Teaching secondary-age children is your chance to share your passion for your subject and inspire the next generation.
Teaching children isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Every subject is different, which is why we make sure our support is centred on subject-specific knowledge, up-to-date teaching practices and, most importantly, your specific needs as a trainee teacher.
All our PGCE Secondary courses lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and the award of a level 7 Postgraduate Certificate in Education.
Our PGCE Science courses will give you the opportunity to deliver hands-on practical activities and in-depth explorations of the curriculum to best support your own teaching.
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Find out about our range of Primary and Secondary PGCE courses, the application process and financing your studies.
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About this course
Our PGCE Secondary Science with Biology course prepares you to teach in the 11 – 16 age phase. It may be possible to gain experience of teaching post 16 during your PGCE and the qualification does not preclude you from teaching post 16 once employed.
If school placements are impacted as a result of COVID-19, we will inform you before the course starts.
There are two stages to your PGCE Secondary Science with Biology course.
Stage A – Introduction to teaching (September to December)
Training at University
You’ll spend your first five weeks at University, taking part in seminars and workshops that prepare you for training in school. You will also spend several 'orientation days' in your placement school, getting to know the teaching team and pupils that you’ll be working with.
Your training will focus on:
Professional Education Studies
We use an innovative and supportive model of training which means that not only are you getting school experience from the very early weeks of the course, but that support and tuition from University and subject experts continue until you are a highly-confident new teacher. So, in Stage A, after a short two-week induction programme, you will start a school placement three days a week, which then extends to four days a week. Every Friday however you’ll return to University for SKAP sessions (see below) and support from your tutor and friends on the course.
Subject knowledge and applied pedagogy (SKAP)
In these sessions, our subject teacher experts will give you a good understanding of what it means to teach your subject. You will study the school curriculum, and understand how other expert teachers have taught it successfully. You will also learn how to plan sequences of learning that address the needs of your pupils so that you can develop your practice and have a positive impact on their learning.
Whilst you continue to benefit from one day a week of University tuition, you will also start your first school placement, which will last ten weeks. This will give you the chance to put into practice what you’ve learnt so far in a collaborative working environment. You’ll work closely with your subject mentor based in your school. Every Friday you will return to University to benefit from the support and expertise of your subject tutor, and your subject peer group.
Stage B – Developing your knowledge and preparing for your new career (January to June)
Your University-based training will comprise the same elements as Stage A, but you’ll focus on building on the knowledge you’ve already developed to prepare for your next school-based training block. After an initial week at University, you will start your second placement. Every second Friday you’ll return to University to continue SKAP tuition.
Before your second placement, you’ll again spend time in a school for one week to observe and familiarise yourself with the routine and teaching practice.
In January, you’ll start a second placement in a different school. This will give you the chance to deepen your knowledge of how students learn, and extend your practice in helping that learning, in a new context. This long placement from January until June gives you the chance to develop your practice in a school, and with pupils that you will get to know really well. This gives you a very good opportunity to make a positive impact on progress in that school.
During your second placement, you will be teaching more lessons and ensuring that you’re teaching classes from both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. At this point, you’ll become more of an independent practitioner.
The module details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.
We believe that the most effective path to becoming an outstanding teacher is a gradual one, filled with plenty of support and opportunities to put what you’ve learnt into practice in stages. That’s why we’ve designed our PGCE Secondary courses in two main stages.
Each stage consists of a University-based training block and school-based training block.
A - Introduction to teaching
September to December
Three months of integrated training, in which you’ll spend three days a week, then four days a week in school. The other days will be spent learning about your new profession and about how to teach your subject.
B – Developing your knowledge and preparing you for your new career
January to June
You’ll start a second, longer placement in this stage. Ongoing support from and fortnightly training days at University will continue until Easter, after which you will finish your placement as a full-time trainee. This stage includes targeted support and training to help you secure your first teaching job, alongside the development of your teaching skills.
Learning and Teaching
At Leeds Trinity we aim to provide an excellent student experience and provide you with the tools and support to help you achieve your academic, personal and professional potential.
Our Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy delivers excellence by providing the framework for:
- high quality teaching
- an engaging and inclusive approach to learning, assessment and achievement
- a clear structure through which you progress in your academic studies, your personal development and towards professional-level employment or further study.
We have a strong reputation for developing student employability, supporting your development towards graduate employment, with relevant skills embedded throughout your programme of study.
We endeavour to develop curiosity, confidence, courage, ambition and aspiration in all students through the key themes in our Learning and Teaching Strategy:
- Student Involvement and Engagement
- Integrated Programme and Assessment Experience
- Digital Literacy and Skills
- Employability and Enterprise
To help you achieve your potential we emphasise learning as a collaborative process, with a range of student-led and real-world activities. This approach ensures that you fully engage in shaping your own learning, developing your critical thinking and reflective skills so that you can identify your own strengths and weaknesses, and use the extensive learning support system we offer to shape your own development.
We believe the secret to great learning and teaching is simple: it is about creating an inclusive learning experience that allows all students to thrive through:
- Personalised support
- Expert lecturers
- Strong connections with employers
- An international outlook
- Understanding how to use tools and technology to support learning and development
At the end of each placement your school mentor, who will have supported you throughout your time in school, will assess your practice, using evidence from the whole of your time in school, such as from observations and lesson plans, to marking work.
