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Help Needed! Eligible for English PGCE

Discussion in 'English' started by Cle0patra, May 30, 2011.

  1. Hello Everybody

    I'm new to the forum and just wanted to ask your advice. I know that my best course of action will be to speak to PGCE course providers but I'd like a little bit of a head start from you all.

    I've been considering re-training as a secondary teacher for a while now, but think I may have come across a stumbling block. My degree is in Ancient World Studies (2:1 from UCL, graduated in 2001) which was a combination of classical literature, language and other subjects (philosophy etc). The majority of the modules I chose were literature based particularly Greek drama, and included a large % of textual analysis. I went on to complete a MA in Publishing and have worked in the industry for the last 9 years. I am currently working for a well known Oxford publisher as an Editor of HE textbooks.

    My question is simple really - Do you think I can argue that my degree and subsequent experience is germane to an English PGCE? What more could I do to help my cause?

    Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me

    P.S. I have A grades at GCSE for literature and language and a B grade Literature A-level
  2. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    From http://graduates.teachfirst.org.uk/recruitment/teaching-subject-requirements.html it seems that you need a B in your 'teaching subject' at A-Level; the degree itself doesn't matter. I'm not quite sure about the PGCE, but echo the sentiments above. You have a good degree from an excellent university - and indeed an MA and lots of impressive experience - so I don't think it would have too much of a negative impact on how you are recruited. You could in fact argue you have a Classics degree! - it's just unfortunately titled. When it comes to recruitment, just see if you can find a space to list your modules (making it clear that you took an academically rigorous and very literature-centred course) - unless your prospective employer really demands a 100% English degree, they would surely be impressed. I say...you can even offer a second, and a third subject (Classical Civilisation, Philosophy) - sounds better the more I think about it Good luck!!
  3. By experience, do they not just mean 'school experience'? A couple of weeks observing in a local comp would probably do your application a world of good.
  4. salve Cleo ;)
    I am a current English PGCE student (at KCL) with a Classics degree. I had to argue my case in my PGCE interview, but they recognised that my experience of textual analysis and language were relevant to English. I also gave details of my extra-curricular hobbies/interests such as writing, drama and debating. Your work in publishing would be very relevant, I'm sure. So I would say you are in with a good shot at the PGCE. It might be worth contacting the places you apply to and checking what their policy is.
    In terms of job-hunting, I've had a lot of difficulty and I think my degree was somewhat to blame - although only one school explicitly said so. Every interview got me on the defensive about it and nobody took it as a positive that I would be able to offer Class Civ as well -one school even said I didn't seem committed enough to English because I said I could help out with their Classics club! So it is worth bearing in mind that it could be an issue for you too.
    However, I've now got a job at my placement school where they know I can teach English...and I don't for one minute regret choosing English over Classics for my teaching career.
  5. Hello there,
    I liked your post above and thought I'd add something to the discussion.
    I am a Classics graduate currently enjoying my role as a learning support assistant in a London secondary school.
    Perhaps in response to the news that I had been offered a similar job elsewhere, the school last week offered me a GTP place to teach English.
    I am very excited about it but also questioning whether a DRB will accept me onto a course.
    Prior to my association with the school, I was a journalist for 20 years, editing a number of high-profile publications both here and in the US. I decided on a career change last year.
    There are strong links between Classical and certain branches of English literature, and I know I would enjoy making these connections during lessons.
    Do I stand a chance?!
    Any thoughts will be appreciated.

  6. lighthouse_keeper

    lighthouse_keeper New commenter

    I did my PGCE at University of Bath, which was excellent, I highly recommend it.

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