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What can I do to prepare for doing a PGCE?

(17 Posts)
Skyler Thu 10-May-07 21:04:33

My long-term plan is to do my PGCE when my dd2 starts school. She is two this June so I have a little while and was wondering if anyone has any advice of some reading / preparation / courses that I can do in the mean time. DD1 starts school in Jan and dd2 will start nursery two mornings at the same time and so I am hoping to be able to volunteer at the primary school then. I am conscious that my applications will look sparse though. I have a 2:1 degree from a traditional Uni but don't think that will count for that much by the time I apply. I am on my Nursery committee and toddler group committee but don't know how much that will help either. I want to prove I am committed by the time I apply by having done some preparation in this time off work.
Any ideas??? TIA.

WendyWeber Thu 10-May-07 21:07:06

What subject is your degree in and what kind of teaching are you hoping to do, Skyler?

Skyler Thu 10-May-07 21:11:21

I have a History degree. I am pretty sure that I want to do Primary school teaching, probably KS2, but I really want to do some work experience in a secondary school as I think I might be surprised....I know a friend who was and is now qualified teaching in a secondary school and loving it .

PanicPants Thu 10-May-07 21:14:58

Get into schools as much as you can to gain experience.

This is one of the most important requirements we looked at when I was involved with interviewing candidates for PGCE courses.

Either get a part time job as a TA, or become involved through volunteering.

pointydog Thu 10-May-07 21:15:44

Volunteer in school(s) as much as you can. That's the best thing to do. Your committees will def help - parental involvement big.

Try to get into a secondary - even if you only apply for primary you can make a big thing of having looked at transition from primary to secondary.

sound slike your on the right lines

WendyWeber Thu 10-May-07 21:18:26

Well my DD1 (25 now) has a 2:1 in Linguistics (no Eng Lang or Lit), thought she wanted to teach Primary but changed her mind and has just got a PGCE place to do English/Media/Drama at secondary.

DD2 has a friend aged 22 who is just completing a languages degree and she has a PGCE place for primary. She loves kids and is always out with dozens of cousins but I don't know what practical experience she has.

Another girl I know who is 24 and has a 1st in something like Pharmacology also has a PGCE place for primary. She has done babysitting/nannying.

DD1 has some experience with teenagers from several years working at US summer camp, and has done a week in a primary school this year (thanks, YG!) and a few hours in a secondary but that's all.


lesliephillips Thu 10-May-07 21:19:15

I run a secondary teacher training course and I would say that the most important thing to do is to spend time in school observing teachers, helping out a bit if you can, and familiarising yourself with the curriculum so that you know what needs to be delivered and have seen how to put theory into practice through your time in school. the tda website has plenty of info

pointydog Thu 10-May-07 21:23:21

also check that you have all academic requirements in terms of A levels/GCSEs for primary. In scotland you need English, maths, and a science at gcse. I think.

You can do evebing classes if you've not

Rachmumoftwo Thu 10-May-07 21:28:25

You need the Maths, English and Science (science depends on your age) GCSEs in England and Wales too, so if you haven't got them you could start by looking into that. Best of luck.

Best thing you could do to prepare for a PGCE is to spend a month with no sleep, writing and re-writing the same paperwork over and over and filling a folder with bits of paper you have no use for and will never look at again Oh, and have someone watch your every move for a day or so as well.

Skyler Thu 10-May-07 21:31:56

Ooh, thank you everyone. Glad you think I am along the right lines.
Thankfully I have all the right GCSE's etc. So work experience is the way to go. Good. This seems sensible to volunteer anyway to be sure I am making the right decision. I am under no illusions how demanding the course and then job will be so this is good news. Are schools accustomed to people requesting shadowing or volunteer work? I have been CRB checked, but only as a committee member for the Nursery. Is this something that can put the schools off?
You are all recommending the practical experience so this is obviously the route to go over and above any reading / other quals then.

Skyler Thu 10-May-07 21:32:52

Lol NineUT. Are you in the midst of this now then???

ChippyMinton Thu 10-May-07 21:36:58

skyler i volunteer in DS1's school and had have a lesser form of CRB check before i was allowed to start - may have been called Form 99?

Ha! Not me, my DH did his PGCE a couple of years ago and it was really tough. A lot of hard work but well worth it in the end and he loves being a teacher. But I have a friend who had two DC when she started her PGCE and it was very hard for her...do you have support in the evenings, because my DH spent almost every night writing assignments of one kind or another.

Oh and schools seem to be well used to people volunteering as a preparation to applying for PGCE. I don't think the CRB will be an issue - you wouldn't be left unsupervised with children. I used to go into schools all the time in my last job and noone ever asked to see my CRB clearance

Skyler Thu 10-May-07 21:43:20

Thank you.
I will have support in the evenings. We live close to DH's work and so he is home by 5.15 nearly every day .
He is in the forces though so we may have a 4 mths absence to deal with at some point so I will have to plan my course around that and make sure they don't happen at the same time. No point even attempting this if he will be away! We are too far from any family at the moment as well.
This is my other problem, I don't even know where we will be living by the time I try to apply or do the course. This is why I want to do everything to prepare myself in advance, to control the bit of my life I can lol.

Freddiecat Thu 10-May-07 21:50:44

LOL 9UT - especially about the folder. I stressed about this SOOOO much and it is a complete waste of time.

Definitely get some experience in schools. ASAP. Be totally profesional about it too. I did a week in my local comp. Loved it and was delighted when a job turned up there the next year. Applied and was shortlisted based upon my application AND the fact I'd impressed them when I went in to observe. Got the job too! and loving it

good luck!

Skyler Thu 10-May-07 22:10:36

Oh well done Freddiecat! Sounds great. I could do with that scenario.
Actually the whole idea of leaving the dd's to go back to work terrifies me. (What do you do when they are ill? Anyway I digress.)
I know it will be fine when the time comes as they will be older. I just know how lucky I am to be at home with them at the mo.
The work experience will remind me there is a whole wide world out there and that is no bad thing either. I worry I use them as an excuse not to work sometimes as everyone I know in RL works at least part time. I would not change things though. For me this is precious time, but we can't afford it forever and I need a career for me, not just the series of jobs I have had up till now. And I know I am capable of this no matter how much people try to put me off

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