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Subject Knowledge Enhancement Courses MEGATHREAD

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Original post by mathsandmadness
Hey! QTS lets you teach anything, including primary and some colleges. However, it is unlikely you would be given a job in an area you are not trained in (why would they?).

Do you have an AS level in maths? This is accepted by a lot of providers, but you'd need to call them and ask. I don't know what the situation is with the foundation thing - I expect you'd still be accepted by some but they can be particular about AS and A levels. Again, call and check with the providers you're interested in.

Do the SKE in person, not online. Without a related degree, this will help with employment (and confidence) if you choose maths.

My background is history and I'd love to teach both. Although, it is easier to teach a related subject (ie STEM or economics or something). It really depends on where the school is desperate for staff, and how many part timers they employ, and a whole host of other things.

I hope to teach physics and maths at some stage, but history would be a bonus. First few years tho, really better to stick to one. I know a lot of teachers that say it is tough, even for experienced teachers, to switch between subjects. It adds a big time commitment. Good thing to offer up at interviews, tho!

(Currently doing the pg myself) I don't think it will hold me back finding a job, but it might make it harder if there's lots of people with full maths degrees applying, or some private/high attaining schools

Hope this helps!


As I say, the knowledge I currently have is foundation year, which I did study maths with. The foundation year is equivalent to A Level, so I guess I am just hoping that this is possible to be accepted.

I have a call with a teacher training advisor in a couple of weeks, so will be speaking with them.

I did think that QTS allowed you teach anything, which would mean I should then be able to teach both English and maths, but obviously would depend on if I got accepted to do maths.

I believe a local university offer the SKE in maths, although I don’t think my current one do, so I will look into it.

Oh, the first few years I would stick with one while I settled and understood the job. It’s just thinking long term.

I know there usually is a shortage with maths, so hoping this may go in favour, but then again that depends at the time.

Thank you
Original post by mathsandmadness
Online is fine, yes. It's easier financially. The in-person are better, particularly if it's been some time since last using the knowledge.

What do you mean by better known? They will be well aware of the in-person courses as there aren't as many, and they are generally regarded as of a more consistent standard, where as online can vary dramatically

The idea that in person is better is solely your opinion. It's not a view shared by unis or employers.

There are two main online providers of SKEs- Vidlearn and TES. Both of these are well know by unis, and use the same resources year on year, so will vary considerably less than an in person course. Many providers won't have experience of people attending an in person course, as they're restricted to certain locations.

Most providers will recommend either Vidlearn or TES to people they've asked to take an SKE.
Original post by SarcAndSpark
The idea that in person is better is solely your opinion. It's not a view shared by unis or employers.

There are two main online providers of SKEs- Vidlearn and TES. Both of these are well know by unis, and use the same resources year on year, so will vary considerably less than an in person course. Many providers won't have experience of people attending an in person course, as they're restricted to certain locations.

Most providers will recommend either Vidlearn or TES to people they've asked to take an SKE.

Not my opinion, no. Two PGCE course leaders (different unis) and an SLT member of a local school told me to go in person. And yes, I'm speaking from my own experience.

Nothing against online. I enjoy remote learning. My point being, if finances dictate, then go online. But you'd be hard pushed to find many providers who say it is better. The fact that they are better known is your opinion. But yes, they are fine.
(edited 3 years ago)
Original post by traineemaths123
Anyone doing a SKE course with Eureka? Doing a 16 week maths SKE but not sure what the assessments and what the content are going to be focused on. Feel free to message me!

Hi there

I’m also in the position where I am due to begin an initial teacher training course in mathematics this September, on condition that I successfully complete a twelve-week SKE first. I’ve narrowed my preferred choice down to Vidlearn and Eureka from the SKE course providers list. Can I ask what persuaded you to go for Eureka instead of Vidlearn? Any help/advice that you can provide me with would be most appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
Original post by HealthyMaths
Hi there

I’m also in the position where I am due to begin an initial teacher training course in mathematics this September, on condition that I successfully complete a twelve-week SKE first. I’ve narrowed my preferred choice down to Vidlearn and Eureka from the SKE course providers list. Can I ask what persuaded you to go for Eureka instead of Vidlearn? Any help/advice that you can provide me with would be most appreciated. Many thanks in advance.

