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Help with transition from Primary teacher to Secondary RE please?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by d4ve, May 8, 2020.

  1. d4ve

    d4ve New commenter


    I am currently a Primary School teacher and have been for almost 10 years however I would now like to transition into teaching RE in secondary schools. I was hoping to see if anyone could help me on what the best route is in order to achieve this? I have researched Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses (not knowing if this is the best route :() however they seem to say that these are available to students that are training to become a teacher only.

    If anyone has transitioned from Primary to Secondary or has any other advise on what I should do then I would appreciate your help.

    Thank you for your help in advance :).
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Well, the good news is that QTS is not stage-specific. So you are legally qualified to do this. But I’m afraid that that’s really the only good thing I can think of.

    You see, you need to persuade a Headteacher to employ you.

    And you really don’t have what they’re looking for, do you? At least, that’s my guess.

    My guess is that you don’t have:

    * a degree in the relevant subject

    * experience, academic and pastoral, in the secondary age-group

    * familiarity with the GCSE and A-level specifications

    * awareness of the local and national guidelines for teaching RE at non-exam level

    * etc!

    I am really sorry to be so blunt and negative. You almost need a Time Machine to go back to your own secondary schooling to make the right subject choices so you can apply for a degree in Religious Studies at uni, before doing a PGCE. You did do a PGCE? Not a Primary B.Ed?

    Somebody else may come along with better information or better ideas than me, but I honestly cannot see a way forward for you here.

    So sorry.

    Keep safe, everyone
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. d4ve

    d4ve New commenter

  4. d4ve

    d4ve New commenter


    I can confirm that I have completed my PGCE....also you are correct when you say I don’t have the relevant experience of teaching this KS hence why I was looking for options.It feels like I need to complete my PGCE in RE this time.

    I do have some secondary experience (have taught secondary maths unqualified and some pastoral experience also) but not enough to just go in and teach.I need more classroom teaching experience I think. Thanks for the response anyway and stay safe.
  5. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    If you were going into a subject which had a shortage of teachers, eg physics, you may stand more chance. I am unsure what the national position is on re teachers though. You will find you won't be able to do a second pgce though.
    agathamorse and TheoGriff like this.
  6. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    If I were you I'd stay in Primary. I'm an ex Secondary RE teacher.

    There is a difference between a shortage of subject specialists and actual vacancies.

    I do supply, mainly Science and Maths these days. I did do a term of RE recently (rarely called for). School had really marginalised it as a subject.

    I know most schools would treat RE properly but there are some who insist on full GCSE entry with 1 lesson a week in mixed ability classes.

    Some (not all, or perhaps even most) schools will only employ one specialist and have other RE lessons taught by non specialists (not always willing volunteers).

    Are you running to RE or away from Primary?

    If the latter, think carefully. If the former, well, I would say the recent "reforms" have made the subject less interesting...

    I really, really wouldn't make the move. I enjoyed my time as an RE teacher, but that was in the days it was reviving and my specialist knowledge and training were valued. I don't think that's the case these days.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    On further reflection you could try Supply Teaching for a while. You wouldn't be able to make a living only offering RE but you might be able to pick up some experience...

    Don't do this unless you have substantial savings, or can afford to have a precarious means of making a living. This is even more true post Covid 19.
    agathamorse likes this.
  8. Coldplayer250

    Coldplayer250 New commenter

    I was just about to post something about moving from primary to secondary too. I saw a post for a biology teacher (i have a degree in biology and geography) and was wondering whether i could be a serious candidate for it, considering it is a shortage subject?
  9. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Biology has less of a shortage than chemistry and physics - it's perhaps unusual to see an advert for a biology teacher specifically, rather than a science teacher. In most schools, you have to teach all three sciences in KS3, so you'd need to be confident with that - check out the school's website to see if you can work out at what point they split the sciences.
    agathamorse likes this.

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