The Student Room Group

What should I know about the education systems in the UK before starting PGCE

I’m American and preparing to start a PGCE (Secondary MFL) course in Bristol. I will likely be placed in Wales, but I’m open to working anywhere in the UK afterwards. Truthfully, most of what I’ve seen of the English system is based on The Inbetweeners and Harry Potter. I don’t know much about the Welsh or Scottish systems, and most of what I know about Northern Ireland as a whole is based on Derry Girls. I’ve done a good amount of reading and research, but there’s no substitute for real in-person experience. For the record, I have lived abroad teaching in three different EU countries (all teaching British English) and have spent about six months total in the UK visiting friends. What should I know about living and studying/teaching in your system(s)? Is there anything I should know about how students and parents are? (I’m afraid I’m going to get roasted by 11 year olds) I’ve been keeping up with the news and I’m aware there are massive issues in education in the UK right now (I’m just glad aren’t centered around gun violence). It seems like things are less than great in the UK overall (the same can be said for anywhere tbh), especially with the cost of living.

TLDR: What am I getting myself into and what should I know to best prepare me?
Reply 1
You need to understand the basics at the least. Please tell me you have heard of Google!

The first link gives you an overview of the Welsh education system which stipulates that Welsh students need to learn much of what they are taught in Welsh - do you speak Welsh?

I would also read about the National Curriculum and Educational news in general. A favourite interview question for would-be teaching candidates (student and real teachers) is "What are the current issues in British Education".

So rather than wait for people on here to tell you the answer (bad teaching) go out and find the answers for yourself! It isn't hard. There are lots of pages. Just Google them. You might also look up the UK education unions and find out what teachers feel about their profession.

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