Hii I saw a lot of feedback about the assessment side of Vidlearn which was just considered to be very intense and the workload way too much. Having to do tedious reflective summary of modules, summary of modules in a form of a presentation, extended multiple choice assessments. I work a full time job and I felt like Eureka was a more thoughtful approach to teaching maths holistically and the mathematical content. Hope that helps, let me know which one you decide :smile:
Original post by traineemaths123
Hii I saw a lot of feedback about the assessment side of Vidlearn which was just considered to be very intense and the workload way too much. Having to do tedious reflective summary of modules, summary of modules in a form of a presentation, extended multiple choice assessments. I work a full time job and I felt like Eureka was a more thoughtful approach to teaching maths holistically and the mathematical content. Hope that helps, let me know which one you decide :smile:

Hi there

Thank you for your reply - I greatly appreciate the effort that you have made in responding to my post. I’ve heard similar things about the Vidlearn assessments. Do you have any information on Eureka and how they carry out assessments on their SKE course for mathematics? Thanks again in advance.
When I spoke to the advisors, they said a lot of the assessments are self reflective about the modules and reflective of being in the role of a maths teacher. An example they gave me is that you could be set an assignment of how you would teach a certain topic to a class in the form of a presentation or something similar
Original post by traineemaths123
When I spoke to the advisors, they said a lot of the assessments are self reflective about the modules and reflective of being in the role of a maths teacher. An example they gave me is that you could be set an assignment of how you would teach a certain topic to a class in the form of a presentation or something similar

I can definitely see the appeal of completing the course with Eureka. It’s very difficult to make a decision to be honest, as I think that both of the course providers have many strong points. Overall though, I’m leaning more towards the Vidlearn option. They just seem to approach things in a more thorough and comprehensive way, which should give me more confidence once I begin my initial teacher training. I do appreciate that it comes down to individual choice and that people will have their own individual circumstances to consider. Best of luck on your chosen course anyway and thanks again for your comments.
Original post by HealthyMaths
I can definitely see the appeal of completing the course with Eureka. It’s very difficult to make a decision to be honest, as I think that both of the course providers have many strong points. Overall though, I’m leaning more towards the Vidlearn option. They just seem to approach things in a more thorough and comprehensive way, which should give me more confidence once I begin my initial teacher training. I do appreciate that it comes down to individual choice and that people will have their own individual circumstances to consider. Best of luck on your chosen course anyway and thanks again for your comments.

Glad I could help! Good luck to you on your journey :smile:
I'm currently doing a 16 week Maths SKE through Vidlearn, and I'm finding it really useful! It's been many years since I did maths at school or undergrad.

As it's a Maths SKE I should be receiving a bursary. However, the bursary conditions apparently require me to do 25 hours a week over 16 weeks for a total of 400 hours. I've started going through the work and I'm progressing quicker than the expected time allotment. If I complete the SKE early while doing 25 hours a week will I receive a partial bursary? Or if I work less hours a week than 25, but meet all my deadlines over the 16 weeks will that also mean I only get a partial bursary?
Reply 70
Original post by HealthyMaths
I can definitely see the appeal of completing the course with Eureka. It’s very difficult to make a decision to be honest, as I think that both of the course providers have many strong points. Overall though, I’m leaning more towards the Vidlearn option. They just seem to approach things in a more thorough and comprehensive way, which should give me more confidence once I begin my initial teacher training. I do appreciate that it comes down to individual choice and that people will have their own individual circumstances to consider. Best of luck on your chosen course anyway and thanks again for your comments.

How are you finding the SKE with Vidlearn? I'm in the same position as you were, just a few weeks behind. I need to complete a "medium" maths SKE as a condition of my ITT offer that starts in September and am trying to choose a provider.
Reply 71
Original post by LocosFrijoles
I'm currently doing a 16 week Maths SKE through Vidlearn, and I'm finding it really useful! It's been many years since I did maths at school or undergrad.

As it's a Maths SKE I should be receiving a bursary. However, the bursary conditions apparently require me to do 25 hours a week over 16 weeks for a total of 400 hours. I've started going through the work and I'm progressing quicker than the expected time allotment. If I complete the SKE early while doing 25 hours a week will I receive a partial bursary? Or if I work less hours a week than 25, but meet all my deadlines over the 16 weeks will that also mean I only get a partial bursary?

What was the outcome of this? I've been asked to do an 8 week SKE as part of my offer. Given the choice of TES or Videlearn.... but I'm worried about the 25hour a week commitment as I'm currentky still working. I'm sure it won't take me that long in reality but do you have to log your hours? Do they 'know' how long you've been studying for??
Reply 72
Hi, I was planning on applying for the 8 week SKE in Chemistry with VidLearn. Does anyone know if through just the 8 week course that we get access to the A-level material in addition to the GCSE content? Just wondering if I could access it but wouldn't be directly assessed on it.
Has anyone completed the A level Chemistry vid learn course who would be willing to share an example of their assignments? I am struggling on where to start as I've been working 3 jobs this year and only now have begun seriously working for the SKE due in September
Original post by livcaldwell97
Has anyone completed the A level Chemistry vid learn course who would be willing to share an example of their assignments? I am struggling on where to start as I've been working 3 jobs this year and only now have begun seriously working for the SKE due in September

Hi

I did the biology one a few years back now. I would say you can get through each assignment more quickly than they suggest BUT you may struggle to get a 16 week course done in 3-4 weeks, unfortunately. I understand it's really difficult, though.

