amberrose13
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(Original post by aen21)
Hi!

I'm thinking of applying for a PGCE in Secondary Geography, either at Durham or with a SCITT.

I'm still anxious about a few things though-I graduated 2 years ago and have been doing my first proper adult job ever since. I don't know whether it's worth taking the plunge and starting a new career path or not, because my current career path isn't as enjoyable as I hoped it would be! I have been involved with teaching volunteers as part of my job and that's the bit I have enjoyed the most, so teaching seemed like something worth pursuing. I don't have any teaching experience in schools (I have taught adult volunteers, and have done some craft activities with younger children), so I'm worried that I won't get onto a course? Clearly getting experience would resolve this but I worry I will only be able to get online experience (because covid), and not get a true picture of what teaching is really like. My degree is also in Archaeology (but I have an A level in Geography) so I don't know if I need to do a SKE course. Does anyone have any tips for me?

Thanks!
ITTs aren't allowed to turn you down because of lack of experience. As in, they can't give 'this person has no experience in schools' as the reason; the DfE have stopped them doing this due to the shortage of trainees. And this was before Covid; ITTs will be very understanding of your lack of experience in the current situation.

What they *can* do is turn you down if they believe you don't have an understanding of how tough it is in schools (they don't want people getting a shock and dropping out); make sure you make some mention of understanding the challenges of teaching in your personal statement and in your interview and how you believe you can overcome said challenges (mention resilience, give an example of a challenging situation you have overcome or say how you have dealt with challenging behaviour from a colleague or, better yet, a child you were doing activities with).

Really emphasise the teaching experience with adults and the activities with the children, what you enjoyed about it and how this made you want to apply for teaching, and how those skills will be transferable to teaching secondary Geography (i.e. the craft activities you could relate to making practical activities to engage the children; mention while you have only taught adults, you could say that while you understand that teaching teenagers is different to teaching adults, you can use x and y experience to develop your practice).

Just some suggestions, you won't have room for all of that (there's very little space on the personal statement form!) but some ideas how you can 'get around' the lack of practical experience. I'm sure you have more hands-on experience than some successful students who apply!

And I'm not sure re SKE but I'm sure someone else will be
Last edited by amberrose13; 10 months ago
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aen21
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(Original post by stephanieg1992)
ITTs aren't allowed to turn you down because of lack of experience. As in, they can't give 'this person has no experience in schools' as the reason; the DfE have stopped them doing this due to the shortage of trainees. And this was before Covid; ITTs will be very understanding of your lack of experience in the current situation.

What they *can* do is turn you down if they believe you don't have an understanding of how tough it is in schools (they don't want people getting a shock and dropping out); make sure you make some mention of understanding the challenges of teaching in your personal statement and in your interview and how you believe you can overcome said challenges (mention resilience, give an example of a challenging situation you have overcome or say how you have dealt with challenging behaviour from a colleague or, better yet, a child you were doing activities with).

Really emphasise the teaching experience with adults and the activities with the children, what you enjoyed about it and how this made you want to apply for teaching, and how those skills will be transferable to teaching secondary Geography (i.e. the craft activities you could relate to making practical activities to engage the children; mention while you have only taught adults, you could say that while you understand that teaching teenagers is different to teaching adults, you can use x and y experience to develop your practice).

Just some suggestions, you won't have room for all of that (there's very little space on the personal statement form!) but some ideas how you can 'get around' the lack of practical experience. I'm sure you have more hands-on experience than some successful students who apply!

And I'm not sure re SKE but I'm sure someone else will be
Okay, thank you!

That's actually really helpful-it's definitely given me some direction and stuff to think about. My mum is actually a teacher so I know a little bit about the challenges involved, but it's probably not the same as seeing it in person! Just don't want to go in blind, so I will try and get some experience. If I can't then it's good to know that it's not the end of the world, and that I can try and put a good application forward with the experience I already have!
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Get into Teaching
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(Original post by C_L_W)
I’m undecided. I don’t know whether to do a PGCE or a SCITT. I think I would miss the classroom to much if I did a PGCE.
Hello C_L_W

It is a mandatory requirement that anyone doing a teacher training course MUST do at least 2/3 of their course in a school. (This is irrespective of which institution does the admin and accreditation for the course) Therefore, were you to do a Teacher Training course led by a SCITT or a University provider, you would be in a classroom much of the time.

