English

The PGCE Internship programme in English is designed to prepare you to teach the subject in comprehensive schools. It aims to help you make the complex transition from having been a successful student of English in higher education to becoming a successful school teacher.

The English programme has been developed with colleagues from partnership schools in Oxfordshire and is based upon the following core principles:

  • the view that the creative, imaginative and expressive aspects of the subject have a key role in pupils’ learning
  • the view that English teachers should write for pleasure, read widely for enjoyment and participate in cultural events in their school and in the wider community
  • the view that English teachers should share their experiences as writers, readers, speakers and listeners with their pupils
  • the understanding that writing is a practice that covers a wide range of processes, functions, rhetorical situations, and categories of discourse
  • a broad view of what constitutes text and the understanding that technological innovation can change both what is considered as text, how text is prepared and how it may be interpreted
  • the importance of literature in the development and understanding of human cultures and in personal, social and ethical development
  • the importance of diversity in reading practices and the value of a range of interpretative approaches to texts
  • an understanding of the English language at word, sentence and text level recognition and respect for varieties of language and languages
  • a belief that English, as a subject, involves the development of social relationships and collaborative work
  • the inter-relationship of speaking, listening, reading and writing

In addition, the programme covers the key professional skills of:

  • lesson and course planning and preparation;
  • assessment, recording and reporting;
  • responding to individual learning needs;
  • classroom and behaviour management.

English teaching in England is subject to continuous change and development. The Internship English programme is intended to enable beginning teachers to meet the challenges of change confidently and creatively.

When people talk about the school curriculum they often mean what teachers plan in advance for their pupils to learn. But a curriculum made only of teachers intentions would be an insubstantial thing from which nobody would learn much. To become meaningful a curriculum has to be enacted by pupils as well as teachers, all of whom have their private lives outside school. By enact I mean come together in a meaningful communication – talk, write, read books, collaborate, become angry with one another, learn what to say and do, and how to interpret what others say and do. A curriculum as soon as it becomes more than intentions is embodied in the communicative life of an institution, the talk and gestures by which pupils and teachers exchange meanings even when they quarrel or cannot agree. In this sense curriculum is a form of communication.
Douglas Barnes, From Communication to Curriculum

We value your previous experience of working with young people, either on a voluntary or paid basis, but expect you to have demonstrated your interest in school teaching by spending some time in a UK secondary comprehensive school. Many of our interns have previously worked as Teaching Assistants and some have taken part in voluntary schemes that involve them working alongside children in classrooms.

So, if you are committed to teaching English in comprehensive schools, can demonstrate your commitment to working with children in schools through voluntary work or other experience, have a good first degree in English and can provide an excellent academic or work reference, you are encouraged to apply. If you think Oxford isn’t for people like you – talk to us! More than three quarters of our students have first degrees from outside Oxbridge.

No degree in English – should you apply?

We look for applicants with a good first degree in English or a first degree in another subject that involves textual study together with further degree-level work (through the Open University, for example) in English. We of course welcome applications from those with degrees in English Language or Linguistics as well as in English Literature.

PGCE English Picture Gallery

Page last modified: October 17, 2017