You’ll complete a progress portfolio to collate evidence of your teaching practice. At the end of the course, we will use this evidence to show that you have met the Teachers’ Standards.
You’ll also complete two level 7 Master’s assignments to test your ability to be critically reflective and research-led in your approach to teaching. These will count as 60 credits towards an MA Education.
Leeds Trinity University is committed to recruiting students with talent and potential and who we feel will benefit greatly from their academic and non-academic experiences here. We treat every application on its own merits; we value highly the experience you illustrate in your personal statement.
The following information is designed to give you a general overview of the qualifications we accept. If you are taking qualifications that are not included below, please contact our Admissions Office who will be happy to advise you.
- A good honours degree with a significant proportion in Biology.
- GCSE Grade C (or 4, or accepted equivalent) in English and Mathematics. We offer GCSE equivalency tests to those who have a conditional place on the course but do not already have these qualifications. We accept GCSE equivalencies from the provider Equivalency Testing. Please contact email@example.com if you are unsure.
- Suitable personal and intellectual qualities required for teaching in secondary schools.
- Commitment, attitudes and values appropriate to that of a secondary teacher.
- The ability to read effectively and communicate clearly and accurately in spoken and written standard English.
- The capacity to meet the Secretary of State's requirements for physical and mental fitness to teach. All successful candidates will be asked to complete a health assessment as part of the entry conditions to the programme.
NB: Candidates with third-class honours degrees will be considered on an individual basis, and normally only if candidates have additional qualifications and/or significant relevant professional experience.
At Leeds Trinity, we treat every applicant on their own merits and value highly the experience you illustrate in your personal statement. Strong applicants also have experience in secondary schools.
In addition to the above essential entry requirements, successful applicants also tend to have:
- Advanced level qualifications (or equivalent) in Biology.
- Experience of observing the teaching in a secondary school in this country.
If your initial application is successful, we will invite you to the next available Interview Day.
We encourage applications from students who may not match the academic profile outlined above but who can demonstrate that they have developed their subject expertise by working for a substantial period of time supporting the teaching of Biology in a secondary school context.
An offer of a place is subject to a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure Certificate and a satisfactory medical. If you are offered a place you will be sent the information regarding both of these checks.
Please get in touch for further advice on 0113 283 7123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Leeds Trinity GCSE Equivalency
If you don’t have (or cannot provide proof of) the required GCSE qualifications, we’ll offer you the opportunity to sit a GCSE Equivalency exam when you’ve received an offer and made Leeds Trinity your firm choice. The results can only be used to progress on to programmes at Leeds Trinity University.
For information about our tuition fees please visit our Student Fees and Finance pages.
How to apply
Apply through the UCAS Teacher Training website
You can make three choices.
There’s no set deadline, but once the course is full, it will be closed to applications on the UCAS website. Complete all sections of the application form in full.
Attend an interview
If you’ve applied for a University-led or SCITT PGCE, you will be notified through UCAS Track if you’ve been invited to an Interview Day.
You’ll have an individual interview with a member of staff, which will vary depending on the course you’ve applied for. If you’re invited to an interview through our University-led route, you’ll receive an email from us that explains everything you need to know about your interview. This includes the date, time and method of interview, as well as what to prepare beforehand and what will happen on the day, so it’s really important to read this email very carefully.
For School Direct PGCEs, you may receive an email or a letter directly from the school which will clearly explain your interview date and time and what you need to prepare for your interview.
You will always be notified by UCAS Track if your application has been unsuccessful.
Read more about our PGCE Secondary University-led interviews.
Receive your offer
You’ll receive a letter letting you know if you’ve been made an offer or if you’ve been unsuccessful at the interview stage. UCAS Track will also be updated.
All offers are conditional on the following criteria being met:
- Produce evidence of qualifications
- DBS check
- Medical check
- You may be asked to do a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course to boost your subject knowledge.
Accept or decline your offer
When you’ve received decisions on all your choices, you’ll then have ten days to make your final decision on which offer(s) to decline/accept, You won’t be able to do this whilst you have applications without a final decision, this is so that you can make your final choice having all of your options open to you. You’ll do this through UCAS Track.
Present your documents
You’ll need to present your GCSE and degree certificates, your offer will explain how this will happen and you’ll be contacted later in the cycle with further details about the way in which to do this.
Receive an unconditional offer
When you’ve met all the conditions of your offer, it will become unconditional on UCAS.
Find out more
Get more information about this course and Leeds Trinity University Teacher Training with a prospectus.Request a PGCE prospectus
Teaching secondary-age children is your chance to share your passion for your subject and inspire the next generation. Teaching children isn’t aone-size-fits-all approach. Every subject is different, which is why we make sure our support is centred on subject-specific knowledge, up-to-date teaching practices and, most importantly, your specific needs as a trainee teacher.
How we’ll support you throughout your training
Our School Partnerships team will source your placements for you, taking into account your passions, preferences and personal circumstances.
You’ll be allocated a subject tutor, who will work with you to ensure you’re prepared and ready to go into school.