Welcome messages

Our senior staff and department colleagues welcome you to The University of Manchester and outline what to expect in the year ahead.


    Liz, Rebecca, Karen, and the PGCE Primary team

    The Primary PGCE team is looking forward to welcoming you to The University of Manchester for the start of what will undoubtedly be a very rewarding year of training and teaching!

    You will be able to register online from 1 September 2020 and your university teaching timetable starts on Monday 7 September. The plan so far depending on COVID-19 situation is as follows:

    • 1 September 2020 - Registration
    • 7 September to 23 October – Online taught course
    • w/c 19 October – Campus-based small group tutorials
    • w/c 26 October – Independent study week (half term for schools)
    • 2 November to 18 December – School experience placement

    Before the start of the course, you will receive a summarised version of our programme handbook called the mini handbook. The mini handbook will help you to become familiar with the course and its requirements. It would be useful to read through this before the first day as it will provide you with an overview of the programme and the timetable. The main programme handbook will be available for you to download from the VLE, Blackboard, after registration. If you still have any outstanding documents to complete or send in, please do so as a priority as this can delay your registration in September and subsequent access to the VLE, Blackboard and email.

    All teaching will be online until mid-October and will consist of a mixture of live and recorded sessions as well as pre and post sessional tasks. We will use mainly Zoom for the ‘live’ sessions. For core and School Direct trainees: the first week includes some key induction online sessions such as an introduction to assessment and assignments, safeguarding in schools, professionalism, effective learning environments, and an introduction to the Teachers’ Standards. You will also meet your professional tutor virtually and get established in an initial, provisional cluster group. The first live welcome lecture for core trainees will start promptly at 10am Monday 7 September via Zoom. We envisage that you will finish at 4pm that day.

    All university taught course timetabled sessions usually begin at 9am and finish by 4pm. We will use the TEAMUP app to share the timetable with you and this will include the link to the Zoom sessions. It might be worth downloading the app onto your computer, phone or tablet before the course starts. Instructions for this will be sent to you nearer to the start of the programme.

    Dr Andrew Howes, Course Director, PGCE Secondary

    I am delighted to welcome you to the Secondary PGCE course and to the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE), a vibrant and diverse community of staff and students working on educational research projects in classroom pedagogies, inclusive education, mental health, disadvantage and poverty, educational leadership, as well as in teacher education and development. Much of the research and scholarship that goes on in MIE is with and for teachers and trainee teachers. The PGCE course that you will soon be joining is recognised as outstanding by our trainees and by Ofsted, and also by our many school and college partners in the North West. The course is embedded in practice and is part of a successful, energetic and committed academic and postgraduate community.

    The course this year will not start in university rooms but on Zoom. Lecturers and tutors are currently designing high quality, interactive sessions through which we will build the collaborative communities of trainees that sit at the heart of the programme. We have extended experience of how to make this successful through our work with trainees and schools through the final months of this year. Much of the Secondary PGCE course is organised around subject groups. You are training to be a teacher with a particular specialism, working with your peers and with specialist staff in that subject. But you are also training to be a teacher with wider professional responsibilities, and so another important strand of the training, Educational and Professional Studies, will take place in cross-subject groups.

    You will find information and suggested pre-reading for both your subject and for the EPS strand available on this site, as well as a subject knowledge audit to help you focus your subject knowledge development. To become more familiar with the course, its requirements, and the timetable, please read through the mini handbook. The main programme handbook, and specific subject handbooks, will be available for you to download from the VLE, Blackboard, once you have registered.

    On Monday 14 September, you will meet in subject groups from 10am, with a welcome meeting with myself in the afternoon. These meeting will take place on Zoom – links will be provided closer to the time. More detailed subject timetables will be available at that time if not before.

    Dr Andrew Howes