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Headstart on PGCE application..

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by 22smith, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Hi there,
    I want to apply for Primary PGCE. I know everybody wants to make sure their application is strong and stands out, however I wondered if anybody could give me pointers on a couple of things.

    Firstly, I currently only have experience of working with pre-school children. I obviously want to gain classroom experience too - but is it essential that I have classroom experience before I submit my application. I have been offered voluntary work in a number of schools that I will be more than happy to take on, except right now I am in no financial position to do so, and may not be until at least October/November, when I feel I will be able to cut my working hours in order to take on a voluntary role within a school. Would this be too late?
    Secondly, I was awarded a 2:2 for my degree. This was largely due to a series of untimely events that all occurred whilst I was at Uni. My grades clearly suffered, however I know I am capable of so much more. Will this be a massive obstacle for me? Does the application process allow you to show that you have much more to offer, beyond your degree? I am worried that I will be at a disadvantage...

    If anyone has any pointers or can advise on any of the issues above, it would be much appreciated. I just want to feel prepared in the run up to my application!

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Hi there,
    I want to apply for Primary PGCE. I know everybody wants to make sure their application is strong and stands out, however I wondered if anybody could give me pointers on a couple of things.

    Firstly, I currently only have experience of working with pre-school children. I obviously want to gain classroom experience too - but is it essential that I have classroom experience before I submit my application. I have been offered voluntary work in a number of schools that I will be more than happy to take on, except right now I am in no financial position to do so, and may not be until at least October/November, when I feel I will be able to cut my working hours in order to take on a voluntary role within a school. Would this be too late?
    Secondly, I was awarded a 2:2 for my degree. This was largely due to a series of untimely events that all occurred whilst I was at Uni. My grades clearly suffered, however I know I am capable of so much more. Will this be a massive obstacle for me? Does the application process allow you to show that you have much more to offer, beyond your degree? I am worried that I will be at a disadvantage...

    If anyone has any pointers or can advise on any of the issues above, it would be much appreciated. I just want to feel prepared in the run up to my application!

    Thanks :)
     
  3. Firstly, good luck!
    With regards to the classroom experience I was told that two weeks for primary is best. You will need to be able to talk about your experience in certain sections of the application so the more you have the better. Having said that, it is also important to get an understanding of what it really means to be a teacher and perhaps you already have an understanding of that from what you have already done? It will all depend on the university you apply to. It might be worth calling your choices to see what they suggest?
     
  4. When I applied I had only had 2 days experience, but in the 'work' part of my application I made it clear that I had other days lined up, by the time I had my interview I had had 6 days in total and they didn't seem to think this was an issue.
    A good strong personal statement will make you stand out, I had about 5 different people that I work with look over it and give me their views, and with a small tweak in the way I had worded one part of it I was good to go. I made the mistake last year of not writing my personal statement until the last minute (because I had made a mistake with the deadline dates) and it showed...I wasn't even considered for an interview! I think that is more important than the grades to be honest!
    Good luck with it all
     
  5. I think it depends a lot on the universities you apply to when it comes to your degree, I was recently told by Manchester and MMU that I wouldn't be considered because I have a 2:2, even though I have 6 weeks experience as a volunteer. I'm now looking at other options and institutions, as I don't think it is worth my applying there again. Where are you thinking of applying to?
    It is best to get as much experience as possible, at the time of applying, but hopefully if you make it clear that you plan to do this, it may be sufficient. Again, it depends on the uni, some state very clearly on their website that you must have a minimum of ten days experience when applying, but its definitely a good idea to call/email to ask. I've been emailing a lot of unis :)

    Hope this helps and good luck for it all
     
  6. Hello,

    On the experience front, I wouldn't be too worried about having bucket loads of experience before you apply, the application does take a while to go through, to be considered and then hopefully to be called to interview. I would say that as long as you have experience lined up and that you can show that you can complete the 2 weeks there shouldnt be too much of a problem.

    However on one note, I would say that for me I learnt a lot from my voluntary experience, so as long as you are confident that you have been able to learn enough to justify in an interview that they should give you a place on the course.

    I would not worry too much about your degree classification, if you are confident on all other areas of your application, this shouldnt hold you back. Some universities do have a minimum requirement but this is different with every uni. My advise would be to get as much experience as you can but if you have to work then not to panic, they will understand this, and secondly, I felt like I was applying quite late, my application went in in january, I was interviewed in april and was offered a conditional offer in may. I believe that it was important for me to hold off on my application until I had learnt for myself about the issues that I would be asked about at the interview stage.

    I hpoe everything goes well for you. Good luck with your application!
     
  7. When I applied for my PGCE, they requested a 2.2 or above, so I don't think you will have many problems. Largely, it depends on the institution, so it might be worth sending a quick email to the admissions department to find out.
     

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