Before you start the course
At the University of Birmingham, our PGDipEd students undertake some pre-course study in the week before they start their academic sessions here on campus. This is so that students can be prepared for Post-Graduate University teaching and learning and start to engage in, and understand, the wider educational background linked to their chosen subject area. The link for the 2019-2020 RE PGDipED pre-course will show some of the tasks you might be asked to complete if you were accepted onto the PGDipED RE pathway.
At the University of Birmingham we pride ourselves on supporting and nurturing the best Religious Education teachers, to make a real impact and difference to young learners lives. We believe that allowing you some time at the start of the course to complete independent study enables your development as engaged, reflective and driven student teachers.
The Initial Teacher Education course
The PGDipEd programme runs from early September to late June. You will undertake two substantial placements in schools – one in term one and one in terms two and three. Approximately two thirds of the year is spent in school and one third in University.
You will complete six modules, five of which require a written assignment. For the final module, University tutors and school-based mentors will share the assessment against the Teachers’ Standards for the award of QTS.
The programme includes the study of subject-based teaching methods as well as the study of broader whole school issues. The course will not pretend that teaching Religious Education is straightforward, because it is not! Our sessions will rarely be of the form of a lecture, instead we use activities and discussion as the main way of working. We will help you become aware of issues relating to planning lessons, assessment, the difference between telling students information and teaching students, how to provide learning experiences which meet the needs of students with different learning styles, how different approaches to teaching a topic can change the learning experience for students, how choice of teaching methods, resources and technology can change the sort of religious education with which students engage. Along the way we will, of course, also introduce you to the National Framework and local agreed syllabuses for religious education and you will have some opportunities to experience religion at first hand!
You will also get an opportunity to plan, resource and delivering a 6th form conference at the university of Birmingham for over 100 Year 12 and 13 pupils from local schools. This is a unique opportunity and experience and ensures you will leave your training year not only fully equipped to plan, resource and teach A Level but also with the skills of team work, planning for diversity and inclusion and the skills of conference management.
Learn more about the A Level Conference in this video.
Our whole-school issues course will provide you with breadth and depth of insight across a number of themes, including safeguarding, mental health, relationships and sex education, pastoral care and inclusion. An additional PSHE award is also available.
You will benefit from a specialist programme, working with a subject tutor and peers, developing a professional network which will sustain you into your career. You will have a personal academic tutor to guide and support you, as well as a dedicated subject mentor in both your placement schools.
The School of Education collaborates with the University of Birmingham School to offer a number of activities designed to enhance pupil experiences of learning Religious Education and your experience of learning to teach Religious Education. Examples of these activities include field trips, master classes and small group teaching.
Those students who qualified through the PgDipEd (QTS) Religious Education programme in University of Birmingham can take advantage of a generous grant scheme run by Culham St Gabriel’s Trust called 3ForRE which enables alumni to undertake the masters qualification in an affordable, manageable way. It is a unique scheme based on a three-way partnership between RE Teachers, schools and Culham St Gabriel’s Trust. Culham St Gabriel’s will pay up to £1700 per year of fees (2019) for those University of Birmingham PGDipED Religious Education alumni who undertake a dissertation on an RE theme and are accepted onto the MA Teaching Studies programme following a successful NQT year.
The Hockerill Foundation also have a grant scheme and the first deadline is 31st March each year. You can still apply in April and May, and these applications will be considered in June. However, whilst later applications will be considered, only a few applications will be approved at this later stage.