Paige Brown, PGCE Primary School Direct: Later Years with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
Before starting the PGCE School Direct course, I had prior experience working as a TA in my local primary school which prepared me for being immersed in the school environment. However, even if you do not have any experience within a school, do not let this affect your decision in enrolling as the support you will receive from the university is exemplary.
I thoroughly enjoyed having two alternative placements as I learnt so much from differing settings in terms of assessment and approaches to delivering the curriculum. In both placements, I broadened my knowledge of differentiation and how all abilities can be supported and challenged. Using research and theory to support my learning and decision making within the classroom, I have learnt many strategies for behaviour management, building relationships with children and members of staff, the importance of a growth mindset approach to learning and resilience and independence. As part of this journey, I wrote an article “How to create a virtual classroom” which was later published in Education Today and The English Teaching Professional.
From the very first lecture, it was apparent that every member of staff was there to support my journey and progress and wanted to do everything possible to make me feel welcome and comfortable. The communication between the schools and the university made the placements run smoothly and additional support was never far away if needed.