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Anticipating Practice and Pre-Course Tasks to complete

Pre-course Tasks

There are a number of tasks described below that you are asked to complete prior to starting the course that form part of the taught course during the first few weeks of term.  Please complete everything that is asked of you in readiness for the first week of the taught course.  Download the following checklist to help you with this:

Secondary PGCE Trainee Checklist

The Secondary PGCE programme begins with two weeks of school experience (known as Anticipating Practice) prior to starting the taught provision on campus on Monday 27 September 2021.  During this fortnight, there are Anticipating Practice Tasks to be completed relating to your observations and time spent in school settings.  The weeks designated for this experience are week beginning Monday 13 September and week beginning Monday 20 September 2021.

You will need to arrange one week in a secondary school and another week in a primary school (specifically in a Key stage 2 i.e. 7-11 age range setting).  Please see our Anticipating Practice FAQs‌ for further information.  If you are an @Exeter School Direct trainee, please liaise with your Lead School about arrangements for school experience during anticipating practice before making any arranements yourself.

When you have agreed arrangements, please complete the Anticipating Practice School Details Form (Secondary)‌ and return it to the Graduate School of Education Partnership Office ( as soon as possible, and not later than Friday 25 June 2021. A letter from the Partnership Office will then be sent to the Headteacher(s) concerned before you begin your school experience. This will include confirmation of a satisfactory DBS (if we have it by then) and a Anticipating Practice Feedback Form‌ for each school to complete with you about your time with them (please make sure your schools complete this form and then pass it to you to submit to the Partnership Office by the deadline given on the form).  Note: If you are an @Exeter School Direct trainee, your Lead School will inform the Partnership Office of your school experience arrangements so you don't need to submit these forms.

Note: if you are not able to secure any time in schools due to ongoing restrictions caused by the pandemic, please contact the Partnership Office on to discuss alternative arrangements.  It will be possible to complete the corresponding Anticipating Practice Tasks without being in a school setting if necessary, but you are encouraged to get some experience in schools during this fortnight if you possibly can.

Anticipating Practice Tasks

Below is a document containing tasks for you to complete during the Anticipating Practice two weeks in September (13-24 September).  

These tasks should be well presented as they will contribute to the evidence required for the award of your PGCE and will form the basis of group and individual discussions with your tutor during the first weeks of the taught course.  So please keep your completed tasks document safe as you will need to add it to your electronic portfolio of evidence during the first few weeks of the course 

Secondary PGCE Anticipating Practice Tasks

Fundamental Skills Audits

All trainees need to demonstrate a certain level of English and mathematics by the end of the course before QTS can be awarded.  This is a DfE requirement.  To start this process, please download the following two audit documents and spend as much time as you can developing and improving your English and mathematics skills before the course starts.   

Fundamental Skills English Audit
Fundamental Skills Maths Audit

Your tutor will discuss the outcomes of your audits with you in the first weeks of the taught course and there will be plenty of opportunities during the course for you to work on any areas you identify as needing improvement.


Trainee Information Form

Please download and complete the ‌Trainee Information Form and return it to the Partnership Office via before the start of the course.  This form will be shared with your placement schools in the autumn term to help them plan for your placement. (Note: School Direct trainees do not need to do this).

Many trainees ask for advice on useful reading prior to beginning the course. Your main subject tutor will advise you on subject-related reading. The following books have been suggested by tutors and represent a range of views on educational issues. The list includes some more accessible texts, while others are quite ‘heavyweight’. All are relevant to the course that you are about to follow. Select from these titles, depending on your interests. Some of these books are more recent publications, but the list includes a few older texts that are still significant.  

Alexander, R. (2008) Towards Dialogic Teaching: Rethinking Classroom Talk. Dialogos: UK

Capel, S., and Leask, M.  (Eds). (2016) Learning to Teach in the Secondary School: A companion to school experience 7th Revised Edition. Taylor & Francis Ltd.

Ellis V (2013) Learning and Teaching in Secondary Schools, 5th Revised edition. Sage Publications Ltd. Learning Matters Ltd.

Fisher R (2005) Teaching Children to Learn. Nelson Thornes

Fisher R (2005) Teaching Children to Think. Nelson Thornes

Flutter J and Rudduck (2004) Consulting Pupils: What's in it for schools? RoutledgeFalmer.

Fox R (2004) Teaching and Learning: Lessons from Psychology. Blackwell

Kyriacou, C (2007) Essential Teaching Skills. Nelson Thornes Ltd.

Petty, G. (2009) Teaching Today: A Practical Guide. Fourth Edition. Nelson Thornes

Pollard, A. (2008) Reflective Teaching. 3rd Revised edition. Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Sewell, K. (2012)(ed). Doing Your PGCE at M-Level: A Guide for Students. 2nd Revised edition. Sage Publications Ltd

Wells, C.G. (1999) Dialogic Inquiry. Toward a Sociocultural Practice and Theory of Education. Cambridge University Press

Wilson, E. (2013) School-based Research: A Guide for Education Students (2nd Edition). London, Sage.