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Work Experience for PGDE Primary - what did everyone do?

Discussion in 'Scotland - prospective teachers' started by CheekyCheek, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    Im looking for some advice. I applied to Aberdeen uni but unfortuanetly after my interview i didnt get offered a place. Obviously im gutted but i was so nervous in my interview that i know i didnt come across well. So im planning to apply again next year but hopefully with a bit more experience i'll be more confident.
    Last year from January - September, i did work experience in a primary school every second Friday. I worked full-time but i was on flexi so was able to work 9 day fortnights. I also helped out at my local Brownie unit.
    Just wondering how much school experience everyone else had? I'm in a differant job now so longer have flexi so im worried about how often i can go to school thsi year. What did everyone else do as they worked full-time?
    Going to do some different types of volunteering as well coz i presume everyone helped at Brownies :)
    Any advice would be helpful - i just thinks it hard to gain experience working with children when working 9-5! But need to pay the bills somehow....
    Thank you :)
     
  2. Hi,
    Im looking for some advice. I applied to Aberdeen uni but unfortuanetly after my interview i didnt get offered a place. Obviously im gutted but i was so nervous in my interview that i know i didnt come across well. So im planning to apply again next year but hopefully with a bit more experience i'll be more confident.
    Last year from January - September, i did work experience in a primary school every second Friday. I worked full-time but i was on flexi so was able to work 9 day fortnights. I also helped out at my local Brownie unit.
    Just wondering how much school experience everyone else had? I'm in a differant job now so longer have flexi so im worried about how often i can go to school thsi year. What did everyone else do as they worked full-time?
    Going to do some different types of volunteering as well coz i presume everyone helped at Brownies :)
    Any advice would be helpful - i just thinks it hard to gain experience working with children when working 9-5! But need to pay the bills somehow....
    Thank you :)
     
  3. Hi CheekyCheek, sorry you didn't get a place. I thought I fluffed my interview a bit too and was super nervous but I got a place and I think it was the extent and breadth of my experience that saved me.
    So what I did was:
    - I'm doing a PDA Education Support Assistance course at college, which is giving me great knowledge of child development, education theory, behaviour management etc. It also includes a four month placement in a school (although that doesn't begin until this week)
    - I help out in a primary school two days a week. This is the most important thing and I would recommend you get as much as you possibly can. The school will be thrilled to have an extra pair of hands and will bend over backwards to accommodate you (or at least, they did for me!). Try and get as much experience with different age groups as you can so you're an expert in how children of all ages learn.
    - I do Brownies as well. Obvious choice but to make the most of it I'd recommend you try to lead as much as possible. Plan and implement activities and reflect on how it supports children's learning.
    - I also volunteer at ChildLine. Not as directly helpful as some of the above, but it demonstrates a commitment to working with young people and it has also greatly benefited my ability to engage with children.
    - Any opportunities you can get with children with ASN, get it. I do a peer reading scheme with autistic young people that has been really helpful in gaining an understanding of the condition.
    Other things to note:
    - Get a subscription to TES and keep on top of it. At interviews you're asked about issues in teaching and this gives you a good insight to those issues.
    - Read widely, on anything that interests you in education. Be aware of any gaps in your knowledge (for example, I'm weak on science) and read, read, read! Also find things you're really interested in (for me, CfE and behaviour management) and try to become something of an expert.
    - Take a look at OU. Not cheap, but they have some great eduation-related courses. If I hadn't got in this year, I would have taken a look at some of them, particularly the languages for teaching courses.
    - Make sure you've got hobbies or skills. If you can tell interviewers you play a musical instrument or play a sport or know a language, it looks really good.
    Hope some of that's been helpful; good luck next year :)
     
  4. Hi,
    Yes, as much time in a classroom as possible. I have been volunteering 2 days a week in a local primary since last march and have committed to the end of the current academic year. The longer you are there the more the teachers get used to you and start to trust you with the kids. I repeatedly say I will do anything that they want or need me to do and at first I was used for the basic things like cleaning the computers and filing! I now have hands on time with groups of children nearly all the time. At my interview I was told that they liked the fact that I was allowed to do that. I have now been offered a place.
    I also volunteer on the Scotland Reads scheme and help at a kids sports club. I also think that any presentation skills that you can highlight from your own career really helps as a big part of the fear for new teachers is standing up in front of a group, adults or children, and taking charge.
    Good Luck!
     
