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Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by klanakin, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. klanakin

    klanakin New commenter

    I'm start my school direct salaried biology post in September. I can only seem to find information about the other routes of training.
    What will I actually need for this course (stationary, files, books??)?
    Have seen post about needing 12 lever arch files, and plastic wallets and other stuff. Just want to be prepared. Anyone else who is doing this or done it already. Would love the advice.
  2. becca3471

    becca3471 New commenter

    I'm doing this - and honestly, I have no idea!

    My fiancee drove me out to a Staples in an out-of-town industrial estate over the weekend, and I came home empty-handed because I didn't know what was necessary. I'm undertaking a subject knowledge enhancement course so I have folders for that, but I think I am just going to see how it goes in September.

    In terms of books - I was given an extensive reading list by my SCITT provider, with 9 or 10 to read before the course. I've bought all of these (and am now £200 poorer), and they're currently sat looking at me as I type this. Happy to provide you with the titles if you're interested. Good luck!
  3. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Until you start in the school you will not fully understand what the programme will involve. Unfortunately the programmes are often new and underdeveloped.Some are more developed than others so have useful information like reading lists and advice.
    If you visit a University bookshop where secondary ITT takes place then you will see some of the books in use- even better get them second hand and never buy stationary at a main supplier use supermarkets or visit boot sales - a lot cheaper.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. littledragon25

    littledragon25 New commenter

    In terms of stationary, don't go rushing out. I bought an absolute ton of lever arch files, only ever used 3 and that was for my portfolio.

    I'd say, get yourself some decent board pens (not the cheap tat from Tesco, they run out too quickly), and a notepad or two.

    Don't go buying a teacher planner, you may be given one. If not, get one from amazon (I recommend the Pirongs A4 planner personally) and get it shipped ASAP before starting in school. They can be expensive so you don't want to waste your money then find out they are providing one.

    I know the biology people I trained with needed a lab coat, not sure about you and I guess it will be down the individual school, so why not contact them and ask?

    Don't rush out and buy £200 worth of books. Go to your local library and borrow them. The vast majority you will never use except for one page or so during an assignment. But do go and buy "How to be a brilliant trainee teacher" by Trevor Wright, it covers the basics that you need before starting the course and is a quick read. I'd also recommend "Learning to teach in the secondary school" by Capel et al, as it is great for assignment writing and covers all your bases again, and is a more academic text than Wright's.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. klanakin

    klanakin New commenter

    That's really helpful THANK YOU!
  6. klanakin

    klanakin New commenter

    I have only just received details off my university now. So hopefully there will be some stuff in there. I'd be interested to see what you've been advised to read. The teachers in school have said pick up a few books on teaching biology but really they are only useful for ideas not much else... I don't like not being over prepared for something... I feel lost.
  7. balvert

    balvert New commenter

    Sorry to be *that* person but it's stationery.

    I have to echo what others have said: don't go out buying things until you know exactly what you need.

    My School Direct provider is fairly well-established, so I feel comfortable that they haven't asked me to do anything other than focus on the professional skills tests. I will receive a pre-course task in July to prepare over the six weeks prior to starting in September, which they have suggested isn't that strenuous.

    I must also echo littledragon's suggestion about books and libraries. You'll be able to borrow books from your university library so hold fire before spending hundreds of pounds on resources you might never need.

    Don't allow yourself to feel lost. Shake off those feelings and enjoy your summer.
  8. klanakin

    klanakin New commenter

    I have to finish my work experience before that. I'm teaching lessons this week and next week. As I say just got my course stuff off my uni so I know a little more what I'm doing.
    I'm one of those people who has to know what's happening well in advance so I can prepare.
  9. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Don't mean to be rude, but in teaching you won't always (often!) know 'well in advance' about various things, you have to be flexible, and won't always have much time to prepare, so in the politest possible way, you are going to have to find a way to get over this! Hopefully during the PGCE you will become accustomed to a flexible way of working :)

    My advice on what you need for your course: a laptop, a good internet connection, a combined printer/scanner.

    I'm a digital person - all lesson plans, resources, notes about my students etc. were on my usb drive and laptop. We had to scan our evidence onto the uni's online area; I used to do this on a Sunday morning whilst drinking several cups of coffee. I didn't even have a paper evidence file! Initially I had a folder with my timetable and data in for each class I taught, but it was too heavy to carry around each day, and every lesson I taught was in a different classroom. I ended up with a photo of my timetable on my phone instead, and the folder collecting dust at home.

    Don't purchase books. I used uni's online library when writing essays (many of the texts were available online, so I could sit there in my pjs drinking coffee reading through the relevant chapters). Also, use Google Scholar for the same thing. Books are only useful for the essay elements of the course, and it's only small sections of each book that you need, hence don't waste your money. Some books on behaviour are useful for a read the whole way through though, so if you really must purchase something to read then make it something about behaviour. Also, subject guide books or revision books, such as those by GCP, are useful - but if you purchase these make sure you're buying to most up-to-date version for the new GCSE courses.
  10. balvert

    balvert New commenter

    Great advice @blueskydreaming !

    Your comments about working digitally are also useful and realistic @blueskydreaming I recently did a CELTA course and pretty much 100% of that course was digital. Lesson plans were submitted online, notes from input sessions were only available electronically and any evidence we had to provide was uploaded. Ironically, we were given a small ring binder at the start of the course but nobody actually used it. Most of us used our phones/tablets to take pictures or videos of things such as timetables.

    I understand that you want to prepare as much as you can @klanakin but sometimes it's just not possible. You need to develop some tactics and strategies to overcome this. If you're doing work experience in a school then you must have seen how quickly a teacher's day can change completely? I was in a primary school last week and the class teachers seemed to have daily changes to their plans and/or unanticipated demands on their time (needing to take some children to an athletics meeting, demands from the head for paperwork, an unexpected governors' meeting, not being able to use the hall for assembly practice) but they just took it as a normal part of their job and got on with things. This was in a Y6 class, post-SATS in a very successful and well-organised school!
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  11. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Blue sky is spot on. I run a university PGCE course. We work hard to reduce paper wherever possible. Paper is a pain to move around, evaluate or provide as evidence. Online portfolios, everything electronic, we have a special app which you use to take a picture of your paperwork and it automatically puts it in your webfolio. Don't buy paper books. The library will offer ebooks. And even then, books, well, my experience is different people like different styles of books. We don't mandate any 'style' of teaching whether constructivist or knowledge based so you can be more selective from our recommended lists to help justify your philosophy of education and approach to teaching.

    You will need a white coat though. Good luck.
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  12. littledragon25

    littledragon25 New commenter


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