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Wanting to go on to be a Primary School Teacher, HELP!

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    I have just completed my GCSE's about a month ago and awaiting for the results in August. During the 4 weeks between me completing my exams and the Summer Holidays I have volunteered at my local primary school, (which I went to for my Year 11 work experience) and I thought it was absolutely fantastic! I really enjoyed working with all of the children (3-11), with their work and holding football club during lunchtimes (which I do every Thursday night). I also did the 'boring' jobs, such as laminating , photocopying etc, so I know teaching is not all that glamorous but it is so rewarding, even of I was only there 4 weeks! So much so I nearly cried at their Year 6 leavers assembly! ( I NEVER cry!).
    I feel so passionate about it and I think it is what I would like to do, so I have been looking into different Universities and have found a few such as Swansea Met, Winchester, Birmingham and others. I think I do want to go to Swansea as it is closer to home but I will need to stay on an extra year for the PGCE so I can have the QTS. Is it worth doing the extra year? Or should I find somewhere with the QTS being involved with the degree? If you have any advice to help me I would be very appreciated!
    Also for my GCSE's, I am very much a 'C' student with some B's, so I know that some Universities are definitely out of the question. I do know that A Levels will be tough work and I will need to work VERY hard. Thank You for listen to me!
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    I really want some help/advice guys! Thank you!


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    What A-levels are you going to be doing?

    If you really want to be a Primary school teacher then you can do a normal degree and then a PGCE Primary or just do a Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree which is a specific education degree which will qualify you to be a Primary school teacher. If you are absolutely sure that you want to be a teacher than do the BEd, but i personally would advise you to do a different degree in a subject that interests you and then a PGCE after just in case you change your mind in the future.

    Don't worry about your GCSEs, as long as you have 5 A*-C grades in English, Maths and Science then you will be fine as that is the general entry requirment for all PGCE/BEd courses Also unless you want to work in a really posh/private school then the university you go to will not matter, employers will be more concerned with your passion for teaching and how you can prove this (i.e you coaching football for children and doing work expereince)
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    Thanks for replying Pixie! I am going to be taking Drama, Media and Welsh, I also have to take Welsh Baccalaureate. I feel quite embarrassed when teachers/students wanting to work with children ask what I am going to take as I haven't picked the core subjects. Swansea Met, doesn't specify which A Levels you do but I have to have 5 C-A* GCSE's (as you stated), but will this effect overall employment availability?


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    (Original post by Mr.DL)
    Thanks for replying Pixie! I am going to be taking Drama, Media and Welsh, I also have to take Welsh Baccalaureate. I feel quite embarrassed when teachers/students wanting to work with children ask what I am going to take as I haven't picked the core subjects. Swansea Met, doesn't specify which A Levels you do but I have to have 5 C-A* GCSE's (as you stated), but will this effect overall employment availability?


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    I'm not really sure about this as i personally thought that you had to have one A-level in a core subject if your degree is not, all the BEd courses that i have looked at have asked for this. If you are really worried about this then you can change one of your Alevel options on your enrollment day.

    If you choose to do a normal degree and then a PGCE Primary, then you may be asked to show how your A levels/degree was relevant to the national curriculum/core subjects, where you could explain the elements of English Literature and Language which was included in your Media and Drama A-Level. Although your A-levels are not in core subjects, they do show that you are very creative; which is a needed skill if you want to work with small children
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    Whenever I have looked on the Uni's I think I could get into it only asks for a certain number of points and 5 GCSE's C or above including Maths, Science and English Language- I have looked on the UCAS website as well as the Uni website.
    I don't think picking a different degree then a PGCE is an option, because I am so sure I want to be a primary a school teacher.
    Would you recommend changing one subject at A-Level? I have picked the ones I enjoy the most and I am good at. Surely having passes at these is better than failing Maths, English and Science?
    Would doing one year of AS level in one of these then picking a core AS for the 2013-14 school year make a difference?


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    I think you should try to take one national curriculum subject to at least As if you can; maths, english, science, art, music, geography,history,R.E,P.E. But you don't have to but it might narrow down the unis that you can apply to. Also are you planning to specialise in the younger or older children because if you are doing 3-7 then Psychology is a good subject to take. Do a different degree and then a PGCE if you want plenty of people who definately want to be primary school teachers still go this route just because they want to do the other degree just beacsue you do a pgce doesn't mean that you dont want to teach as much as someone who did a primary ed degree.
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    Thanks for replying xxlissaxx, I know it would be better but, I passed Maths GCSE in November at Foundation level, I barely scrape through GCSE Science, English Lit I think is alright but I have stronger areas. I could do English Language as I am good at it, but it was on the same line as Welsh, which I enjoy a lot, and if I wanted to teach in Wales it would help a lot. I could see what the option lines are like for next years AS level and do English Language?
    During my volunteer work, surprisingly I really enjoyed working with the Year 3 and 4 children, surprised as I thought I would only like to teach the Year 6's, so ages 8+ I would like to teach.
    The only other thing I really like and could do at University is Drama. I am quite good and have been in numerous plays and musicals, but after a recent re-think, I have decided I am going to kid myself if I am going to have a successful career in acting and teaching would be a better idea for long term jobs, unlike just working for 2 months a year as an actor.
    To be honest, I only see myself being a teacher, and although I am still quite young and could change my mind at any point. I have always thought "I'd like to be a _____ or a Primary School teacher". I am prepared to work very hard to get to my goal!


