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Future PGCE Social Sciences

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by tom_don97, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. tom_don97

    tom_don97 New commenter


    I am wanting to teach Sociology after I leave university in just over a years time, however, I understand how competitive PGCE courses are especially in an area such as Social Sciences which is limited in universities offering it.

    Has anyone got any advice as to how to stand out? How shall I acquire some experience in a social sciences department? What extra-curricular activities would be beneficial? (I am currently a volunteer for Sexpression:UK as I am interested in PSHCE and developing this as part of my teaching career).

    Any feedback or help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Do you have any experience at all of working in a secondary school? Are you talking about secondary PGCE?
  3. tom_don97

    tom_don97 New commenter

    I'm getting some experience through my volunteering with Sexpression:UK other than that I don't have any, but I know it's difficult to get access to a secondary school or college through independently organising work experience.
    Yes it's a secondary PGCE.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    It is a good idea to get some experience in a secondary school before you fully make up your mind whether teaching in one is for you. Unless you actually observe and experience what goes on inside secondary schools, you really won't know what you are embarking upon; but as you say it can be difficult organising that experience on your own.

    If you are in a financial position to do so, apply to work as a TA somewhere for at least six months. Six months should give you enough time to observe teachers, classes and workload and, although it would only be in one place, it would give you a fairly good idea if you want to work in a school or not. Working as a volunteer somewhere and being a TA or a teacher is vastly different. You would also then be able to speak to teachers working in the social sciences.

    You can contact supply teaching agencies that place TAs and you might be able to find work that way if you can't find work on your own.

    Failing those two ideas, contact some schools to see if you can volunteer in some capacity - it might be listening to children read in the library or mentoring.
  5. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    We are closing our social sciences PGCE. It was getting harder and harder to find placements. Your subject is only KS4and5. This means you have to do a range of teaching at KS3 in related subjects as well so be aware that you will need to offer this. With the EBACC, schools are skinning non-EBACC subjects and this makes it a tough market.

    This year, all courses are uncapped so get your application in now for a September start. You don’t even need any school experience as Nick Gibb has directed us all not to make this a condition of offer.

    On the other hand, social sciences are booming in FE and HE. They are the biggest departments there are. QTLS or FHEA might just be an alternative.

    Eventually, we will get a normal person in as the Ed Sec who will remove the Govian baskets and non-core subject philistinism. At that point, they will need oodles of non-EBACC teachers and start spending a fortune getting pupils to take these. The shortages are already starting to come through.

    So, all in all, it’s a tough time to be a social sciences secondary applicant, but don’t be disheartened. Get your application in, do ten days in a school sixth form and some KS4 if you can, and wait for a normal person to become Ed Sec. if you need school experience, email the subject tutor at uni and ask for an introduction to a local school.
    tom_don97 and pepper5 like this.

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