So, what do you learn as a trainee teacher?

Monday

  • Science (2-4)
  • Computing (4-6)

A lot of the Science we do is incredibly practical. One of the key things in the National Curriculum at the moment is ‘Working Scientifically’ which includes all of the skills that you use when you carry out an investigation. This can be anything from observing to measuring to evaluating, so we make sure that we know how to cover these topics. Within this, we cover both the subject knowledge (the WHAT we teach) and the pedagogy (the HOW we teach).

Computing is a relatively new subject in the curriculum, having been brought in during the changes in 2014. Last year, we covered why the changes were made and what they were, and got to grips with the software and equipment we would be using to teach.

Wednesday

  • The foundation subjects – Art, DT, History, Geography, PE, RE, Languages etc (9-12)

The foundation subjects varied each week, so we spent 3 hours on a different subject. This tiny glimmer into each subject is nowhere near enough knowledge to help us go out and teach it, which is why we are given independent time to do more work and strengthen our subject knowledge, but it gave us a starting point to help us in those weaker subject areas.

Thursday

  • Maths (9-11)
  • Academic Professional Development (APD) Lecture (12-1)
  • English (2-4)
  • APD (4-6)
  • Optional session: Technology Enhanced Learning (Tel) (6-8)

Our tutor for Maths last year worked in a Year 6 class one day a week, much like many of the tutors here at Edge Hill, so the experience she brought to our sessions was fresh and relevant. We worked with lots of different materials, learning how best to break down some of the most basic Mathematics principles for early years children, and how these would help for children still struggling later on in their schooling.

In English, a lot of our work was discussion-led, talking about different ways we would introduce work to children. Sometimes we would read a story and then put this into our reading journal. We used a lot of stimuli and story prompts, which then helped us to create our own class story, about a mermaid.

APD touches upon the important topics we wouldn’t necessarily cover otherwise, such as behaviour management, learning theories and children with SEND and/or English as an additional language (EAL).

Friday

  • Minor Specialism: Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) (3-5)

For your minor, you get to pick from the foundation subjects, EAL, SEND and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). In SEND, we covered different learning styles and how to adapt to these in more depth, and were offered the opportunity to attend an Autism Drama workshop carried out by some 3rd year dissertation students, who were on the spectrum. This was incredibly useful.

So there you have it! A lot of people might tell you that we spend our time playing, or colouring in as Amber mentioned in an earlier post, but all of what we do is to help us prepare for teaching. It is proven that most children learn better kinaesthetically, which is why we get to do so much fun stuff!

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