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How do I teach in a secondary school with a primary pgce?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by secretnerd123, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. secretnerd123

    secretnerd123 New commenter

    Hey all! I started my primary pgce in September and completed an 8 week teaching placement in a Year 3 class in February (there was a placement before this in a year 2 class but it was mainly working one-to-one with a child). I loved both a lot (esp the Year 3 placement) but as of now, I am on an 'alternative setting' 3 week placement where I chose to go to my old secondary school and observe English lessons from Year 7 to sixth form. I absolutely LOVE it. I genuinely never thought that teaching would bring me this much happiness and I feel like the creative writing aspect in particular is something I would enjoy teaching. working with the pupils and supporting the students makes me feel like I am doing something purposeful and I do not dread it.

    I know some of you are thinking it's because I'm not teaching in this plcament but I have been in charge of two Year 7 and one Year 8 class already and as I said, I really enjoy the lessons ad can see myself teaching older children.

    I already have a job offer abroad in a primary school that I want to take up. The contract is two years but when I end up coming back to the UK, what do I need to do to work as a secondary school English teacher? p.s. My degree was in Education studies

    Do I need a top-up course? *confused*
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    You have a teaching qualification, so you are already qualified. So what you have to do is to persuade a school that you are a better candidate than the people who have applied who have trained in secondary English. That might be a tall order. You're going to need to pick up some experience in secondary, somehow, and also some experience of exam courses. I don't think you're likely to be able to get straight into secondary English on your return. Ways to get experience: do supply, get a TA job, do some private tuition (obviously making very sure you familiarise yourself with the GCSE specs).

    Presumably your overseas post won't count for your NQT year?

    Also beware the rose-tinted spectacles. You might have taken the odd KS3 lesson with an experienced teacher in the room, but 10Z on Friday afternoon with no support can be a different kettle of fish.
    pepper5, agathamorse and MrMedia like this.
  3. secretnerd123

    secretnerd123 New commenter

    Thank you!
    but do I have any options other than the 3 you've mentioned. like taking a course?

    pepper5 likes this.
  4. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Yes, I'd suggest doing A Level lang or lit yourself, or doing some Open Uni modules, in order to boost your subject knowledge.

    Be aware that although creative writing counts for 25% of the GCSE, there are so many skills and so much content that you have to teach during KS3 and GCSE, inc. poetry, Shakespeare, grammar...
    pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  5. secretnerd123

    secretnerd123 New commenter

    thank you, I will do the 2nd option. I got an A in Eng Lit and B in lang at gcse but I dont wanna do alevels
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    Are you sure?
    minnie me and agathamorse like this.
  7. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I do advise people coming into English teaching to have a post 16 qualification. The reason for this mainly is because your top KS4 pupil is actually working at KS5 in terms of quality. So you need enough knowledge to prepare that pupil during KS4 and in particular you need knowledge of the whole KS5 set up for English to manage the transition.
    pepper5, agathamorse and purplecarrot like this.
  8. secretnerd123

    secretnerd123 New commenter

    Yeah, I can't see how it will help as much as an open uni module
  9. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Actually, the subject knowledge at uni level is a lot different to what is in the GCSEs and AS/A levels (they are very narrow), so although it's wonderful subject knowledge to have it's not tailored to what you would be teaching. On the other hand, if you go through A levels yourself you can see how the course is taught and how it works, and understand how the students feel studying it and the challenges they face.
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. kayshaw_teachagain

    kayshaw_teachagain New commenter

    See if a return to teaching programme allows you to experience secondary teaching whilst on placement. That way you'll get observed and a a teaching reference which will help you get that secondary teaching job. Good luck
  11. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    It would help as you would understand the next step that as a secondary english teacher you would be expected to encourage them into. Also you would know the depth required for thatnext step, OU uni modules are useful but they wont directly link into you ambition which is to teach seconary english.

    Also route in either find a school which is desperate and cant recruit easily as you have no post 16 english qualification a school will be interested in and OU modules probably wont count. You could also sign onto a supply agency and ask to take on long term placements in secondary english you can then gain experience of the subject and long term placements tend to be maternity covers or for unfilled vacancies if your good they may offer you it.

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