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Computer Studies (Secondary)

Train to be a Computer Studies teacher in a Secondary school

Subject / Phase

Computer Studies (Secondary)

Course Length

1 year

School Placements

2

UCAS Code

25DN

Academic award

PGCE

Professional award

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

Masters Credits

60

Partnered with

Sheffield Hallam University

Gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) as a teacher of computing with experience teaching Key Stages 3 to 5, and prepare for a career teaching this priority subject.

Why Train to Be a Computing Teacher?

This is a great time to become a computer studies teacher. With more children in schools learning about programming and information technology, the subject is playing a more important role than ever before.

As a computing teacher, you will:

  • be in demand; with record numbers of students opting to take computing at GCSE level,
  • help young people develop skills to succeed and excel in thriving creative industries,
  • contribute to a subject of growing importance to industry and society.

Your training will enable you to introduce young minds to the fundamentals of computing, all the way up to learning brand new programming languages. As a result, you’ll be able to plan exciting lessons that enable you to develop young people’s understanding of programming, publishing and other skill sets.

What is Life Like as a ComputingTeacher?

As a teacher of computing you will have the chance to inspire the next generation of coders, software developers, computing engineers - and probably lots of other jobs that don't even exist yet!

Your lessons will probably be a mixture of academic teaching with hands-on, practical lessons - allowing students to experience the excitement of creating from scratch. You will spend time preparing and delivering lessons, as well as setting and marking assignments, tracking student progress via data collection and feeding back to parents. Your lessons will allow students to unravel technological problems using a hands-on, trial and error approach, and will encourage them to think creatively about classroom projects.

You will also spend time keeping up to date with your subject knowledge and the latest technological developments. This is a great opportunity if you are passionate about your subject!

What Skills Do You Need to Be a ComputingTeacher?

With such a rapidly changing subject area, it's important that you are willing to keep up to date with the latest technology, and able to inspire your students to do the same. Communication skills are a core part of teaching, as well as the ability to inspire and enthuse younger people. There is a genuine ethos of continual professional development in the education world, so the willingness to take on new learning and training is very helpful. The ability to self-reflect is beneficial, as well as the desire to support young people to achieve their very best.

What Do We Cover in Computing Teacher Training?

You will be trained to teach computing at key stages 3, 4 and 5.

This includes training in university, via STSA's professional learning courses, and as part of your school placements, as detailed below:

At University

Our academic partner is Sheffield Hallam University, whose course is rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted. At university, you will have the opportunity to hone your computing skills via seminars, workshops, lectures, group work, directed tasks, written assessments and practical work. You are assessed through supportive, collaborative means, helping you to grow and improve.

In STSA Professional Learning Courses

We run a number of STSA professional learning sessions throughout the year. These days are a great opportunity for our trainees to come together, catch up and share their experiences. Our trainees tell us this is a highly valued part of our course.

Examples of topics covered include:

  • The Professional Teacher
  • Safeguarding
  • Lesson/scheme design
  • Assessment: marking and feedback
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Barriers to learning
  • Organisation of self
  • Knowledge of consecutive key stages
  • Role of SENCO
  • Behaviour management
  • Building resilience
  • Child development
  • SEND and inclusion
  • EAL and new arrivals
  • Collaborative team teaching
  • Communication with parents
  • Planning for transition
  • Careers

The STSA team are on hand throughout the course to help you with any issues or questions you may have.

During your School Placements

Our course includes high-quality placements in two of our partner schools, providing experience in contrasting settings – which is part of the Department for Education (DfE) regulations for Initial Teacher Training (ITT). Your main placement is approximately 24 weeks over the academic year, whilst your complementary placement is approximately 6 weeks. You also have a 2-day experience in a primary setting.

You will have your own mentor in each school, who will meet with you regularly and provide support and advice. They will also assess your teaching in school.

You can find out more about what to expect on our course here.

Career Development

You will always be developing as a teacher and could progress to a head of subject role, or even head of a department or faculty. Some teachers decide to specialise in pastoral work, taking on a head of key stage/year group role. From middle management, you could then progress into senior leadership as an assistant, deputy or head teacher. With multi-academy trusts growing in number, there are also new opportunities working across a number of schools, taking on responsibility for your particular subject.

You will gain:

  • A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Secondary Computing (11-16 with post-16 enhancement)
  • Qualified Teaching Status
  • 60 Masters credits

It’s a great mix of academic and professional training that really equips you for life in the classroom.

As a trainee computing teacher, you could be eligible for a £26,000 tax-free bursary if you have a first, 2:1, 2:2, Masters’ or PhD.

Alternatively, £28,000 tax-free scholarships are available to computing trainees with a 2:2 or higher in computer science or maths. These are available from the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. If your application for a scholarship is unsuccessful, you'll still be eligible for a bursary. Benefits include BCS membership, online continuous professional development training, networking and mentoring opportunities.

Eligibility

To be considered for a BCS scholarship you’ll need to have a minimum of a 2:2, or be likely to achieve a 2:2, preferably in computer science or maths.

If you don’t have a degree in either of these subjects, you’ll need to:

  • undertake a computing subject knowledge enhancement course, or
  • have a degree with an extensive amount of computing content – for example, a STEM degree
  • have a degree as well as significant professional experience as part of the computing industry.

You can find out more about eligibility on the BCS website.

Find out more about bursaries and other funding here.

Don’t hold back from applying for teacher training due to your subject confidence - you can top up your subject knowledge with a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course. These fully funded courses are available if:

  • Your degree wasn’t in your chosen subject but is closely related.
  • You studied the subject at A-Level, but not at degree level.
  • You have an unrelated degree, but relevant professional experience in the subject.
  • Or it’s been some time since you used your degree knowledge.

If you’re unsure whether you need to undertake an SKE course, please talk to us.

The course can vary from an eight-week refresher course to 28 weeks. You could also get a tax-free bursary of £200 per week to support you throughout the SKE course. Depending on the course length, in total, you could receive a bursary of £5,600 for a 28-week course or £2,400 for a shorter course of 12 weeks.

Start: September 2020

End: June 2021

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