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    yeah english language would be good to take, i think you just just take which ever A-levels you want for now and then you can decide wether you want to do a drama degree or a primary ed degree nearer the time.
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    Worth bearing in mind if you dont consider yourself academically very strong that no bursaries are available to primary pgce students if they get under a 2:1 classification in their degree. Definitely try and do a curriculum subject for your A levels too.
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    (Original post by Mr.DL)
    Thanks for replying xxlissaxx, I know it would be better but, I passed Maths GCSE in November at Foundation level, I barely scrape through GCSE Science, English Lit I think is alright but I have stronger areas. I could do English Language as I am good at it, but it was on the same line as Welsh, which I enjoy a lot, and if I wanted to teach in Wales it would help a lot. I could see what the option lines are like for next years AS level and do English Language?
    During my volunteer work, surprisingly I really enjoyed working with the Year 3 and 4 children, surprised as I thought I would only like to teach the Year 6's, so ages 8+ I would like to teach.
    The only other thing I really like and could do at University is Drama. I am quite good and have been in numerous plays and musicals, but after a recent re-think, I have decided I am going to kid myself if I am going to have a successful career in acting and teaching would be a better idea for long term jobs, unlike just working for 2 months a year as an actor.
    To be honest, I only see myself being a teacher, and although I am still quite young and could change my mind at any point. I have always thought "I'd like to be a _____ or a Primary School teacher". I am prepared to work very hard to get to my goal!


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    Though degree +PGCE keeps options open, if you don't want to do a degree in something else anyway it's probably not right for you. And BEd doesn't completely shut every other area off... Teaching gives you plenty of skills that can transfer to tonnes of other careers if you were ever to change your mind. Also, it's quite an uncertain time. If you did a BEd you'd be on it and sorted, whereas if you did a degree by the time you finished it the way teacher training is done may have completely changed, making it harder for you.

    Regarding a-levels it's always best to phone unis you may be interested in and ask their advice. They will be able to tell you what you need, what will help you etc

    Also, you're doing great to get experience now, keep doing that as much as you can!

    Xxx

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    Hello (: I'm (hopefully) starting a primary ed degree in September and I took almost only core subjects at a level (maths, lit, politics) but you definitely don't need to. I wanted to specialise in lit but a lot of unis let you specialise in almost any core subject.
    Languages are a new requirement in primary teaching so having any language at a level is definitely an advantage.
    Also, my friend took drama and the interviewers were very interested in that 'teaching is all about acting', etc. Drama's also a large part of language and literacy. So yeah, you can take almost anything as long as you can justify it. Go to open days and ask if you're worried. October isn't too late to change a levels in most places (:
    Sorry I don't make much sense.
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    Thank you everyone who replied, I have learned quite a lot from your posts! I will get in touch with Uni's to see what they would prefer. And will also keep in mind about doing a drama degree then a PGCE. In the meantime I will keep doing as much experience as possible. I will keep to my A Level options for now, and see how it pans out, I can always change it too if I don't like it. English Language I will have as a standby subject if I need to change. Thank you again everybody!


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    (Original post by Mr.DL)
    Thank you everyone who replied, I have learned quite a lot from your posts! I will get in touch with Uni's to see what they would prefer. And will also keep in mind about doing a drama degree then a PGCE. In the meantime I will keep doing as much experience as possible. I will keep to my A Level options for now, and see how it pans out, I can always change it too if I don't like it. English Language I will have as a standby subject if I need to change. Thank you again everybody!


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    Hi! I'm going to be doing an education related degree in September but I've also had a few primary education interviews and been given offers - I just decided that I would have more options doing an education joint honours - as you get a PGCE interview at the end anyway (and I think quite a few uni's are the same). After attending about a gazillion primary ed open days, every one said that you needed to have at least one a level in English, maths or science. They do say about languages, but i didn't even take a GCSE in a language and still got in. A lot said that they won't consider applicants if you have two art-type degrees (e.g. art/drama/photography/media). personally, I took English, biology and art which seemed to impress them because the creativity of art is extremely useful in the job I also think a great thing to have is plenty of experience - I've had 10 months experience of volunteering in a range of years in a infant and junior school and then I volunteered at a kids club which ended up in gaining a job - which is obviously an amazing thing to have on your personal statement as it's valid proof that you're suitable with children - personally, I had a gap year to gain more experience with kids, which might also be another option.
    If you're certain you want to be a teacher, then primary education is an awesome course - it's really full on and it's 5 days a week of lectures etc. but you do have a lot of fun and gain loads of experience. Otherwise, you could always take an education studies degree which is less demanding (like myself) and can give you more options. You could even consider doing a joint honours degree and combine education with something else you're interested in such as psychology - giving you even more options, not only if you decide to go into something else but if you want to get a temporary job while searching for a teaching job, as they obviously are quite a lot of people wanting to do the job and so many applicants can be at an interview. You could even go into something like counselling etc.

    Any questions, just ask
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    I am taking the Primary ed with QTS it is great. As a mature student I didn't have any A-levels. I took and access to higher education diploma and got in that way. I think if these are your best subjects you should look at doing a QTS course and possibly doing your second year specialism in creative arts. In this scenario your A level choices are more than appropriate and would not impact on your employability.

    Best of luck


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    I've just started at Winchester Uni doing Primary Education, so if you have any questions about the uni then let me know. It's such a lovely place and the course here is great. You don't need to have an A-Level in the subject that you want to specialise in either. The experience that you are getting is great, and the interviewers will definitely notice how much you have done Let me know if you need any help

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