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PGCE Secondary Science (Biology) with QTS (11-16) 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.

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.

This PGCE will equip you with a range of academic and professional knowledge, understanding, skills and values necessary to become a high quality and effective teacher of Secondary Science.

The programme aims to develop reflective and critical analysis skills as well as providing practical experience in planning effective lessons, helping pupils to learn, and effective teaching and learning strategies.

Your Launchpad sessions

The Faculty of Education have organised a number of virtual Launchpad sessions. Although not all of these sessions will be relevant to your specific degree, you may find a number of these sessions useful.

Access the Launchpad sessions

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)

The following are core science specific texts that will be used in 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.
  • LIVERSIDGE, T., COCHRANE, M., KERFOOT, B. and THOMAS, J., 2009. Teaching Science. London: Sage.
  • 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.

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.

Meet your course leader: