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Good places to take PGCE?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by aileencam, May 24, 2009.

  1. Hi all,
    I'm currently living in Japan, and have been here for 3 years (having come straight from graduating undergrad English Lit and Lang). I'll be heading back to the UK this summer and hope to apply for a PGCE for Primary Education, starting Sept 2010.
    I've looked briefly at a few sites but haven't started looking properly at places to study (things are pretty hectic over here, and set to get even more hectic in the next few months), but I wanted to ask if anyone had any recommendations? Does anyone think the place they studied was particularly great, and for what reasons?
    I always kinda think, there's only so much you can tell from a university website....it's nice to have some first hand advice from people who have actually studied there.
    So if anyone wants to share, I'd appreciate it!
  2. Giraffe - perhaps you should check your facts before you rush in a criticise: the University of Northampton has got full university status, so your use of inverted commas was a little patronising. Also, Ofsted gave them Grade 1 (outstanding) for both Quality of Training and Management and quality assurance, so I recommend them because of this aswell as from personal experience. Can I ask where you trained?
  3. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    There's obviouslya difference between the Teacher Training provision ahd the rest of the establishment which is rated as above
    My inverted commas are a throwback to the days they tried and failed to get status, then gave themselves the name University College. I understand they have eventually achieved it.
    Good news that the TT dept is good, as I acknowledge cheerfully
  4. Sounds like you've thought it all through pretty thoroughly, Aileen, sure you'll be successful.
    The job situation varies a great deal across the country. The North West is widely considered to be a difficult place to find a job, though that is where I work and I got a job fairly easily so it does depend on you, your application and the school a great deal, obviously. If you're happy to work in London, you're unlikely to struggle (some boroughs are more popular than others but as a whole city, there's more vacancies than they can fill).
    Having previously agreed with tiffster that it's worth thinking where you'd like to work and consider applying there for the PGCE, there's also the argument that the wider you can spread the net when applying for jobs, the more likely you are to find something. As well as location, the other major consideration on applications is what you can offer that others applicants can't and it strikes me that this isn't a problem on your part. I went into teaching with EFL experience as well, though I did need to get a lot of experience on a voluntary basis in British primary schools, and this stood me in good stead for the course.
    Look at what ofsted has to say about ITT providers. My PGCE at an former polytechnic was excellent on the practical side of things, long standing links with schools and the like, but the academic side was pathetic. I had previously studied for an undergrad and postgrad degree at a redbrick university and the standard expected at the 'new' uni simply didn't come close. Personally, I didn't feel this mattered too much, as I already had my degree and my focus on the PGCE was very much the hands on classroom experience which the new uni was much better at. If you're looking for a rigorous academic background as well, then I'd recommend an older institution.
  5. Thanks for your help everyone! I quite enjoyed the bickering too - nice that people feel passionately enough to defend their places of study.
    I'm going to have to start looking through all these websites you're leading me to and have a think, so expect me to be back on here with more questions about specific instituations as well! Hope you can all help me out then as much as you have here.
  6. Hi all
    I considered all your advice and have been thinking about the types of places I would like to study/work and looking at ofsted reports, and university websites.
    Cambridge is going to be my first choice university as I would love to live there and everything about the university and the PGCE course impresses me. Not to mention that it ranks so highly on all the league tables I have looked at.
    But of course I am considering others in the (likely) event that I don't get accepted at Cambridge.
    A couple of others I have considered are Warwick and Durham which again, are places that seem (from the research I am able to do online) like nice places to live, good places to study, and again rank quite highly with ofsted/league tables.
    I was wondering if anyone has any experience at any of these universities that they could share with me?!
    Also, I had looked at Brighton Uni and Bath Spa Uni too. They both have great ofsted reports and look like great places to study but seem to rank fairly low down in the leagues. How much is it worth paying attention to the league tables? Particularly those from UK newspapers? Are they an accurate representation of university standards? They seem to vary considerably from paper to paper.
    Any advice would be hugely appreciated, since I am trying to do as much planning and preparation as I can while I am still in Japan. Hopefully I can decide on my choices of uni, visit them shortly after arriving back in the UK, and then get my application in nice and early!
    So, your experience/wisdom/suggestions are really helpful!
    Thanks so much!
    Aileen :)
  7. Oh, also...anyone ever studied at Canterbury Christ Church?
  8. I went to Durham for both my undergrad and my PGCE. It's not a good story I'm afraid. When I was there the second time doing PGCE I got the impression they really begrudged having to keep the Durham site of the School of Ed alive and would rather have all their resources down in Stockton. Found the quality of the lecturers variable - from the awesome to the one who just ran out mid-lecture and told us to lock the door behind us when we'd finished. I was also bullied on the course which led to me starting smoking etc.
    I don't think mine's a typical experience though, and it's still a phenomenal place that I have incredibly fond memories of during my undergrad degree - Palace Green at night has to be a candidate for one of the most beautiful places on earth but the place just seems to be being destroyed by a university management ran by utter numpties wanting to asset-strip all the special parts of the university and stick it all as far out of the city as possible (yes they moved my beloved Politics department and I bear a heavy grudge).
  9. I recommend Southampton- it stood me in good stead for the actual job. I feel that we were taught best practice.
  10. dizziblonde, I'm sorry to hear you had such a rough time there. Do you know others who felt the same way when studying there? Is that the general consensus amongst the teaching community of Durham Uni?

    If you don't mind me asking, were you bullied by other PGCE students? Or by staff??
  11. Could anyone else share their thoughts/experiences?
    I would really appreciate the extra info!
    Thanks so much,
  12. consider School centred initial teacher training programmes as well (SCITT). Its work based and the trainign is managed through usually a partmnership of schools - its much more practically based as well which could come in handy if you havent been in the work world for a while. What is the point with a highly theoretical PGCE whehn what you need is hands on practical application. You wont be thinking of theory of child development when you are faced with 30 yr 1 children thats for sure!
    Rach x

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