Geography is a very broad subject and thus there are many degrees applicable to successful graduates who become trainee teachers in geography, although most do have a geography degree. Applicants will need to demonstrate that they have considered how to develop their subject knowledge in the National Curriculum, GCSE and A level requirements for geography, especially where topics have not been covered by their degree. Along with a good degree and an awareness of geographical and educational issues, a desire to excite, stimulate and engage young people from 11-18 with the possibilities and pleasures open to them in studying geography is a good starting point for an application.
Trainees come together on a Thursday for a weekly opportunity to learn more about the subject and the pedagogy of geography. It is an opportunity to learn from the subject leader, visiting experts and each other.
Visits extend trainees’ subject knowledge and provide ideas for school trips and the value of them. Recent trips have included the Royal Geographical Society in London, where trainees got the opportunity to explore the role of ICT in geography. A field trip takes place every year to the Field Studies Centre in Somerset where trainees revisit and redevelop some essential skills linked to physical and human geography.
Trainees start the year with three weeks of professional studies, a programme of lectures, workshops and expert speakers, to give a context to the course. By the end of September, trainees start their “Parent 1” placement and will be in school full time until mid-December. There are another two weeks of professional studies either side of Christmas. In January trainees start their “Twin” placement in a second school. There are more professional studies weeks before Easter then trainees return to their first school for their “Parent 2” placement. The final placement includes an enhancement week to give opportunities to experience particular aspects of teaching.
Geography fieldwork is one of the most important aspects of good geography education, to promote learning experiences outside of the classroom. The opportunity to go outside to study the geographical processes taught in class is one of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of Geography teaching. As part of the GITEP course, the Geography trainees visited Nettlecombe Field Studies Council Centre in Exmoor. There they had the chance to top up their own fieldwork skills and build their confidence in taking pupils into the field.
The weekend was led by Nick Lapthorn, Head of Centre at Nettlecombe and the Junior Vice President of the Geographical Association. Nick is a leading expert in fieldwork provision and geography education. The weekend provided the chance for the trainees to really reflect on their own experiences of fieldwork as well as asking a wide range of questions about building the best experiences for their pupils. Additionally, the fieldwork experience was offered to Geography teachers from other schools in the GITEP partnership, so the trainees could share ideas and compare theory to practice with teachers from Chosen Hill and Maidenhill School.
‘A very informative and fun few days which helped build confidence before leading field trips. The centre was excellent. It gave a very good overview of how to plan and carry out fieldwork.’ Paul Acton, Geography GITEP trainee, Sir Thomas Rich’s School
The trainees were involved in a wide range of fieldwork experiences. These included: river studies; exploring risk assessment; assessing fieldwork at GCSE/A-Level; measuring coastal processes; visual techniques to use in the field; the use of technology; discovering the value of secondary data and developing an independent enquiry based on land use in Minehead.
‘A really useful and enjoyable weekend. It covered, in-depth, a range of important fieldwork exercises and essential fieldwork teaching criteria.’ Freddie Burrage, Geography GITEP trainee, Thomas Keble School
Cirencester Deer Park School
Rebecca Lillington is an experienced teacher and currently Assistant Head and Head of Humanities at Cirencester Deer Park School. She has a Masters in Education and is interested in the development of thinking skills and Building Learning Power in the classroom. She has been Subject Leader for Geography since 2009. Rebecca is an Honorary Teaching Fellow of the University of Bristol.
- A Geography degree or a degree in a related subject.
- Maths and English at Grade C/Level 4 or above at GCSE.
- Degree at 2:2 or above.
- Involvement with young people in some capacity.
- An awareness of issues in Geography education.
Routes & Course Codes
|Institute Code||SCITT||School Direct||QTS Only||PGCE with QTS|
|26P||Cotswold Edge Teaching Alliance (School Direct)||33BP|
|14B||Balcarras School (School Direct)||2CMT||2CMV|
|1ZB||Odyssey TSA (School Direct)||2RPX||2RPY|
|2EH||Cotswold Teaching School Partnership (School Direct)||38F4||36MZ|