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PGCE vs School Direct (social aspects)

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Why bother with a post grad? Are they even worth it? Have your say! 26-10-2016
    • Thread Starter

    I'm still trying to figure out where I want to apply, one of my main questions is how the experiences differ in terms of social aspects. I'm more drawn to a PGCE as I imagine I'm more likely to have peers on that course in comparison to having colleagues on a school direct course, or do school direct students often meet? I can picture on schools direct myself being the only teacher in training, surrounded by only proper teachers and children.

    PGCE: Several weeks in Uni, several weeks on a school placement, several weeks in uni, several weeks on a school placement.

    SD/SCITTs : 4x a week in school from September, 1x a week training with people from loads of courses, repeat and change schools inbetween.

    Obviously this varies between courses but it's along those lines.

    Experience wise, you're thrown straight in with SD/SCITTs as you start at the school when the students do (observing at first, then teaching). The school you're placed at will probably have a few other trainees in different departments but that will be the same for a PGCE too. You won't all be in the same department because schools just don't have enough spaces to do that and a department full of trainees wouldn't be ideal for students.

    In a way, you are alone - this isn't university, this is a career. It's less about making friends, skipping lectures and getting drunk at the weekend and more about you and making sure the kids are learning something each week. From what it sounds, with the intense workload there won't be much time to chill with other trainees as you'll be marking, planning and completing assignments.

    Networking and socialising with established and experienced teachers is a great way of learning new skills, asking for advice, and hearing suggestions. You will blend into the sea of staff on both PGCE and SD/SCITT and there's nothing wrong with making friends with a teacher.

    Speak to the individual providers. Of the university and SCITT providers I interviewed with, there was very little difference in 'contact' time with other students/tutors.

    For example, the SCITT route started you off with 2 weeks observations, then 2 weeks doing the academic side, then onto placement with one day a week with a tutor.

    The PGCE starts later (two weeks into September), you do two weeks in uni, then a weeks observation in your first placement school, then teaching practice starts with one day a week in uni for the first term, then as and when needed for the second.

    In contrast, when my friend did her Primary PGCE, she spent about six weeks in university at first, plus at least two days of each school holiday, but didn't go in when on placement.

    This year is not really about the social aspects. It is going to be hard work and from friends who have done it they did not get the chance to go out at all. So i wouldn't really worry about it!
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