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Failed PGCE Application - Any Advice?

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by JamesCage, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. Hello! I realise this is probably very cheeky but I'm in desperate need of some advice!

    Here's my story so far......

    Last year, along with the thousands of other postgrads, I applied via GTTR for a place on a PGCE Drama course at two local universities in/around Birmingham.

    I had an interview with UCE Birmingham earlier this year, which went rather shakily mainly due to the fact it was the first interview I'd had in quite a while! No surprise to learn that I was unsuccessful in my application, with hardly any feedback being received other than I just wasn't quite up to the standard of other applicants.

    The same happened with my second (and final) interview with the University of Warwick for the Drama with English course. Rejected with very little insight as to exactly where I was lacking.

    I thought that I may have been in with a shout, especially as I currently work in a college environment. My role there is to aid the learning of two students who have learning difficulties and luckily they are both studying drama at the college. So I am currently gaining some form of classroom experience - but I doubt this amounts to much as no matter how much I tried to plug it at interview, the interviewers really didn't seem interested!

    All this leaves me with a huge problem, having graduated with a Third (which seems to be a major problem in itself) in Performance and Theatre Studies and my hopes and dreams of being a secondary drama teacher dashed, I can no longer see a way forward.

    I've looked into schemes such as SCITT (Drama only available in London and Devon) and GTP (available at Warwick but now full for the year) and there doesn't seem to be any other routes into teaching.

    Bearing in mind that I really can't move out of the Birmingham area for the PGCE Drama due to family commitments.....can anyone out there offer any advice as to what I could do between now and reapplying next year to give me a better chance of a successful application?

    Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for reading :)
     
  2. Hello! I realise this is probably very cheeky but I'm in desperate need of some advice!

    Here's my story so far......

    Last year, along with the thousands of other postgrads, I applied via GTTR for a place on a PGCE Drama course at two local universities in/around Birmingham.

    I had an interview with UCE Birmingham earlier this year, which went rather shakily mainly due to the fact it was the first interview I'd had in quite a while! No surprise to learn that I was unsuccessful in my application, with hardly any feedback being received other than I just wasn't quite up to the standard of other applicants.

    The same happened with my second (and final) interview with the University of Warwick for the Drama with English course. Rejected with very little insight as to exactly where I was lacking.

    I thought that I may have been in with a shout, especially as I currently work in a college environment. My role there is to aid the learning of two students who have learning difficulties and luckily they are both studying drama at the college. So I am currently gaining some form of classroom experience - but I doubt this amounts to much as no matter how much I tried to plug it at interview, the interviewers really didn't seem interested!

    All this leaves me with a huge problem, having graduated with a Third (which seems to be a major problem in itself) in Performance and Theatre Studies and my hopes and dreams of being a secondary drama teacher dashed, I can no longer see a way forward.

    I've looked into schemes such as SCITT (Drama only available in London and Devon) and GTP (available at Warwick but now full for the year) and there doesn't seem to be any other routes into teaching.

    Bearing in mind that I really can't move out of the Birmingham area for the PGCE Drama due to family commitments.....can anyone out there offer any advice as to what I could do between now and reapplying next year to give me a better chance of a successful application?

    Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for reading :)
     
  3. I trained at UCE and I think the tutors there are fab!!!! They are interested in you as a student and they must interview many many many applicants! How detailed do you want your feedback to be?! Its just one of those things!

    Anyway....I think definately something that is pulling you down the ranks would be your third. If you put it in context, that is only an A-level standard! Just think, you will be expected to teach at A-level standard and people want their teachers to show sound knowledge of their subject, I don't think a third shows that. Sorry. Could you try to get some more training?! Re-do modules of your degree? DO some courses to show you have the passion for learning and the capability to take on a level 5 qualification?! I know the Brum theatre does some really good courses.

    Also if you are applying for a SECONDARY PGCE try to get some experience with SECONDARY pupils. Get into a local high school 1 day a week or even apply for a TAs job at a secondary school. Get involved in some out of school clubs and activities - e.g. an after school drama club or even (boo hiss) stage coach? Can you get more involved in the teaching or after school activites at the college?!

