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Meet our students

If you’re thinking about choosing to study Teacher Training at Exeter then find out from our past trainees what it’s like to live and study here. They have even provided examples of a typical week on placement so that you can see how they manage social and family commitments around their teaching and studying schedules and get an idea of what a typical week as a trainee teacher might look like for you.

Sophie

Secondary with Modern Foreign Language

My time at university in term one really helped me feel confident coming into school in January. The tutors are all experts in their fields and having had the opportunity to talk ideas through with them was very valuable indeed. The classes in term one also gave me lots of ideas for activities and strategies I could use in school and I definitely felt more prepared in January because of this. I have really enjoyed seeing how the theory and practice link together, and my reflections on my teaching have been stronger as a result.

Even though I have had to move for my placement, which did at first seem daunting, I am not the only one; there is a network of trainees in each county and we catch up regularly. The Partnership Office were very helpful when it came to finding accommodation. When placement lists are released, they publish an accommodation list, often with families or people renting a spare room.

Below is an example of what a typical week on placement looked like for me:

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

08:00

Meeting

 

 

Meeting

 

 

 

09:00

Teaching

Meeting with tutor

Teaching

Teaching

Teaching

 

 

10:00

Teaching

 

 

 

Planning for next week

 

 

11:00

 

 

Teaching

Teaching

 

 

 

12:00

Teaching

Teaching

Teaching

Planning

 

Lunch with friends

 

13:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14:00

Meeting with ITEC

Teaching

Teaching

 

 

 

 

15:00

Planning

Planning

Planning

Meeting

Leave school

 

Walk with friends

16:00

Leave school

Leave school

Leave school

Leave school

 

 

 

17:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18:00

 

 

Gym

 

 

 

 

19:00

 

 

 

Choir

Catch up with friends

Catch up with friends

 

20:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve

Secondary with Mathematics

Every day on placement is different and exciting in a special way and I love the practical side of actually teaching. I embrace the challenge of working with different groups of students all with different abilities and temperaments and bringing out the best in them. I have worked with an amazing group of teachers who have given me the freedom to trial different teaching strategies, from running practical mathematical activities with the students to developing their skills with respect to mathematical proofs and offering constructive feedback on my teaching.

My second placement has involved me travelling from Exeter to Newton Abbot by train. The 25-minute commute along the scenic Devon coastline offers me some invaluable time to quickly run through my teaching plan for the day and on the way home some personal time to unwind.

I would definitely recommend studying a PGCE at University of Exeter. The Exeter Model provides extensive training on campus in Term 1 and before you are thrown in the deep-end of teaching, you get some tasters in schools whilst your confidence is built up. By the time we are being sent into schools, there is a feeling of: I am ready to do this!

Below is an example of a typical week for me whilst on placement combining teaching, study and time with my family:

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

08:00

8:00 – Prep/meetings

 

8:00 – Prep/meetings

 

8:00 – Prep/assembly

8:00 – Prep/meetings

8:00 – Prep/meetings

 

Family breakfast

 

Family breakfast

 

09:00

Observation of other teachers

Preparing teaching resources

Year 8Y Teaching

Preparing teaching resources

Year 9X Teaching

10:00

Year 8Y Teaching

Year 8X Teaching

Year 7Y Teaching

Year 8X Teaching

A-Level tutorials

Dads and Toddler’s event

Attending Sunday Service

11:00

11:00 – Break

 

11:00 - Break

11:00 – Break

11:30 – Year 9X Teaching

11:00 – Break

11:30 – Year 8X Teaching

11:00 – Break

11:30 – Year 8Y Teaching

Family time + outings

 

Rest

 

12:00

Preparing teaching resources

12:30 – Year 7Y Teaching

 

12:30 – Year 7Y Teaching

 

13:00

13:30 – Lunch Break

13:30 – Lunch Break

13:30 – Lunch Break

13:30 – Lunch Break

13:30 – Lunch Break

14:00

Year 7Y Teaching

Year 8X Teaching

A-Level tutorials

Year 8Y Teaching

Weekly Development Meeting (WDM)

15:00

Reflections and preparation

15:30 – Teaching Staff CPD Session

Reflections and preparation

 

Reflections and preparation

 

Commuting

16:00

 

 

Preparation for week’s

 

17:00

Commuting

Commuting

Commuting

Commuting

Drinks with friends

Family time

18:00

Family time

Family time

Family time

Family time

Family time

 

19:00

Family time

Family time + dinner

Family time + dinner

Family time + dinner

Family time + dinner

Watching a movie

Family time + dinner

20:00

Reflections on day

Reflections on day

Reflections on day

Reflections on day

 

Watching a movie

Reflections on week

Matt

Secondary with Mathematics

My time on campus in the Autumn term allowed me to go into placement with the confidence that I had the knowledge about teaching to succeed. A huge benefit of having the first term on campus was that I developed strong friendships with the other trainees which created a strong support network that has allowed us to help each other throughout our placements.

