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Course Code: X1C6
Why choose the School of Education
Ofsted – we are a ‘Good’ provider with Outstanding in Quality of leadership and management across our partnerships.
95% of our Education and Teaching graduates are in employment or further studies 15 months after graduating (HESA Graduate Outcomes, 2023)
Over 90% of students across all courses are employed within the first six months of graduation
100% of our undergraduate Primary Education graduates have secured jobs by the end of their course
Our Early Childhood Education course ranks 8th in its subject table for graduate prospects on track (Complete University Guide, 2024)
All teaching-training staff have QTS and were previously employed as teachers and/or head teachers; we also have teaching staff who are school governors or active members of their national subject associations
About the course
We are working to revise this course from four to three years in line with the sector.
Train for a dream career as a PE teacher where you will inspire and influence young people. Join a university with a rich history and expertise of training PE teachers going back over 120 years. We deliver both undergraduate and postgraduate initial teacher education courses so have a team of experts to support your journey.
It is a degree with a difference. Over three years complete your bachelor’s degree whilst also gaining qualified teacher status.
The course itself develops your understanding of teaching and learning so you can give your students the motivation confidence competence and understanding to lead physically active lives. You apply your knowledge and skills in practice via a placement in each year of study where you are supported by a mentor and university-based staff.
This course is accredited by the Department for Education (DfE).
Why choose this course?
- It has a high overall student satisfaction rating of 91% (NSS 2022)
- Learn through classroom experience and develop the skills you need to teach a range of physical activities to young people aged 11-16 (16-19 with enhancement)
- Study the scientific principles of physical education and sport with applied practice including athletics dance games gymnastics health swimming outdoor and adventurous activities
- Explore issues in teaching learning and assessment under the guidance of an experienced University teaching team
- Develop your expertise in the classroom with the support of a strong partnership between the University and your placement school
- Gain a qualification that includes recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
The following unit titles are subject to approval:
- Teaching, Learning and Inclusion in PE
- Developing Pedagogical Approaches for Games, OAA and Health
- Developing Pedagogical Approaches for Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics and Swimming
- Teaching Accredited Courses in Physical Education
- Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Physical Education
- Mastering Pedagogical Approaches for Games, OAA and Health
- Mastering Pedagogical Approaches for Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics and Swimming
- Teachers' Wider Professional Responsibilities
- Entering the Teaching Profession
- Promoting Physical Activity, Health and Wellbeing in Schools
- Contemporary Perspectives in Physical Education
- The Physical Education Teacher as Researcher
with Professional Practice Year
This course has the option to be taken over four years which includes a year placement in industry. Undertaking a year in industry has many benefits. You gain practical experience and build your CV, as well as being a great opportunity to sample a profession and network with potential future employers.
There is no tuition fee for the placement year enabling you to gain an extra year of experience for free.
*Only available to UK/EU students.
with Foundation Year
A Degree with a Foundation Year gives you guaranteed entry to an Undergraduate course.
Whether you’re returning to learning and require additional help and support to up-skill, or if you didn’t quite meet the grades to pursue an Undergraduate course, our Degrees with Foundation Year provide a fantastic entry route for you to work towards a degree level qualification.
With our guidance and support you’ll get up to speed within one year, and will be ready to seamlessly progress on to undergraduate study at Bedfordshire.
The Foundation Year provides an opportunity to build up your academic writing skills and numeracy, and will also cover a range of subject specific content to fully prepare you for entry to an Undergraduate degree.
This is an integrated four-year degree, with the foundation year as a key part of the course. You will need to successfully complete the Foundation Year to progress on to the first year of your bachelor’s degree.
Why study a degree with a Foundation Year?
- Broad-based yet enough depth to give you credible vocational skills
- Coverage of a variety of areas typically delivered by an expert in this area
- Gain an understanding of a subject before choosing which route you wish to specialise in
- Great introduction to further study, and guaranteed progression on to one of our Undergraduate degrees
The degrees offering a Foundation Year provide excellent preparation for your future studies.