    Get people to do mock interviews with you and build a bank of questions you were asked this year and work on preparing your responses.

    I know how hard it is getting rejected from a PGCE as I was rejected from my first choice but UCE is a fab place to train and the head of the drama course is the best!! :) Try try and try again....
     
  4. Hello,
    I am surprised to hear a third class degree is only equivalent to A level standard!
    What then is a pass degree? GCSE standard?

    Sorry you are feeling despondent James, but there are lots of others who didn't get accepted too, so you are not alone.

    Perhaps there is a job for you in the Arts and Entertainment field? Your local council might want an events organiser or to set up drama classes as Adult ed or school holiday schemes.

    Hope something turns up soon.

    Regards, Hunnie
     
  5. Thanks for the feedback so far guys. I'm a little disappointed that a third is only A level standard. I took drama at A level and it was no where near as advanced as my degree!

    I've had a look at the Birmingham School of Acting website and found the following course, does it seem as if it would help me on the way to a successful application next year?

    http://www.bssd.ac.uk/Courses/Adult/5.aspx

     
  6. teachur

    teachur New commenter

    A Third is NOT A-Level standard...it is a Third class (With Hnours) degree level qualification. A "Pass Degree" is without honours, but is still a degree.

    Generally speaking, a 2:2 or above is desired, but NOT required for teaching. You might well be disadvanged by your result, but to be absilutely honest, i use very little of my 2:1 in Theatre and Performance Studies in any of my work, and learnt more on my A-Levels and through professional work anyway.

    You need to get experience in the classroom and have a view, at least, of what you think it is to be a "Drama Teacher" and a "Teacher" all round. You will be asked about why you want to be a Drama teacher, and you need to answer honestly, not try to come up with clever or "right" answers.

    Remember that courses are looking for people with ability, yes, but entyhusiasm and a passion to learn. You may well have been beaten more on that that your 3rd class degree.

    I too trained at UCE (with bacardi, i agree with everythign she said about the course) and i am still in the locality. If you would like to get some experience in schools and in Drama then feel free to email me ont he email address below and we can look into trying to sort something out for you! Also, i have a show coming up next week - you are very welcome to come and see it (plug plug plug) if you;d like to meet me at some point.

    teachur_tes@yahoo.co.uk

    Let me know
     
  7. Hmm only equivalent as in level of knowledge and advancment. e.g. the criteria you need to get a 3rd class is the equiv of what you have to do for an a-level STANDARD!!! obviously its a degree but this is what we were told at Uni when I was doing my undergrad.
     
  8. teachur

    teachur New commenter

    Hmmmm...i would certainly question that...although, Drama is an "easy" subject! Hahaha!!!
     
  9. Your degree subject would have put Warwick off; doesn't seem to be much English there, and you do need both to teach both, although as far as I am aware Warwick's English & Drama PGCE is one of the most drama-friendly around - although English seems to be an offically even easier subject than drama...(!)

    Newcastle, for example, insist that at least [sic] 50% of your degree is in English. Which tells you how much they value drama which can, logically, be AT MOST 50% of your degree. And despite my Drama degree and MA in English (from Warsaw...) and TESOL Diploma were not prepared to compromise with me. But heck, I don't want to teach English, anyway!

    Did your *passion* for drama come across?
    Ditto teaching?

    I'd look at volunteering to help at a reputable youth theatre (recommend the Belgrade's). The Rep probably have a youth theatre, too? Do BSSD as well? Or if you're really feeling pushed, some Stagecoach-ey experience might help to demonstrate your credentials, commitment and vision.

    Whatever you decide to do with this next year, remember that as well as developing your portfolio to support your PGCE/GTP applications, you should do something you enjoy & believe in. And get as much theatre experience as you can, in any form*: volunteering for front-of-house (you get to see the shows, remember, & gain more insight into audiences than a degree gives you); sessional stagehand work in community venues, whatever.
    Don't depend on GTP; it's heavily oversubscribed, and favours 'academic' shortage subjects like science and maths. But do apply. There must be other GTPs around the midlands...


