What’s It Like Undertaking Initial Teacher Training Via The University-Led Route, I.E., PGCE, PGDE 

Applying for and accepting the correct teacher training route for you can be a difficult decision influenced by many external feelings and factors. I applied for both PGCE and school centred routes to train to become a maths teacher having read many benefits and downfalls of each path. 

I am currently training to become a maths teacher via a PGCE, university led, training course and am extremely satisfied with my training via this route so far. The course structure balances university-based lectures and discussion-based sessions with learning to teach within a school environment.  

During university sessions academics, specialising in both subject specific content and education, share personal experiences, provide resources, guides to planning lessons, advised literature and other useful tools to assist trainees throughout the year. The materials provided inform trainees of how to improve classroom management, pedagogical knowledge and many other factors, key to becoming a successful teacher. The university-based sections of the training are located between school placements with additional mentor meetings, check-ins, and school visits to advise, assist and assess progression. These sessions also begin and end the training year which instantly created a sense of community amongst trainees.  

One calling point for me when applying was the weekly meetings with other trainees and academics that a school-centred training course often offers. This is not the case with the PGCE route. However, having that initial period of university-based learning allowed relationships to be built with both staff and peers before attending our designated school placements. 

The main thing that influenced my decision as to which training route to select was the assignment timings throughout the year. With my PGCE course, the assignments are set during term time but are not due for submission until the start of the following term. This allows trainees to approach the assignments with as much or little preparation as they feel appropriate and allows trainees to manage their time how best suits them. I feel comforted knowing that I have read the brief and guidance for my course assignments in advance to their submission deadline. Yet I need not worry about completing them until during the school holidays if I feel that I will benefit more from focusing solely upon school planning during term time, and on writing my assessments afterwards. 

The PGCE route bears some similarity of university life as it still consists of lectured content and part of it is based upon campus. This differs from school-centred courses as, while they are university accredited, they are often taught externally. 

The training year for me, so far, has pushed me to be the best that I can be as I become more confident and experienced with the day-to-day work and responsibilities of a teacher. It has enabled me to endure professional placements in a range of schools and has provided valuable lessons and materials to progress successfully in my teaching career. 

Maths Scholar 2022/23 



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