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View Full Version : PGCE (teacher training) help!


wishspirit
02-18-2009, 04:37 PM
Hello everyone, I haven't posted on the UK boards very much, but I thought this would be the best place to post!

I am currently in my second year of a degree in history, but have always wanted to be a primary school teacher, so I need to start looking around for a PGCE (post-graduate teacher training) place. Now since all PGCE's are pretty similar, the deciding factor is the schools nearby. So....

How are the schools near you? My main focus is down south (not too far away from family and boyfriend), so my current ideas are Reading, Southampton, Cambridge or Brighton Uni's. If anyone lives in these areas, or even knows of reputations of primary schools nearby, it would be SO helpful!

If you are a teacher, or someone who knows anything about teacher training, your help and advice (or warnings to run in the opposite directions) would be appreciated!

Thanks everyone! :thumbsup2

Lizzybear
02-18-2009, 05:05 PM
I applied for this year's intake but only got an interview for a 2 year distance learning one which after much deliberation I decided not to do.. I can't afford to be working 2 years part-time or less (normal PGCE would just be one) especially since I only graduated last year so i'm just going to reapply next year. The competition is VERY fierce, especially for primary, so if you haven't had any experience in a school then I would definitely try and get some (even voluntary) as they pretty much expect it. Also, apply as soon as you can when they start accepting applications as they start choosing people to interview very quickly, I ended up applying late which I think hurt my chances.
I know the job market is competitive for primary school teachers but I think if you want something badly enough then it's at least worth a try :)

wilma-bride
02-19-2009, 12:30 AM
My husband did his teacher training (not primary though - adult) at Oxford Brookes University and thought it was fantastic.

wishspirit
02-19-2009, 02:33 AM
I applied for this year's intake but only got an interview for a 2 year distance learning one which after much deliberation I decided not to do.. I can't afford to be working 2 years part-time or less (normal PGCE would just be one) especially since I only graduated last year so i'm just going to reapply next year. The competition is VERY fierce, especially for primary, so if you haven't had any experience in a school then I would definitely try and get some (even voluntary) as they pretty much expect it. Also, apply as soon as you can when they start accepting applications as they start choosing people to interview very quickly, I ended up applying late which I think hurt my chances.
I know the job market is competitive for primary school teachers but I think if you want something badly enough then it's at least worth a try :)

Thanks for the advice! I am planning to do it full time (and pile up even more debt, :scared:). I have experience working with children (as I work at a playscheme for children with special needs during the holidays) and I am doing some work experience in a local primary school too. This has really opened my eyes to the differences in primary school education! That's why I would really like to know about what the schools in the area are like. I am looking into Ofsted reports at the moment, but they only tell you so much.

tennisfan
02-19-2009, 02:56 AM
Thanks for the advice! I am planning to do it full time (and pile up even more debt, :scared:). I have experience working with children (as I work at a playscheme for children with special needs during the holidays) and I am doing some work experience in a local primary school too. This has really opened my eyes to the differences in primary school education! That's why I would really like to know about what the schools in the area are like. I am looking into Ofsted reports at the moment, but they only tell you so much.

I thought it didn't cost money to do a PGCE, there is usually a grant which is paid too. Having said that when my sister did her PGCE they were not allowed to have a job due to the amount of work involved.

Lizzybear
02-19-2009, 04:04 AM
I thought it didn't cost money to do a PGCE, there is usually a grant which is paid too. Having said that when my sister did her PGCE they were not allowed to have a job due to the amount of work involved.

There is a grant but i'd prefer to only give up work for 1 year rather than 2.. It took me 4 years rather than 3 to do my degree so i'd rather take the more intense but less time consuming in the long run route :)

jen_uk
02-19-2009, 04:06 AM
I did the PGCE post compulsary (teaching in a college) 4 years ago, I did it full time but I got a bursary of 666 a month because psychology was a subject that had a shortage of teachers in it. My advice is find out what subjects are currently giving out bursarys, if its not history but is still a subject you could teach then I would do that and when you go on your placement ask to teach a mix of that and history. I did mine at Portsmouth uni and it was rubbish, an absolute waste of time, I learnt nothing there, I learnt everything at my placement. Southampton uni is a very good uni, there are some not very nice areas there though so thats worth considering when it comes to your placement (for anyone from Soton, no offence meant, Portsmouth has some shocking schools as well!). My friend has just completed her PGCE at Brighton and she said it was really good and she loved her placement school.

Danauk
02-20-2009, 10:22 AM
I'm a primary school teacher and I did a PGCE, although I trained at Leeds. I would not worry about the schools in your area when you apply for a PGCE, I would look more at the uni you want to go to. In every area you will have great and not so great schools, plus as you do not get to choose your teaching practice schools I would not worry about that. My 1st teaching practice was in a not so great (according to OFSTED) school in a very rough area of Barnsley and it was the best experience ever, I learned so much there. I am so glad I had practice in that type of environment, it equipped me a lot for my future teaching. Another thing about schools who do not have great OFSTED reports is that they are usually the schools who are made to do up to date ideas and made to teach using the modern ideas and practices and often have great teachers. My school was in special measures for 2 years yet throughout that time all my observed lessons were graded good or outstanding so just because a school has a bad OFSTED report that does not mean it has bad teachers. I am the teacher training coordinator too for my current school, so if you want any more questions answering I will be happy to help out.

hildasmuriel
02-20-2009, 01:21 PM
Out of interest - is it just the school I work in, or is there a general snobbery amongst teachers that those who come via the PGCE route are not as much 'proper' teachers as those who have done the BEd? Then those who have a degree in other subjects consider the BEd's to be less wordly, as they have only ever done teaching.