My first placement school was in Teignmouth, a 30-minute drive away and the commute was straightforward. My second placement school was in Exeter and so I have been able to walk in every day. Finding accommodation was not difficult as I was happy to live with other students over the year and there are always rooms available to rent in the short term.

If you are considering teaching, training will be tough however, the Exeter PGCE prepares you and supports you in a way that you will always be on the right track. It is the most rewarding job and developing relationships with students, seeing them progress and knowing you have made a difference is the best feeling in the world.

Below is an example of a typical week during my placement:

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

08:00

Commute

Commute

Commute

Commute

Commute

Have a lie-in!

Have a lie-in!

09:00

Free period – complete any paperwork, print resources for the day

Teach Year 10

Teach year 8

Free period – complete any paperwork, print resources

Teach year 7

Watch some TV

Watch some TV

10:00

Year 11 intervention group

Free period

Year 11 intervention group

Teach year 10

Year 11 intervention group

 

 

11:00

Break

Break

Break

Break

Break

Winter - Play Hockey

Socialise with friends

12:00

Teach year 7

Teach year 7

Teach year 10

Teach year 7

Free period

 

 

13:00

Teach year 8

Free period – paperwork and planning

Free period – paperwork and planning

Free period – paperwork and planning

Free period – paperwork and planning

Post-match lunch

Summer – go to Dartmoor, the beach or the Quay in Exeter

14:00

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

 

 

15:00

Free period – plan for tomorrow

Free period

Free period

Teach year 8

Free period

 

 

16:00

Go home and relax

Faculty meeting

Go home and relax

Professional development session

Go home and relax

 

 

Camille

Secondary with English

For someone who was rather unfamiliar with the specifics of the national curriculum, the development of literacy and more generally with wider issues in education, Term 1 was the perfect way to help me build that knowledge and understanding of learning processes before going on placement. The course leaders are extremely supportive and care about the wellbeing of trainees; and the level of expertise of the teaching staff involved in teaching the first term is excellent.

By Term 2 I was excited to finally start putting all of it into practice. Being on placement is about exploring teaching strategies, forming relationships with pupils and staff, and learning from highly qualified practitioners. Being on placement is about becoming the teacher you want to be, and this is an exciting adventure!

Below is an example of what a typical week on placement looked like for me:

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

07:30

Commute

Commute

Commute

Commute

Commute

Morning OFF

 

 

Afternoon:

Paperwork/Evaluations

University tasks

 

 

PPA

08:40

Staff briefing

Staff briefing

Coffee w/ colleagues

Staff briefing

Coffee w/ colleagues

08:50

Tutor/Assembly

Tutor

Tutor

Tutor/Assembly

Tutor

09:10

Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA)

PPA

PPA

Teaching

Teaching

10:10

Teaching

Teaching

Teaching

PPA

PPA

11:20

BREAK

BREAK

BREAK

BREAK

BREAK

11:30

Teaching

Teaching

Teaching

Professional Studies

Teaching

12:30

PPA

Teaching

PPA

Teaching

PPA

13:30

LUNCH

LUNCH

LUNCH

LUNCH

LUNCH

14:15

Meeting with Mentor

Teaching

Teaching

PPA

PPA

15:15

PPA

PPA/Meeting

PPA/Meeting

PPA/Meeting

PPA

16:15

Commute home

Commute home

Commute home

Commute home

Commute home

20:00

PPA

PPA

PPA

House meal + Planning

Evening OFF

Evening OFF

Jack

Secondary with Mathematics

I felt that the first term based at Exeter was a great way to develop a strong foundation of pedagogic knowledge before getting into the classroom.  Schools are fast moving and demanding places, so this gave me the confidence to make decisions and take risks knowing that my work was informed by a good grasp of the literature.  Furthermore, the first term at university gives you the chance to create a support network with other PGCE students for when you need it.