    * well, almost any form: amdram is not always helpful [or should that be *always not helpful*? - Ed] and I have doubts, not universally shared, about working the saturday-spoilt-brat gigs.

    Good luck!
     
  10. PS the reason for my poor degree classification (2ii) is that I chose courses at uni which would stretch, challenge & stimulate me, rather than the safe options I was already quite good at, which could have become boring.
    Perhaps it's the same with you? Especially (without any chips on shoulders) at interviews.... ;-)
     
  11. netmum

    netmum New commenter

    Why do you all hate Stagecoach so much?
     
  12. I posted the initial posts on behalf of my girlfriend and didn't expect to get as many helpful replies. Thanks a lot - from both of us.

    Teachur - I've sent you an email from my own account, check your inbox when you can! :)
     
  13. I would say apply to a school for some sort of TA post. You'll get loads of experience and I'm sure most Drama teachers would be glad of an offer of help. That way you would be a stronger candidate next year for applications, PGCE ot GTP.

    Good luck!
     
  14. The year before i applied for gtp i worked for a supply agency who then got me a long term contract teaching drama 3 days a week. this led to the school offering to support me through the gtp. i didnt want to stay at this school as i did not think i would be supported enough (in 6 months never met another drama teacher or saw sow) anyway when i did see a job post for a nqt drama, i applied. i was the only candidate not qualified but got the job. the school is very challanging and as i had a good idea about classroom management this came across. i did all but beg for the job. dont give up. get the experience and apply to start gtp in Jan.also some f my friends had problems getting on courses. all qualified now. Dont give up x
     
  15. Sorry just thought I'd add SCITT is still a PGCE just you don't spend so much time in college/uni

    yes i went to one of the two mentioned
     
  16. Kelina - how did you manage to get a teaching job when not qualified? Can anyone do this or were there special circumstances?
     
  17. Kelina, did they offer you a GTP in a school where there wasn;t a Drama specialist to work with you?? I find this really odd. No reflection on you, Kelina, but it seems like some schools are getting cheap labour out of some GTPs and how on earth do you learn when you don't have anyone to learn from???
     
  18. Hello,
    Secondary schools appoint unqualified teachers quite often.
    My relative was employed as an unqualified teacher and was given Drama, including GCSE, with no experience whatsoever.
    She didn't even have Drama beyond GCSE level!
    She was the ONLY drama teacher in the school (Head of Dept?) and the retired former teacher who was supposed to help out did not materialise.

    My relative left after one term- it was far too much responsibility and the wrong subject for her.
    She found 2 TA jobs in separate schools and loves it. She now covers for PPA time, teaching whole classes in the subject of her Degree.

    Its a pity the TA pay is so low!

    If it was my child being taught GCSE by an unqualified, inexperienced teacher I would not be happy, but it goes on.

    Regards Hunnie
     
  19. My way in was through getting involved in school performances and gradually building up my experience working with some amazing people who put on incredibly difficult plays, such as 'Murder in the Cathedral' and 'Northanger Abbey'. I was a primary teacher, although I took my B.Ed in English and Drama,but it is the practical experience that gave me the confidence to teach Drama up to A level. Oh and as for Stagecoach, they mess up my hall, my stage, my classroom area, my costumes, my props ... shall I go on?
     
  20. I applied to warwick drama with english as well and my feedback was that i 'didnt seem to want to teach enough' - i dont know if that was a genuine reason or not?! i have a 2:1 performing arts from salford university which in the drama world is thought of as a pretty good uni with lots of its graduates going onto the professional world of acting....

    I am not sure whether to reapply to warwick and risk failing again (with the gttr sending my 2nd choice off to find out that it's already filled)
    I have a tiny bit of experience in secondary schools but LOTS of experience with drama clubs/workshops/LAMDA exams....

    OP - how did you find the assessment day @ warwick? i thought it was pretty intense, some of my friends literally only had a 20minute interview @ other uni's...
    oh, the joy!
     

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