let us know. You can do this by completing our Professional Practice Allocation Form (PPAF). We’re always happy to consider these schools and have a set process in place to do so.

Academic preparation

Now is a good time to develop your knowledge further which will prepare you for the specific requirements of your course. Below are some suggestions for academic reading, this list is not exhaustive, however it will allow you to choose the books/articles/documents to read in relation to your programme.  Please note, we do not recommend rushing out to buy texts before you arrive, however you may be able to find some second hand or online.

Read and familiarise yourself with the Science National Curriculum (DfE,2013). Focus on the science programmes of study for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.

Access the Science National Curriculum (DfE 2013)

Suggested reading

You will be given lots of information about which textbooks to read and introduced to the University Library, as well as the many ebooks we have for you to access, when you begin your studies. In the meantime, you might like to begin some academic reading before starting your degree. We don’t recommend rushing out to buy texts before you arrive but if you can, try to pick some up second hand, borrow from a library or access online to read over the summer. The following list contains the core science specific text that will be used on the course:

  • BANNER, I. and HILLIER, J., eds., 2018. ASE Guide to Secondary Science Education. 4th ed. Hatfield: Association for Science Education.
  • GREEN, J., 2021. Powerful Ideas of Science and How to Teach Them. Routledge.
  • REISS, M. and WINTERBOTTOM, M., eds.,2021. Teaching Secondary Biology. 3rd ed. Hodder Education.
  • ROSS, K., McKECHNIE, J., LAKIN, L. and BAKER, J., 2015. Teaching Secondary Science: constructing meaning and developing understanding. 4th ed. London: Routledge.
  • TOPLIS, R., ed., 2015. Learning to Teach Science in Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience.4th ed. London: Routledge.
  • WATTS, M., ed., 2014. Debates in Science Education. Routledge.
  • WELLINGTON, J. and IRESON, G., 2017. Science Learning, Science Teaching. 4th ed. London: Routledge.
  • ABRAHAMS, I., 2011. Practical Work in Secondary Science: A Minds-On Approach. London; New York. Continuum.
  • REISS, M. and ABRAHAMS, I., eds., 2017. Enhancing Learning through Effective Practical Science. London: Bloomsbury.

The following are useful generic education texts:

  • CAPEL, S., LEASK, M. and YOUNIE, S., eds. ,2019. Learning to Teach in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience. 8th ed. London: Routledge.
  • DILLON, J. and MAGUIRE, M. ,eds., 2011. Becoming a Teacher: Issues in Secondary Education. 4th ed. McGraw-Hill Education.
  • WRIGHT, T., 2017. How to be a brilliant trainee teacher. London: Routledge.