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Welcome to the English Subject Didactics (SD) Handbook

The PGCE English course recognises that the development of inspirational professionals is a long-term aim. The course will begin this process through commitment to the development of subject content knowledge for teaching, of understanding of teaching and learning processes, and of classroom and interpersonal skills.

Aims and Philosophy

The course aims to develop more than simply the ability to 'survive in the classroom':

  • it recognises the interdependence of theory and practice;
  • it recognises the importance of professionals developing their educational values, which in turn will guide their practice;
  • it recognises the importance of professionals keeping in touch with research developments in the teaching of English and in education more broadly;
  • it recognises the contribution that English and literacy makes in the curriculum;
  • it places at its core effective learning for all pupils; 
  • it recognises the role assessment can play in supporting learning;
  • it aims to give all trainees an informed sense of progression in English, with all trainees understanding how such progression can be understood in relation to previous and successive Key Stages.

Organisation of Study

The programme is organised so that:

  • issues explored in the university SD session are re-enforced and extended in the Homeschool programme;
  • topics are re-visited at various stages of the programme to enable you to reflect on, analyse and evaluate the practical experiences and learning you will have in your Home and Complementary schools;
  • your professional developmental needs are addressed through an on-going individualised programme where appropriate;
  • there are opportunities for personal tutorials with English SD tutors where issues of subject knowledge, teaching approaches and target setting will form the basis of discussions;
  • you will be involved in working with other members of the SD group as co-learners and partners in your professional growth;
  • relevant and appropriate pedagogical literature and research will be discussed and used to inform teaching and learning.


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