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How shall I prepare for my PGCE for this September?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by fluteygirl143, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. fluteygirl143

    fluteygirl143 New commenter

    Good Afternoon Everyone!

    I hope whoever is reading is well and keeping safe!

    So I have finished my undergraduate studies...just waiting on 'graduating' now. Other than that I am now focusing on starting the PGCE course in September.

    I was wondering how should I prepare? I have seen mannnnny different answers online but I thought let me ask myself haha. Like...."enjoy yourself now because you wont get free time like this every again"..... and many more comments.

    Also is it worthwhile getting a car? Not really necessarily to commute to the uni but for the placements and even working from next year and onwards.

    Thank you!!!
  2. 43Meadows

    43Meadows New commenter

    Only you can decide if you need a car and can afford it so I can’t advise on that but I can on prep for pgce year.

    Brush up on subject knowledge, do you know what relative clause, parenthesis, noun phrases etc. are?

    Get into the habit of using English in its standard form.

    Familiarise yourself with the Teacher’s Standards.

    Buy 3 lever arch files and a selection of highlighter pens.

    Other than that there is not much more you can do until you know which school you will be doing your first placement in
    Gsr25 and fluteygirl143 like this.
  3. kittykat94

    kittykat94 New commenter

    invest in some comfy smart shoes and smart trainers! I wish I had thought of the trainer situation prior to starting as the pair I had were not good for PE lessons :D
    fluteygirl143 likes this.
  4. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    My advice is to enjoy your free time but also use it wisely to benefit your studies. If your training provider sends a reading list, do consider reading a few that you think look interesting or useful. Once you start training, you'll have much less time for reading things you want to (as opposed to things you need to read for assignments!).

    What kind of PGCE are you doing - primary or secondary?

    This depends a lot on where you live, public transport in your area, etc. Is it practical to get around your area without a car? You may have to travel some distance to your placements, as there are only so many schools and placements to go around between trainees. It could be convenient to have a car, especially if you have far to travel on winter mornings/evenings. It could also make it easier to attend interviews for NQT jobs. But it's only worth it if you can afford it (think about insurance in particular - essential, but often very expensive for young/inexperienced drivers).
    fluteygirl143 and Stiltskin like this.
  5. fluteygirl143

    fluteygirl143 New commenter

    Thank you so much! This really helped...completely forgot about all them tings wow.
  6. Lakes1975

    Lakes1975 New commenter

    The only advice I can give is don't do the school/A Levels, university then straight to PGCE route. Do something else for a few years first to gain wider life experience. This will give you invaluable insight further down the line and if you're seeking promotion you'll have a big picture.
  7. Ilovejumblesales

    Ilovejumblesales New commenter

    Congratulations on getting a place on the course! I'm not sure if you're going to be primary or secondary, but I'm just finishing my primary PGCE yand here are a few ideas for useful things to get you started -

    - If you're not already on twitter, start an account and follow lots of trainees, NQTs and experienced teachers. They have so much advice and have been sharing great resources recently. Also nice to see other people have horrific days - you won't be alone!

    - Read for pleasure. This might be less relevant if you're secondary, but I found the course texts made more sense once I was in the flow of the course. I wish I'd spent the early time reading a range of children's books. Particularly as I don't have kids myself and don't have that knowledge.

    - Buy a printer/scanner (needed this more than my car!) at least 10 lever arch files, highlighters, a collection of green, purple and red pens (as well as black/blue), stapler, a few usb pens, bluetac. I also found a large whiteboard handy for use as a planner at home. White board markers. Other stuff you can order as you need it.

    - Join a union as soon as you can. I think it's free for trainees. Ive already benefitted from going to a really interesting conference and done loads of online CPD they organise. Its for more than just back up!
    CocoaChannel likes this.
  8. CocoaChannel

    CocoaChannel New commenter

    Thanks for a very helpful post. I’m about to start a SCITT. You mentioned a scanner. I know they’re not so expensive now, but I was curious what a scanner would be used for?

    Others have mentioned a laminator. I’ve used the ones in schools before, but I can imagine the cheaper ones at Lidl taking hours to laminate anything. Is a laminator worth it?

    I’ve also asked my provider about laptop requirements or recommendations, so abt input would help.

    I’ve only just been accepted, but I thought there’d be a bit more preparation guidance on books to read, etc. I’m doing a secondary science SCITT and am doing an SKE course.
  9. Ilovejumblesales

    Ilovejumblesales New commenter

    The scanner has been useful for getting last minute paperwork to the course provider, sending weekly evaluation sheets to my school tutor, and more recently uploading work back to pupils after I've marked it. Certainly don't use it as much as the printer, but it's come in handy when I've left things to last minute.

    I haven't laminated anything all year. If I was going to get another gadget it would be a visualiser or my own guillotine.

    I'm really bad a tech so can't help with a laptop recommendation, but my SCITT course and placement B school loaned me a laptop. I'm glad I didn't buy one as the schools were so funny about outside devises joining the network. I use a desktop at home.

