Teaching in Secondary Schools. Department of Education and Children. Rheynn Ynsee as Paitchyn

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1 Teaching in Secondary Schools Department of Education and Children Rheynn Ynsee as Paitchyn October 2014

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3 Teaching in Secondary Schools Education and Training Unlike teachers in primary schools, secondary teachers are almost always specialists in one or two subjects. To gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you need to take your studies to at least degree level. Teaching in secondary schools is a hugely rewarding job, though it can also be challenging. As well as knowing their own subject well, teachers have to be able to engage their pupils with learning, to capture their attention and enthuse and inspire them in a lively way. On top of that, they need good communication and organisational skills, firmness and patience. Qualifying as a Teacher To qualify as a secondary school teacher, the traditional Initial Teacher Training (ITT) route has been to take a degree in the subject you wish to teach (or a degree in a closely related subject), followed by a one-year, full-time Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). A less usual route (more used by primary school teachers) is to study for a BEd, BA or BSc with QTS, specialising in your subject. Increasingly, teachers are being trained by school-based approaches variously known as Schools-Direct, School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) and Teach First. For entry onto a degree course, a minimum of two A levels, or the equivalent, is generally required. All applicants to teacher training are expected to have GCSE at grades A*-C in English and Mathematics (or equivalent qualifications). A GCSE in Science at grade A*-C is a requirement of all candidates born

4 after 1st September 1979, who intend to teach pupils at primary (aged 4-11years) or in middle schools (aged 7-14 years). The subjects in which you can be trained to teach at secondary level include all those that are usually provided for year olds: English, Maths, Science, Design and Technology, ICT, History, Geography, Modern Foreign Languages, Music, Art and Design, Physical Education, Religious Education, Citizenship and Drama. You can also train to teach other subjects that are offered in schools at GCSE and A level, such as Business Studies, Sociology, Economics and Psychology. For people who want to teach but need to boost their subject knowledge, there are special courses particularly in shortage subjects. Students from the Isle of Man on secondary PGCE courses are entitled to receive UK training bursaries that range between 0 and 25,000 depending on the subject and the class of degree held by the applicant. The highest award is for those with a first class degree training to teach Mathematics, Computing, Physics, Chemistry and Languages. Other routes into teaching include part-time, flexible or distance-learning PGCE courses. These routes may provide a limited opportunity for graduates who are unable to, or who would prefer not to leave the Island to take a PGCE. However, these courses, when completed entirely in the Isle of Man, would give Manx Qualified Teacher Status, which is not recognised outside of the Isle of Man. There is an additional ITT route through Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education by which persons employed with a teaching role can study for a Certificate of Education leading to Qualified Teaching and Learning Skills status (QTLS). Provided that they have a degree in an area of the school curriculum, this would provide them with a recognised qualification for secondary school teaching.

5 Job opportunities in teaching will depend on the subjects you can offer and where you can work. Subjects with the greatest shortage of suitable applicants vary but usually include Mathematics, Science (particularly Chemistry and Physics), Modern Foreign Languages, English, ICT, and Design and Technology. There are no legal requirements for teachers in independent schools to have QTS, but many such schools insist on it. Mathematics and Science Mathematics and Science are two of the most important subjects in the curriculum. There is a shortage of Mathematics and Science teachers, and those who do train to teach Mathematics or Science (especially teachers of Chemistry and Physics) usually find they have a wider choice of vacancies and more promotion opportunities than teachers of other subjects. Combined science is usually taught at Key Stage 3 (lower secondary) and it is an advantage for a science teacher who has a degree in Biology to offer a second science subject at Key Stage 4 (GCSE level). English and Drama In secondary schools, teaching English and/or Drama can mean getting a group of thirty 11 year olds to write stories in one lesson and in the next, teaching a small group at AS and A level English Literature or Media. English teachers can be involved in all sorts of communication activities, besides the teaching of grammar and literature. Drama plays an important role in helping pupils to develop self-confidence and imagination; many schools offer Drama GCSE. There are courses at specialist drama colleges; but it would still be necessary to obtain Qualified Teacher Status to teach in a state school.

6 ICT and Computing The way Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is taught in schools is changing, with the computing curriculum becoming increasingly focused on computer science and creative engagement with technology. This change is fuelling a demand for more teachers to inspire young people and build their understanding of how computers work, as well as how to use them. ICT is no longer offered as an Initial Teacher Training (ITT) teaching subject. Instead, you can now apply for a computing or computer science ITT programme. This will give you the tools to embrace the computing curriculum and teach pupils how to apply their knowledge and skills to emerging technologies. Modern Languages To become a language teacher, it is important to have spent some time in the country of your specialist language; time abroad is usually included in modern language degree courses. Teachers are often expected to offer two languages, the second having been studied at least to A level. If you hold a joint honours degree in a modern language and another subject, to check that your degree meets the PGCE course entry requirements. You may be accepted for postgraduate training with a degree-equivalent qualification in your language. Again, check with individual institutions. Art and Design It may be possible to undertake a PGCE Art and Design course after a degree in a non-art subject, but only if you have considerable art and design experience. For entry to a degree course in Art and Design, the usual route is an art foundation course, normally following one or more A levels, a BTEC

7 National qualification or an A level in applied Art and Design at a college of further education. Design and Technology This involves designing and making products from all kinds of materials and therefore can involve teachers with a wide range of qualifications and experience. Design and Technology may be taught alongside Art and Design, or as a standalone subject. Within a Design and Technology department, there are likely to be teachers of Electronics, Graphic Design, Production, Food and Textiles. Physical Education Teacher training providers normally look for graduates who have taken PE or Sports Science as at least part of their course. Sports Science may enable you to teach Science as well as PE, depending on the course content. There are also specialist BEd courses. A levels (and equivalent qualifications) in Leisure and Recreation are acceptable for entry to many initial teacher training undergraduate level courses for Physical Education teaching. However, some courses look for another A level to be offered alongside. BTEC National qualifications in Sports Science are also acceptable for many courses. Always check carefully with individual teacher training courses about entry qualifications. Think ahead to when you are older. As the physical aspects of the job become less attractive and more arduous, your second subject may take priority. Other subjects The typical route into teaching would be to take a degree course in the subject you plan to teach (e.g. Geography, History or a similar, relevant subject) and then a PGCE course. Some degrees, if they are not linked to subjects being taught in

8 secondary schools, will not allow you access to a PGCE course. There will always be more opportunities for teachers who can offer a subject that is taught to all pupils in the first three years of secondary school (Key Stage 3), as well as at GCSE and A level. Pay and prospects In 2014 newly qualified teachers started on a minimum of 22,023 on a scale which progresses to 32,187. After completing an induction year, teachers can apply to take on additional teaching and learning responsibilities. When they reach the top of the main pay scale, they can then be considered for a move onto the upper pay scale. An experienced teacher with responsibility for leading a faculty in a large secondary school would attract a salary in excess of 50,000. Secondary head-teachers, in recognition of the considerable responsibility they have for large budgets, often more than 100 teaching and non-teaching staff and hundreds of pupils, can be paid more than 90,000 in large schools. In parts of the UK where heads may take responsibility for more than one secondary school, salaries can be considerably higher. Teaching as a stepping stone Some teachers may plan to teach for several years and then do something different. Teachers develop transferable skills that would be useful in many other areas of employment. Teachers may take on advisory posts within education or adult training roles. They develop good skills in communication, time management and IT, and they are able to work independently and as part of a team. Such skills are widely in demand.

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12 Published by: Department of Education and Children Hamilton House Peel Road Douglas Isle of Man IM1 5EZ Tel: website:

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