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What should i be doing/buying in preperation for my PGCE?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by vuittonprincess, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. Hi, I started a PGCE last September, but I left a few weeks ago because I was offered a job in FE. I hope the fact that I left the course will not bar me from answeing your query, so here goes:
    Priority - Start sorting out your Student Finance NOW. If you leave it too late, you will not get through to Student Finance England if you have a problem. Trust me, it's almost impossible to actually get to speak to someone when they are busy. I saw people literally with NO MONEY AT ALL at the beginning of Term, and they were desperate, but simply could not get to speak to anyone - it's rediculous.
    Tip No 2 - when you start the PGCE, you will get absolutely battered with information. Everyone will panic, thinking that you have to learn it all. You don't - just concentrate on what you are assessed on. It is impossible to learn everything, honestly, there is just too much. However, I was told on the QT by a tutor to pretty much ignore anything that isn't actally marked. If you do this, you can put all your efforts into what IS marked, and it is possible to get good marks this way - I did, before I jacked it.
    Anyway, good luck - just be prepared to be very busy and that you will not have a proper social life for a year. If you can accept that, you will be ok.
  2. lou_lou84

    lou_lou84 New commenter

    the advice has been really great! I was wondering if there was anyone who has any tips for those going on to do secondary English? Oh and one more question - is there time for a part time job, or is that just a daft question?

  3. I suppose you can carry on with PT work (weekend only, say) while you are still in uni, but as soon as placements start and workload escalates, jack it in as you won't have time or energy left.
  4. lou_lou84

    lou_lou84 New commenter

    when do placements usually start? This is what I am hving difficulty in finding out, and I need to give my employer 4 weeks notice because although I work part time I work 6 days a week, so they need someone to fill my post.

  5. Hope these pointers help.
    • Make sure you have access to a printer and paper.
    • Lots of pencils and pens (carboot are a good place to get them) You will lose a lot of them.
    • Lots of Whiteboard pens.
    • Always e-mail yourself your assignments. (Yahoo, hotmail, etc) That way they are stored elsewhere and can be accessed online.
    • And of course someone to talk to, well not talk to more like whine to.

  6. katnoodle

    katnoodle New commenter

    I thought I'd have a month or so at university, but my time in school starts a week and a half into the course. They seem to vary a fair bit, so I'd ask your uni.
  7. Definatly not! While at uni you may have chance for a bit of free time so no-commitment jobs like babysitting or temping as a waitress for events could be a possibility. But during placement you'll probably not have time to do anything outside of school. I know of one person on my course that held down a part time job and she dropped off the course as she was finding it all too much...
    You'd be better to focus on the course for a year. Because really, the little money you would make just working at the weekend is not worth the free time you'd be giving up
  8. lou_lou84

    lou_lou84 New commenter

    Thanks for the above reply. I have been toying with the idea of leaving my part time job but i am going to leave it as late as possible so then I have a few pennies behind me in case the student loans are late in coming through :)

    Thanks for all the advice. The thread has been very useful!

  9. I'm starting the Primary PGCE at Bradford in September, as a mature (male) student. Can anyone who is attending/has attended this course give me some tips please ? I appreciate all the comments above which I will take on board assiduously ?
    YSJ turned me down. Their loss :)
  10. I am a Student teacher at the moment and have found the following really useful:
    • Post-its - Great for remembering what children have said for formative assessment and for making notes about lessons as you are running round like a headless chicken on placement!
    • Freezer-food - placement days are long, coming home to food you have not got to prep is a great time saver - I make up massive batches when time allows
    • Files - as many posters have said you will need lots and lots of these
    • Children's books - useful for university based work and great for school when you are asked to step in or plan an inpromptu lesson!
    • USB Memory stick - so you can transfer your resrouces to the schools network and university computers during gaps in your timetable
    • pleanty of wine and chocolate!!! (obviously not essential but it helps!)
    Lastly once you get started make the most of getting to know people on your course as they will offer invaluable support when the going gets tough and as much as your nonPGCE friends will offer a supportive ear they wont be able to moan with you about the seemingly meaningless assignments and tasks you have been set! Ohh and make sure you have one day a week off otherwise your friends and family will forget what you look like!
    Hope you all have a great time it's well worth all the hard work x x
  11. Great post thanks Hoppy :) x
  12. Hello

    If you are starting your PGCE in September, you could begin following Include Solutions Ltd on Facebook and Twitter. We are developing an interactive hub for ITT students (www.includesolutions.co.uk) which will shape behaviour management, learning and teaching strategies and introduce the importance of the wider school community. We are posting a few ideas which will help to prepare prospective ITT students for their year ahead. we look forward to having you with us as we enter this new journey!!

