|Following the Ofsted inspection in February 2011, the Bristol PGCE was awarded 'Outstanding Provider Status'|
The Graduate School of Education works in partnership with local schools, colleges and academies to deliver two teacher training routes:
Together we manage, design and work jointly on all aspects of the experiences needed to enable student teachers to achieve the Teachers’ Standards and become effective professional practitioners. This enables us to integrate the work of the programme in placement institutions and at the university throughout the year, allowing student teachers to learn alongside effective teachers and to reflect on their experiences to develop their own teacher identities.
This effective partnership was recognised in our latest Ofsted inspection, in February 2011, which identified some of our strengths as:
· The effective procedures to recruit well-qualified, reflective trainees
· The high quality of personalised support from both the provider and partner schools
· The positive impact of university expertise on the professional development of teachers within partnership schools
· The strong support for the provider from schools in the partnership who value the supply of high-quality teachers
We gained ‘Outstanding Provider’ status from this inspection.
Both routes offer one-year, full-time secondary initial teacher education courses in the following subjects:
We aim to educate student teachers who are experts in their subjects to develop the pedagogical understanding needed to enable school students to access the subjects and make progress in learning. For more details about the individual subjects click on the links above.
We recruit student teachers from a range of different backgrounds, cultures and experiences. Our student teacher cohort typically includes people from across the UK who have just completed their final year at university, or who have higher degrees or who have decided to become teachers after a period in another occupation or after a career break. We also recruit some student teachers from EU countries. We always receive many more applications than the numbers of places allocated to us by the Teaching Agency. It is therefore advisable to apply early before courses fill.
For further information about either of the teacher training routes we deliver please follow the links above.
Jayne Prior, PGCE Programme Director (Partnership)
Janet Orchard, PGCE Programme Director (University)
The programme is a minimum of 36 weeks in duration and starts in mid-September. Its structure may be most conveniently described in terms of three major components, though the timetable and approach underline the intention that they are strongly interrelated. In addition the GSoE has strong links that allow some student teachers to benefit from international contacts. The components are:
Main subject work, which continues throughout the year, is offered in:
The subject tutor works closely with a team of experienced teachers in designing and teaching the course and in selecting and assessing student teachers. Further details of these programmes are provided in the subject specific links.
Your work in this area comprises university- and school-based activities covering topics such as:
Your coursework assignment in EPS starting in the Autumn term and continuing through the Spring term will give you the opportunity to focus on one of two themes.
These themes are provisionally titled:
The programme starts with a period of experience in a primary school of your choice, normally one near where you live. This work will enable you to consider the child's experience before entering secondary school and to begin to identify issues of teaching and learning in a school environment.
During the first term, you will begin with preliminary visits to a secondary school in preparation for a period of approximately five weeks in that school.
The main school practice will take place through the whole of the school spring term, in a different school from that visited in the first term.
Student teachers are allocated to secondary schools of all types in the Bristol area and in Somerset, Gloucestershire, South Wales and Wiltshire.
Student teachers are assisted in their practical teaching both by Associate Tutors, specially trained teachers who act as mentors in the schools and by their subject tutors, or other specialists appointed for the purpose.
In the third term there is a further period of school experience.
Main subject work is a major time commitment on the programme.
This is normally the subject in which you have specialised during your degree studies.
You will be helped to think about its nature, to re-experience it for yourself and to consider its relevance to pupils in schools and its relationship to other subjects in the school curriculum.
Main subject work, which continues throughout the year, is offered in:
The subject tutor works closely with a team of experienced teachers in designing and teaching the programme and in selecting and assessing students. Further details of these programmes are provided in the subject-specific pages.
The University has an active equal opportunities policy and applications are particularly welcome from graduates from minority ethnic backgrounds and those with disabilities. We are a member of the Positive Action Training Hub (PATH) a consortium of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers in the South West region, working together with the government and local authorities in the region to address under representation in the teaching profession.
Prospective applicants with disabilities are encouraged to visit Disability Services to identify the range of services and provision available and to make contact with both Disability Services staff and the PGCE Office to discuss any potential need for support. We encourage applicants and student teachers to be open about disability and be confident that we have a commitment to manage disability issues positively. Judgements at interview are only focussed upon academic and professional requirements.
Applications are made through UCAS Teacher Training which acts as the clearing house for admissions to PGCE programmes across the UK
Applications can be made from 21 November 2013 and throughout the year, depending on vacancies.
