When you ask children what they want to be when they’re older you usually get the full range from ballerina to astronaut, but I have always answered “teacher”. When I got a place on the PGCE course this time last year, I was so excited to finally be on the road to my dream job!
A lot of work was put into my application, from choosing the most appropriate A Levels/degree to gaining as much relevant work experience as possible to completing the literacy and numeracy skills tests pre-application. Now I’m on the course and on placement, I know it’s all been worth it. I’m not going to paint this perfect picture saying that a PGCE is a walk in the park, it’s not. It’s a lot of hard work and long days but if you truly want to educate children, it’s the best thing you could ever do.
Things you need to know before you apply
- Make sure you have a specialist subject that you want to pursue, maybe the subject you have the highest qualification in?
- Try and get as much relevant work experience as possible. The more the better!
- Research your university choices. Think about location, teaching facilities and placement opportunities.
- Have a list, or at least make sure you know where to find the information, of all your qualifications from GCSEs to the most recent qualification as you will need this for the rest of your PGCE journey.
Things you need to know when you apply
- Decide whether you want to go down the PGCE (University and placement based) or School Direct (100% placement based) route. Both will qualify you to be a teacher but they are very different and you need to find the one for you.
- Get VERY familiar with the UCAS website, it can be confusing at times.
- Have a good interview outfit, you need to make a good first impression.
- Make sure your literacy and numeracy skills tests are completed well in advance. They are relatively simple to pass, but they just need to be done to gain a place.
- Be aware that you will have to have in-depth interviews with universities, involving presentations, group work, exams and individual interviews.
Once you have ticked off all the jobs on the lists above, you (hopefully!) will have gained your place on your dream PGCE course (hopefully at Worcester like me!). There are a few reasons that I think you should choose Worcester as your place to study for a PGCE.
Why choose Worcester?
- Lecturers – All for the lecturers are good at Worcester, but some of the lecturers on this course are absolutely amazing. They make the subjects come to life and they make you look forward to their lectures. Talking to my colleagues we particularly enjoy the lecturers in Geography, Languages, English and Computing!
- The Hive – The Hive is the joint public/university library where training teachers have a huge array of resources available from academic textbooks to children’s books to lesson resources.
- Placement – Everyone who starts a PGCE obviously wants to work with the children as much as possible and on a PGCE you get the chance to complete 24 weeks on placement! Placement can be stressful, but it’s the best part of the course as you get to do the job you are working so hard to get.
- The people – Everyone at the University of Worcester is so kind and friendly that every worry you may have about starting university will melt away as soon as you sit in your first lecture.
- Binyon building – At university, there are SO MANY different courses available but what’s nice about teacher training at Worcester is that all your lecturers are in one building that’s solely allocated for Education students. This means that everyone you meet have the same aims and problems as you and every wall is covered in teaching ideas and group work posters providing a motivating environment in which to learn.
Hopefully, this blog will help any prospective PGCE student with any queries they have about the course. Your PGCE year will absolutely be a year of ups and downs as everything is squished into one year, but it will be the most rewarding and exciting year ever.
I’m nearly 5 months into the course and I have made friends for life, had the best time on the placement and proved to myself that I can actually be good at my dream job! I would absolutely recommend a PGCE at the University of Worcester to anyone who wants to be a teacher, but be prepared, it’s hard work!