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Primary PGCE at Reading University

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by sparklystars20, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. I've got my interview at Reading next week for the Early Years PGCE and I'm very excited but also very nervous! Has anyone already had an interview? My main concern is the written task as I'm worried I'll forget everything I've 'experienced' and read!
    Any advice you can offer?!
    Good luck to anyone else having interviews, wherever you are in the world!
  2. Hye, I had my interview in November. really do not worry yourslef over it. i got very very nervous and it didn't help me one bit on the day! They were all really nice and relaxed, nothing really formal at all.
    I think the written task is just to give them an idea of your writing, spelling, grammar etc rather than the subject matter - but its really not that scary.
    The whole time lasted less than 3 hours for me so not as painful as some peoples experiences.
    They did say to us that we had done really well to get to the interview stage as they reject loads of poeople at the application stage, so remmber this and know that you've obviously got something which has caught their eye and they want to know more about!
    good luck :)
  3. Hi there,

    I had my interview for General Primary in December. Yes it is fairly relaxed and informal I would agree! The written task stumped me but only because there was so much you could've written but you can only have 1 side of A4 and it has to have a beginning, middle and end.. but hey, I can't have done that badly as I have a provisional place!

    They are very nice and I think I was fortunate that although I was meant to have a headteacher in my interview with me, they couldn't make it on time!

    Good luck!

    And make sure you have an educational 'issue' to discuss.
  4. Hi again,
    I wore a suit for my interview, it didn't look too smart though I dont think - people were more casual but my approach is always better to be too smart as you can then dress it down!
    I hope to be seeing you both in September too as I go a conditional place :)
    Goodmang - we didn't get a talk from current students, did they tell you anything interesting?

  5. Hi both and thanks again for advice!
    I am a bit calmer now but I guess a bit of stress/worry is normal!

    Well done beelliezebub as well, hopefully see you in Sept as well! Are you doing Early Years?

    I met some current PGCE students at the open evening and they seemed lovely, really enthusiastic about the course (but once again said how intense it is!) and tutors (hence why Reading is my 1st choice!).

    Were there any particular discussion topic areas that came up more than others, i.e funding/spending cuts, primary curriculum review, SATs, spelling tests for Yr1 etc?! I just want to make sure I'm focusing my time & research in the right areas! So many 'issues' to choose from!

    Also for the story aspect, was there a good variety of books or did the same few keep popping up?! I don't really want to take the same book as everyone else but then I guess it means it's a good choice!

    Sorry for all the questions! (also the paragraphs aren't showing up as I'm posting this from an iPhone?!)
  6. It's nice to see someone else who got a provisional place! Just waiting on knowing what the numbers are- but it doesn't seem the government are cutting PGCE Primary places at the moment, but you never know! Hopefully we will see each other come September.

    Don't worry, Reading was the nicest interview I went to by far. Pretty relaxed and friendly all round really. I would definitely dress smart, as everyone else (par one) was in smart attire.

    Don't over coach yourself. Think about why you want to teach, what is important to you and an educational issue or two. They aren't expecting proper teachers, just people with enthusiasm and potential!

    Best of luck!
  7. Thanks wishspirit! I'm really excited now! :-D
  8. I'm currently at Reading on the PGCE early years and its amazing, but yes very intense (you cope though!)! You guys are really lucky to have a place at such an amazing uni for the course! :eek:) Primary, EY and French specialists are all taught together for the majority of the time which I really enjoy ... EY have an early years module, Primary a French one and thats the only real difference! I personally like this as I feel I have excellent training across the whole primary curriculum and could go into EY, KS1 and lower KS2 and happily teach! Also means you really get to know everyone on the course as there will only be around 60 of you :eek:) There are lessons specially for EY people so you get a good grounding in EY as well! The tutors are fab and the uni really supportive! EY people, you will have: Autumn placement in KS1 (this will be with another person from the course, so you team teach), Spring in EY and Summer in KS1 if it stays the same as this year and primary Autumn KS2, Spring KS1 and Summer KS2. There is also the opportunity for primary students to spend 3 weeks of spring placement in an SEN school and this year 7 people (EY and Primary) are spending their spring placement at service schools in Germany! It is the first year they've offered Germany, so I think it will be a case of wait to see how it goes ... but still, hopefully some amazing opportunities to broaden your experiences if you want! :eek:) If you want any more info on what to expect or anything ... feel free to ask!
  9. Wow Holly, it sounds great and that you are really enjoying it!

    Sparklystar my friend Liz has an interview next Tuesday too, she's got white blonde hair and will probably have her glasses on, you'll have to look out for her!
  10. Thanks Holly, I REALLY hope I do get a place as it sounds great! Hard work, yes, but you've got to work hard to get anywhere in life!
    Goodmang - ooh lovely, I'll make sure to say hi if I see her! If you speak to her, I've got darkish blonde hair & I'll prob be wearing a bright pink jacket :) (and my name's Laura!)
    Sorry once again for the lack of paragraphs, if anyone can tell me how to put them in from an iPhone, please do!
  11. Hi Holy!

