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Primary vs Secondary?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' 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. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    Secondary you will train and teach in your subject (& may gain experience in a related area eg english, drama and media studies). For science, you'll often be expected to teach all 3 sciences to GCSE but can specialise post16.
    Most PGCEs are 11-16 with the potential for 16-18 experience if your school has a 6th form and is willing to let you have a go. Though if it's anything like mine, we keep trainees away from exam groups other than observations and the odd team teach revision lesson.
    from some work ive done in primary, it's a totally different way of working. My subject looks very different at primary. You're also dealing with a different context for the children too (which I try to explain when an LA rep (primary trained) likes to act like our area's secondaries are terrible but primaries are amazing) eg puberty, range of classes, not seeing all students everyday, different style curriculum etc. They're both very challenging but it's different challenges.

    For me, what I enjoy about secondary is: use of subject knowledge, being able to have good crack with older students (professionally appropriate banter), students generally have a more sophisticated sense of humour and can be witty, love post16, I like helping to turn around the moody, disaffected students and help them achieve and take their next steps, they're more independent so don't ask me to they their rights on after PE (bad memory from my primary placement during my PGCE).

    That said, there's no conversion course if you change your mind and it is much easier to move from primary to secondary than the other way round from anecdotal experience.
  3. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    You need to get into schools and see the vast differences for yourself, find out which you are more comfotable with.
    DYNAMO67 likes this.

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