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Geography (Secondary)

Train to be a Geography teacher in a Secondary school

Subject / Phase

Geography (Secondary)

Course Length

1 year

School Placements

2

UCAS Code

25DS

Academic award

PGDE

Professional award

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

Masters Credits

120

Partnered with

University of Sheffield

Prepare for a career teaching Geography at key stages 3, 4 and 5 levels, with subject practice at the heart of your experience.

Why Train to Be a Geography Teacher?

Good geography teachers are sought-after by schools, so you will be joining a profession where you are valued and appreciated. Your teacher training will set you up for long-term success on a career path where you get to use your knowledge to inspire young people’s interest in the world and its environment. You’ll develop the skills to devise and deliver enlightening lessons to teach pupils about our planet’s people, places, landscapes, processes and natural history.

If you want to train as a Geography teacher, then Sheffield is a great choice! The city and its surroundings provide an interesting area for local studies and field-work. The border of the Peak District National Park is within five miles of the University of Sheffield and the towns and cities of South Yorkshire provide good examples of urban renewal and redevelopment. Furthermore, the national headquarters of the Geographical Association (GA) is in Sheffield and student teachers are expected to become active members of the GA.

What is Life Like as a Geography Teacher?

Geography teaching incorporates classroom-based teaching, field trips and lots of opportunity to get involved with extracurricular activities. You will work with colleagues in your department to engage students in the subject, encouraging them to study it at each stage - but also to appreciate the world around them. You will provide them with the opportunity to develop their understanding of local, national and international issues which shape their lives now and in the future.

Creating lessons, setting assignments and assessing students are all part of the job, as well as communicating with parents about students' progress. It helps if you are a team player and can work effectively with colleagues within your department and the wider school.

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Geography Teacher?

A passion for your subject is essential, as well as the skill to engage with students and encourage them to question and explore the subject further. It helps if you have good communication and organisational skills, as well as patience and empathy. Above all else, you need to be committed to helping students achieve their true potential.

What Do We Cover in Geography Teacher Training?

You will be trained to teach Geography 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 the University of Sheffield, whose course is rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted and whose School of Education has a strong national and international research profile. At university, you will have the opportunity to hone your geography 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). You will also have a primary placement in September for one week. This is followed by five weeks at university, then your first placement school for eight weeks (from mid October to Christmas). In January you are then at university for three weeks, followed by 17 weeks in your main placement school.

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 Diploma in Education (PGDE) in Secondary Geography (11-16 with post-16 enhancement)
  • Qualified Teaching Status
  • 120 Masters credits

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

As a trainee geography teacher, you could be eligible for a £15,000 tax-free bursary if you have a first, 2:1, 2:2, Master’s or PhD.

Alternatively,  if you have at least a 2:1, you could be awarded a £17,000 tax-free scholarship from the Royal Geographical Society with IBG. You can still apply if you have a 2:2, but you’ll need to provide evidence of significant relevant experience. If your scholarship application is unsuccessful, you'll still be eligible for a bursary.

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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