General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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Irish PGCE course offered at St Mary's


23/06/2008 :: Northern Ireland :: The Irish News

Increased demand for subject experts in Irish-medium post-primary schools has led to the creation of more places for trainee teachers.

St Mary's University College, Queen's University and the University of Ulster (UU) have come together to offer a one-year PGCE post-primary course.

The first six students to take this new award were welcomed last September.

From later this year additional places are being made available.

Students follow the PGCE course designed by either QUB or UU depending on their subject specialism.

Competence in Irish is required.

Usually, this means an A-level or equivalent qualification in the language.

Queen's recruits students for subjects including English, maths, science and religion while UU lists art and design, PE, music, geography and history among its courses.

Students must also complete additional elements in the area of bilingual/immersion education, which includes a three-week programme in August and an additional week in June 2009.

This bilingual focus will be provided by St Mary's, which has a long tradition in preparing teachers for the Irish-medium sector.

On completion of the course, students will be awarded a Certificate in Bilingual Education from St Mary's in addition to their PGCE.

Jill Garland, Irish-medium post-primary PGCE coordinator, said the course was a positive development.

"As the demand for Irish-medium post-primary provision continues to grow, it is of great significance that extra places have been made available on the Irish-medium post-primary PGCE course to train subject-specific teachers to teach in this sector," she said.



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