    I only got a place last June so I didn't do a lot of prep either. I'm in my 30s and have already had a career before this, but it had nothing to do with children or education so I was way behind others on my course who had been TAs, governors, play therapists etc, but just trust the course to teach you what you need to know when you need to know it :)

    Oh I also have to say, when you start at school, find your mentor. Not the person they assign you to who officially checks your paperwork and progress, the really passionate inspirational teacher who will
    show you how to be the teacher you want to be, who loves their job and the children. They will get you through the placement.
  10. 43Meadows

    43Meadows New commenter

    Don’t go out buying loads of ‘stuff’.

    I had to buy:
    3 x A4 folders with dividers (uni requirement).
    Highlighters for cross-referencing TS.

    I already had a laptop and a usb memory stick.

    I did buy some pens for marking in the schools chosen colour.

    I didn’t not buy any books - the uni library was excellent and had the resources online.

    I received a laminator, pouches and paper trimmer fro Christmas along with a heavy duty hole punch and stapler.

    Add to things as you need them, don’t go all out to start with.
  11. littleme28

    littleme28 New commenter

    Best advice I can give is choose your University provider very very carefully. Does your provider have a good reputation? What do their previous students say about them? How long have they been running the course for? How supportive are they if things go wrong? Choosing a good provider will take the stress off if things get tough. I have had the WORST experience with my University. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy so please think carefully about this.
    Ilovejumblesales likes this.
  12. inkymark

    inkymark New commenter

    It really depends on whether you are doing primary or secondary but there are some common areas. I would put a resources bag together that you can carry around while on placement. Mine contained the following essentials:
    • Paperclips - could never find any in my placement schools
    • Stapler - like gold dust in a school - you can never find them!
    • Highlighters - Could never find these when I wanted!
    • A clicker - If you are using Microsoft PowerPoint presentations you can use one of these to move onto the next slide rather than having to keep running over to the keyboard
    • Biros/Pens (green/blue/black) - Schools will have a policy saying that teachers should write in a certain colour and students should do corrections in another colour, etc.
    • Pencils - Old fashioned but still a necessity
    • Rubber - Old technology which works...
    • Pencil sharpener - Obvious why you need this!
    • Ruler - Could never find these when I needed one!
    • Black/Red/Green whiteboard pens - They may provide these in school but always have a backup!
    • Scissors - A necessity!
    • Post-it notes - They are always useful!!!
    Other things to consider:

    • Find out if the school/SCITT is going to provide a diary/planner since you will need this. Also, don't forget folders (I have used 6 lever arch files in the last 12 months) and also an A4 whole punch.
    • I was really fortunate since my main placement school provide me with a laptop and iPad which I used throughout the course. It really depends on the school and how tech savvy they are!
    • Make sure your bag for carrying things around is waterproof - mine wasn't and after one major downpour all my work was soaked....
    Think this is enough for now!
  13. 43Meadows

    43Meadows New commenter

    A clicker - yes! I got one and it was the best £8 I spent. It makes delivery of lessons so much better.
  14. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    If you are SKE science then the best thing to do right now is to beef up your subject knowledge across the three sciences. Spend more time on this than anything else. Really don't think the SKE is enough - it is not. You will need the other two subjects more than you think.
    In terms of the three lever arch files and highlighters and cross referencing...Brrrr. We ditched that from our course. That's old style stuff. You are going to a SCITT so they may still do this.
    You've already chosen your provider and as the person above says - speak to those who have been through the course. I tell mine to do this in their interviews - go and talk to others about this course I say.
    The technology side - absolutely have a good laptop. Can't recommend this enough. One with a good webcam and make sure you have a reliable broadband service.
    The car side - I recommend having a car. Time spent on public transport is time lost from your worklife balance. Plus, right now in COVID public transport is not recommended.
    And you can't be fit or healthy enough. You need to be exercising and eating healthily. Working in school is the single most tiring thing you'll ever do. Be very fit.
    CocoaChannel and safnor like this.
  15. inkymark

    inkymark New commenter

    Absolutely agree with this! It is amazing how much walking around you will do which, together with lots of standing around, means you will be absolutely shattered at the end of the day. The fitter you can be, the better - it will make a real difference to your quality of life!
    Gsr25 and MrMedia like this.
  16. CocoaChannel

    CocoaChannel New commenter

    My SCITT provider doesn’t seem overly concerned about this, but I am. I’m coming towards the end of an SKE physics course, and I thought it was excellent. However, it’s a victim of its own success as I’d like to have done a super SKE in all three subjects!

    The advice I was given was to get up to speed on the KS3 level topics on my two “weaker” sciences. I’m not convinced that’s enough, but between now and September, it’s a realistic target (and my number one priority).
  17. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    That’s a very sensible plan. You’ll be teaching KS3 and KS4 for all three and indeed you should ask for it. It’s not that bad. They are topic based so it’s a question of working through the topics and checking your knowledge against them all. Dig out the spec and some exam papers and you will quickly identify the areas to brush up on.

    on a side note, the really crazy thing is you can do the SKE in your stronger science subject but not the other two! It’s madness. You want the SKEs in your weaker two or as you say all three.
    CocoaChannel likes this.

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