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PGCE Secondary History with QTS (11-16) course preparation

Educating young adults and being able to inspire them to share your passion for a particular subject 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, professional and vocational knowledge, understanding, skills and values necessary to become a high quality and effective teacher of History

The programme aims to develop reflective and analytical 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.


Subject knowledge audit

Please complete the Subject Knowledge Audit and bring it with you for your first teaching session in September – don’t worry if there are lots of gaps! You are encouraged however to start enhancing your subject knowledge, especially on Medieval and Early Modern Histories.


Getting to know the curriculum

Download copies of these key documents:

  1. The National Curriculum for History (for teaching from Sept 2014)
  2. The Historical Associations’ Guide to Progression in History under the 2014 National Curriculum
  3. Ofsted 2021 Research Report [History]

After reading these three documents, please write up to two sides of A4 in answer to the following questions:

  1. How would you summarise the key aims of school History as set out in these documents?
  2. What understanding of the nature and purpose of History do you feel underpins these aims?
  3. To what extent do the visions of History in these documents cohere with your own?

Use the search feature on the HA website to find the “information” pages on the following key terms. Write your own definitions of them. You should bring these definitions with you in September.

  • Substantive knowledge and substantive concepts
  • Second Order concepts
  • Causation; similarity & difference; significance; interpretations; change & continuity

Suggested websites

Now is a good time to develop your knowledge further.  Here are some suggested websites to visit:


Subject (content) knowledge reading

Your tasks:


Join the Historical Association

If you haven’t already joined the Historical Association then this is highly recommended. We are particularly interested in their journal Teaching History, that covers both theory and practice in addition to subject knowledge development.

Join the Historical Association

Join the Chartered College

You should also sign up to join the Chartered College of Teaching (this is free!)

Join the Chartered College of Teaching

Suggested reading for ‘Preparing to Teach’

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.

Teaching history in secondary schools:

Educational matters in the secondary sector

General issues


Suggested documentaries

Use the boxes below to find a list of suggested documentaries to watch:

Year 8


Meet your course leader:

Rhonwen Bruce-Roberts