During your Foundation Year you will get the opportunity to talk to tutors about your degree study and future career aspirations, and receive guidance on the most appropriate Undergraduate course to help you achieve this; providing you meet the entry requirements and pass the Foundation Year.
- Department for Education (DfE)
Course Leader - Sophy Bassett-Dubsky
I have significant experience of teaching and leading Physical Education in secondary schools and prior to joining the University, coordinated the Physical Education provision for a SCITT scheme and mentored student teachers from the University.
I have a passion for supporting and developing trainee teachers and as the interim Course Coordinator, have many opportunities to ensure their learning and progression is optimal. I enjoy meeting potential trainees in my role as Course Coordinator, listening to the aspirations and intentions of the next generation of teachers.
What will you study?
Foundations For Learning Teaching And Inclusion
This professional unit aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of Education, Physical Education, Physical Literacy and Teaching and Learning.
You will explore the development of the education system in England including the modern structure of Physical Education and School Sport, and the National Curriculum particularly in relation to Physical Education. Throughout the unit you will develop a conceptual appreciation of Physical Literacy within Physical Education.
The unit will underpin your pedagogical development with the opportunity to teach small groups of pupils using a range of basic teaching skills before applying these with larger classes on your first school experience.
The unit will develop your understanding of inclusion in Physical Education in relation to statutory requirements and government legislation. Practical application of a range of inclusive teaching approaches will also be explored.
You will be supported in the process of self-reflection throughout the unit and encouraged to set targets for development.
This unit includes a school experience of six weeks and a visit to a Special Educational Needs School. The school experience affords the opportunity to plan and evaluate your own teaching, applying the basic teaching skills covered within the unit.
Scientific Foundations Of Physical Education
This unit covers three core areas of scientific study. It is imperative, as a Physical Educator, that you have an understanding of these areas in order that you know how the body is structured, how it acquires and performs motor skills and how it responds during physical activity. These elements will be learnt through the study of the following three areas: Applied Anatomy and Human Physiology, Kinesiology, and Motor Learning and Performance.
The three elements will be taught individually, but will also allow you to build a holistic understanding of how and why they support the practice of a Physical Education teacher. Having studied this unit you should be able to apply various scientific theories to enhance teaching and learning in practical Physical Education lessons, as well as apply your scientific knowledge in your future teaching of accredited courses in secondary schools.
Developing Physical Literacy Through Games, Oaa And Health
This unit aims to broaden your perception and understanding of Physical Education, with particular reference to the following notions of physical literacy - interaction, reading the environment and health. Through the study of, and participation in, Games, Outdoor and Adventurous Activities, and Health-Based Physical Education, you will be presented with the opportunity to examine and develop concepts, skills and experiences.
Outdoor and adventurous activities will be studied and experienced in an urban adventure context as well as in a residential outdoor setting.
Invasion and striking/fielding games will be studied during this unit, with a focus on teaching a wide variety of games through principles of play and the use of pedagogical models such as Teaching Games for Understanding.
The study of Health Based Physical Education (HBPE) will include practical experience and reflections on how and why we might teach a variety of 'lifetime physical activities' in Physical Education and as part of the wider curriculum.
This unit aims to:
- draw together the experience and knowledge gained through participation and study to further your understanding of Physical Education particularly in relation to physical literacy and the notions of interaction, reading the environment and health.
- develop your understanding of Outdoor and Adventurous Activities in a Physical Education context.
- develop your understanding of the potential of a residential experience in the outdoor environment as a vehicle for learning.
- develop your understanding of both invasion and striking/fielding games and the ability to analyse aspects of these games.
- develop your understanding of basic teaching approaches to promote high quality learning.
- develop your understanding of how to safely introduce Health-Based Physical Education in secondary schools.
