What is it like undertaking initial teacher training via the university-led route, i.e. PGCE, PGDE?

Katie CremerI am completing my teacher training through the university-led route, and I’m currently at my first placement.

Something I really liked about doing my training this way is that for the first five weeks of the course, I was attending university every day, not starting my placement until week 6. I was given lots of useful information which made me feel more confident going into my placement. For example, we went through important features of a lesson plan and examples of activities we can include, and some ideas of how to embed assessment for learning within our lessons. We were given the task to create a lesson plan of our own and deliver a 5-minute excerpt from it to the rest of the mathematics trainees. We were then given feedback by the lecturer and our peers. I found this exercise very helpful as it allowed us to share ideas, work on our presentation skills and practise lesson planning without the pressure of delivering it in a school. We also went through concepts such as supporting SEND students and working effectively with teaching assistants.

Completing my training through a university also means that I’m getting lots of guidance on learning about the theory behind teaching. There are lecturers specialising in different areas of pedagogy who I can speak to, and pre-recorded lectures and reading links provided to aid me in developing research-informed teaching practise. My university also runs festival days which zoom in on specific areas, such as inclusion and employability. On these days there are a wide range of lectures provided, from both internal and external presenters.

One of the things I like most about completing my training this way is the opportunity it gives me to connect with lots of other trainees. I’ve become very good friends with my peers on my course and we provide each other with lots of support. It’s great to be able to reassure each other and share advice and resources. My assigned mentor from university is also available to advise me on any queries or challenges I have. I would say the only disadvantage of this training route is that the university workload can be challenging to keep up with alongside being on placement. However, the work I complete for university does relate directly to my teaching practise and so helps me to develop myself a lot as a teacher, which I’m very grateful for.

By Katie Cremer


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