11-16 with post-16 enhancement
Cornwall SCITT: C79
Biology: C1X1 • Chemistry: F1X1 • Physics: F3X1
Cornwall Teaching School: 19U
Biology: 25W3 • Chemistry: 25W6 • Physics: 25VY
Science has the capacity to stimulate and excite students. By linking practical experience with ideas, science can nurture curiosity and encourages young people to understand the world in which they live. Through scientific investigation, young people learn to think critically, creatively and analytically. Using these skills they come to understand how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change and impact on industry, business, medicine and other ways of improving quality of life. Students can recognise the cultural significance of science and its development, questioning and discussing science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world. For this to happen, teachers need to be skilled, inspiring and insightful. The role of the course is to draw out these attributes and develop the skills and understanding required
The most important quality that all student teachers on our course possess is a passion for science and sharing their passion with young people. Many graduates who consider teaching science hold a degree with second class honours or higher in a pure or applied science, or in a related STEM subject; they may also have experience working in a STEM career; this might be include for example, engineering, pharmaceuticals or medical work. People who make good science teachers often have a wider range of skills such as programming or fieldwork.
If you have had a break from studying your specialist subject, have developed your subject knowledge within the workplace, or hold an A Level in one or more sciences but have an unrelated degree, then you may require a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course prior to starting the training programme. SKE courses require 25 hours per week of study, although part time options are also available. Several providers offer 100% online courses so that you can complete the course around other commitments. The amount of SKE required will be determined at interview, and it is important to apply as early as possible in the application cycle if you are hoping to enrol on an SKE course in the event that you are offered, and accept, a place on the course.
Experience working with young people is always particularly beneficial, particularly experience in a UK comprehensive school observing and participating in a range of lessons, including science. During early observations it may be useful to look out for subject specific issues such as how teachers manage practical work or get students to understand abstract concepts. You will need a minimum of three days of school observation experience prior to interview and a minimum of ten days of school observation experience prior to starting the course.
The programmes are designed to cover the content specified in the curriculum for science at Key Stage 3, and your chosen science specialism from Biology, Chemistry or Physics, at Key Stage 4 and if appropriate at post-16.
The course will explore:
- The role of practical work in science
- The development of students’ grasp of key concepts such as energy and particles
- The role of assessment to inform the planning of teaching
- The balance of concepts and processes in high quality lessons
- Theories of learning about science
- Planning lessons to promote progress by all students
- Questioning and different orders of thinking
- Developing strategies to engage and enthuse
The course will explore the following issues from a subject-specific perspective:
- Lesson planning and sequences of lessons
- Meeting the needs of all pupils in the classroom
- Teaching and learning strategies and resources
- Techniques to support monitoring, assessing, recording and reporting pupil progress
- Promoting good behaviour and a positive climate for learning
Nick qualified in July 2016
I graduated from the SCITT programme in 2016, having previously worked for Pfizer in Kyoto and New York as a research chemist. Teaching was appealing because of the combination of the constant demand for science teachers but also the flexibility and the scope for working anywhere in the world.
I love science and was missing the teaching aspects of my Ph.D studies. The course was great – what surprised me was the progress I could make at every stage – I was taking lessons after only a few weeks.
I’m now teaching at Camborne Science and International Academy, including at Nexus, the STEM Centre of Excellence. Starting work has brought another set of challenges. The data and tracking systems are mind blowing in scope and complexity and expectations are really high. The best aspect though is being part of a team; the people I’ve met and work with are great. The challenges and opportunities continue – my next responsibility includes taking a group of students to Japan.
I graduated from the University of Exeter in Biological Medical Chemistry and then trained as a teacher on the SCITT programme. I had known that teaching was what I wanted to do for years and just wanted to get straight into it. My own experience of being taught was very mixed – some of the teaching was great and some wasn’t. I was inspired by the good teaching and convinced I could do better than the others!
The training year was really hard, but exceptionally good. I left it feeling well-prepared to teach. The links the course has with a wide range of schools were used very effectively. What we covered in the course was directly relevant and strongly based on good practice.
My first teaching job was in a local school and it was a good start in the profession – I learned a lot! I started my current post as Head of KS3 Science in another school within the county and I’ve been team leader since the start of this term. “We’ve got a great team; teaching’s not an easy job but I love it here.”