Developing Physical Literacy Through Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics And Swimming
This unit is designed to introduce the following components of physical literacy: physical competences, expression and communication, and health. These will be delivered through the experience of Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics and Swimming. Through the study of, and participation in these activities, you will be presented with the opportunity to develop both your subject and pedagogical understanding.
You will develop an understanding of the fundamental movement principles that underpin each of these activities as well as considering the requirements of the PE National Curriculum. These elements of the unit will increase your confidence, ability to demonstrate and effectiveness in teaching these Physical Education activities. Your participation in this unit will also develop an increasing awareness of safe practice.
Teaching For Learning
This professional unit aims to extend the learning developed in PBA004-1 by improving your ability to plan and progress pupil learning. It will develop your ability to observe movement, analyse and give appropriate feedback. You will explore a variety of teaching strategies to enhance your teaching repertoire. Planning will be focused on achieving specific and relevant learning outcomes in both the short term and medium term.
Your ability to plan and teach will be enhanced by knowledge of the cyclical process necessary to the progression of learning in physical education: deciding on what is to be learned (learning outcome); selecting how it is to be learned (appropriate teaching approach); and assessing what has been learned (observing the movement response). This will be underpinned by knowledge and understanding of learning theory and teaching strategies.
This unit also provides a further six weeks school experience and affords a second opportunity to improve teaching through systematic planning and evaluation.
Theoretical Frameworks For Physical Education
The focus of this unit is to equip you with a range of theoretical frameworks (lenses) that enable critical reflection on your on-going journey towards becoming an outstanding and equitable teacher of physical education. Your previous, current and future practice of physical education will be critically examined from a range of historical, socio-cultural and psychological perspectives. A recurring theme of this unit is that physical educators need to be theoretically informed to ensure ‘all’ learners are provided a safe, productive and equitable learning environment.
In each area of foci (sociology, history and psychology) theoretical insights will be animated through applied practice. In addition to developing your theoretical understanding of physical education, the material covered in this unit will enhance your delivery of a range of examination physical education curricular.
Applied Physical Literacy Through Health, Games And Oaa
This unit aims to broaden your perception and understanding of Physical Education, with particular reference to the following notions of Physical Literacy: physical competences, interaction and health. Through the study of, and participation in Games, Outdoor and Adventurous Activities and Health-Based Physical Education, you will be presented with the opportunity to further develop both your subject and pedagogical understanding.
This unit will draw on the key principles that relate to teaching Net/Wall Games, Outdoor and Adventurous Activities (OAA) and Health-Based Physical Education (HBPE) respectively. Through participation, planning, peer teaching and reflection you will develop a rich pedagogical understanding of these activities.
Specifically, you will learn how to create an urban approach to the delivery of OAA and how to deliver principles of attack and defence in Net/Wall Games. You will also consider how to encourage young people to value a physically active lifestyle through HBPE.
Applied Physical Literacy Through Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics And Swimming
This unit aims to embed a deeper relationship between physical education and physical literacy. It highlights the unique contribution that Athletics, Dance, Games and Swimming make in promoting the physical literacy concepts of health, interaction and reading the environment. Through the study of and participation in these activities you will be presented with the opportunity to further develop both your subject and pedagogical understanding.
This unit will draw on the key principles that relate to teaching Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics and Swimming respectively. Through participation, planning, peer teaching and reflection you will develop a rich pedagogical understanding of these activities.
The unit contributes to the development of an advanced knowledge of the movement principles and techniques involved in these activities. This in turn furthers your ability to analyse the principles involved, which promote interaction, expression and communication and health.
Processes And Products - Reflections On Practice In Dance And Oaa
- This Unit is designed to further develop your knowledge, skills and understanding of the processes and products involved in teaching Dance and Outdoor and Adventurous Activities. You will study the concepts that underpin each of these activities and reflect on the effectiveness of the strategies/outcomes produced.
- This unit builds on your Level 4 and 5 Physical Literacy units insofar as it further develops physical competence, expects increased sophistication in reading the environment, requires increasingly complex interaction, explores expression/ communication more comprehensively and extends your understanding of health issues in dance and outdoor and adventurous activities.
