1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Can I become a subject specialist w/o degree in that subject (prep school)

Discussion in 'Independent' started by TheGentleman, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. TheGentleman

    TheGentleman Occasional commenter


    I have been looking at TES jobs on prep schools to get a feel for what type of roles come up (I am only starting my PGCE this Sept, so early days for me). I see a few "Teacher KS2, who can teach across the curriculum" roles, but there appears to be more subject specific jobs "Teacher of [add in any subject]'.

    Sorry for what could be a daft question, but if I undertake a Primary PGCE (with no subject specialism) can I become a subject specialist in a prep school? Would specialism boil down to ones degree subject? As a law graduate, would I be precluded from becoming a subject specialist in a prep school and only be considered a generalist teacher.

    I appreciate that independent schools recruit non qualified teachers and someone with a 1st in History from Oxbridge would be considered a subject specialist.

    Any thoughts very welcome.
  2. MsJ001

    MsJ001 New commenter

    When I worked in an Independent School, I became a 'subject specialist' without a degree in that area. I was a specialist because I loved teaching that subject and was good at it. In my setting anyway, especially for Prep, it was more a love of the subject and showing you were good at teaching it.
  3. TheGentleman

    TheGentleman Occasional commenter

    Thanks MsJ001 for the response. It made for happy reading.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Same is true in my prep school.
    Not all of us have a degree in our specialism, we are just good at teaching it.
    jarndyce and TheGentleman like this.
  5. TheGentleman

    TheGentleman Occasional commenter

    Cheers. Music to my ears.
  6. Ireton

    Ireton New commenter

    The above is true in most prep schools, though it does depend if the school heads up to 13+ and how academic it is. What schools look for is someone with passion for their subject who can transfer this to the pupils; no use being a1st class graduate if you cannot get it over to 12 year olds.

    Have a look at the top academic 13+ scholarship papers for schools such as Eton, Westminster, St Paul's and Winchester (to name but a few) then you will see that the ability to teach the subject to GCSE and, on occasions, A level is helpful and requires some specialism. Remember too that many prep schools are looking for what else you will bring to the table in terms of extra curricular activities and a willingness to go beyond the curriculum such as running clubs, taking games and trips both in holidays and term time. Why not try and get some visits to some to see what sort of standard they have?
  7. TheGentleman

    TheGentleman Occasional commenter

    Thanks Ireton. Great response and very much appreciated. Noted on the extra-curricular point - something that appeals to me greatly. Have some more class observation coming up in the next few weeks in a prep school, so will get a better feel for teachers backgrounds then.
  8. Star_Teacher

    Star_Teacher New commenter

    Dont forget that big 13+ prep schools will also have junior school coordinators for subjects like science English and Maths, so even if there is no space as a specialist teacher there is always the opportunity to take on a whole school role in the future looking specifically at that subject.
  9. TheGentleman

    TheGentleman Occasional commenter

    Thanks Star_Teacher
  10. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    It's worth trying to get a few 'specialist subjects'-makes you more employable. Though lots of schools now have anyone teaching anything, as recently teachers are supposed to be robots, not individuals.

Share This Page