The Classics PGCE at King's College, London
This course takes around 18 trainees.
King’s College London first entered the field of education in 1890, one of the earliest among British universities. The department is small enough for staff and students to know each other, offering a supportive and caring environment.
In the first half of the course, the college sessions at King’s are very much integrated with the School Experience and in their first placement students build up gradually to six hours of subject-based teaching, plus other work associated work.
The college sessions balance theory and practice and the integration of the two. Sessions include:
The place of Classics in the curriculum
Story-telling and the Iliad
Latin course design
Teaching and using drama
Assessment for Learning
Teaching beginners’ Greek
Approaches to literature
Making the most of museums (at the British Museum)
The first School Experience lasts until the end of January and during this time students are also working on their Subject Studies Assignment, teaching a lesson sequence with a focus on Assessment for Learning. During the planning-teaching-evaluating cycle, they will be asking themselves questions such as: are the pupils learning? If they are, what is the evidence for this and how can I to ensure they continue to make progress? If they aren’t, then how do I need to adjust my planning and teaching?
During the first half of the PGCE, students also follow a Professional and Policy Studies course on general educational issues, such as Inclusion, Equity and Citizenship.
In the second half of the course, students begin their second School Experience in a contrasting school. All students are required to experience a full range of teaching and this second experience gives them more scope to develop in terms of responsibility for their classes and for sequence planning over a length of time. During this placement students write the second major assignment, on an area of education which interests them and is appropriate to the school’s context, based on the issues discussed in the Professional and Policy Studies course.
Students are supported with regular feedback from their subject mentors and other colleagues and they have weekly meetings with their mentors to discuss progress. There is also tutorial support from King’s staff throughout the course and we normally visit students once in each school to discuss progress and to undertake a formal lesson observation.
At the end of May, trainees return to college, unless undertaking further school experience, for a week spent researching an area of interest, such as out-of-school learning or students for whom English is an additional language.
The Classics PGCEs at King’s and at Cambridge are very competitive and we are looking for Classicists with communication and presentation skills. Applicants for the PGCE should have spent at least one day observing Classics being taught in a state secondary school, preferably a comprehensive. Where this is not possible, observing another subject (for example, English, history, modern foreign languages) is essential. Experience of working in a school or in another setting requiring flexibility and ability to work with people is advantageous.
We receive many enquiries as to whether there are enough Classics teaching jobs and I would like to reiterate, as would Steven I am sure, that the jobs are definitely out there and a quick search of the internet will confirm the Classics teacher’s employability in the 21st century.
For full application details to the King’s College London PGCE, visit the PGCE admissions page.
For further details about the PGCE in Classics at King’s College London, Aisha Khan-Evans, Lecturer in Classics Education, who is responsible for organising and delivering much of the course, can be contacted by email.