Things to do to prepare for PGCE application? Watch

casanova_lament
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Hi all,
I'm currently a third year student looking to apply for a modern languages PGCE for 2015 entry. I'm on my year abroad at the moment working as a British Council language assistant but I'm wondering what kind of things I should be doing now to help prepare me better for applying next year? Thanks
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awe
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Simply make sure you have as much classroom experience as possible. I have applied this year without any direct classroom experience and I am not too hopeful of my chances being accepted - however, I have compensated, and do have a placement for January. Despite this it is still the most lacking and painful thing about my application. So get that experience!
Getting a placement abroad would be very impressive too, and definitely something you could make interesting chat about in your PS/more so in your interview. If you have the time, hunt around and find the right people to speak to for a placement in the country you're in. Hopefully you can obtain a DBS check there, or if they have a different system, hopefully you are still allowed to work with children.

Do everything you can - any extra-curricular activities etc. Just be as fully proactive with volunteering opportunities as possible.
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myrtille
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For MFL you shouldn't have too much trouble getting a place - it's a shortage subject and I know the university where I did my PGCE last year struggled to get enough people this year. Obviously they turned away people who they didn't think had what it takes, but it wasn't like English or History where they have to turn away really strong candidates because there just aren't enough places available.

I would second the advice to get experience in UK schools. Your assistantship experience will be valuable, but they'll also want to be sure that you understand the realities of working in a UK state school. Try to spend time observing or volunteering in a couple of different schools to get an idea of the kind of place you'd like to work in.

Reading up on key educational issues is something you need to do before an interview - Education section of the BBC News site is generally pretty good, and staying aware of it in the long term is probably more helpful than just swotting up for an interview and not getting the overall picture (afterall, you're going to have to work within the system so you might as well learn as much about it now).

I'd also suggest making a note of key things you do during your year abroad. At interviews (for the PGCE, and later for jobs) they will want to know specific examples such as how you dealt with a difficult pupil/parent/a success you had in teaching a new concept, etc. It can be really hard to think of these on the spot, so recording any key incidents to use later could come in handy.

Good luck.
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Juichiro
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(Original post by myrtille)
For MFL you shouldn't have too much trouble getting a place - it's a shortage subject and I know the university where I did my PGCE last year struggled to get enough people this year. Obviously they turned away people who they didn't think had what it takes, but it wasn't like English or History where they have to turn away really strong candidates because there just aren't enough places available.

I would second the advice to get experience in UK schools. Your assistantship experience will be valuable, but they'll also want to be sure that you understand the realities of working in a UK state school. Try to spend time observing or volunteering in a couple of different schools to get an idea of the kind of place you'd like to work in.

Reading up on key educational issues is something you need to do before an interview - Education section of the BBC News site is generally pretty good, and staying aware of it in the long term is probably more helpful than just swotting up for an interview and not getting the overall picture (afterall, you're going to have to work within the system so you might as well learn as much about it now).

I'd also suggest making a note of key things you do during your year abroad. At interviews (for the PGCE, and later for jobs) they will want to know specific examples such as how you dealt with a difficult pupil/parent/a success you had in teaching a new concept, etc. It can be really hard to think of these on the spot, so recording any key incidents to use later could come in handy.

Good luck.
Thanks!!! You are so helpful, myrtille.
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SophiaBA2015
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(Original post by casanova_lament)
Hi all,
I'm currently a third year student looking to apply for a modern languages PGCE for 2015 entry. I'm on my year abroad at the moment working as a British Council language assistant but I'm wondering what kind of things I should be doing now to help prepare me better for applying next year? Thanks
Hi,

I am looking to become an assistant with the British council in 2015 and do the CAPS programme next year as I will have only started my second module in 2nd yr at the start of the programme.
can you tell about your feelings on the programme so far and the payment grant?

Thanks so much.
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Juichiro
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(Original post by myrtille)
For MFL you shouldn't have too much trouble getting a place - it's a shortage subject and I know the university where I did my PGCE last year struggled to get enough people this year. Obviously they turned away people who they didn't think had what it takes, but it wasn't like English or History where they have to turn away really strong candidates because there just aren't enough places available.

I would second the advice to get experience in UK schools. Your assistantship experience will be valuable, but they'll also want to be sure that you understand the realities of working in a UK state school. Try to spend time observing or volunteering in a couple of different schools to get an idea of the kind of place you'd like to work in.

Reading up on key educational issues is something you need to do before an interview - Education section of the BBC News site is generally pretty good, and staying aware of it in the long term is probably more helpful than just swotting up for an interview and not getting the overall picture (afterall, you're going to have to work within the system so you might as well learn as much about it now).

I'd also suggest making a note of key things you do during your year abroad. At interviews (for the PGCE, and later for jobs) they will want to know specific examples such as how you dealt with a difficult pupil/parent/a success you had in teaching a new concept, etc. It can be really hard to think of these on the spot, so recording any key incidents to use later could come in handy.

Good luck.
What university was that?
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myrtille
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(Original post by Juichiro)
What university was that?
I did my PGCE at Leicester.
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Juichiro
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(Original post by myrtille)
I did my PGCE at Leicester.
Nice. I see you did an MFL. Is Leicester a nice place to live? Does it have restaurants, bars, cafes and stuff? Does it have some city feel or does it feel like some small market town?
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myrtille
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(Original post by Juichiro)
Nice. I see you did an MFL. Is Leicester a nice place to live? Does it have restaurants, bars, cafes and stuff? Does it have some city feel or does it feel like some small market town?
I'm not really sure what it's like to live there, to be honest. I didn't move to Leicester, I commuted from where I was already living (about 30 miles away). And of course during the PGCE you spend a lot of time out on school placements rather than at university, and my placements were nearer to where I live.

It's definitely a city, not a small town. It's a very multicultural city with a large Asian community. There are plenty of restaurants/bars/cafes, 2 universities, shopping centres, etc. and it's not too far from other cities like Nottingham and Birmingham if you needed to go there. But I'm not really a city person...
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Juichiro
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(Original post by myrtille)
I'm not really sure what it's like to live there, to be honest. I didn't move to Leicester, I commuted from where I was already living (about 30 miles away). And of course during the PGCE you spend a lot of time out on school placements rather than at university, and my placements were nearer to where I live.

It's definitely a city, not a small town. It's a very multicultural city with a large Asian community. There are plenty of restaurants/bars/cafes, 2 universities, shopping centres, etc. and it's not too far from other cities like Nottingham and Birmingham if you needed to go there. But I'm not really a city person...
I heard that the schools are a bit in the outskirts of Leicester and you might need a car to access them. Is this true?
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myrtille
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(Original post by Juichiro)
I heard that the schools are a bit in the outskirts of Leicester and you might need a car to access them. Is this true?
I think that's the case with all PGCEs, to be honest. I know someone training at Sheffield, and they have had placement schools all over the place.

If you don't have a car, they will always make sure it is possible for you to get there by public transport. I got schools that were difficult to get to by public transport, because they knew I could drive.
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