Rather than choose a 'route' it's a much better idea to consider each providers on their own merit. Research your local course providers, and ask them the following questions (and others that I may not have thought of!) to make sure that they are going to be the best providers for you to apply to –

- Does the course offer a PGCE in addition to QTS? If so, what are the assignments and deadlines for them?
- When does the course start and finish?
- Who would be my mentor during my course? How often will they be available to me? How experienced are they?
- How long am I on each teaching practice and where are they likely to be?
- What opportunities will there to be to work with children with Special Educational Needs or Disability, English as an Additional Language or those who are Gifted and Talented?
- What opportunities will there be to participate in extra-curricular activities?
- Will you be required to attend a University setting, if so, how often and when?
- How many other students will be on the course?
- What will the expectations for meetings/INSET be?


If you'd like impartial support with your choices and an application for the courses, please do register here.

All the best, Jane
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SarcAndSpark
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#24
(Original post by aen21)
Hi!

I'm thinking of applying for a PGCE in Secondary Geography, either at Durham or with a SCITT.

I'm still anxious about a few things though-I graduated 2 years ago and have been doing my first proper adult job ever since. I don't know whether it's worth taking the plunge and starting a new career path or not, because my current career path isn't as enjoyable as I hoped it would be! I have been involved with teaching volunteers as part of my job and that's the bit I have enjoyed the most, so teaching seemed like something worth pursuing. I don't have any teaching experience in schools (I have taught adult volunteers, and have done some craft activities with younger children), so I'm worried that I won't get onto a course? Clearly getting experience would resolve this but I worry I will only be able to get online experience (because covid), and not get a true picture of what teaching is really like. My degree is also in Archaeology (but I have an A level in Geography) so I don't know if I need to do a SKE course. Does anyone have any tips for me?

Thanks!
Hey

I don't think experience is going to be too much of an issue right now, because of Covid. However, do bear in mind that ITT course applications stay open for a looonnngg time, you could apply this time next year and get a place, so there is still lots of time to get experience.

I do think you would need to do an SKE, so you would need to allow time for that!
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aen21
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Hey

I don't think experience is going to be too much of an issue right now, because of Covid. However, do bear in mind that ITT course applications stay open for a looonnngg time, you could apply this time next year and get a place, so there is still lots of time to get experience.

I do think you would need to do an SKE, so you would need to allow time for that!
That is true, there is no immediate rush to apply. I definitely want to make sure it's the right step for me first, and it's good that there is a lot of time to sort some experience. I'll definitely factor in time for the SKE in that case. Would much rather do it before starting the PGCE, than during the PGCE!
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aek456
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Another keen person here! I’m preparing to applying for Primary PGCEs in 2021 - I did my undergrad in Education at Cambridge and have been working as a TA in London since I graduated in 2017.

Just wondering if I should be taking accommodation/distance of placements into account when I chose unis? All my family are up in Scotland so I won’t be able to live at home. I know Exeter’s placements are really far apart and they don’t offer accommodation...

Thanks
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JamThatJam
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#27
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#27
(Original post by aek456)
Another keen person here! I’m preparing to applying for Primary PGCEs in 2021 - I did my undergrad in Education at Cambridge and have been working as a TA in London since I graduated in 2017.

Just wondering if I should be taking accommodation/distance of placements into account when I chose unis? All my family are up in Scotland so I won’t be able to live at home. I know Exeter’s placements are really far apart and they don’t offer accommodation...

Thanks
Hey where are you looking at- have you looked at School directs or SCITTs, where you can pick where you do a placement? I’m not too sure about what unis do about postgrad students for accommodation
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aek456
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(Original post by AtProjectCiampa)
Hey where are you looking at- have you looked at School directs or SCITTs, where you can pick where you do a placement? I’m not too sure about what unis do about postgrad students for accommodation
I’d prefer to do a uni-based course instead of a SCITT - it’s probably superstition but I’ve had a really bad school experience in the past and I’m worried about the risk of being based in one school throughout the course. On the other hand, it would be easier for working out accommodation!
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C_L_W
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#29
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(Original post by Get into Teaching)
Hello C_L_W

It is a mandatory requirement that anyone doing a teacher training course MUST do at least 2/3 of their course in a school. (This is irrespective of which institution does the admin and accreditation for the course) Therefore, were you to do a Teacher Training course led by a SCITT or a University provider, you would be in a classroom much of the time.