- Develop your knowledge, critical understanding and practical experience in Dance and Outdoor and Adventurous Activities.
- Reflect on how to effectively teach Dance and Outdoor and Adventurous Activities.
- Develop your knowledge, understanding and skills with regard to the demands of choreographing on others through generating/exploring/selecting/refining/adapting dance motifs, utilising choreographic devices and creating dance forms.
- Develop your understanding and experience of activities that utilise an outdoor environment and which intrinsically embrace elements of adventure and challenge.
Movement Replication In Gymnastics And Swimming
This unit aims to develop your knowledge, understanding and practical experience of gymnastics and swimming activities and give you further opportunities to experience teaching gymnastics and swimming, using a range of innovative approaches.
You will also recognise the importance of safety in these activities and how this impact on teaching and learning strategies. You will be able to reflect upon how techniques in both swimming and gymnastics can be improved and developed through analysis and evaluation. You will develop an understanding of how developmental progressions that focus on accurate replication can improve performance in both activities.
The unit is designed to further develop knowledge, skills and understanding of teaching strategies to promote an inclusive, high quality learning environment in gymnastics and swimming activities. The focus in both areas will be to develop correct techniques that encompass considerable analysis of bodily movement in order to develop skills and strokes in a safe environment.
Developing Pedagogy In Athletics And Games Activities
During this unit you will be involved in exploring how to create an inclusive, personalised learning environment, with opportunities for different roles and responsibilities in lessons, including leadership, coaching and officiating in Games-based and Athletic Activities. Sport Education and Student Designed Games will be the primary models used to promote high quality, student centred learning.
A generic games context will be studied to develop an awareness of progressions from key stage 3 to key stage 4 and links between the three main categories of games: namely Invasion, Net/Wall and Striking/Fielding, where you will be required to plan and lead teaching episodes. Innovative approaches associated with Sport Education will be used to introduce additional and more advanced track and field athletic events with the aim of improving pupils' motivation and promoting maximum participation in lessons. You will also be involved in planning and managing an inter-schools athletics event.
You will gain experience developing resources to aid quality learning and teaching and there will also be opportunities to practically assess a range of games and athletic activities.
Pedagogies For Practical And Classroom Contexts
This unit aims to introduce you to pedagogies for both practical and classroom contexts. You will explore how physical education can be taught well using active learning strategies, and how the classroom environment can be organised to maximise pupil engagement. A key element of the unit will focus on developing your understanding and application of classroom pedagogy for accredited courses. This will include opportunities to plan both lessons and units of learning, peer teach and evaluate a range of pedagogical approaches. Prior experience of assessment for learning (AfL) in the practical context will be explored further within a classroom environment.
Teachers And The Pastoral Curriculum
This unit introduces you to the diverse nature and concepts of pastoral care within secondary schools. It explores the role of the form tutor and purpose of the pastoral curriculum, in preparing pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of engaging sensitively, respectfully and fully in both school and adult life. The unit aims to:
- enable you to reflect upon the ‘holistic’ contribution you can make to the productive, equitable and safe running of school life.
- consider the relationships between school, home, outside agencies and the wider community in realising the rhetoric of ‘every child matters’ in practice.
- develop your knowledge and understanding of critical pedagogies as well as frameworks for the delivery of personal, social, health and economic education (PSHEE) and citizenship education at key stages 3 and 4.
- introduce you to a range of teaching approaches that can be employed to effectively (sensitively and critically) deliver the pastoral (PSHEE and citizenship) curriculum(s).
The Reflective Practitioner
This professional unit aims to support you, as a teacher, in auditing your
progress toward meeting the Teachers’ Standards and to identify areas of
your teaching in need of development.