I *may* have access to some of my old assignments for biology if that would be helpful?
Reply 75
Hi,I complete the chemistry SKE back in 2020 and am currently teaching Physics also now that I have completed my training. Did anyone complete the SKE physics as any knowledge would be greatly appreciated.
Reply 76
I'm going to be doing a SKE with TES. Anyone else done one and got any feedback/advice?
Anyone still have any resources etc they used for their computer science ske? I have an 8 week ske coming up in may and wanted to get ahead - mentally 🙂
Reply 78
Hi please let me know how your ske went with vidlearn. As I'm deciding between vidlearn and eureka . I have to do 24 weeks ske. Don't want it too intense with family and small kids. Thanks
Original post by SarcAndSpark
Subject knowledge enhancement courses or SKEs are a relatively recent invention, designed to help teachers improve their subject knowledge before starting a degree course. They are aimed at people who:

-Studied a closely related subject at degree level.

-Studied the subject at A-level but didn’t study it for their degree.

-Have significant professional experience in a subject area but have not studied it at degree level.

-Have not used their degree level subject knowledge for some time.

SKEs are only available for certain subjects, mostly those where there are a shortage of available teachers. Currently (July 2018) SKEs are offered in:

-Biology

-Chemistry

-Physics

-Maths

-Computing

-Design and Technology

-English

-Geography

-Modern foreign languages

-Maths

-Primary maths.

How do I get a place on an SKE course?

Usually, SKE courses are only open to people with a conditional offer for initial teacher training (ITT). The offer will be conditional on passing the SKE.

If you’re applying for an ITT place, but you’re concerned your subject knowledge isn’t up to scratch, you can indicate that you’d be interested in/happy to complete an SKE. A good way to do this is to mention it in your personal statement, or you could bring it up at interview. I don’t think mentioning it in your personal statement affects your chances of getting an interview- I mentioned it in mine and I was invited to three interviews and got three conditional offers.

You may be asked to complete an SKE even if you haven’t mentioned it on your application.

Once you’ve got your conditional offer, you can then apply directly to SKE providers. There’s a list available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/subject-knowledge-enhancement-course-directory or your uni might recommend a specific provider.

You can’t apply to an SKE course before you have an offer for ITT.





How long does an SKE take to complete?

Courses vary in length, and your uni will usually specify the length of SKE they want you to take in your offer. The most common course lengths are 8 weeks, 16 weeks and 28 weeks, but some other options are available.

However, on my course, the timings were flexible and based on 25 hours of work a week. You could work harder and finish more quickly or take more time to finish if you were also working/travelling, as long as your meet SKE deadlines and any deadlines set by your offer.

In reality, many people finish the course in the required number of weeks doing less than 25 hours a week. However, you do need to log the correct number of hours to keep receiving your bursary.

Is there funding for SKE courses?

SKEs are funded by the Department of Education, so you don’t have to pay any fees. If you meet certain criteria, you are also entitled to a £200 a week bursary. My bursary was paid in monthly instalments, and I had to complete the required number of hours to receive it.

Can I work while completing an SKE?

Yes, you’re allowed to work alongside completing an SKE. Personally, I didn’t find completing the assignments too challenging or time consuming and could definitely have worked alongside completing the course. On my course there were several people who did this, as well as people who completed the course while looking after children or having other family commitments.

I did a distance learning course, which gave me a lot of flexibility about when I worked. My subject was biology, so there were two weeks of optional practical sessions to attend- but these were truly optional, and there was an alternative module available to allow non-attendees to complete the course.

What did the SKE course involve?

I did the VidLearn SKE, run by University of Sussex, which I think is widely recommended by a lot of ITT providers. I’m not sure how much variation there is between courses but this was my experience of the 16 week course.

The course was split up into modules, with a few (2-4) video lectures for each module to watch. We were also provided with an A-level textbook which included chapters on all the modules. To pass each module, we had to pass a multiple-choice assessment and produce two assignments: a summary presentation about the subject content and a written reflection on how we found the module.

The assignment was probably the most challenging part, as it involved summarising the module content and presenting it as you would to a class. However, over the course of the SKE, I grew more confident in what my tutor was looking for and felt able to produce some useful summaries. I don’t think these summaries as they are would be useful for teaching a class, but some sections could form the basis of future lessons or might provide a useful starting point.

We had a tutor available via email to contact if we had any problems, and he was very helpful. The university also provided us with a forum to talk to other learners and the tutor also set up a whatsapp group to allow us to connect with each other.

Overall, I found the experience really positive. I reinforced knowledge of some topics I hadn’t studied for a long time, and also got to think about how I might teach these topics to a class. The practical, university based sessions, were also really useful.

Personally, I didn’t find the course difficult to pass and I felt it was a good opportunity to refresh my subject knowledge before starting the PGCE.

If you have done an SKE or are completing one now, I would love to hear your experiences good and bad. It would be great for future students to hear which providers good and which ones people have had less good experiences with.

Alternatively, if you’ve got any questions about SKEs, then please feel free to ask them in this thread!


good job

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