How hard is it to get on a PGCE course? Watch

French-girl-pgce
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Hello!

I am a French student, and have a 2:1 Bachelor in English. I'd like to work as a
teacher in the uk, and I was wondering how difficult it is to get on a programme, especially as I don't have "conventionnal" uk-based experience as a French citizen. I'd like to teach Modern Foreign Languages, French and possibly Spanish. I have experience with teenagers, as I've been working for two summers as a group leader for French students during linguistics stays in the uk ( ages between 11 and 18 ). I also have a bit of teaching experience with teenagers, and with adults as well ( I used to teach English to French people ). I speak English fluently ( 8.5 IELTS test ).

I'd have several questions:
-> Do you think that the experience I have will be considered relevant to the
course-providers?
-> I was also wondering whether some PGCE courses were considered better
than others, as there are no rankings of any sorts.
-> I am considering applying to Cardiff metropolitan or Manchester university. Any opinions on their PGCE courses? Or any advices as to which university to choose?

Thanks in advance for you answers, it's rather confusing for a non-uk national to understand all the requirements, especially as they are so different from those of the French universities, where no previous teaching experience is required to get on teaching programmes ( nuts, I know ).
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xjay1234
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You will be fine. Just apply.
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Findlay6
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You want to teach MFL? They'll grab you asap - you're native too which is a bonus. ALL of the MFL trainees on my course are native to their language.

Just apply - obviously Cambridge, Oxford, IoE in London are more 'prestigious' but ask questions and look into the schools they work with.


www.facebook.com/groups/TeacherTraining1718/ This group is full of prospective trainees hoping to start in September. It might be useful for you.
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French-girl-pgce
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Thank you for your answer!
Does it make much difference which PGCE course you do in terms of employment? I know it must make some difference for the masters, as it's obviously better to get a masters from Oxford or Cambridge than a small university, but I'm really put off by the cost of life in those places. I mean, if I am to complete the credits, I have to stay in the region where I train, and London, Oxford and Cambridge are pretty unaffordable places, especially on the salary of a NQT teacher.

I am really attracted to Cardiff as I like the place, and the living-standards are good, but Cardiff met doesn't look like a great university, from what I've seen in the league tables, so I don't know.

I was also wondering, I thought of doing MFL because I'm French and it might give me an edge, but do you think they'd accept a foreigner on an English PGCE? Literature is my true passion, but I'm hesitating because I might be at a disadvantage because of my nationality. I have all the necessary qualifications and the motivation, but my degree is from a French uni ( though did my Erasmus year at UCL ).
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Reality Check
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Really - you want to work as a teacher in the UK as a French National? Have you spent any time in your bog-standard UK comprehensive school yet?!
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French-girl-pgce
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Yep! Haha come try our system in France, and you'd understand! If you become a teacher, you become a civil servant, and you don't get to choose where you live before 5 to 10 years because it's a point-based system and older teachers have more and get the good positions. Besides, you're hired for life and there's almost no way out unless you're willing to put up with some crazy amount of paperwork and complications regarding your pension and social protection, when you don't loose most of it altogether. So no thank you very much, I'd rather have a bit less "security" but more flexibility in my choices of employment!
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o-glez
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-> Do you think that the experience I have will be considered relevant to the
course-providers?

I would say that you would need more experience within a mainstream school. That could be just 5 days of shadowing in a high school, or getting employed as a teaching assistant. Your experience of teaching English will certainly be valuable

-> I was also wondering whether some PGCE courses were considered better
than others, as there are no rankings of any sorts.

OFSTED rate universities in terms of how good they are. Either Oustanding (1) Good (2) Requires improvement (3) or Unsatisfactory (4)
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pgce113
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MFL student here! You shouldn't have any trouble getting into a uni being native.

I don't know anything about the two unis in question, but I can give you a few pieces of advice:

1. Try and spend some time in various local schools. Talk to the teachers about their working day and their working hours. See if you can follow a teacher through their school day. Really think and make sure that this IS what you want to do. I'm just saying this from my own experience. Teachers will spend their entire week Mon- Friday 9-4 teaching, all preparation gets done before/after/ at weekends. Sometimes you don't have time to eat lunch. I'm really emphasising this point as I spent a week in school before starting, thinking it was hard work but doable, however I won't be continuing past this year as I've realised once I started the course and teaching that I really don't enjoy it. That being said some people absolutely love it.

2. You need to know a second language other than French, there are courses (free and with bursary of £200/week) that you can do to prepare for your second language. They ask for an A-level in it (equivalent to the Bac).

3. Going back to working hours, prepare to give up your life for 2 years. It's a tough course, some people sail through it and others find it harder (I'm one who struggled).

4. During your training year you will get a bursary (I think next year it is £27000 for MFL and it's tax free), you will probably get £2000/month with the extra being paid in two lumps sums in Feb and July. Oxford and Cambridge certainly would be affordable on this. Central London likely won't be. You may also get a student loan if you want (although that may change with Brexit). Also try and save some money from this, your salary will drop a lot in your NQT year.

5. In terms of unis - league tables don't mean much in terms of you getting a job. The important thing is getting the PGCE and if possible getting a good grade. When you apply for jobs you will teach a lesson - if you can do this well they will employ you. It does not matter to them which uni you came from. Although going to a uni close to where you hope to have your first job could help, by either having a placement in the school so they know you, or from the school knowing your curriculum tutor. Where I am, our curriculum tutor has trained a large proportion of the current teachers. Schools therefore know what they are getting.

One thing you can do is to try and find out what their programme is. In MFL there shouldn't be any subject lessons, but you'll get taught how to teach: use of target language, literacy, how to use fun and gaes, behavior mgt etc.
Also look at how many hours you're expected to teach on placement. I think uni-led are usually 6-8 on first placement, 10-12 on second. If you go down the school -led route : school direct or scitt it will probably be a lot more but you won't have such a big jump between PGCE and NQT. However less lessons to plan means you can plan them more thoroughly which is better if you are less confident.

6. Try and revise what french grammar rules and what they are in English . As a semi- native speaker ie. I was born here but moved to France as a young child, this was something I'm really struggling with.

Anyway I hope this helps, and good luck with the applications!
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naturallygreezy
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Really - you want to work as a teacher in the UK as a French National? Have you spent any time in your bog-standard UK comprehensive school yet?!
^^
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cjohn16
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With your impressive resume, you would have no trouble getting into a PGCE course.
Concentrate on getting your school experiences and arranging your referees...
My advice is apply ASAP as arranging for DBS checks will take a while....
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