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Primary vs Secondary?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by Daniiiii, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. Daniiiii

    Daniiiii New commenter


    I will be applying for a PGCE soon, but I was wondering - can anyone give some insight into Primary vs. Secondary? For instance, if you had experience as a Year 6 teacher, is it still a big leap to Secondary?

    For example, how do placements work at Secondary? Will you specifically be working in the class of the subject you have chosen? Is the PGCE heavily focused on exams at Secondary level?

    Also, does the Secondary PGCE include up to A-Levels - and do you focus on an age range as you would at Primary?

    Thanks for your help!!!
  2. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    I don't know about Primary but for Secondary: Yes you should be working in your subject area for your placements. You don't focus on a specific age range, as in Secondary you would be expected to teach all ages from 11 to 18, but you may not get the opportunity to work with exam groups or classes (unless you are very good at what you do, and then it's likely to be Yr10).

    In Primary you teach everything so it is very different to Secondary, and yes I would say it is quite a jump from Primary to Secondary, but not having had experience of Primary to compare with I can't be dogmatic on this. Perhaps there's someone who has done both could add more to this? You could try reposting in Primary and Secondary forums to ask?
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Hullo @Daniiiii

    Let's look at your questions!

    Yes. Because you wouldn't be teaching only Year 7, but years 7-11 at least, possibly Years 7-13.

    Yes, specialist subject classes. As it would be when you actually work in a school.

    Well, I don't know your definition of heavily, but to be blunt, the exams are the name of the game in secondary!

    Yes, up to A-level. No, you don't do one KS only.

    Here's a little on-line QUIZ to help you see if Primary or Secondary is best for you, Daniii. (The rest of the posters can do it too, to see if you made the right choice!)

    P.S. It's not a very good quiz, I have to say . . .:D

    Best wishes
  4. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    I this has been posted on about 3 different boards. Is there a way to merge them together as one thread?
  5. teacha

    teacha Occasional commenter

    Or you could do what I did......I taught secondary for about 10 years, then switched to primary :)
  6. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Careful, teacha! That will definitely confuse the OP even more! (and, yes... the poster has asked in at least three different fora).

    damnant quid non intellegunt
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Covering her/his bets . . .;)

  8. lovemaths321

    lovemaths321 New commenter

    The best thing you can do is to visit a primary and a secondary school to find out. If you're passionate about your subject then secondary might be the way forward. If you like 7 year olds clinging on to you all day then primary might be the way forward. I spent a couple of days in primary as part of my training, the first day was cute, the second day was annoying. But that's just my view!
  9. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Primary is great if you aren't passionate about a subject, but enjoy teaching & variety. I focused on upper primary, and loved that the children were still curious but already had the basics in place (reading, writing), so you could do some great stuff. Then SATs came in and ruined it all.

    I never taught the tinies - would rather poke out my eyes with sharp sticks - but if you work in primary you COULD be put in any year group from Reception to Y6. No head ever dared risk that with me (mutiny!!), but it does happen frequently. And the difference between 4 year olds just out of nappies and 11 year olds entering puberty is enormous.

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