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Any A Levels teachers here? Advice needed please.

(14 Posts)
Donthate Wed 08-Jul-15 14:03:34

I am thinking about teaching at A level.

I have a degree in the subject I want to teach, but I would need to complete a pgce. I could start that in September. Obviously most colleges have finished for the summer now so I have missed the boat to observe A level lessons. Can anyone offer any advice on the structure of their A level classes and any pros/ cons. My other route is a primary pgce but I already work with and enjoy working with 16-18 year olds.

noblegiraffe Wed 08-Jul-15 16:59:53

Why not secondary? Primary or A-level is missing out a large group of students!

I think you can do a PGCE in Post compulsory education but that would only qualify you to work in colleges not attached to secondary schools.

noblegiraffe Wed 08-Jul-15 17:01:03

Oh, and I think most PGCEs have finished recruiting for September, unless you're an extreme shortage subject?

Donthate Wed 08-Jul-15 19:14:06

My degree isn't a secondary subject but is an A level subject. I could do primary pgce but not this September. The a levels one I could.

noblegiraffe Wed 08-Jul-15 19:16:48

What subject is it?

LaceyLee Wed 08-Jul-15 19:20:33

You can do post compulsory pgce which now does mean you can work in schools (didn't before). Or you may be able to do it in your subject. I enjoy teaching a level you tend to get kids that are slightly more motivated and are generally fun to teach and you have fewer behavior issues usually. However things are about to change as the govt is phasing in terminal exam style a levels and phasing out as levels, which I personally believe is a big mistake, so no one can say what things will be like in a few years.

I think you will struggle to start any kind of pgce training in sept though as most places will recruit in advance. As you have experience you could look at training on the job (there are various routes) but I think you would be looking at sept 2016

noblegiraffe Wed 08-Jul-15 19:35:58

The notes on the post compulsory PGCE at UWE says "You should note that this qualification would allow you to teach in sixth form colleges, but does not lead to a teaching qualification with under 16s."

I know there was a change a while back so that those with further education PGCEs could teach in secondary schools, so I'm not sure what the rule is that the UWE page is referring to.

Donthate Wed 08-Jul-15 19:38:24

I sort of have a PGCE offer for September but it's just subject to a few issues and whether I really want to do it.

Can I ask what your lessons are like (lots of discussion etc)


Donthate Wed 08-Jul-15 19:39:15

I think the pgce I am looking at would be 14+ but I need to check.

321TeachUs Wed 08-Jul-15 19:48:43

It totally depends on the subject

Donthate Wed 08-Jul-15 19:55:10

It's a social science subject. Sorry I'm being vague I know!

phlebasconsidered Wed 08-Jul-15 22:19:15

I wouldn't bet on there being many social science courses offered for very much longer in many schools and colleges. The government is notoriously anti them and the arts courses and so many FE colleges don't offer them any longer. Even sociology and social courses at uni are on their way out.

You need another string to your bow. I taught History, sociology and politics at AS / A2 but history at GCSE. Very few schools will take on for just AS/A2. You wouldn't be budget worthy without a GCSE subject as well.

DoloresLandingham Wed 08-Jul-15 23:05:04

Is it sociology? I agree with phlebas; it would be prudent to have an additional specialism such as history or politics.

Layde Thu 09-Jul-15 00:08:38

I teach at a sixth form / FE college, so I just teach A levels and I love it. Previously, I was in a school and it is very different. Personally, I much prefer it. I also teach a humanities subject.

The major downside is that FE is the cinderella sector, and have faced a very unfair share of the cuts, and this is set to continue over the next five years. It is a tough time to work in FE as we do not have the protection that schools have.

But teaching 16 - 19 is fab. The students come to you as children, but leave as adults. Over the two years, we really see them growing up, maturing and developing and then leaving to go off to uni (or get a job). I also really enjoy the style of teaching. A lot of discussion, but I tend to do less activities compared to lower school teaching. Listening to the staffroom threads on here, on facebook and on TES I think I have far more autonomy compared to teachers.

But, I work somewhere where my terms and conditions are good. I understand that in some colleges, the t&c are much worse and they're generally not good.

In summary, I have found the teaching to be better, more rewarding and more enjoyable in the post compulsory sector, but my pay, hours worked per week, amount of holidays etc would be much better if I went back into a school.

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