Ever wondered what the Primary Initial Teacher Education course at Worcester is like? What do you study and how do placements work?
Well sit back, relax and read of this interview with our 2nd year Student on the course Sophie Walker.
- Sophie, what should potential students expect from the PITE course? Sophie – Based on my experience, a degree in primary teaching equips you with the subject knowledge to teach all National Curriculum subjects, the understanding of how to apply this to a classroom setting and preparation in how to be a professional teacher that is able to teach pupils with varying needs in a range of settings.
- What is good about studying this course at the University of Worcester? Sophie- First of all the PITE course at Worcester is absolutely amazing! All of the lecturers are super supportive and truly want you to succeed. If you are applying for the course or are interested in it for the future, you should expect; a well-run course that leaves you feeling confident in all National Curriculum subjects. The course has well-matched placements that enable you to apply what you’ve learnt to a classroom setting and numerous opportunities to gain additional qualifications such as mini-yoga and singalong.
- In your opinion, why is becoming a teacher a rewarding job? Sophie- In my opinion, primary teaching is the most rewarding job because you play a major role in shaping the future of your pupils. It’s such a positive and inspiring environment, and you get to be surrounded with children all the time which is just the dream for me!
- What do you get up to on your course, how is your time split between lectures and placements? Sophie- In first year, I had a total of 6 and a half weeks on placement – broken into 2 weeks and 4 and a half weeks. In second year, I have 8 weeks on placement – broken into 1 week then 7 weeks. In third year, I will have a total of 7 weeks on placement. The rest of the year is spent in lectures. This might be different for different intakes of students though so its fair to say that you spend some time in lectures and some on placement.
- Are lecturers helpful with assignments and advice in your first year?
Sophie- The majority of lectures are directly linked with our assignments and focus on securing your subject knowledge in preparation for placement. We have had lectures within professional studies, focusing on EAL, a range of SENDs and planning/assessment – all linked to our future teaching.
- What are the fun parts of the course that you would recommend to someone who is wanting to study the Primary Ed course? Sophie- For me, the fun parts include going on trips to Lakeside Campus, The Cathedral, The Mosque and practical outdoor lectures on campus and around St Johns.
We have lots of opportunities to practice what we know in terms of generating resource packs, mini-lessons, medium-term plans and practical presentations. As mentioned above, we have many opportunities to gain extra qualifications such as singalong, mini-yoga, French/other languages courses, LGBTQ+ programmes. The course is closely linked with the education enhancement society, who provide a range of workshops focusing on handwriting, first aid, sign language, life as an NQT and much more.
- How should I prepare in advance for the course? Is there anything you would recommend? Sophie- In preparation for the course, I would advise you get some experience in a primary school. Not only will this confirm if pursuing a career in primary teaching is the right path for you, but it will also support you in the application and interview process. My top tip would be to gain experience in as many areas of the school life as possible, for example in a range of years, in breakfast/after school clubs, and with behaviour/special educational needs support staff. This will provide you with a wide range of experience to talk about in your application and will enable you to experience a range of areas within the primary school.
Alongside work experience in a school, I would suggest you get involved with children outside of the school setting, so that might be; Brownies, holiday clubs, sports clubs etc. This will enable you to interact with students in a different setting and develop your skills in terms of leadership, communication or confidence. Any experience with primary-school aged children is good experience!
Thank you Sophie for your participation. I hope this has helped answer some possible questions you may have about the PITE course!
The Uni made a video following Taylor – one of their recent PITE graduates around for the day which can be found here.