  5. If you are interested in studying through the OU, you can get £200 funding from the ILA towards a course. I'm currently studying Autism Spectrum Disorders, which is just a short course so it was £230, of which I only had to pay £30. My interviewer at Strathclyde seemed to be impressed when I mentioned this, and it also allowed me to talk about time management skills, juggling work, study, Brownies, as well as family commitments etc.
    www.ilascotland.org.uk
     
  6. Such a pity you didn't get in this year [​IMG]
    I didn't have half as much experience as the other guys here and I managed to get a place at Glasgow Uni (somehow!!) I work full time too so I helped out in a local primary school twice a week (but just from 12-2....ahh the joys of Flexi time!) and I volunteered at Rainbows once a week rather than Brownies.
     
  7. Thank you ALL for those great tips!!! [​IMG] Im quite interested in a reading scheme as i did something similar when i was at school - away to research some in the local area.
    I'm actually already in the process of signing up to volunteer with Childline and i have spoken to OU to start a course in October. I figured that while im working in a (boring!) office job, i can still study what interests me :) Im also thinking about teaching at Sunday school but in two minds if i'll go back to Brownies. Maybe its best to try completely new types of volunteering!
    I've also got an appointment with careers at uni later in the week to have a chat about my options. The women assigned to teaching is so appraochable and hoping she can advise with regards to working full-time and going to school.
    Thanks again everyone - its nice to hear from people who are in the same situation!
     
  8. Hi - I did a Monday morning in a P4 class for a term, plus Brownies as I too work full-time (feeling your pain!). I just found out I got into Moray House so v relieved. There seemed to be a huge range of experience at my interviews so unless the feedback you got was specifically about voluntary experience I wouldn't worry about killing yourself working full time and doing tonnes more voluntary. Obviously you should do what you can (Brownies) but it's making the most of it that's important - so take charge of the night, organise and lead the activities. This will boost your confidence in the next interview.

    Also one more thought. I think one of the things they are looking for is confidence in the classroom so if you felt you were really nervous in the interview maybe you could practice that aspect? Public Speaking club? Acting/Drama club?just practicing your answers with family/colleague/Friends etc.

    Good luck!
    Katy
     
  9. - I'm doing a PDA Education Support Assistance course at college, which is giving me great knowledge of child development, education theory, behaviour management etc. It also includes a four month placement in a school (although that doesn't begin until this week)

    Hi georgia,
    Just been having a look at this course - at aberdeen college i presume? Have you done both years? Did take take 2 years? Has that meant you have not been able to work full-time? They are part-time courses but year 1 is during the day on a Tuesday then year 2 invloves a placement.
    I though that a part-time couse meant you were able to work full-time? What did most people on the course do?
    Sorry for all the questions :)
     
  10. Hi Shesav,
    Just wondering if you could send me the link for Scotland Reads Scheme? Its not coming up on google.
    Thanks! :)
     
  11. Hi Shesav
    Just wondering if you can send me the link to Scotland Reads scheme as its not coming up on google.
    Thanks! :)
     
  12. One more question! :)
    How did you fins out about the peer reading scheme? Can you please give me some more info?
    Thank you!
     
  13. Hi CC,
    I do it through a local school who advertised locally for volunteers , but it is a scheme which is supported by the Scottish Government via Learning and Teaching Scotland. The Tutor's maual gives the website as www.LTScotland.org.uk and their telephone number is 08700100297.
    Hope that helps.
     
  14. Hi cheekycheek:
    Yes I am at Aberdeen College - it's just a one year course, and it's full time so no, I do not work. Focused this year (my gap year, if you will) on gaining experience to do the PGDE. Also, jobs seem non-existent so figured I would focus long term rather than training to do something I only wanted to do for a year.
    The peer reading scheme was through the college too. We were given the opportunity through our lecturers to work with young people who also study part-time at the college.
    Georgia :)
     
  15. Thanks Georgia and Shesav for the info! You have given me great tips and plenty to think about.
    Much appreciated :)
     

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