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Primary Observation - any one else having this issue?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by ml01omm, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. ml01omm

    ml01omm New commenter

    My offer of a PGCE ( Secondary) is conditional subject to my having organised a weeks observation in a yr 6 class at local primary school in September. The uni will not make it unconditional until I have a signed piece of paper from the primary school, saying that I have arranged it etc.

    Anyway, I have phoned 6 local primary schools to ask if I can go do this observation, and zilch. 2 have said no it's not possible, as its too early in the start of the new year for them and they will be too busy etc, and in 4 of the cases the receptionist/person who answered the phone, passed on my details to a teacher contact and I haven't heard back at all.
    Is any one else having this problem?
     
  2. ml01omm

    ml01omm New commenter

    My offer of a PGCE ( Secondary) is conditional subject to my having organised a weeks observation in a yr 6 class at local primary school in September. The uni will not make it unconditional until I have a signed piece of paper from the primary school, saying that I have arranged it etc.

    Anyway, I have phoned 6 local primary schools to ask if I can go do this observation, and zilch. 2 have said no it's not possible, as its too early in the start of the new year for them and they will be too busy etc, and in 4 of the cases the receptionist/person who answered the phone, passed on my details to a teacher contact and I haven't heard back at all.
    Is any one else having this problem?
     
  3. Hi I was having a similar problem, I contacted over 25 schools in my local area untill one school finally agreed to let me do this work experience with them, I had to be persistant with them though. Are there any more schools you can try? Can you ring back the ones who said they would pass the details on? Good Luck!
     
  4. StarbabyCat

    StarbabyCat New commenter

    All secondary applicants have to do a week in a primary. My provider recommends we do it in June/July...I'm sure far more schools would be willing to take you at that time of the year; September would be a very busy time. Do you have that option? I'm lucky I have lots of contacts in Primary schools so I can take my pick.
     
  5. ml01omm

    ml01omm New commenter

    I don't think I can change it. The info pack that the Uni sent me has 'The course starts on the 10th of September. The week of the 10th of September will be spent in a local primary school for observation. It is the responsability of the student to organise this observation period.' This has been written about 5 different times through out all the info they have sent me.

    I am hesitate to phone and chase them too much, mainly because I have read about all the stress and stuff on here that teachers face. Don't want to send them over the edge!
     
  6. I needed to do a minimum of two weeks in primary schools before applying for my primary PGCE and found securing these placements the hardest part of the application process. I ended up going to my council website and finding the admin email list of every school in the area. I then picked one that wasn't too "obvious" for students to volunteer at (ie not the one a five minute walk from the campus who must get asked all the time) and wrote asking to help in class. I outlined the things I would be especially well equipped to help with, my experience with children and the fact that I had a valid CRB. After a week or so had passed, I sent a polite reminder email and received a reply straight away. Admittedly, I could be more flexible with times, but it could still be worth a try.

     
  7. Sadly, you're just going to have to pester. Spread your net as wide as you can sensibly travel - Primary schools can be a bit...unresponsive to secondary trainees, so you have to push. Don't worry about pushing teachers over the edge, THEY won't be the ones organising it. It'll be the Head/Deputy/admin. who deal with it all.
    Having said that, this is 'silly season' (super-stress time for all schools) so you may find that you have naturally more luck in June.
    Good luck!
     
  8. I have to do 2 weeks in a Primary as part of my Secondary PGCE too. I just rang up like 2 or 3 times until they sorted something out. I know that my Uni said to contact them if anyone was having issues getting a place. So maybe you could speak to the course leader about it? See if they could help you out?
     
  9. I can't see any reason why it HAS to be that week. As long as it is done before the first week in uni, what difference does it make? I did my primary placement in July, when the schools were much more able to accomdate me.
     
  10. Many universities do, like m101omm's, make a one or two week KS2 placement the first part of the actual PGCE course - they want the experience to be fresh in the minds of students as they will then do further work on this in their first weeks in uni. July is not always a good time to experience primary schools as they may very well not be working to a normal timetable - some year groups may have assessments, whereas year 6 will have finished SATS and be working on Leavers activities (and not the most focused pupils either!)
    m101mm - do you have any contacts whatsoever in a primary school? It really is worth sending an email or facebook message to all your friends/acquaintances to ask if anyone can help - you might be surprised to find that someone you know has a relative who works in primary in a non-teaching capacity who is willing to ask if you can go their school. I'm afraid this is one of those situations where schools are often reluctant to take on a student (who usually require some degree of staff support) but will do so if the student is a 'friend' of a member of staff.

     
  11. ml01omm

    ml01omm New commenter

    Thanks for the suggestion, all my annoyingly all my teacher friends are secondary school. Having done a facebook search I've discovered a girl who was in my A-level maths class is now a primary school teacher ( somewhere locally I presume), so I've sent her a message. I've written emails/letters to a further 10 local schools, which will give me an a valid reason to call and chase them next week.
     

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