    Wow, it is always nice to hear current students opinions, especially when it is so positive! May I ask you a question? Do many PGCE students live on campus in halls, if so which ones? (I know Reading provides halls for PGCE students, but I don't know if they are any any good or if anyone actually lives in them.) I would hate to live with Freshers all partying to the small hours if I have to be up early for placement!

    Thanks for any help you can give! xxx
  12. Oh, thanks for all the info Holly!
    Wishspirit, I'm not sure about the halls thing but I'll be living in private rented accom - there is loads of house shares in Reading with varying price tags - some look pretty nice and might be more sensible than halls for the reason you gave. That would be my opinion though!
    Holly, were you asked to do a KS3 placement before you started? I've e-mail Uni about this but guessing they are busy as i am unsure of exactly what to request from the School - dio i want to see the transition for a child from KS2 to KS3, or should I shadow specific teachers? Just want to make sure I've had the right experience incase we have to do any kind of reflective writing on it. Do you have lots of essays etc to do through the year? Do you have block placements and block weeks in Uni, or is it mixed up with 3 days in school and 2 in Uni?
    Really excited about starting but just want to know for sure that we have a place - hurry up Mr Gove!

  13. Hello :eek:)! No worries about the info ... i always wanted to know more than I could ever find last year so happy to share! The reason I have no paragraphs in my posts in cos I have a mac and it won't let me so apologies! ... Accomodation wise, sadly what I know won't apply for you guys! This year, while the course is still on Bulmershe, the people in halls live on Bulmershe campus and all the PGCE students live together in one flat in postgrad halls! However, with the course moving to a new campus next year, unfortunately i have no idea! I do know however, that the course leader works really hard to make sure PGCE students live in the same flat or block in halls! So fingers crossed you will be in a similar situation next year! .... In terms of the KS3 placement, as I'm early years I didn't have to do it however my friends that did had a range of experiences based on what they could get! It would be really useful to see the transition stage I think (this year one of our assignments was on transition so grab any information you can!) but don't worry if not! Its more just to see the difference between primary and secondary! If anything, maybe pick a subject you either really enjoy/specialise in or one that you are worrying about teaching in primary perhaps ... may be good experience! Unless you have been asked to do any reflective writing over summer ... you won't really talk about your experiences past the first week! Another tip ... the work set over summer ... don't panic!! ... it looks like a lot but it is for you to improve your subject knowledge and no other reason! No-one has ever looked at mine, but I am grateful for reading up on child development and the subject knowledge work as it saves doing it once term starts and you get busy! .... Essays ... you will have 1 maths, english, science, professional studies at higher level and 1 early years or french (depending on pathway) and SEN at masters level ... so 6 in total! Not toooo bad! I havn't found them too bad personally ... they are all quite short 1,500 and timed so they don't clash with placement too much! And school experience wise ... its blocks in school, blocks in uni ... so you do 3 week placement in Autumn, 8 weeks in spring and 8 weeks in summer ... you will be in uni 9-5 the rest of the time but you do get 3 weeks for xmas and easter :eek:) Much needed sleep catch up time!
  14. Holly, your a shining star.
    When did they send out all your summer work info? I'd like to get cracking ASAP just so I can get all my knowledge up to date - are there any good reads you would recommend?
    What kind of journey time have you and others had to placements?
    Thank you again!
  15. Hi all, just wanted to thank you all again for your advice as I have got a provisional place too so hopefully see you all in September! :)
  16. Well done! Not sure if you met my friend Liz, but she got a provisional place too!
  17. Well done!
    very excited now ... did you get anymore info? all i got was my medical form and an acceptance slip, plus paperwork to get signed by places i have done my experience. were they able to say anything about what they thought was going to happen about places?

    Which course are you on, early years or general primary?
  18. Thank you both!
    I think I saw Liz, blonde hair with dark glasses? but I didn't speak to her as we were always sat at opposite ends of the room!
    The only info I got was the provisional offer letter, the letter stating the requirements I need to fulfill, the acceptance slip and the medical form. I didn't receive paperwork to get signed by my schools?
    I think I received the same letter as you about the places as it says they don't know anything yet but as soon as they do, they'll contact us to confirm!
    I'm on the Early Years.
    I'm still feeling a bit in limbo as I'm currently living in s.Wales so I need to know if I need to look for a place near Reading! I don't want to rent out/sell my place in Wales then find out there is no course!
    Come on Mr Gove!!! [​IMG]

  19. Oh! Just seen this link:
    While it is awful for those going for Secondary, looks like it should be OK for Primary at the moment?!
    So guessing we should hear soon?
  20. The webpage isnt loading :-( bad news though!

    We should find a way we can all chat on Facebook or something, maybe a closed group somewhere less open than the forum and easier to keep track of updates!

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