Anyone a secondary RE teacher who did PGCE part-time?

(22 Posts)
lankyalto Fri 25-Jun-10 19:51:49

I am thinking about doing this. There is a good RE PGCE course at a college near me. DS is starting school in Sept 2011 so I thought I could start it then. It would take 2 years part-time and I would get a £6000 bursary plus the tuition fees paid.

Does anyone have any experience of part-time PGCE?

Sorry if this is not the right place to post.

Helokitty Fri 25-Jun-10 20:44:30

Sorry, I did mine full time over 1 year, but I teach RS and just wanted to say good luck - and RS is the best subject to teach! grin It is hard work, often the workload is more than most other subjects, so it can be a bit of a cinderella subject, but it is also the best subject by far! Good luck.

lankyalto Fri 25-Jun-10 20:52:59

thank you.
a bit shock at the big workload though!!

I'm also an RS teacher and second that it's the most fabulous subject in the school. Did my PGCE full time so no help there I'm afraid. It's hard work but very rewarding-and in a very different way to other subjects I think

mnistooaddictive Fri 25-Jun-10 21:09:38

For some part time courses you have to find your own school placements. It is sol to you as you can find schools near you but it can be a complete nightmare as most schools who are prpared to have students already have links with the colleges near thrm and don't have room for more. Check this out and ask how previous students have got on if this is the case.
I think most subjects think theirs has the most work. It depends on a lot of things. I am not saying helokitty is lying but some RE teachers I have worked with did not have huge workloads. It is not a popular subject as it is compulsory but not valued so behaviour can be poor. Phone up your local school in september and ask to spend a few days with the re teachers watching them teach and discussing how they find it. Most colleges won't accept you unless you have done this anyway!

lankyalto Fri 25-Jun-10 21:17:06

thanks for all your advice, lots to think about there.
smile

Helokitty Fri 25-Jun-10 22:30:28

Mnistooaddictive - the high workloads come from the sheer numbers of students you have. In my old schools, I regularly taught one class per hour per week. Therefore, it was not uncommon to teach 500 students+ (as most of your classes are KS3). Homework used to be set once a fortnight, but that's still 250+ books to be marked every week. Then, you because you teach so many students you have to go to every parent's evening. Chances are, only a handful of students / parents will actually want to see you - but you probably will be expected to be at almost all parents evening. At one school I taught in there were two parents evening per year group, so most teachers only went to one or the other - the RS teachers were the only ones who used to be there every time! Finally, it was no uncommon to teach 4/5 sets per year - so at report time, I could be expected to write 150 reports for just one year group etc...

Also, without a nationally agreed syllabus, there are very few good text books that will meet the demands of your local syllabus. Of course, there are some books that you can use, but most RS teachers I know tend to make their own resources.

However, I taught at high achieving, academic schools, so in those type of schools the work load / expectations can be higher (For example, in one school every report was expect to be handwritten, copying and pasting was not allowed, and had to be a 250 word individual statement about each child - fine when you're only doing it for one student - but when you have to do that for 150 students, it does become hard work!).

Not trying to put you off lankylto - but I think part time is probably a very sensible option. I found the marking / planning aspect very hard in my PGCE and I had no distractions. But, I will emphasise that it is totally worth it, and 13 years on, I still have a job I love and adore and would not change my subject for the world - it is the best grin.

mnistooaddictive Sat 26-Jun-10 19:13:11

helokitty - your lesson planning is significantly less. Yoyu plan a lesson and teach it 4 or 5 times. That saves time. Also lots of the onees I knew did poster homework that wasn't really marked. I used to make my own resources too. There is NO subject where a textbook fits your syllabus and your class, and as I said you then reuse them loads!
I don't deny you work hard but harder than English teachers with the masses of coursework and essays they have to mark? Harder than PE teachers with their many hours of Clubs etc? Harder than drama teachers putting on school productions in their 'spare time'? I think we all work hard and need to recognise that. Sorry for the hijack.

daisymiller Sat 26-Jun-10 19:19:30

I am most amused at the competitive workloads going on. I teach RE, have coursework, exam classes, would be skinned alive for setting a poster homework or teaching every class the same lesson. I am sure I work no harder than an English teacher though.

Good teachers engage children and make a subject popular.

I don't know anyone who did their PGCE parttime , it must be possible though. TBH I would just get it over and done with in a year.

lankyalto Sat 26-Jun-10 19:30:29

I can't do it in a year, due to ds. But yes it is possible, according to the college. they say they fit it round each student as much as possible.

