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    (Original post by emily.price15)
    Hi All

    I thought that I could, perhaps, help with some information. I am currently a PGCE student at Oxford - training as a Geography teacher. To be brutally honest, if you want to be a teacher I would advise against a PGCE entirely.

    Unfortunately, my experience of the PGCE is one riddled with issues. Attending Oxford, I was expecting both the calibre of other students and lecturers to be really high and the support to be good. Unfortunately, it is completely the opposite - the other students are of a varying degree of ability which causes huge tension amongst us all and the lecturers don't really seem to know their subject.

    In school too, the support is appalling. No mentor meetings, lack of feedback or discussion. PGCE students are often just treated like pack horses - we do all the work of the teachers for free. Similarly, the quality and approach of many teachers is extremely poor which causes problems. You end up just going it alone most of the time.

    My advice? Go for schools direct! Pick the kind of school you want with the kinds of teachers you see yourself becoming and avoid the PGCE!
    When I went to Oxford for an interview I was told in the toilets to run away and not apply, I think its an Oxford problem.
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    Interesting tales from Oxford! So physicsphysics 91 - did you run away?
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    (Original post by VelmaStaplebot)
    Interesting tales from Oxford! So physicsphysics 91 - did you run away?
    Yeah, found the interview lackluster. Cambridge was miles better after sitting and talking to the coordinator (although felt more like a PHd interview), not to mention the department is better.
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    Good for you. All the best for Cambridge. I'm off to Leicester. Happy days here we come.
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    (Original post by s_1806)
    Hi, I'm getting really nervous for my maths qts test next week.. does anyone know if it's anything like the practice ones online? heard loads of people say the written section is a lot harder in the real one!?

    Any advice would be much appreciated! x
    Hey s_1806! I am on a teacher training course at Newman University, so I had to do my literacy and numeracy tests too! I did all the ones online and found when I got to the test centre that they were quite similar. I think the key is the part in the begining where you have about 20 secs to work out each mental maths question. Don't get stressed with that. Sometimes I found I would just work out the answer and then it went onto the next screen, but forget about the previous question and try to get the next one.
    Nervousness can be good as it shows you care about it, and hopefully will mean that you'll want to get prepared and do all the practice tests online!
    You'll do great
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    (Original post by emily.price15)
    I don't blame you! It's awful - lecturers are not experts in their subjects, schools are haphazard and inconsistent and the University gives zero support.

    What's more, the anti-independent school rhetoric has been awful. Having attended both state and independent schools have seen both sides of the coin. But the teachers I have come across here have said "independent school teachers waste oxygen and should be shot" "they just pick the best students and don't make any progress with them"

    I have been made to feel like an outsider by the system and, as a result, elected to work in a boarding school next year. Twice the salary and half the bureaucracy and prejudice.
    Meh, I had 2.5 weeks of experience at private schools. On reflection I didnt realise at the time but during the Oxford interview I kept getting asked 'so what type of school do you want to work at?' Almost baiting me to say private given the experience I had. Its a shame really, my IoP Scholarship interview and Durham/Cambridge interviews were far more supportive of private experience (and schools).
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    (Original post by blanshdivua)
    That's a great idea, kawaii. I was actually thinking about moving abroad after the induction period. It really sucks that you get stuck with the one or two languages that you studied during the PGCE, hopefully they change it somehow in the future.
    As far as I'm aware, having a PGCE qualifies you to *teach*, and is not tied to a particular subject. (Which is why you get PE teachers teaching biology, English teachers teaching media/RE, etc.)

    So theoretically, you're not tied to the languages in your PGCE. How this works in reality of course, I've no idea, particularly given that most schools only offer a fairly narrow range of languages (Spanish, French and German being those I've come across).
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    Does anyone know if you can move to Australia with your PGCE?