Your development in this unit will be underpinned by critical reflection on
your progress and the identification of strengths and areas for
You are required to undertake a school teaching placement of at least 8
weeks during which time you will teach Physical Education across key
stages 3 and 4 and where possible KS5, including classes undertaking
accredited courses. This will enable you to plan, teach and evaluate series
of lessons across a range of activities employing a variety of teaching
strategies to engage all pupils.
In addition to subject specific teaching it is expected that you will
experience activities in the broader context of the school community e.g.
staff meetings, training days, parent’s evenings, pastoral work, observing,
team-teaching or lead-teaching a second subject.
The taught component of the unit aims to prepare you to engage in action
research in an educational setting. This will eventually lead to the
submission of a dissertation in year 4. You will reflect upon what
constitutes effective evaluation of teaching and select an area for
development as the focus for a targeted action research project. This
project be will undertaken during your final school experience.
This unit introduces you to the aims, purposes, structure and
methodologies of action research and provides the opportunity to gain
practice in designing/employing the data gathering and analysis methods,
and other procedures inherent in school-based research (e.g. ethics,
Promoting Health And Wellbeing In Schools
This unit aims to broaden your perception and understanding of the role of a Physical Education Teacher, and more broadly, the role of a teacher of young people, with a particular focus on the promotion of health, physical activity and well-being. Through the study of and participation in a range of physical, creative and arts-based activities, you will have the opportunity to consider how to support the young people with whom you will interact in the future to develop healthy attitudes and perceptions of self.
From a physical education and physical activity perspective, you will study and participate in a range of health-related and lifetime activities, which will give you the opportunity to develop both your subject and pedagogical understanding. This will further consolidate and build on your previous experiences of Health-Based Physical Education in Year 2 and Teachers and the Pastoral Curriculum in Year 3.
Opportunities to develop whole-school and cross-curricular approaches will be considered during the unit. A key element of these approaches will be how to initiate and sustain healthy behaviour change in young people and how to maintain health and wellbeing interventions beyond the ‘honeymoon period’.
Cultural Perspectives On Teaching Physical Education
This unit encourages you to think critically about the socio-cultural influences on young people’s engagement with contemporary culture and physical education in the 21st century. In particular it seeks to:
Consolidate and enhance the socio-cultural lenses through which you can understand approaches to physical education delivery and the enablement of productive, engaging and equitable learning experiences.
Generate an awareness of a range of pedagogies (e.g., critical, productive, discomforting etc.) that reveal and challenge inequalities within physical education.
Develop your ability to engage as a reflective practitioner who considers the interrelationship between learners, teachers and curriculum in contemporary society.
Prepare you for the innovative delivery of the socio-cultural components of examination physical education.
The Action Research Project
This unit builds upon the outcomes of The Reflective Practitioner unit. The overall aim of the project is to improve the quality of the teaching and learning opportunities you provide for the pupils you teach by identifying, investigating and reflecting upon an area for development and/or interest. The project provides an opportunity for you to critically engage in educational action research and reflect on the effectiveness of your teaching in facilitating learning.
As part of your final school experience, you will undertake a systematic and rigorous investigation of one aspect of your teaching and or pupil learning in need of development. The principles and processes of action research will be used to improve the quality of the teaching and learning opportunities you provide for pupils. You will be assisted by another student teacher or, a teacher in your placement school who adopts the role of non-participant observer for the teaching group selected for the research investigation.
You will complete a substantial report/dissertation based upon your educational action research project when you return to University at the end of your school experience. Dissertation supervisors based at the University are assigned to you to provide guidance and individual tutorial support throughout the investigation.
Reflecting On Teaching
This professional unit aims to support you in critically reflecting on your progress against the Teachers’ Standards and to identify areas of your teaching in need of further development up to and including your induction year.
You are required to undertake a school teaching placement of at least 12 weeks during which time you will teach Physical Education across key stages 3 and 4 and where possible KS5, including classes undertaking accredited courses. This will enable you to plan, teach and evaluate series of lessons across a range of activities employing a variety of teaching strategies to engage all pupils.
