Teacher Training: Second Two Weeks and Starting The First School Placement

Although the diving suit and flippers have still been needed for my teacher training PGCE, it’s been another great two weeks! The last couple of weeks have been full of crazy activities, such as flying paper pigeons around the campus, going on a dragon hunt, as well as getting the first assignment going and finding out where my first placement will be. I also became a student representative for my cohort, having our first meeting on Friday, which I’m really enjoying!


I should probably explain the pigeons and the dragon hunt! During our second Geography seminar, we were given paper pigeons to take around the campus and take photographs of them with whatever we found. The aim of this was to engage with the surrounding environment, which is an important skill for children have to be able to think geographically. We may have received lots of strange looks from other students around the campus, especially when I went running off with my pigeon in the air to be followed by a friend laughing, but it would be a brilliant activity to do with children around a school!

20191007_110835The dragon hunt was in our English seminar. The idea is to get children engaged in the ideas they will be writing about by actually experiencing the subject. For our subject, it was descriptive writing about a dragon but it could also be used for a story-writing activity too, or for an information text about dragons. We made some crazy hats, labelling what dragon hunting devices were on them, put them on and met up with the other two seminar groups. This ended up being around ninety “grown-ups” being led across campus, with dragon hunting hats, clipboards and swords to the field where there was “evidence” of dragon activity. Yep, more strange looks from other students! When we got to the field, we scoured it for clues and gathered them all up. We then “spotted” a dragon in the trees and had to draw and label it, thinking about what qualities and abilities it has (possible link to science and classification!).  Once we headed back with all our “treasure” from the dragon hunt, we then wrote about our dragon. We also did a bit of role play of being on a chat show interviewing each other about our dragons. It was such a fun activity, and I’d love to do this with a class to inspire them to write in detail about their findings!

We also had to photograph objects of a similar colour for Art and Design… Hazel is brown and so is her coconut, so this happened!

So between all the crazy and interactive activities, we also had more guidance on our assignment and found out which curriculum subject we’ll each be focusing on. Thankfully, I got art! I had written my first thousand words before Thursday, but when there was a guidance session about it I decided to start all over again. It just wasn’t good enough for me, but what I have now I am much happier with! There were also tutorials about the curriculum subject part of it, which has left me with lots of ideas about what to write. I’m hoping to get as much of the reading done as possible before tomorrow so I can focus more on my placement over the next two weeks.

Which leads me onto the last part of the couple of weeks: finding out my placement school! As soon as I found out, I searched online about it and found it is a lovely little Church of England School very close by to where I live… meaning I get an extra hour in bed compared to the last four weeks! It’s also the smallest school I’ve been to, which will be interesting to see how different is to the other schools I’ve been to. I got one of my favourite year groups too, and a bonus is that they are teaching one of my favourite topics this term: the Egyptians! I start tomorrow, so I went for a big clothes shop yesterday with my mum so that I have lots of smart but practical clothes to wear during my time there so I can make a good impression on the children and staff. These first two weeks aren’t assessed by the university, so I get to enjoy my time getting to know the school and my class, getting some English and maths tasks done and getting my head around any planning I might have to do. I’m slightly nervous since I’ve been in the same group of schools over the past couple of years, but I’m so excited to have a change of scenery and get to know another school!

So that has been my second two weeks of university! I’ll miss being up there with the friends I’ve made, but I’m hoping to still keep in contact with them over the placement. I’m going to miss the orange hot chocolates in one of the cafes too! I’ll be back up there during half term, but then it won’t be until after Christmas (it feels weird saying that!). For now, however, I’ll be throwing myself completely into my placement. The diving suit and flippers may still be needed, but I can’t wait to start working with children and teaching whole class again!


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