Did all of you go into a school for experience before doing the PGCE?

The planning and marking aspects worry me, not having done anything like that before, but I guess that's part of the PGCE skills you learn?

Is it true that RS isn't in the Nat Curriculum, I always presumed it was. Hmm...

Thanks again for sharing all of your experiences with me. smile

daisymiller Sat 26-Jun-10 20:55:10

Yes that is what you learn, their is a locally agreed syllabus for RE.

The workload does shock people when they join but tbh you can work as few or as many hours as you want after that. I have colleagues who don't do much beyond 8-4 and those who are at work for 7 and leave at 6pm taking a good five hours work with them.

mummytime Sun 27-Jun-10 04:28:19

Are you sure about getting your fees paid? Because I would be very surprised and jealous if your did. PGCE is also a real roller coaster ride, and a lot of hard work. Placements have to be done full-time. All worth thinking about.

cashmygold Sun 27-Jun-10 11:30:29

Mummytime, I think Lanky means that she will not have to foot the bill for fees up front, but most likely means she'll pay via student loan.

scaryteacher Sun 27-Jun-10 16:59:28

'helokitty - your lesson planning is significantly less. Yoyu plan a lesson and teach it 4 or 5 times. That saves time.'

And if you are a teacher worth your salt and not a lazy arse, you will differentiate and tailor that lesson for the individual class as they will all be different, so no time saved that I can recall.

I did my PGCE full time, but got my fees paid and a bursary back in 2000.

My workload increased as I also taught after school classes so some students could do full course, rather than short course (a full GCSE as opposed to a half GCSE) and I have examined for several years as this helps improve the teaching at KS4 no end, as you know precisely what the examiner is looking for, how to phrase answers, and all the little tricks that help pick up maximum marks.

There are textbooks out there, some better than others, but we can recommend stuff to you, including the websites most of us use to help you out. It's a great subject to teach, I'm so glad that I took the plunge and did it.

Now back to the GCSE marking!

lankyalto Sun 27-Jun-10 20:44:01

mummytime, yes, according to the college website
"Students in receipt of the full maintenance grant (ie £2,906) will receive a top-up bursary, directly from the University, of an additional £384 resulting in a funding support package of £3,290 to cover their full tuition fees."

And I have very reason to believe I would be eligible.

I was wondering about the teaching practice being full-time even though the course is part-time, will hve to look into that further.

scaryteacher I would be very interested in some websites, just to give me an idea of what goes on. Back in my day, when the dinosaurs walked the earth, our RS seemed to consist of drawing pictures of the apostles and writing a story with Jesus in it...

RS is very different now-has changed a lot in the last 10 years or so. Are 3 options - A is the mire 'traditional' RE B is the moral
issues and C is catholic stuff so will depend on what school you work in. remember to have to be a catholic to teach RE in a catholic school as a general rule. RE is a core subject and agree that it can have an image problem in some places but how much it's valued depends on the school, the department and the staff who teach it. You can't win them all. Maths and English aren't universally liked either. In my school there are no more moans about RE than any other subject

Re: websites, try NATRE and REtoday - both good stuff!

cashmygold Sun 27-Jun-10 23:48:35

Have you had a look at the TES (times educational supplement)forums. There is an RE forum where I am sure many of your questions can be answered.

manyhands Mon 28-Jun-10 08:12:21

I did a primary PGCE part time by distance learning with a then 16 month old and 3 year old. I found it quite manageable. Your placements will be full time, so you need to find full time child care for 10 weeks per year, which can be really difficult. I really enjoyed my placements but thy were really hard work as you have to plan in great detail, we had a six page lesson plan form. I was also eligable for a student grant and a parents allowance which paid for my child care costs but would not have been enough to live on. The 6000 is spread across two years so you get 3000 per year.

Where abouts are you? If near me you can come to my dept for a few days and have a look if you want? Or find any local school nearby. Probably the quickest way to get a feel for it

lankyalto Mon 28-Jun-10 19:53:58

Thanks Pottering - where are you?
Do schools "mind" or is it something that happens a lot?

Thanks everyone else. I don't have any family suitable for childcare so the placements would be tricky, but possibly once ds is at school there might be before and after school clubs??

I will have a look at all the websites suggested.
Thanks again smile

I'm in Gateshead. Schools won't mind-most pgce courses require work experience first so often get people asking if they can come in. Just ring or email them. I'd try and get in before the end of the summer term though. Year 11 left so more relaxed. Even though in theory I'm preparing for next year it's still abut mental in September!

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