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Module XPE-3220:
Secondary School Experience

Module Facts

Run by School of Education and Human Development

60 Credits or 30 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Mrs Hazel Jane Wordsworth

Overall aims and purpose

The module will develop good/very good autonomous Associate Teachers through the preparation and integration of skills and pedagogy via progressive phases of teaching experiences. The structure of the module is informed by the Criteria for the Accreditation of Initial Teacher Education Programmes in Wales (Teaching Tomorrow’s Teachers) guidance. Welsh Government Circular no: 008A/2017 and the Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership for Wales.

Through the partnership, the module will:

  • Support ATs to work autonomously to develop a range of skills (which includes building on their own knowledge of the Welsh language to promote ‘Cymraeg Pob Dydd’) and reflective practice to satisfy the requirements of the statutory standards to become a qualified teacher and contribute to the learning community;
  • Ensure the ATs are thoroughly aware of how the application of knowledge and reflective practice provides enriched learning experiences for learners;
  • Support ATs to independently identify a wide range of techniques to become critically reflective about their own professional development and integrate into the school environment;
  • Provide opportunities for ATs to develop understanding of the content, principles and foci of XTE4214 and XTE4212.

Course content

The secondary school based experience module will develop the ATs' competency in teaching and learning. It will include collaboratively led close to practice seminars (in placement setting) that will inform how they teach and observe in the school. The structure will follow a progressive staged approach to learning how to teach. An indicative pattern is outlined below:

  • Stage 1: Preparatory: 4 x days school / 1 x day network;

  • Stage 2: Integration: 3 x days school / 2 x days network;

  • Stage 3: Development: 3 x days school / 2 x days network;

  • Stage 4: Practice and Implementation: 4 x days school / 1 x days network;

  • Stage 5: Debrief and Self Reflection: University based;

  • Stage 6: Implement through Practice: 4 x days school / 1 x days network;

  • Stage 7: Consolidation of Subject Knowledge Skills and Practice in Second School: 4 x days school / 1 x days subject or network;

  • Stage 8: Autonomous Development & Enrichment: 5 x days school followed by network time and Enrichment.

These stages will include:

  • weekly cluster teaching and review events;

  • observations and preparatory development;

  • close to practice research (small scale inquiries);

  • integration into the teaching environment;

  • higher order skills practice and implementation;

  • mentoring and self-reflection;

  • further implementation through practice;

  • consolidation of skills and practice;

  • continued autonomous development & enrichment.

The provision for enrichment will enable the ATs to observe and support learning in contrasting settings; for example, primary schools, outdoor learning centres and special schools. This additional experience will complement their principal practice and enhance their understanding of out-of-school learning opportunities, additional learning needs and pre-secondary development.

Research-based teaching

The content and delivery of the module will encourage ATs to offer advanced critical review of the importance of being consumers and producers of research; and to analyse, synthesise and critically reflect on the spectrum of research that informs teaching practice. ATs will also be encouraged to offer advanced critical evaluation of practice-based or close-to-practice research.

The module will develop advanced knowledge of teacher scholarship and the long-term impact of involvement in research on their personal developing professionalism and what it means to be a research-informed teacher. The module will encourage advanced mastery of what it means to develop a ‘culture of enquiry’ within self-improving school systems, schools as learning organisations, and the importance of developing and participating in Professional Learning Communities.

Specific research shared during network events will link closely to the content of  XTE-4211 and XTE-4213 and will be used to inform assessments for the other two level 7 modules 

Progression in Bilingualism

Associate teachers will be given an introduction to bilingualism in the context of the distinct Welsh curriculum, and the different ways that this is addressed in the different school settings (Welsh medium, bilingual and English medium). They will also study the aims and goals of bilingual education from different perspectives, consider EAL education and look at the specific issues associated with assessment of bilinguals. Subsequently they will consider the expected and realistic outcomes for different types of bilinguals. Associate Teachers will be made aware of and come to understand language policies in operation in schools and specific strategies that are built in to the curriculum which address learners' language skills.

Assessment Criteria


Most PSTL elements will have been attained at a good level. Excellence in some may compensate for satisfactory attainment in others.


Most elements of the PSTL will have been attained at a good level. Excellence in some areas may compensate for satisfactory attainment in others.


All elements of the PSTL will have been met to a satisfactory level.

Learning outcomes

  1. Critically examined the practices, assumptions and theories underpinning the planning for and structuring of pupils’ learning and the management of their behaviour in secondary schools from the perspective of policy, research, theory and current practice

  2. Demonstrated a sophisticated understanding and experience of teaching that ensures all learners develop the capacity to be ambitious and capable, enterprising and creative, ethical and informed, healthy and confident as required by the curriculum.

  3. Demonstrated a profound understanding of Additional Learning Needs (ALN) from different perspectives and evaluated steps taken to address them.

  4. Managed and organised classrooms to promote a culture of high aspiration and behaviour which supports learning.

  5. Enrich learners’ sense of community and cultural values by applying their knowledge of the Welsh curriculum.

  6. To reflect critically on their progress and collaboratively set targets in order to meet or exceed the Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership

Assessment Methods

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Lecture 8
Private study

Private Study required to meet the learning outcomes of the module

Private study

Private Study required to complete all the Microsoft STEP units outlined in the course documentation.


