This new PGCE is designed for the new Curriculum for Wales 2022 and supports the reform agenda for the professional learning of teachers.
You can follow one of two routes: the salaried route or the part-time route. Both routes include a mix of online and face-to-face sessions with mentors and practice tutors.
If you already work in a state school as a teaching assistant, or in a non-teaching role linked to learning, you can ask your school for permission to endorse you and to apply to the programme.
You’ll work in school full time while studying. In the first year you’ll divide your time equally between completing your usual duties, and dedicated practice learning periods and protected online study time. You’ll also attend a placement block in a second school in your area, where you’ll learn to teach in a different setting to your usual school environment.
In the second year, you will begin to develop autonomous practice. You’ll be able to teach for the majority of your week while retaining some protected time for study. We will work with you and your school to support the design of your timetable as your PGCE teaching commitments increase as you progress in each module.
Your application must be endorsed by your school as they will pay your salary. They will form a partnership with The Open University while you study, and will need to meet our criteria to become an employer school.
If you don’t currently work in a state school, you can still apply for the salaried route. We will work with our partners to try and locate you an employer school, subject to demand in your area.
Places on the salaried scheme are limited and there is often high demand for this route. If there are no salaried places available in your area, we may be able to offer you a place on the part- time route instead.
If the salaried route isn’t right for you, consider the part-time option. This route offers some flexibility as you’ll study towards your PGCE, and gain part-time practical teaching experience in a school, while working around your current job or other life commitments. You will need to consider and plan for how you will carry out the 2/3 days practice learning and approximately 16 hours of study per week.
Each module will begin by studying the online materials and participating in live online teaching sessions. Then we will match you to two different schools throughout the course of the two-year PGCE course, where you will be able to complete the practice learning placement days required within each module. You’ll have a total of 120 days of school placements – 60 per year. In your second year, at least 30 days of your school placements must be completed in a continuous block.
If you are already working in a school but would like to follow the part-time route, it may be possible to complete some of your school placement days in your workplace, but this is not guaranteed. It will depend on whether your school meets our Associate school criteria and agree to you following the part-time programme structure. Read more about the Associate school criteria for details.
Both routes comprise three modules. The first two modules are 30 credits each at level 6 (undergraduate) and the final module is 60 credits at level 7 (postgraduate).
All modules are compulsory, and you study them in the order specified, starting in October.
To gain this qualification, you need 120 credits as follows:
Each module involves academic study through online seminars led by your curriculum tutor; a period of school experience; and the submission of a portfolio of evidence that includes responses to academic tasks and reports from your school experience. From the start of your studies, you will engage with the medium of Welsh in a school context, building on your level at the start of the PGCE.
You’ll move from introductory familiarisation in PGCE 1 to consolidation of your learning in PGCE 2 to autonomy of teaching practice in PGCE 3. As you move through the modules, your understanding of the theories and concepts will progress. Your practical experience and assessments will prepare you for your next module and help you progress towards meeting the Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership in Wales.
Teaching across all of the modules will be through a series of practice-focused strands. You’ll develop skills from the following:
- Understanding learners
- Planning for learning
- Professional practice
Academic theory will be combined with substantial, supported experience in schools.
Salaried students will undertake practical experience at the same time as studying. Part-time students will undertake their practical experience after completing their academic study in each module. School placements will be available in Welsh medium and English medium schools.
You’ll work with your mentor, and school staff members to take on increasing teaching responsibility. You’ll move from classroom support, and planning and teaching of single lessons in PGCE 1 to planning and teaching of a sequence of lessons in PGCE 2 to responsibility for planning, resourcing and solo teaching a range of lessons in PGCE 3.
Whether you’re on the salaried or part-time route, you’ll undertake an individual classroom research project in PGCE 3. For students on the part-time route, you’ll need to complete 60 full days of teaching experience, 30 of which must be undertaken in a block (five days a week over six consecutive school weeks).
Mentors will support you throughout your school experience. They’ll mediate and facilitate regular school-based tasks, which feed into your studies.