The Religious Education PGCE course, supports and prepares trainees to reflect on their practical teaching in schools. Trainees will have the opportunity to develop teaching styles that are personally exciting, as well as the courage, commitment and practical skills to try out and evaluate styles with which they are unfamiliar. The course meets all the necessary professional requirements, but we want trainees to kindle their own imagination and flair, and to harness these in the interests of excellent Religious Education teaching.
The course lays the foundations for self-critical, constantly improving classroom practice, inclusive of all kinds of learners. We aim to help trainees become more than just confident, effective teachers meeting the Teacher Standards. Trainees will enter the profession ready to participate in an influential career, not only inspiring pupils but also playing a distinctive part in teams or communities concerned with improving pupils’ knowledge and disciplinary thinking, challenging existing conceptions of practice and developing Religious Education’s place in the curriculum. Trainees are preparing to inspire other professionals, as well as pupils!
The teaching of Religious Education has a long and established tradition in schools with creative and engaging resources and an approach to teaching and learning underpinned by years of experience and research. As a teacher of Religious Education you will encourage students to think about religion and belief; you will guide them to develop the skills of enquiry, investigation and interpretation; you will move them toward reflection on and evaluation of their own beliefs and those of others. The course aims to develop practical teaching skills and a critical awareness of relevant issues in education that will enable trainees to make a significant contribution to professional communities beyond the confines of a single school, locally, nationally and sometimes internationally. They will influence significant debate about Religious Education curriculum or pedagogy, and about the impact of Religious Education on the wider curriculum and learning.
Although the content covered may seem a little daunting, the course is not crammed with lectures and note taking. The module is taught through a variety of teaching methods that require trainee’s participation. Presentations, group work, directed activities, outside workshops, role play, focused reflection, and sharing school based experiences are all essential elements of a successful course and will demonstrate the principles of effective teaching and learning. As trainees progress through the programme, they will learn to provide effective learning experiences and progressively reflect more critically on the nature of Religious Education as a subject.