    I really want to just up and leave


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    I'm starting pgce secondary maths in January
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    (Original post by TunaTunnel)
    Hey guys, its about time we got a thread going for prospective PGCE applicants applying for 2016 entry.
    Ok I have to admit I am a little bemused by the DOE methods of encouraging graduates to become teachers, this is why, after 3 years and £40k worth of student finance I thought that teaching as a career choice may well suit my temperament and as my subject knowledge is a shortage I expected I would welcomed as I would also be paying another £9k for the PGCE myself.I had encouragement from the DOE area support worker but met a mixture of shambolic organization from scitt and attitudes elsewhere including other teachers.firstly the UCAS application requires you to obtain references before your application can be considered and you need to do between 10 - 20 unpaid classroom days too, without any guarantee of a place, now call me a cynical sod if you like but with schools and academies struggling is this just a way of getting cheap / free teaching assistants?I am somewhat disappointed at being rejected (I had only completed one classroom day before the interview) and the feedback suggests the reason for rejection was that I need to do 10 - 20 classroom days before re-applying.It also suggests that this would demonstrate my commitment to the training and vocation, as if £9k and year of unpaid work while training is not enough.

    So feeling a little hacked off at the moment.
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    (Original post by Dave_Hurst)
    Ok I have to admit I am a little bemused by the DOE methods of encouraging graduates to become teachers, this is why, after 3 years and £40k worth of student finance I thought that teaching as a career choice may well suit my temperament and as my subject knowledge is a shortage I expected I would welcomed as I would also be paying another £9k for the PGCE myself.I had encouragement from the DOE area support worker but met a mixture of shambolic organization from scitt and attitudes elsewhere including other teachers.firstly the UCAS application requires you to obtain references before your application can be considered and you need to do between 10 - 20 unpaid classroom days too, without any guarantee of a place, now call me a cynical sod if you like but with schools and academies struggling is this just a way of getting cheap / free teaching assistants?I am somewhat disappointed at being rejected (I had only completed one classroom day before the interview) and the feedback suggests the reason for rejection was that I need to do 10 - 20 classroom days before re-applying.It also suggests that this would demonstrate my commitment to the training and vocation, as if £9k and year of unpaid work while training is not enough.

    So feeling a little hacked off at the moment.

    I guess they want you to do it first so you know how a classroom really is and you're 100% sure that that's what you want?

    This news sucks for me, I don't have experience (at least in the UK) and won't be getting any after my interview...
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    (Original post by Lambert87)
    Does anyone know if you can move to Australia with your PGCE?

    I really want to just up and leave


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    Yes you can, depends on region though I think.
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    (Original post by Dave_Hurst)
    Ok I have to admit I am a little bemused by the DOE methods of encouraging graduates to become teachers, this is why, after 3 years and £40k worth of student finance I thought that teaching as a career choice may well suit my temperament and as my subject knowledge is a shortage I expected I would welcomed as I would also be paying another £9k for the PGCE myself.I had encouragement from the DOE area support worker but met a mixture of shambolic organization from scitt and attitudes elsewhere including other teachers.firstly the UCAS application requires you to obtain references before your application can be considered and you need to do between 10 - 20 unpaid classroom days too, without any guarantee of a place, now call me a cynical sod if you like but with schools and academies struggling is this just a way of getting cheap / free teaching assistants?I am somewhat disappointed at being rejected (I had only completed one classroom day before the interview) and the feedback suggests the reason for rejection was that I need to do 10 - 20 classroom days before re-applying.It also suggests that this would demonstrate my commitment to the training and vocation, as if £9k and year of unpaid work while training is not enough.

    So feeling a little hacked off at the moment.
    It shouldnt feel like you're doing unpaid experience. Ultimately, you get to call the shots with your arrangements. If you want to make the most out of the experience in some lessons you've just got to sit and observe (albeit some lessons might not be amazing). Going in schools also gives you a great chance to arrange meetings with heads of department/head teachers and talk to other teachers for advice.
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    Sadly, I cannot find another way of interpreting the rejection email, it says that I need to do at least 1 term of classroom days to demonstrate my commitment before I reapply, so it does feel like I am doing unpaid work experience, but thanks for the encouragement.