It is quite amusing to us non-teaching staff. :rotfl:

We nearly always have students at our school, often in batches of 4.

Danauk
02-20-2009, 01:59 PM
Out of interest - is it just the school I work in, or is there a general snobbery amongst teachers that those who come via the PGCE route are not as much 'proper' teachers as those who have done the BEd? Then those who have a degree in other subjects consider the BEd's to be less wordly, as they have only ever done teaching.

It is quite amusing to us non-teaching staff. :rotfl:

We nearly always have students at our school, often in batches of 4.

Not in my school, but our staff are very close, actually I'm not sure with our teachers who have PGCE's and who have BEd's. Students who come to our school often can't even tell at 1st who the teachers are and who the teaching assistants are, I view my 2 TA's as teachers just as I am. In our school it doesn't matter what you have done, not got a degree, higher level teaching assistant, BEd, degree and PGCE doesn't matter.

Lizzybear
02-21-2009, 03:21 AM
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Lizzybear
02-21-2009, 03:30 AM
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Lizzybear
02-21-2009, 03:47 AM
Another thing about schools who do not have great OFSTED reports is that they are usually the schools who are made to do up to date ideas and made to teach using the modern ideas and practices and often have great teachers. My school was in special measures for 2 years yet throughout that time all my observed lessons were graded good or outstanding so just because a school has a bad OFSTED report that does not mean it has bad teachers. I am the teacher training coordinator too for my current school, so if you want any more questions answering I will be happy to help out.

I agree Dana, I work as a supply nursery nurse and TA at the moment (I do have a degree and would like to do the PGCE so it's consistent work and good experience in the meantime until I find something permanent) and have worked in a variety of schools from the highest ranked primary school in Liverpool which I loved and was so sad to leave (one of the downsides of temping really!) to others much lower down but with really enthusiastic staff who genuinely want to make a difference and a very caring atmosphere :)

wishspirit
02-21-2009, 11:59 AM
Thats the thing i am really looking for in the reports, how postive the learning enviroment seems to be.

I am a bit worried about becoming a teacher, as i have been told that some schools can be a bit cliquey and do see some routes as better than others.

To be honest the reason why I did a normal degree first is I wanted to give myself time to see if teaching was something I really wanted, and to give myself an 'easy get' out if after my PGCE i found out it wasn't. I love working with kids in a playing enviroment, I was worried I'd find teaching too different and too structured. After some work experience, I think I would really love it. However I don't think I could cope in a too clique enviroment. DO you think this will be an issue??

Danauk
02-21-2009, 04:11 PM
Like I said earlier, our school in not cliquey in the slightest. We see no difference between BEd, PGCE, the deputy head, teaching assistants etc, we are all there to do the same job which is to teach the children.
You probably won't find out if the school has a positive learning environment or not without actually spending time in the school. OFSTED reports will not always reflect this. As for the structure, some things are very structured, others not so much. Our school does cross curricular learning which leaves a lot of scope for your own ideas as to what to teach. You just have to make sure you are covering the key learning objectives and skills from the national curriculum. Literacy and Numeracy (and science in KS2) are more structured, especially higher up the school due to SATs testing.
I would do the PGCE if it is something you are interested in and then do your NQT year to decide if teaching is for you. A PGCE is a lot of hard work and in many ways having a class that is truely your own is very different which is why I would recommend sticking with it to complete your NQT year in case you do not fully enjoy the PGCE course.

hildasmuriel
02-22-2009, 04:13 AM
Sorry, didn't want to give the idea that our school is divided along lines of qualifications - it is just a funny quirk I noticed. For example, 2 young teachers I know are very good friends, go out drinking together, take turns driving to school etc. Yet I have heard one privately say she thinks she knows more about teaching than anyone who has done a PGCE as she spent 4 years studying teaching. The other teacher I have heard say that she thinks she is more rounded a person having doen a non-cognant degree first. As I say, a bit quirky.

I have heard of schools where non-teaching staff are not allowed in the staff room (and that includes students!) but I believe this is rare. The only 'cliques' in our school are ones that would form naturally - ie a group of young mums may get on better together, a couple of teachers nearing retirement always meet up for lunch, the youngsters go out drinking together, but at whole work 'dos' everybody mixes well.

hildasmuriel
02-22-2009, 04:14 AM
Sorry, didn't want to give the idea that our school is divided along lines of qualifications - it is just a funny quirk I noticed. For example, 2 young teachers I know are very good friends, go out drinking together, take turns driving to school etc. Yet I have heard one privately say she thinks she knows more about teaching than anyone who has done a PGCE as she spent 4 years studying teaching. The other teacher I have heard say that she thinks she is more rounded a person having doen a non-cognant degree first. As I say, a bit quirky.

I have heard of schools where non-teaching staff are not allowed in the staff room (and that includes students!) but I believe this is rare. The only 'cliques' in our school are ones that would form naturally - ie a group of young mums may get on better together, a couple of teachers nearing retirement always meet up for lunch, the youngsters go out drinking together, but at whole work 'dos' everybody mixes well.