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    As a side note, In the primary I was observing in, and in the one Keziah above is at, they both teach French in some capacity (although I never saw it being taught so it might only be done at certain points of the year). I know for sure that when I went to Primary many years ago, We were never ever taught any other languages. This does not help when you turn up for secondary french having never done it before don't you think?

    Is teaching French now compulsory at Primary level or optional?
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    Just put together an excel document of all the pre and post reading and tasks they want us to do for each modules lectures/workshops for the next 3 weeks as all the module handbooks were confusing me. Seeing all the work we have to do in one place is rather overwhelming though! So much for breaking us in gently lol
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    (Original post by Jimmy Mullen)
    As a side note, In the primary I was observing in, and in the one Keziah above is at, they both teach French in some capacity (although I never saw it being taught so it might only be done at certain points of the year). I know for sure that when I went to Primary many years ago, We were never ever taught any other languages. This does not help when you turn up for secondary french having never done it before don't you think?

    Is teaching French now compulsory at Primary level or optional?
    They kept changing their minds but at the minute I don't think it is- because it was for a while I think most places do teach some language. (please feel free to correct me, folks)

    As a secondary language teacher it can be a pain in the backside that they're not at the same point when they turn up in year 7- you have to cater for the ones who have no French, the ones who've done quite a bit and everything inbetween. It can cause the students who know quite a bit to switch off in lessons and never switch back on, but equally it could mean that they get motivated early on. So it's tricky. I'm all for early language lessons if everyone gets them, though.
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    As Noodles said, at one point a few years ago, it was pretty much a necessity for primary schools to offer some language tuition. That didn't have to be French and the language chosen tended to depend on the area/local authority etc. For example, in Durham, the vast majority did French, but where I am now, most offer Spanish or Italian. Even then, it was only for KS2. There are QCA schemes of work available, which I find quite terrifying, as they go into things I did in around year 8/9 lol.

    Anyway, at the moment, they do not have to teach a language [even to KS2]. It is classed as good practice and can be seen as a positive when Ofsted come by etc, but it isn't a requirement.

    The main problem I see with it is the funding. When it was the focus, there was more funding put into primary languages. Now it isn't necessary, the funding has been cut. That means a lot of places cannot afford a specialist language teacher. Some schools I know are clinging onto specialists - who come in 1 afternoon a week and do short lessons throughout KS2 - and others are asking the normal teachers to do it. My problem with the latter is that I am not [nor have I ever claimed to be] a modern foreign language specialist. I simply don't know it myself and therefore teaching it is pretty hard. When you are teaching around 12 other subjects anyway, which are complusory, it isn't the main priority.


    There is talk of it being made complusory again when the new curriculum is released but that is still pie in the sky for now.
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    Yeah they really need to make a decision and stick to it.
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    So I (and most other people's) Uni based part of the course begins tomorrow. We don't know anyone (except a few met at interview), we don't really know the place, we don't know where the placements will be.......

    New venue, many new people to meet, and a whole new environment for the second time in 2 weeks, and the same thing again in 4 weeks for the first placement. What a weird year this is going to be!
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    (Original post by Jimmy Mullen)
    So I (and most other people's) Uni based part of the course begins tomorrow. We don't know anyone (except a few met at interview), we don't really know the place, we don't know where the placements will be.......

    New venue, many new people to meet, and a whole new environment for the second time in 2 weeks, and the same thing again in 4 weeks for the first placement. What a weird year this is going to be!
    It will be amazing! Remember to grab every opportunity you can and to above all have lots of fun! This is your opportunity to experiment and try as many different things as you can. If it goes wrong there will always be someone to step in if necessary.


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    (Original post by Jimmy Mullen)
    As a side note, In the primary I was observing in, and in the one Keziah above is at, they both teach French in some capacity (although I never saw it being taught so it might only be done at certain points of the year). I know for sure that when I went to Primary many years ago, We were never ever taught any other languages. This does not help when you turn up for secondary french having never done it before don't you think?

    Is teaching French now compulsory at Primary level or optional?
    All my placement schools, schools I visited for jobs and now my current school all teach Spanish, some from KS1! I think a language should be compulsory as then there will be some continuity!
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    (Original post by Jimmy Mullen)
    So I (and most other people's) Uni based part of the course begins tomorrow. We don't know anyone (except a few met at interview), we don't really know the place, we don't know where the placements will be.......

    New venue, many new people to meet, and a whole new environment for the second time in 2 weeks, and the same thing again in 4 weeks for the first placement. What a weird year this is going to be!
    You'll soon get used to wandering into new schools both on placements and interviews, don't worry
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    (Original post by balloon_parade)
    All my placement schools, schools I visited for jobs and now my current school all teach Spanish, some from KS1! I think a language should be compulsory as then there will be some continuity!
    Spanish has really grown in popularity in schools recently.

    Although my degree is in French, my university asked me to brush up my Spanish (I did GCSE 7 years ago) and then do a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course before starting the PGCE.

    I'd've really loved having a go at teaching Spanish to the Year 6 class I'm currently working with, but all KS2 classes in the school do French, so I assume that's the main language in the secondary school they move up to.

    Good luck to all those starting the PGCE today! I've got another 3 days in Primary and 2 days in Secondary before I start on the 24th.
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    Everyone seems to be starting so late!! Its my second week in uni, School Experience 1 starts on 3rd of October. That's when the real work begins!
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    My first day isn't until next Monday! I didn't realise how late I was starting compared to everyone else...
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    (Original post by AwesomelyPsycho)
    My first day isn't until next Monday! I didn't realise how late I was starting compared to everyone else...
    Yeah, I'm getting quite impatient now too. I've really enjoyed my primary observation, but now I'm getting to the end I'm struggling to work out what else to do, as I've taken so many notes that now need to turn into my assignment...

    Also, my washing machine has broken and I can't get a new one until my student loan or bursary comes in!
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    Started filling out PDP/Standards Folder today, exciting!
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    I found out my school today! I'm working with Year 2!!
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    meeep half way through the second week and my brain hurts a bit, had more use in the past week and a half than it got all last year hehee
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    Well first uni-based week and I am already snowed under!
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    End of the second week ! I'm amazed at how much we've done already. Really enjoying it so far though
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    What things are you guys most looking forward to about the PGCE?
    And any fears?
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    (Original post by Becca)
    What things are you guys most looking forward to about the PGCE?
    And any fears?
    I'm most looking forward to getting settled in at my first placement, I visit it for the first time a week on Wednesday, I'm going to be in year 2 which I've not done before but I'm hoping they'll be as cute as year 1s just a big more independent. The last school i was at though had lots of continuous provision in year 1 and I can't imagine there's quite so much in year 2!

    I'm most nervous about lesson planning, it's scary to think that by the end of 5 weeks in school ill be responsible for 60% whole class teaching. Also not looking forward to level 7 assignments. I didn't have go write a dissertation so 4000 words and lots of freedom is scary to me.

    Has anyone worked in a year 2 class and could tell me what it's like, how the day was structured? Ooooh and I'm on a kids book shopping spree, has anyone found any bargains? Xxx


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