    Kind regards.
  13. missrieen

    missrieen New commenter

    I'm on a Primary EY PGCE at the mo and the advice already given has been fab!
    I wouldn't buy all the books recommended, but if your subject knowledge needs brushing up then the achieving QTS ones are good - but obviously different people like different styles.
    Couldn't agree more about post-its/folders/pens/highlighters/paper etc...I am already on 8 lever arches and a ringbinder and I still have one term to go!
    Get a diary/planner/organiser to keep you organised (though if you hold out the Unions will give you diaries and wall planners)
    Make sure you have a reliable but economical printer - I think I have felled a small forest with all the paper I have used [​IMG]
    Most importantly in my opinion - HAVE A FABULOUS SUMMER! Honestly, make the most of your free time now while you can because it becomes very precious when you don't have a lot of it... Though as other posters have said, it important to take one evening a week to yourself whilst at uni and on placement; you need something separate from it all to keep you sane.
    Hope that has helped a little bit x
  14. Personally, I'd be learning to spell preparation!
  15. I've bought a slow cooker today on the advice of many so thank you :) i've also got a laminator too now! Thanks everyone for your advice! I'm sure this post has helped many others aswell as me...The TES put it in their feature of the week a few week's ago so hopefully people will gain as much out of this as i have.
    Cheers! Vuitton XxX
  16. A laminator... of to Staples tomorrow I think [​IMG]
  17. These are great handy hints and tips - thank you!! Im starting my PGCE in September and am really excited/nervous, glad to read that you are all really enjoying yours. Great thread idea!
  18. I'm coming into my last term on Primary PGCE now. My big advice would be to book your skills tests ASAP, as another poster said. In fact, I'd advise you to do it as soon as you get your GTC registration number through. I got mine over and done with in November, while coursemates of mine are only sitting theirs now, at the same time as placement prep, job hunting, and writing our final essay. Not worth the hassle of waiting, I assure you! Plus, the campus record for the number of times sitting the test for an individual subject is apparently 37. I'm sure you'll manage it MUCH faster than that, but I'm sure you can see the point that the sooner you get them done the better!
    I'd also agree to not bother buying books as soon as you get the course list. I had them bought for me, and I've done nothing more than flick through some of them, despite the fact that they were listed as essential, as there turned out to be no need for them. Wait and see what the supply is like at your uni library, check the books out before you decide if you want to buy them or not, as it's expensive! My university listed a book on classroom research, which we found out on arrival had been written by several of the lecturers and there were cheaper alternatives in the book shop or freebies in the library!
    On a similar note, don't bother buying revision guides for the QTS skills tests. They really don't add anything and don't help much - doing the online practice tests will help you more.
    On a different note, go to as many fairs as you can. Society fairs, Fresher's fairs (yep, even as a PGCE student you're eligible to go to these!), Teaching Union fairs and Career's fairs are brilliant freebies. I now have enough pens to last me at least five years- I'm not even kidding. Also got about a decade's worth of pencils and rubbers as I don't use those as often! I also appreciate the random nature of the freebie - I am currently drinking tea from a mug offered by a local housing agency, I have an ATL lanyard that comes in handy for carrying my ID round my neck on school visits, and Kent LEA were offering stress balls in the shape of a tree. Useful and amusing - always a winner!
  19. Thatsmyloaf

    Thatsmyloaf New commenter

    Wow these are great ideas and handy for me prepping for my septemeber PGCE
    Moar Questions~!!!
    1) I've opted to stay on campus rather than find my own place, good idea or not?
    2) What can I expect on day1 of my placement, Ive never done a placement before (but I have worked in a classroom for over a year), will they just leave me to it? whats the induction for this kind of thing?
    3) If your doing a KS1/KS2 focused course, do you get a choice which placement to do first? Silly question I know :p
    4) Aside from the now banned Sparkle Box, what websites are good for PGCE resources?
    5) Any PGCE horror stories? I would love to hear some "dont do this" tales from students

  20. quietlydetermined

    quietlydetermined New commenter

    I've not started my PGCE yet, but I thought I could tackle these two questions. In terms of whether you get a choice over which placement you do first, I would take an educated guess that it would depend on your providor so if you want to know it is best off asking them/asking somebody who has done exactly the same course. I would take another guess that the answer would be no in most cases, as it's such a hassle to arrange placements for people it's easier for them to decide where you go each time.
    Although ********** is banned in most schools the website is still running - you can still access it from your home computer (it's really just a moral choice whether you'd be happy to use it or not).
    Other websites I have collected:
    http://www.trinityeducational.co.uk/ - look under the Free Resources heading

    Also in terms of day 1 of placement (again, I haven't done it so I'm no expert) I would advise you to be proactive. If you aren't given things to do, ask! If asking leaves you with nothing, find something to do. You will know from working in a classroom that there is <u>always</u> something that needs doing.


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