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PGCE Computing Science - Programming Level

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by a320mac, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. a320mac

    a320mac New commenter


    I am an airline pilot and want out. I am sick of the travelling, time away, shifts and health impact. I have a degree in IT systems. We did around 40 credits of Java programming. That was 15 years ago. My skills are almost non existent.

    My intention was to teach Geography but with only an A level in the subject, with all of the best will in the world, I think it would hold me back in my career as why would I be promoted over someone with a MA or PHD in the subject. Similarly, for my first job, it isn't unreasonable to assume that those with geography degrees would be a more attractive candidate.

    So it brings me back to computing science. I believe that Python is the language of choice for most schools. Does anyone think it would be realistic to learn the language by autumn 2021 when I would hope to start my PGCE? Programming seems to come up regularly as an issue. Does anyone know the level that we would be expected to teach to? Is it programming a SpaceX rocket or is it smaller projects?

    Would anyone be able to advise me? Am I being naive or after such a long break, can a year be enough to get myself up to speed to get on and succeed on a PGCE and be a great teacher?
  2. mikokat

    mikokat New commenter

    I'm a career changer after being self-employed (retail and hospitality) for over 15 years and did my PGCE in Computing 2 years ago. My degree is in IT and I graduated over 20 years ago, so doing the PGCE in Computing was a steep learning curve for me as I had to learn everything in Computer Science and programming in Python up to GCSE level as well as teach, plan lessons, do assignments for the PGCE course. Before I started my PGCE, I was enrolled on to the Computing Subject Knowledge Enhancement course via the getintoteaching https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/ organisation. It's worth contacting them for an initial chat and advice if you're thinking about teaching Computer Science.
  3. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Have a look at the GCSE and AS/A-level specifications, exam papers, and mark schemes. Then do a knowledge audit (what do you know, what do you need to know). As said above, you could teach yourself, and/or if accepted onto a PGCE you could also be offered a place on an SKE (Subject Knowledge Enhancement) course.

    Exam boards = AQA, Edexcel, OCR, Eduqas.
  4. a320mac

    a320mac New commenter

    Thank you so much for the replies everyone. I really appreciate it!

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