At the University of Brighton we value feedback, seeing it as essential to the development of our courses. We spoke to a group of trainees nearing the end of their secondary PGCE programmes and asked them about their year.
The students were asked what advice they’d give themselves if they could turn the clock back to the beginning of their secondary PGCE course – here are some of the things they said:
- Ask your mentors and other teachers for schemes of work and PowerPoints, then use them! Make sure you are organised – set your own timetable and stick to it.
- Use the people around you as resources, especially any NQTs as they’ve just been through it. Ask questions and get as much feedback as possible.
- Stay confident and make sure to keep a healthy work / life balance. Sometimes taking time out to forget about the workload makes it more manageable when you come back to it – have at least a day off when you are focused only on you. It’s a tough year but if managed well you can do it.
- Keep on top of PebblePad and add good evidence when you get it. It may seem hard to link into placement but it is worth it!
- Get to know your students as early as possible! (Placements are short).
- Be prepared for crazy, but enjoy and embrace. Throw yourself into anything and everything. Use the time! Enjoy it!
And most importantly: “Don’t panic! It all comes together in the end.”
We also asked trainees about their time at the University of Brighton and why they chose us for their training:
- It’s an outstanding provider and has an excellent reputation. The recognition of Initial Teacher Training from this university got me all my job interviews.
- Tutors are so supportive and positive; this comes across at interview. The route leader made me feel really welcome and replied personally to my UCAS application.
- The university are all so supportive and you get the feeling they want you to succeed from the very beginning. They also encourage you to look after your general well-being because it is an intense year.
- Good timetable in terms of days in school and university. It is genuinely rigorous and you will be prepared for a career in teaching. The clarity of the programme makes it easy to stay organised. PebblePad is a great way of keeping everything in one place.
- I would recommend Brighton for its great course and the overall support from every member of staff. The support from all is amazing; everyone listens and adapts. The course leaders, route leaders and university staff are all supportive.
- It is such a nice area in which to live and train.