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PGCE Primary (5-11) but want to apply for NQT jobs in EYFS...

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by 123lalala456, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. 123lalala456

    123lalala456 New commenter


    So... I am getting through this PGCE malarkey and quite enjoying myself in the process; a few tears during the dark nights of Nov and Dec but things pick up again and I am fortunate to have had great mentors so far. Now it's getting to the stage where we have to seriously consider our job applications.


    I have realised that its EYFS I want to teach but I am now worried; I did not take the EYFS Specialism and instead followed the 5-11 route. I feel that I will not stand a chance against others in the application process. I have 3 previous years experience of working full-time in an infants school, with Reception and KS1, but decided against the EYFS PGCE because I wanted to broaden my understanding of the entire primary education process - and really understand what is expected of children at each year and key stage. This has so far been worthwhile, and I feel on returning to EYFS I would have a greater appreciation of what is expected of children and therefore the other teachers too. Now I am worried that I should have just done the EYFS PGCE instead.

    Can I apply for jobs in a Reception class? Will I just get turned away because I haven't got an EYFS PGCE? I have requested a Reception class placement for after the Feb or Easter half term but if I am not successful in being placed in an EYFS setting should I just accept I need to look for KS1/2 jobs?

    Some people have said to me that schools only really consider you for the year group your last placement was in - which doesn't seem particularly accurate as we are completely powerless as to where our last placements are.

    Any advice appreciated, and anyone who has made the change from another KS to EYFS please let me know how you got on.

    I should be writing a PGCE essay, instead I have managed to give you an essay of just one of my dilemmas!

    Thank you! :)
  2. bhamlass

    bhamlass New commenter


    I too am currently a very tired, stressed but happy PGCE student. In regards to applying for jobs, have you asked your university if you complete a placement in an EY classroom? We are very lucky at our University as the Primary students have all been given this opportunity, just in case they are placed in there when they begin teaching as it will help their understanding. Explain to your university tutors about how you feel and ask if it is possible, stating all the reasons you explained in your post. I am sure they will support you as they want you to do well.
    123lalala456 likes this.
  3. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Of course you can apply, and if they like the sound of you, they might invite you to interview. You won't know unless you try. Highlight your previous experience in EYFS and explain how your PGCE experiences in KS1 and 2 will benefit you when teaching in EYFS.

    It might be that they have plenty of candidates with EYFS teaching experience, in which case you might lose out. But - nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    If you don't have any luck, remember that the NQT year is just one year. Once you have found a school you like and where you are trusted/respected as a teacher, you can make known to the head that you are open for a move to EYFS - he/she may be really pleased, as not all teachers are happy to work with the littlest ones.
    123lalala456 likes this.
  4. 123lalala456

    123lalala456 New commenter

    Thank you both, bhamlass I'm trying with uni so fingers (and toes) crossed I'll have a 3rd or 4th placement with Reception. I'm finding the school placements great, it's all the work uni are piling on causing so much stress - so you're certainly not alone in being stressed and tired!

    Kartoshka you've made me feel a bit more hopeful about it! It's a nice thought - to find a school who may help facilitate a move to a different stage even if I'm not doing it for my first year! Just going to go for any opportunities I can find, as long as the schools have that 'feel' that they're right for me too!

    Thanks again :)
  5. ct186

    ct186 New commenter

    This post just reminded me of my situation 3 years ago; also a PGCE student with a specialism in primary 5-11 age group. I asked the placement officer at my uni I wanted to try the EYFS in my final term after doing a placement in year 4 and one in year 1. Got my last placement in reception, then luckily for me a position opened up and I was offered a NQT position, and now a fully fledged teacher. I really don't miss the endless hours marking literacy, numeracy and core foundation subject books in KS1 & KS2 that I experienced during my placements! Go for it, you have nothing to lose!
  6. ct186

    ct186 New commenter

    ....Just to add there are many routes to getting an EYFS teaching post even if not specifically EYFS trained on PGCE. A bit of luck, patience, research and don't see why it should be a problem.
    1) You find a nice school which does inter-school key stage swaps. Our school does teacher rotations every 2-3yrs to keep teachers on their toes, our year 1 teachers swapped with reception teachers (reception is bit like a diluted version of year 1).
    2) Supply work (shortage of teachers means they're less picky)
    3) Apply direct to school, show enthusiasm, knowledge, behaviour management skills and that you can click with children during the demo lesson. Good luck!
  7. 123lalala456

    123lalala456 New commenter

    Thank you too ct186. There really is nothing to lose and a lot to be gained!

    What's your work/life balance like? Do you school except you in for long days? One of my placements the teacher was in school 7.15am - 6.15pm and still worked at home every night of the week and devoted every Sunday to yet more work...it almost put me off until my current placement and I see there are schools that encourage a life outside of work!
  8. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    This depends very much on what the school's Year 1 is like - if they use continuous provision, then I could agree with your quote, but not all schools do.
  9. ct186

    ct186 New commenter

  10. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Not nitpicking to get at you... nitpicking so that the OP doesn't get the wrong impression about EYFS :)
  11. ct186

    ct186 New commenter

    All's good Kartoshka, I think we're all here for similarish reasons; to help others with our knowledge, experiences and advice(us teachers are a helpful bunch aren't we!) & I do enjoy nosying around the different threads on forums- interesting to see how others work! :)

    BTW I have seen some of your other posts and think you do provide solid advice!

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