What I have enjoyed most about being on placement it the freedom to observe a variety of teachers and the time to implement change in to your own teaching practice. Each school I was placed in was very supportive of me and staff were always available to discuss ideas or answer your questions. 

For me, the most rewarding part of being a teacher comes in two moments.  In the short term, it is those magical times when a classroom is lit up with “light bulb” moments and you know that you are responsible.  In the longer term, you really value the trust and belief that pupils put in you to teach them, they can become surprisingly clingy! In this profession you will never know it all and you will always be developing and refining your practice, which keeps it interesting! 

Below is an example of how a typical week on placement looked for me:

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

08:00

Whole School Meeting

Tutor Group

Tutor Meeting

 

Tutor Group

Whole School Meeting

Tutor Group

Maths Meeting

 

Tutor Group

 

 

Tutor Group

 

 

09:00

Planning

Teaching

Teaching

Teaching

Planning

 

 

10:00

Planning

Teaching

Weekly Development Meeting with PST

Teaching

Teaching

Shopping/Chores

Golf

11:00

Break

Break

Break

Break

Break

Personal Time

Golf

12:00

Teaching

Meeting with Mentor

Teaching

Teaching

Teaching

Personal Time

Golf

13:00

Planning

Planning

Planning

Teaching

Teaching

Lunch

Lunch

14:00

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Visit the beach: e.g. Kitesurfing at Saunton Sands

Visit other trainees/friends

15:00

Teaching

Preparing / filing Exeter Tools

Teaching

Teaching

Preparing / filing Exeter Tools

Visit the beach: e.g. Kitesurfing at Saunton Sands

Visit other trainees/friends

16:00

After School Maths Meeting

Photocopying

Gym/Exercise

Photocopying

Commute

Visit the beach: e.g. Kitesurfing at Saunton Sands

Visit other trainees/friends

17:00

Commute

Commute

Commute

Commute

Personal Time

Visit Friends

Prep for the week ahead

18:00

Dinner

Dinner

Dinner

Dinner

Dinner

Dinner

Dinner

19:00

Planning

Personal Time

Planning

Personal Time

Personal Time

Visit Friends

 

20:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Becky

PGCE Secondary with Modern Foreign Languages

I feel that at Exeter, the time spent at university in Term 1 gave me a lot of ideas to test out when it came to entering schools. A lot of trainees struggle with coming up with ideas for activities, but we had so many that we were desperate to try out in a real classroom scenario. The peer teaching and theoretical knowledge that you acquire before entering a placement, allows you to build confidence and have some idea of what you are doing before you are let loose in schools!

The subject tutors are experienced and knowledgeable and will do everything possible to help you at every stage of your training. The links that the University have with its partner schools are brilliant and it will allow you to have such a range of experiences throughout your training year. All in all, the course will set you up very well for your future career.

Below is an example of my typical week during placement:

 

 

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

08:00

Set up lessons for the morning/ Morning briefing/ Tutor time

Set up lessons for the morning/ House meeting/Assembly

Set up lessons for the morning/Morning briefing/ Tutor time

Set up lessons for the morning/Faculty meeting/Tutor time

Set up lessons for the morning/ Faculty meeting/ Tutor time

 

 

 

Sleep!!

09:00

Period 1

Period 1

Period 1

Period 1

Period 1

Household chores

10:00

Period 2

Period 2

Period 2

Period 2

Period 2

11:00

 break time

break time

11-11.20- break time

11-11.20- break time

11-11.20- break time

Coffee/ lunch/ Food shopping

Roast dinner and a catch up with family

11:20

Period 3

Period 3

Period 3

Period 3

Period 3

12:20

Period 4

 

Period 4

 

Period 4

 

Period 4

 

Period 4

 

13:20

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

 

14:00

Period 5

Period 5

Period 5

Period 5

Period 5

Watch football with fiancé.

15:00

Sometimes bus duty/ detention duty faculty meetings

Y11 revision session

Sometimes bus duty/ detention duty faculty meetings

Period 6 with A-Level

Plan lessons for Monday

16:00

Plan lessons for next day

Plan lessons for next day

Plan lessons for next day

Plan lessons for next day

Marking if necessary

BBQ (weather dependent!)

Prepare for the week ahead

17:00

Marking if necessary

Marking if necessary

Marking if necessary

Marking if necessary

Home

18:00

Home

Home

Home

Home

Gym

19:00

Dinner

Dinner

Gym

Dinner

Dinner

20:00

Gym

Chill

Dinner

Chill