The principal methods of learning and teaching will be workshop and seminars . During non-contact time, Associate Teachers will be expected to carry out reading and directed tasks in preparation for subsequent sessions.


The principal methods of learning and teaching will be small group or individual tutorials. During non-contact time, Associate Teachers will be expected to carry out reading and directed tasks in preparation for tutorials. Sessional and tutorial support where necessary will target underperformance.

Work-based learning

Specific research through learning cycles during school experience/ cluster sessions and university sessions will include: Methods of Adult Learning and Teaching:

  • purposeful observation and reflection of teaching and learning (ALN and Behaviour Management);
  • microteaching; guided mentor phased teaching; joint reflection (with mentor on classroom management); team teaching with mentor; reflecting and evaluating ('reading' the classroom);
  • purposeful observation of a range of effective practitioners and reflecting on higher order skills, with integrated reflection periods;
  • building practice whilst moving from microteaching as appropriate to more autonomy and more complete learning cycles;
  • in practice reflection; research from performance; lesson study (co-planning and co-observing);
  • modelling of effective practice by tutors and mentors;
  • professional discussion of progress, guidance and feedback on ATs teaching and pupils’ learning;
  • cross-phase and alternative experiences.

Formative Assessment:

• continuous formative feedback from professional mentor / school based mentor / tutor based on Associate Teacher’s professional development through a weekly review process;

• formative peer feedback from professional networks;

• on-going self-reflection and self-assessment;

• dialogue with learners;

• analysis of learner outcomes.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • That they set demanding teaching and learning objectives relevant to all learners in their classes and use those teaching and learning objectives for lesson planning, and lesson follow-ups with appropriate differentiation for learners;
  • That they choose and prepare resources, and plan to organise them safely and effectively, giving consideration to learners' interests, their language and cultural backgrounds, with the assistance of support staff when appropriate.
  • That they take part in teaching teams, and contribute to them, according to what is appropriate to the school. That they plan, where applicable, for the deployment of an extra adult to support the learning of children and young people.
  • That they make appropriate use of a range of monitoring and assessment strategies to evaluate learners' progress towards planned teaching objectives, and use that information to improve their own planning and teaching.
  • That they identify more able and talented learners and provide them with support;
  • That they systematically record learners' progress and successes, in order to provide evidence of the range of their work, their progress and achievement over time. That they use this to support learners in reviewing their own progress and to illuminate planning.
  • That they can teach the skills, information and understanding required or expected in relation to the curriculum for learners in the age range which they have been trained to teach and how they are relevant to the age range they were trained to teach making appropriate use of the Cwricwlwm Cymreig for learners aged 7 - 14;
  • That they adapt their teaching in order to meet needs of learners, including the more able and talented, and those with special educational needs. That they can receive guidance by an experienced teacher when appropriate.
  • That they can support those learning Welsh or English if that is the language in which they are being educated and is different to the language, or to the language form of their home, with the support of an experienced teacher when appropriate.
  • That they give consideration to various interests, experiences and successes of every pupil they teach in order to help learners' progression.
  • That they organise and manage teaching and learning time effectively.
  • That they organise and manage the physical teaching environment, the equipment, materials, books and other resources safely and effectively, with the help of support staff when appropriate.
  • That they can take responsibility for teaching a class or classes over a continuous and substantial period of time. That they can teach across the age range for which they were trained.
  • That they can identify and respond effectively to matters relating to social inclusion and equal opportunities when they arise in the classroom, including challenging stereotypical opinions, and challenging bullying or harassment by following the policy and relevant procedures.


Reading list

Briggs, S. (2015). Meeting Special Educational Needs in Secondary Classrooms. (2nd edition). London, UK: Routledge. Capel, S., Leask, M. & Turner, T. (2016). Learning to Teach in the Secondary School: a Companion to School Experience. (7th ed). London, UK: Routledge. Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2004). A guide to Teaching Practice. (5th edition). London, UK: Routledge. Donaldson, G. (2015). The Donaldson Review of Curriculum and Assessment. Cardiff, UK: Welsh Government Dymoke, S. (2012). Reflective Teaching and Learning in the Secondary School. (2nd edition). London, UK: Sage. Gluck Wood, A. (2007). What do we tell the children? Stoke on Trent, UK: Trentham.
Mercier, C., Philpott, C. & Scott, H. (Eds). (2013). Professional Issues in Secondary Teaching. London, UK: Sage. Ryder. N. (2013). Yr ABC i Anghenion Ychwanegol. Aberystwyth: Canolfan Peniarth Savage, J. (2011). Cross Curricular Teaching in the Secondary School. London, UK; Routledge.
Soan, S. (2016). Additional Educational Needs: inclusive approaches to teaching. London, UK: David Fulton. Welsh Government (2017). Additional Learning Needs Code of Practice. Cardiff, UK: Welsh Government Wenger, E., Wenger-Traynor, B., Kubiak, C., Hutchinson, S. & Fenton-O'Creevy, M. (2015). Learning in Landscapes of Practice: Boundaries, Identity, and Knowledgeability in Practice-based Learning. London, UK; Routledge. Wragg, E.C. (2011). An Introduction to Classroom Observation. Abingdon, UK; Routledge.

Journals British Education Research Journal Cambridge Journal of Education International Journal of Coaching and Mentoring Journal of Curriculum Studies Journal of Educational Research Journal of Teacher Education

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: