Science

The science  PGCE course recruits Biologists, Chemists and Physicists, and graduates in related areas such as Engineering, Environmental Science and Geology.

The teaching of the sciences in schools is normally organised within a single Science department or faculty to which teachers from the different sciences contribute their respective expertise.

Such a structure is reflected in the Oxford Department which, while actively recruiting for trainee teachers of the separate sciences – biology, chemistry and physics – works as a co-ordinated team of scientists.

We are looking for graduates who enjoy their subject and see its relevance to everyday life, and who wish to work with young people to help them develop their potential so that they see science as relevant, exciting and creative. 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.

We welcome applications from graduates with some years of work and life experience since graduating, as well as those coming straight from university. Rather than attempt to train all interns to teach in a particular way, we aim to build on your existing strengths – as good scientists and as mature, autonomous, motivated personalities – to help you teach in the way most suited to you and your school students.

The course aims to produce high quality teachers of the sciences across the 11-19 age range who will not only become competent teachers but will quickly become innovative leaders in their field. Interns will gain expertise in the different strategies for teaching science, and will get insights into the way that pupils learn across the whole range of attainments, aptitudes and pupil differences. Interns will learn how to turn their own subject knowledge into a form that can be appreciated by pupils and will think critically about the aims and practicalities of teaching science in schools. To attain these goals, interns work with each other, the University tutors and their mentors in schools as adult learners, motivated to take responsibility for their own learning. The learning is structured through workshops, seminars, discussions, focussed assignments, school-based activities and sympathetic, expert, supervision and support. The course is challenging, satisfying and exciting.

The science area comprises the whole top floor of one building, with a large well-equipped teaching room and a laboratory. There is a very comprehensive collection of science textbooks, videos and other ICT resources as well as more teaching support material in the Resources Room and Library. There are opportunities to prepare science lessons, in particular, by trying out practical work both here in the Department as well as in school. Between them the  six science tutors cover such subjects as biology, chemistry, physics, earth and environmental sciences and IT. All have extensive experience of teaching and are involved in curriculum developments and research in science education at national and international level.

So, if you are committed to teaching science in comprehensive schools, can demonstrate your commitment to working with children in schools through voluntary work or other experience, have a good first degree 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.

PGCE Science picture gallery

Page last modified: October 23, 2017