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Can you offer me a Physics ITT placement in South Central area?

Discussion in 'Science' started by samoliver77, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. I am a 35 yr old female physicist with 12 years work experience at an internationally renowned research lab and after years of contemplation have decided that I want to become a secondary physics teacher. I rather naively thought that I would be snapped up due to the shortage in this area but unfortunately not.
    I have secured a place on the OU PGCE which will enable me to afford to undertake the training by allowing me to work part time but I need to find my own schools within which to train.
    Having approached over 30 secondary schools, I have been unable to secure a placement. This seems to be due to schools having existing contracts with local universities and / or a lack of resource / capacity in the science areas to undertake a mentee on a different assessment system (OU online tool).
    I'd be so grateful if someone could help me to find either a 5 wk+10 wk placement or an 8 wk placement in the next academic year in the Oxford / Reading / Swindon / Marlborough / Winchester areas and beyond - I would be prepared to drive for an hour+ from Newbury. Thank you!
  2. I was in the same boat as you a few years ago. Unfortunately, I can not offer a placement - but if it is aof any help, I can tell you what I did.
    I had to organise 3 placements at local schools myself with no help or contacts for a distance learning PGCE.
    Armed with a list of schools (addresses, & names of head teachers) from a local estate agent I contacted the closest ones & explained my predicament. In the first instance, I asked simply to observe some lessons since I was not sure whether I actually wanted to teach. I aimed to reach the Head of Dept for my subject, often through the Head's secretary, & eventually found one who was happy, willing and open minded. He was fabulous, keen and set up all that was needed for my first placement. The second placement was another 'cold calling / foot in the door' situation - this time I was lucky since the Head of Department had, by chance, gone to the same university as me and she was happy to take me on. The third was facilitated by her - she knew another local Head of Dept & persuaded him to let me do my final practice in his department.
    Keep persevering. In your favour, you have maturity (oldies can sometimes be more productive) and possibly more confidence than someone who has not been in a work environment. You will have the authority that comes with age, which pupils can respond well to. You can also illustrate your teaching with 'real life' stories which helps to keep pupils interested and lessons relevant.
    You may find that you come with a (small) monetary reward for the department or school that takes you on. Look into this, ask the OU, & use it to open doors!

  3. Hi,

    I'm looking forward to my PGCE interview next week with the Open University for secondary science (Physics), presumably you had yours recently? I'm looking to pick up an extra nugget or two - not chicken - and I would really appreciate some input on the two written tasks.

    With regards to your school, I was fortunate that a school where I had observed lessons in the Science department were happy for me to come on board (they get £50 per week) the key is if you have been in the department and met a few teachers they are able to get a feel for who you are and how you are which makes people much more comfortable.

    I would call your local schools again and see if you can get in to do observes and then see if they can accommodate you and of course see if the school is going to work for you.

    Letsby x
  4. If anyone has some OU interview advice that would be great ! Thanks, Letsby x

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