    It does demonstrate to me that the reason there is a shortage of Computer Science teachers is that the hoops to jump through are higher and the rewards are lower than in industry, coupled with an uncertainty of employment at the end of it, therefore the certainty of employment and an income from industry kick in before the DOE can recruit.

    Shame really but that is my real life experience. I will be talking with my DOE advisor after the Easter Break but if I still feel the same then I shall be withdrawing from Secondary PGCE and may look at lifelong learning instead.
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    (Original post by Dave_Hurst)
    Ok I have to admit I am a little bemused by the DOE methods of encouraging graduates to become teachers, this is why, after 3 years and £40k worth of student finance I thought that teaching as a career choice may well suit my temperament and as my subject knowledge is a shortage I expected I would welcomed as I would also be paying another £9k for the PGCE myself.I had encouragement from the DOE area support worker but met a mixture of shambolic organization from scitt and attitudes elsewhere including other teachers.firstly the UCAS application requires you to obtain references before your application can be considered and you need to do between 10 - 20 unpaid classroom days too, without any guarantee of a place, now call me a cynical sod if you like but with schools and academies struggling is this just a way of getting cheap / free teaching assistants?I am somewhat disappointed at being rejected (I had only completed one classroom day before the interview) and the feedback suggests the reason for rejection was that I need to do 10 - 20 classroom days before re-applying.It also suggests that this would demonstrate my commitment to the training and vocation, as if £9k and year of unpaid work while training is not enough.

    So feeling a little hacked off at the moment.
    Really sorry to hear that. Getting school experience isn't very feasible as it means taking time off work for some and is unpaid experience. All I can say is stay positive hopefully other unis won't be as strict and try if you can to do a few more days. I know some unis only ask for a couple of days. An alternative would be to work as a TA for a couple of months prior to starting the pgce that way it's not unpaid work.
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    (Original post by Dave_Hurst)
    Sadly, I cannot find another way of interpreting the rejection email, it says that I need to do at least 1 term of classroom days to demonstrate my commitment before I reapply, so it does feel like I am doing unpaid work experience, but thanks for the encouragement.

    It does demonstrate to me that the reason there is a shortage of Computer Science teachers is that the hoops to jump through are higher and the rewards are lower than in industry, coupled with an uncertainty of employment at the end of it, therefore the certainty of employment and an income from industry kick in before the DOE can recruit.

    Shame really but that is my real life experience. I will be talking with my DOE advisor after the Easter Break but if I still feel the same then I shall be withdrawing from Secondary PGCE and may look at lifelong learning instead.
    What sort of school was this and where did you apply?
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    (Original post by TerrificTeacher)
    Hey s_1806! I am on a teacher training course at Newman University, so I had to do my literacy and numeracy tests too! I did all the ones online and found when I got to the test centre that they were quite similar. I think the key is the part in the begining where you have about 20 secs to work out each mental maths question. Don't get stressed with that. Sometimes I found I would just work out the answer and then it went onto the next screen, but forget about the previous question and try to get the next one.
    Nervousness can be good as it shows you care about it, and hopefully will mean that you'll want to get prepared and do all the practice tests online!
    You'll do great


    Thanks so much for your help!!
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    Anyone off to Warwick pgce


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    Is numeracy ready any good for the skills test?
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    I totally recommend Numeracy Ready. Having failed my first attempt at the Numeracy Skills Test, I was really panicking and knew I had to do some solid revision and practice. I wouldn't usually pay for revision tools, but the £24.99 is really worth it if you've exhausted the practice papers on the Department for Education website and have started the memorise the answers. The Numeracy Ready website has plenty of new questions and answers – in fact, I didn't even get around to using all the resources on the website, as my test date came and I passed. I was over the moon! I'd say the £24.99 is worth it if you can afford it, but please bear in mind that once you've done a practice test and go on to the next one, you can't return and listen to it again. The format is also a little a bit different to the actual tests and you have to write the answers down on paper, rather than on an interactive screen. But it's still a great resource.

    Good luck! :-)
 
 
 
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