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5-11 v 3-7 primary pgce

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Helenldodd, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. I'm just starting out on my primary PGCE and am having a complete nightmare over what age group to choose. I have always been interested in early years but have been advised against choosing this age range as I could end up having teaching practice in a nursery setting. My tutor has also said I would be reducing my job opportunities by narrowing my age range. Please can someone offer me some advice......
     
  2. I'm just starting out on my primary PGCE and am having a complete nightmare over what age group to choose. I have always been interested in early years but have been advised against choosing this age range as I could end up having teaching practice in a nursery setting. My tutor has also said I would be reducing my job opportunities by narrowing my age range. Please can someone offer me some advice......
     
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I'd agree with your tutor. Train as primary and then get a post in early years if you want.
     
  4. Hi Helendodd,
    During my BA undergraduate course I too had to decide this. In my experience I thought that I would prefer teaching the 5-11 age range, however I found myself wanting to teach in the early years too. I was advised that working your way down the age range was harder than working up, as the skills, knowledge ect that you learn in the EYFS is different to KS1 and 2. I chose to go for the the 3-7 age range which gave me the experiences using both the NC and EYFS Curriculum so i now feel better prepared to work across the whole age range. I think trying to get a job in the early years with no early years experience might be tricky.I think once you get a job in a primary school, having done the 3-7 age range you will be able to teach early years and KS1 and with solid subject knowledge move up to KS2 when ready, where as with a different currculum and organisation, early years maybe harder to get your head round. That was my thought on it anyway!
    I hope whatever you decide it will be right for you, and once you get your QTS you can teach in any age range you want anyway!

     
  5. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    How would you feel about doing part of your teaching practice in a nursery setting? If you enjoy working with early years then it shouldn't really bother you, as it won't be more than one placement out of three (they try to give you a different age group for each placement, so you should only get at most one nursery one). It can be considered an advantage to have experience with younger children so that you know where the older ones have come from - as not all children meet their age expectations, it's useful to have good knowledge of what comes before so you can support them more effectively. If nursery really doesn't appeal, though, I'd question why you were considering the 3-7 PGCE, as Reception is also play-based and many settings use play-based elements in Year 1. Not saying you should want to work in Nursery forever, but one placement there shouldn't put you off, and if it does, you're probably better staying away from the EYFS altogether and doing the 5-11 PGCE.


    You will be disadvantaged in applying for KS2 jobs initially if you go for the 3-7 PGCE, but people move around within a school all the time; if you wanted to, you'd probably find it quite easy to shuffle yourself into a KS2 position within a couple of years of being an NQT. On the 5-11 PGCE you'd probably find it harder to get Foundation Stage jobs, but might equally be able to move down - although people often say it's easier to move up than down within a school. It all depends where you think you'd like to work initially, really, which is of course hard to judge from a pre-PGCE standpoint!
     
  6. I'd also second the opinion that formal training in EYFS is valuable if you have any interest at all in teaching lower primary/reception. The EYFS is a horse of an entirely different colour to the NC, and although there are differences between KS1 and KS2 curriculum, the basic delivery is very similar in my humble opinion... the main difference being subject knowledge. I chose to go for 3-7 on this basis, having had experience working with KS2 prior to starting the course and it has served me very well. I have done 2 EYFS placements and 1 KS1 placement, but could just have easily had 1 EYFS and 2 KS1.
    I far prefer Early Years to UKS2 so 7-11 (the other option on my course) was never going to be my choice. My HT also considers someone with EYFS experience to be more flexible than only KS1/2 experience, but that's just her opinion. I should also add that having a good knowledge of early development in children has had a huge impact on my teaching higher up school, particularly chn with learning difficulties or SEN.
     
  7. I chose 5-11 and in my experience, friends who followed the 3-7 route were limited when applying for jobs compared to those who followed the 5-11 route. I have 3 different friends who trained in 5-11 but then got their first teaching jobs in reception, but I highly doubt you'd be offfered a job in KS2 if your placements had all been in early years.
     
  8. I have a colleague who trained as 3-7 and used her placement CPD time to gain experience in KS2 (which I have done in part, but had prior exp of KS2 before starting the course). She had no trouble getting a job and took a KS2 job as the school felt that she could be used anywhere in school - they felt she was more flexible. I also received an offer for a KS2 job, but took a KS1 job instead as that is my preference. There will always be some age-range where you are less experienced, so you have to decide which you'd prefer in the end. However, as has already been mentioned by a previous poster, it's harder to move down than up.
     
  9. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    I highly doubt all your placements would be in Early Years on a 3-7 course, given that Early Years only goes up to age 5.
     
  10. I've just completed a PGCE in Primary. Several of the people on my course have ended up with jobs in reception, as they were told the QTS is what really matters.
    I thought I'd love KS1 and I did, but I found that I loved KS2 too. In my opinion, it's better to choose the biggest age range you can to give you an appreciation of more age groups. Statistically, you're going to be better off when job hunting too.
     

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