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Do I have enough experience?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by TigerLoo, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. TigerLoo

    TigerLoo New commenter

    Hi everyone
    I have just finished my 2nd year doing BSc Biological Sciences, and will be applying in September for Primary PGCE starting in September 2012. I've heard that the application process is very competitive, so am after any tips/advice anyone might have as to how to maximise my chances of getting a place! Understandably there is a lot of emphasis put on previous experience, and I was wondering if you think I have enough experience to have a chance:

    4 weeks experience in my local primary, based mainly in a yr4/5 class, but visited other classes all the way down to foundation as well. I did some general observing, as well as taking spelling/guided reading/ maths pre-teach groups, helped mark stories they had written, was responsible or a group on a school trip, and supported SEN/low ability groups in class. I also have 2 days observing in the science department at a high school (yrs 7-9)
    This year at uni I took part in the Right to Read programme, where I went into a primary school once a week for about an hour and listened to 4 targeted children who were below their targets.
    Over a few years I have spent 6 weeks (2 x 3week blocks) at a Special School, helping with just about everything that was going on.
    3 years ago I helped at a summer play scheme for 5-11 yr olds. During my A levels I mentored 2 students in the year below me with their AS maths, one of whom had Asperger's syndrome. I did a few science workshops with primary and secondary age while I was doing A levels.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Oh my goodness you have a huge amount, I should think you'll be fine! Good luck!
  3. I think that is plenty! Was the 4 weeks at a primary school recent? Usually there is a minimum requirement of 2 weeks 'recent' experience... although who knows what exactly counts as recent. This academic year, or two, it's anyone's guess. You definitely have plenty to show you're committed to this, though!
  4. MonsterTeachingIdeas

    MonsterTeachingIdeas New commenter

    I think you'll be fine experience wise. I had less than you and I got on a PGCE. Just make sure you sell yourself on your form/at your interview.
  5. MonsterTeachingIdeas

    MonsterTeachingIdeas New commenter

    • Get someone to proof read it before you send it.
    • Be clear and concise.
    • Try and show what impact your recent experience has had.
    Good luck!
  6. Have you done any volunteering that relates to your degree subject? As a science specialist I would have thought that would be a particularly good selling point. I volunteered as a STEM Ambassador (www.stemnet.org.uk) in local schools as part of my experience portfolio and I think that helped. :)
  7. Joanne2009

    Joanne2009 New commenter

    Wow, you have loads of experience.
    I am hoping to change career, from NHS to teaching. I volunteer as a STEM Ambassador so I have spent quite a bit of time in schools doing this (8 years now). Hoping this will help with my application.
    I haven't decided yet whether to do secondary science or primary (years 5/6). I am spending Monday's (for 15 weeks) in a local primary school from September and also helping out with an after school science club at a local secondary school. I then plan on observing lessons before submitting my application.
    Good luck.
  8. This seems like plenty...

    I completed the course this year and start work as a teacher in september for year 3.

    Prior to the course, I worked as an LSA for a year and had experience in children's nurseries and wrote my 'media and communications' BA hons dissertation on children's empowerment through the usage of media and communications.

    However, on the course there were a wide variety of experiences including a few people that had only done the compulsory 4 weeks in a school. (I don't know if this is compulsory everywhere or just on my course.)

    Don't worry - as long as you are confident in showing what you have learnt from your experiences you will be fine. Also remember, your degree in itself is experience! As long as you keep your experiences up to date you'll be fine.

    Daisy x
  9. TigerLoo

    TigerLoo New commenter

    Thanks everyone for your great replies, they are all really positive and helpful :) Can't wait to apply now!! Although it's scary to think that this will (hopefully) shape most of my life!

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