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Secondary English Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy

Module titleSecondary English Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy
Module codeEDUM042
Academic year2022/3
Module staff

Dr Annabel Watson (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

English is a subject fundamental to learning and a core subject in the curriculum.  This module is structured to encourage collaborative learning, and personal development - collaborative, because schools are made of teams of professionals working collaboratively to support each other and to support the learners in their charge; personal, because the best teachers continue to learn and develop throughout their careers and possess a strong sense of their own development needs.   The module addresses not only what to do in an English lesson, but also why you are doing it. By understanding the principles underpinning the teaching of English, and through being introduced to the latest research in the field, you will be empowered both to evaluate your own classroom practices and the responses of the students you teach.   To take this module, you will normally need to possess an upper second class or first class Honours degree in English or a closely related subject.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The principal aims of the module are to:

  • enable you to gain a comprehensive understanding of the research, principles and practice relating to current teaching of English in the secondary curriculum;
  • introduce you to how students learn in English;
  • develop your confidence in using principled practices for teaching English;
  • offer you contexts for learning through observation, participation, collaboration and co-operation;
  • develop your ability to reflect critically on your own practice;
  • encourage you to be an autonomous and independent learner;
  • encourage you to teach with imagination, enthusiasm and courage;
  • nurture an understanding of, and an enthusiasm for, continuing professional development: a lifelong commitment to developing your literary, linguistic, creative and aesthetic strengths; and
  • support you to meet the Standards required for the award of Qualified Teacher Status.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. identify and evaluate educational concepts and issues related to English in education;
  • 2. recognise pupils’ learning needs in English and interpret these learning needs in order to plan, teach, assess and evaluate lessons and schemes of work;
  • 3. demonstrate confident academic and pedagogic subject knowledge to teach English;
  • 4. demonstrate secure understanding of the National Curriculum for English;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. critically evaluate the relevance of educational theory to practice;
  • 6. synthesise relevant educational literature in support of an argument;
  • 7. use appropriate technologies for data handling and writing in education;
  • 8. present data and findings in a form appropriate for educational contexts;
  • 9. use research data in support of an argument in education;

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 10. manage your own learning development;
  • 11. learn effectively and be aware of your own learning strategies;
  • 12. express ideas and opinions, with confidence and clarity, to a variety of audiences for a variety of purposes;
  • 13. work productively in different kinds of teams (formal, informal, project based, etc); and
  • 14. think creatively about the main features of a given problem and develop strategies for its resolution.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The module introduces students to current thinking in the teaching of English and develops students’ pedagogic and academic subject knowledge in the field of English education.  Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, the content will cover:

  • Best practice in pedagogy for English: how to support students' development in talk, reading and writing
  • Understanding of the National Curriculum for English, and how English is  assessed
  • Key pedagogical concepts, e.g. scaffolding,modelling
  • Research-informed approaches to teaching English

key elements of the module will include:

  • Seminars: the taught course is realized principally through highly interactive sessions which combine and integrate workshop approaches, practical work, seminar-style discussion and lecture-style direct  input;
  • Directed Online Study Programme: this covers the theory and practice of English PedagogyPeer and Expert Teaching: each student participates in peer teaching sessions during which they develop skills of teaching and reflection before going into their first placement
  • Independent and directed study activities: including developing subject knowledge, directed reading, and other tasks as relevant to the seminar sessions.
  • Seminar Days: Five days when students return to the university to share school-based work experiences and develop the links between theoretical and practical aspects of teaching  English.

On the Secondary PGCE, you will learn and reflect on the skills and knowledge required by the programme’s credit-bearing and non-credit bearing modules throughout the year. You will need to think about the modules in relation to each other. To facilitate this, the learning and teaching activities and guided independent study described below are scheduled to occur across all three terms both in the context of your university taught course and in the context of your 24 weeks of applied professional experience in schools.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities72Seminars and workshops
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities9Peer Teaching
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities10Seminar Days
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities1Tutorials with academic tutor
Guided Independent Study20Subject knowledge and enhancement tasks
Guided Independent Study20Directed tasks
Guided Independent Study20Directed reading
Guided Independent Study40Independent reading for assignments
Guided Independent Study108Assignment preparation and writing


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written notes on preliminary tasks2 weeks prior to beginning course1, 2, 5, 13 Verbal or written
Keeping warm task: Written notes1 hour1Verbal or written
Written subject knowledge audit3 hours3, 4, 10, 11Verbal (tutorial) and written action plans
Formative assignment using work with academic literature1,500 words1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Written feedback and opportunity to discuss this in tutorial

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written assignment1004,000 words (or equivalent)1-14Written and verbal


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written assignmentResubmission of written assignment (4,000 words)1-14See notes below.

Re-assessment notes

RE-ASSESSMENT NOTES If a submitted assignment is deemed to be a Fail, you will be given feedback outlining what needs to be done to bring the assignment to a pass standard and one opportunity for resubmission will be allowed.

You can choose to resubmit a failed assignment ‘in year’ (i.e. before the final Exam Board in July). The resubmission would normally be made 4 weeks after receiving feedback on the first submission. Alternatively, you may opt to go to the Exam Board with the fail mark. You will then be referred to the Consequences Board who will confirm the conditions for resubmission of the work. Normally the resubmission should be by 1st September. You should discuss these options with your tutor

Note: if you choose the second option, the award of PGCE will be delayed until the Exam Board following any successful resubmission (normally held in December).


If an assignment is deemed to be a Fail by the Exam Board, the mark obtained on resubmission will be capped at 50%. If after submitting a revised assignment, you have still failed to gain an overall pass mark for the module, you will have been   deemed to have failed the PGCE with no further opportunity for resubmission. If however, you have passed the Professional Learning module, you can leave the programme with QTS only and can therefore gain employment as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT). If you pass both the English Subject Knowledge & Pedagogy and the Educational & Professional Studies modules but fail the Professional Learning module, you can leave the programme with a Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Studies in Education (PGCert) which does not confer QTS status.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

 London: SAGE Burn A, Durran J. (2007) Media Literacy in Schools London: Paul  Chapman

 Fleming, M., & Stevens, D. (2010). English teaching in the secondary school: Linking theory and practice. Routledge. 3rd Ed.

 Goodwyn A and Stables W (2004) Learning to Read Critically in Language and Literacy Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications

Hopkins, D.  (2014) A Teacher’s Guide to Classroom Research Maidenhead: Open University  Press

Mercer, N.  (2000) Words and Minds: how we use language to think together  London:  Routledge

Myhill D, Jones S,  Watson, A., & Lines, H. (2016). Essential primary grammar. Open University Press.


Web based and electronic resources: see PGCE English course on ELE  (

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

PGCE,  English; language; literacy

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

EDUM036 Education and Professional Studies

EDUM052 Professional Learning

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date