Rather than choose a 'route' it's a much better idea to consider each providers on their own merit. Research your local course providers, and ask them the following questions (and others that I may not have thought of!) to make sure that they are going to be the best providers for you to apply to –

- Does the course offer a PGCE in addition to QTS? If so, what are the assignments and deadlines for them?
- When does the course start and finish?
- Who would be my mentor during my course? How often will they be available to me? How experienced are they?
- How long am I on each teaching practice and where are they likely to be?
- What opportunities will there to be to work with children with Special Educational Needs or Disability, English as an Additional Language or those who are Gifted and Talented?
- What opportunities will there be to participate in extra-curricular activities?
- Will you be required to attend a University setting, if so, how often and when?
- How many other students will be on the course?
- What will the expectations for meetings/INSET be?


If you'd like impartial support with your choices and an application for the courses, please do register here.

All the best, Jane
Thank you, Jane for your comprehensive reply.

There were some questions I hadn't thought of.
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Get into Teaching
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(Original post by stephanieg1992)
And I'm not sure re SKE but I'm sure someone else will be
A Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course is designed for those who may have studied a different degree subject to what they'd like to teach, or may have left formal education some years ago.

The course allows an aspiring teacher to to top up relevant subject knowledge and maybe completed online, face-to-face or blended. They maybe between 8 - 28 weeks long dependant on the level of subject knowledge you may need to cover.

SKE courses are only available in the following subjects - maths, physics, languages, chemistry, computing, biology, geography, English, religious education, design and technology, and primary maths.

You do NOT pay fees for an SKE course PROVIDING your SKE course is a condition of your Teacher Training course. Therefore, you must apply for a teacher training place, before considering applying for an SKE. In addition to your fees for an SKE being a condition of your place on a teacher training course, a bursary is available of £200 per week*. (*Currently in the 2019/20 cycle, and maybe subject to change in the 2020/21 ITT cycle)


Best Wishes!

Jane
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by aen21)
That is true, there is no immediate rush to apply. I definitely want to make sure it's the right step for me first, and it's good that there is a lot of time to sort some experience. I'll definitely factor in time for the SKE in that case. Would much rather do it before starting the PGCE, than during the PGCE!
If you have to do an SKE, it is usually offered as a condition of your offer. This usually means you have to finish/pass the SKE by 31st August, although some unis will offer flexibility on this- so it's really important to make sure you allow enough time. The longest SKE you'd be asked to do is 16 weeks, though, so realistically, you could start in June and still finish in plenty of time.

I hope that helps- I did an SKE myself a couple of years ago, so happy to answer more questions if needed!
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Twin246
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Has anyone been told that schools direct places won’t except the grades to be given in august as they are predicted?
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Twin246)
Has anyone been told that schools direct places won’t except the grades to be given in august as they are predicted?
Are you talking about GCSE grades? I'd be really surprised if they are allowed to waive these as GCSE English and Maths are requirements for QTS AFIAK.
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Twin246
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Are you talking about GCSE grades? I'd be really surprised if they are allowed to waive these as GCSE English and Maths are requirements for QTS AFIAK.
Yeah I was due to sit them this summer but I will get grades in august that are predicted.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Twin246)
Yeah I was due to sit them this summer but I will get grades in august that are predicted.
I'd assume that the uni will use your summer grades as these are supposed to be treated as identical to other grades. But you should check this with the uni.
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Twin246
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
I'd assume that the uni will use your summer grades as these are supposed to be treated as identical to other grades. But you should check this with the uni.
Well I have spoken to schools direct and the training provider and they have said I need to sit an exam. It’s just frustrating because they will be classed as a normal gcse. I am having to sit equivalency tests and the uni is east London
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Twin246)
Well I have spoken to schools direct and the training provider and they have said I need to sit an exam. It’s just frustrating because they will be classed as a normal gcse. I am having to sit equivalency tests and the uni is east London
Ah right, that's a real pain- I'd argue they shouldn't be able to force you to do that or retrospectively change the conditions of your offer BUT if you want to go there you probably do have to jump through their hoops.
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Twin246
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Ah right, that's a real pain- I'd argue they shouldn't be able to force you to do that or retrospectively change the conditions of your offer BUT if you want to go there you probably do have to jump through their hoops.
I have emailed them to ask them I have a place but only if I get science but they knew I would be doing the gcse now I have to get it another way but just seems so pointless when I will have grades given in August.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Twin246)
I have emailed them to ask them I have a place but only if I get science but they knew I would be doing the gcse now I have to get it another way but just seems so pointless when I will have grades given in August.
Ah right that is really annoying.

Hopefully you will pass the equivalency test no problem!
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JamThatJam
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#40
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Hey guys
I was just thinking about the skills tests. As far as I'm aware, they've been scrapped now, haven't they? What might we have to do from September, instead of skills tests? will we have to do lots of different tests at each interview, or will there be one test that we need to pass before we get shortlisted for an interview?
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