The generic selection criteria for all subjects is as follows:
The selection criteria will be assessed initially using evidence from the UCAS Teacher Training form and, if called for interview, from the range of activities on the interview day. Interviews are conducted by a subject tutor often with a school teacher from a local partnership school. Although the way interviews are conducted varies between subjects, when candidates are invited to interview typically this will include: making a presentation, engaging in a group discussion with their peers, completing a variety of interview tasks and having an individual interview.
It would be helpful if applicants to the PGCE at Bristol could book their Skills Tests as soon as they have made their UCAS Teacher Training application and confirm the date of the tests to us. Candidates will be at an advantage if they have passed the tests by the time they are interviewed.
For further information on the tests and how to book, please see the Teaching Agency pages on the DfE's website.
It is PGCE programme policy, in line with DfE (Department for Education) regulations, to interview all short-listed candidates before a place is offered. Candidates are expected to attend interview in Bristol in person. We do not conduct telephone or Skype interviews. Wherever possible, staff from our partnership schools are involved in the recruitment of candidates to the PGCE, including taking part in the interview process.
It will help you to read the Educational Press and to talk to teachers and those currently undertaking teacher training.
The best preparation for interview is a visit to a school. If you are considering a career in teaching this is one of the first steps you should take. Even if you left school only recently you will be surprised at how different it is when seen from the perspective of the teacher.
You should try to secure some observation in a comprehensive school in the state sector and observe some lessons in your subject area with students in the 11-16 age range.
It is important that you have some letter of introduction since schools are rightly wary of unknown visitors. The University of Bristol will normally require you to make a school visit, preferably before interview, and will supply you with a letter of introduction if you are offered an interview.
When you visit a school be sure to talk to teachers and students and participate in lessons if you are encouraged to do so. Try to evaluate what is being learned and the way in which the teacher encourages this learning.
You will be expected to discuss your observation visit at interview and to be able to go beyond a description of what you have seen by analysing the experience and showing an understanding of the deeper processes. It may well help to take notes and to refer to these at the interview.
Prior to admission to the programme, all students are required by the DfE to have:
We do not offer equivalence tests for the GCSE Mathematics and English requirements and we do not accept equivalence tests.
We do not accept the Adult Literacy and Numeracy qualification or Access course qualifications as equivalences of GCSE Mathematics and English.
Candidates wishing to teach Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics, but with insufficient subject content in their degrees, may be accepted on the programme conditional on successfully completing a Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics Enhancement course (PEC/CEC/MEC). These run from January to July in various locations including Bath.
Candidates wishing to teach a shortage subject and needing to strengthen their subject knowledge may wish to attend a subject knowledge booster course run in August in various locations including Gloucester.
All students are required to undertake prescribed medical formalities before starting the PGCE. A University of Bristol Health Questionnaire and other required documentation are automatically sent to candidates holding an offer prior to the start of the programme.
Any offer is conditional upon the satisfactory receipt of an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service and medical clearance from the University of Bristol. Details will be provided in your offer letter.
If you are offered a place you will be expected to take it up in the next academic year. If you cannot take up a place in the next academic year, you must re-apply through UCAS Teacher Training. All offers are subject to the verification of admission requirements.
If you are offered a place you will be asked to confirm online with UCAS Teacher Training. We ask you to consider this acceptance most seriously as it is a formal undertaking to take up the place.
Holding a place governs the offers which can be made to other applicants. The number of places is strictly limited and it is essential that the University fills its quota in each subject.
If you withdraw your acceptance, particularly after July, you are likely to be denying an opportunity to other candidates.
In 2013/14, the University of Bristol will be charging £9,000 tuition fees for the PGCE course. The fees for 2014 will be updated here as soon as they are available.
UK/Home and EU students will not have to pay the fees up-front and can apply for a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of the fees.
Students from England should apply to Student Finance England for a tuition fee loan.
Information about training bursaries for the PGCE starting in 2014 is now available from the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) pages on the DfE website.
Extract from Training Bursary Initial Eligibility Guidance:
The bursary awards are not taxable; however may be treated as capital income for the purposes of assessing income for trainees in receipt of state benefits, as with student maintenance loans. Providers are advised to direct trainees towards their local benefits office to check whether this may affect their state benefits.
In 2014/15, the University of Bristol will offer a financial support package for PGCE students, delivering:
Please ensure you read the full Terms and Conditions (PDF 206.5Kb) before applying. An application form (Word document 85.5Kb) can be downloaded and should be returned by the deadline of 9am on Friday 1st August 2014.
For further information on financial support available including government support please visit the fees and funding website.
Alumni of the Bristol PGCE may find this information useful
If you require a transcript of your PGCE studies or a confirmation letter, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you require a replacement PGCE certificate, please contact the Exams Office on email@example.com