PGCE or SCITTWatch
I have been given a conditional offer for both a Primary PGCE and a Primary SCITT, I'm not sure which one to pick.
How do they really differ?
I've been working as a 1.1 TA since September, but wondered how heavy each course is with placements.
Does anybody have any advice?
How did you decide on yours?
My SCITT is associated with a uni to accredit the PGCE part, so we get to hear a lot about the uni-based PGCEs. We started the SCITT training at the very beginning of September, and spend 4 days in school, 1 day in training. Occasionally it is two days of training, or a whole week in school, depending on the timetable. But generally speaking it is very consistent. In school, you start off slowly, taking groups of students for bits of the lesson, or doing the starter or the plenary, stuff like that. As time goes on, you begin to take the whole class for a lesson, and build up the amount of lessons you do per week. By the end of our first placement, we are expected to be doing at least 50% of the teaching we are in class for. On top of this, we should be planning our own lessons and marking the work that comes with that. Add to this the uni assignments for the PGCE, and bits of research and reading that you should be doing to help you understand things, it's quite full on. You will know the meaning of tired fairly quickly (some people on my course have discovered what tired actually means - if you are a parent, or someone who has worked in a very difficult, physical or intense job, you are more likely to know what it means already )
However, from what we are told of the uni group, they are in lectures and seminars from mid-September for a few weeks, on placement for a few weeks, back in uni for a few weeks etc. etc. I couldn't tell you how much work they are given, or how much teaching they are expected to do, but from what I hear from them, it feels like a very sudden plunge into teaching. However, they are already aware of the theories behind certain parts of teaching, whereas on the SD/SCITT you become aware of them as and when you need them or they appear.
Whichever route you take, it will be hard work. Manageable, if you are organised and willing to put in the time. I still find time to watch TV and exercise, and sleep! However, what I would say about the SCITT route is that I've made some very strong bonds with my placement class, and I'm not really looking forward to leaving them behind. I love the way that they get excited when I am going to teach them, especially a science lesson! They make me laugh and they feel comfortable enough to joke around with me, but they also know who is in charge. I don't think these sorts of relationships would be as easy to develop from a uni-based course, because from what I know, the placements aren't as long, and you don't necessarily get to go to the same school. At least when my second placement is over, I will be back at my main placement school, just in a different class. At least I'll get to see them do their end of year performance, and wish them well before they head off to secondary school!
The phrase 'thrown in at the deep end' more like plunged in actually, for scitt. I know pgce students who didn't even start teaching until after xmas. I was teaching from the first day, a small group but that is how it is done in the classroom I was in. EYFS.
It all depends on what you want your training year to be; if you want to spend a lot of time reading on theories which you'll never use/need after your training year, then the university route is best for you; if you want to have more practical hands-on training with some theory/academia on the side then the SCITT is the right track for you.
But, the good things is you get to experience different range of schools and that helps with your teaching practice.
Like everyone else said, I think you should choose the option that suits you best.
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However, all ITT courses are supposed to give you experience in at least two different schools, ideally contrasting ones. I'm about to move from my main placement school to my second placement school, and you couldn't get two more different primary schools! One is tiny, a fair few SEN children, barely any EAL, and in the countryside. The other is huge, heaps of EAL children, in the middle of a large town/city. Whichever route you choose, you should get a decent spread of experience. My SCITT course also arranges us week long placements in a nursery, an SEN school and a secondary school, which I think is also fairly common practice across ITT courses.
It really does come down to your desire to be practical or theory based...
I was originally dead set on the SCITT route, having spent the last year working in a school and really liking the sound of the course and teaching options offered by my local provider. But warning bells started sounding in the run up to interview day. The lead school conducting the interviews seemed extremely disorganised (postponing interviews with less than 24 hours notice on multiple occasions, staff not aware which building in a large school interviews would be taking place, for example) and while I'm perfectly prepared to accept that they were just having a busy few weeks - it happens after all, especially in a large school - the nail in the coffin was how completely disorganised the interview itself was. I was left wondering how things would be organised when they had 30+ students across multiple subjects when they were struggling to organise 3 interviewees for one subject.
Ultimately, I would say go with your gut and question providers relentlessly, as no two SCITTs or Universities are the same. I really want to focus on behaviour management, with a view to eventually working with young offenders. The PGCE provider has links with the local PRU and special needs school, and while I can't do a placement at either, they've said they'll arrange for me to spend a few weeks at one or both of them, alongside tailoring the academic side of my studies towards specialising in behaviour management.
what is the interview procedures?
what is the interview procedures?