In addition to subject specific teaching it is expected that you will experience activities in the broader context of the school community e.g. staff meetings, training days, parent’s evenings, pastoral work, team-teaching or lead-teaching a second subject.
The taught section of the unit encourages you to critically evaluate both the nature of teaching as a professional activity and the roles and responsibilities associated with practitioners working with children in schools. This embraces both whole school and physical education specific trends and initiatives. The unit will guide you in the formulation and development of a personal philosophy of physical education in the interests and needs of all the pupils you will teach.
The unit guides and supports you with applications and interviews for a first post. A series of seminar workshops comprise: writing a letter of application and curriculum vitae (CV); simulated interviews; frequently asked questions (FAQs) at interview and an open forum with current NQTs. You will be required to engage with curriculum audits and the career entry and development profile in order to evaluate your strengths in relation to the requirements of teaching posts in order to enhance your employability.
How will you be assessed?
The assessment strategy is based upon the premise that critical evaluation of theoretical perspectives as they apply to your own teaching is an intrinsic element of best teaching practice. Throughout the course, therefore, you will continually be encouraged to explore what is known about teaching and learning, and to demonstrate independence and creativity in evaluating the relevance of that knowledge in your own context. Assessed work will be directly applicable to your future role as a PE teacher and predominantly includes essays, reflective writing, reports, presentations and portfolios.
During your placements you will be assessed directly against the Cumulative Evidence Record, a tracking document that charts your progress against the expectations of the course at different points. At the end of the course you will be assessed against the Teachers’ Standards in order to meet the requirements for the recommendation of qualified teacher status (QTS).
In years one and two you will complete in-class tests to assess your developing knowledge and understanding. Sound subject knowledge is a fundamental quality of an effective teacher and you will be expected to demonstrate a commitment to ongoing development of that knowledge throughout the course.
Also key to the course is a focus on the development of research informed teaching, culminating in an extended systematic study of your own practice (action research project/dissertation). By embedding the professional requirements for Qualified Teacher Status within the academic requirements of the degree, the course supports you in developing the qualities which define the University of Bedfordshire Graduate Teacher: an independent, reflective, creative, innovative, collaborative and resilient professional who is committed to ongoing personal and professional development.
The assessment for this course seeks to support you in developing your understanding of the interplay between theoretical perspectives and practice based experience. You will be developing your skills of research and evaluation, critical thinking, creativity and independence. The themes for your reflective writing are developed from local and national priorities and, therefore, allow you to develop the evidence of your understanding of values and principles underpinning the Teachers’ Standards as they apply to your working context. Formative use of assessment is embedded throughout the course and is a principle which we would expect you to adopt in your own teaching. You will be supported to become familiar with self- and peer-assessment approaches and to make effective use of feedback on both academic and practice-based aspects of the course, to identify targets for your ongoing development and plan actions to address them. Engagement with published research is a fundamental aspect of the course and you will be supported in developing skills of critical analysis of the literature. Rigorous attention to referencing conventions is, therefore, essential and you will be required to adopt the Harvard system. You will be supported in developing your understanding of plagiarism and poor academic practice to ensure that your work meets the highest standards of ethics.
Local and national demand for University of Bedfordshire graduate teachers is high. Recent annual destinations surveys show that typically 95-100% of graduate teachers will have secured full-time teaching posts to begin in the year of graduation.
For those who wish to gain promotion within schools evidence shows that this is highly likely with many graduates securing a variety of leadership responsibilities. Recent graduates are now in roles such as Head of Department Head of Year Head of House Assistant Head Deputy Head and even Head Teacher. Other graduates who wanted to work in education internationally are now in teaching and leadership positions around the world.
If you decide that school teaching is not for you there are opportunities for you to use the skills that you have gained in other areas of training coaching and adult education as well as more broadly in sports or education organisations. Occasionally other graduates use their transferable knowledge skills and understanding in unrelated fields and industries.