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University of Sunderland

By ,Written on Mar 30 , 2020

English Secondary Education PGCE

Overall Rating

The experience has been disappointing. I chose thia University because of the high reputation it has for it's education courses and unfortunately it has been a disappointment. I did not get a mainstream placement until after Christmas, so it is just as well i enjoyed my first one as that is now the area I would like to go an work in. Many people didn't even get a placement till mid December or even the start of January, so be prepared if you choose to apply. I feel like I should have learned ao much more than what I did during university lectures yet learned far more at placement. For example during my second placement i learned that PEE paragraphs aren't really the best for top set groups as they dont stretch them enough, yet PEE,PEAL,PEEE are all explored and seen as the main way to write in subject studies sessions.
The assignments haven't been particularly useful either. The first assignment was a 1000 word proposal and there was far more support on that than there was for the actual 4000 word case study that followed.
Overall my experience hasn't been as positive as I was hoping it would be.

This user did not feel that they could enter a score for this category.
Student Union

I've not had anything to do with the student union .

Clubs and Societies

Not applicable

Uni Facilities

They're okay. St Peters is a small campus but most of the library books we need are at that library. However there's often issues with a few of the computers in the library.

Course and Lecturers

I didn't really enjoy any aspect of the time at university in lectures. I feel like i didn't learn enough and actually learnt more on placement. The university lectures wete so heavily focused on mainstream which meant it was completely irrelevant to my first teaching placement which was not in mainstream education. In future years, if the university intend to send people to non mainstream or alternate provision placements then this needs to be incorporated into the lectures so every single person in the room leaves the lecture having learnt something or benefited from it in some way.

I absolutely loved my first teaching placement, much more rhab than what i waa enjoying the second before the global pandemic cut it short.

City Life

I live right by a metro in Gateshead so the journey is only 25 minutes or so.

Job Prospects

There is some effort but really there needs to be ao much more. Many PGCE students have had little to no experience of a mainstream placement yet we're still expected to apply for jobs as there's an assumption that everyone wants to work in mainstream education. We had one generic lecturw on applying dor jobs which consisted of a couple of school heada telling us what their schools would look for as well as a representative from a supply agency .there was little to no subject specific information in regards to applying for our subject specific teaching jobs.

Student Support

Support has been discouraging, particularly on an academic level. There has been some controversy over the use of a Facebook group chat and the response from certain tutor(s) has made it seem as though we're unprofessional, despite nothing terrible being said in it, and made some, including myself, feel as though we can't discuss anything or have an opinion. In fact that group chat as been the primary source of support for many trainees due to the miscommunication and sometimes lack of support and information provided by the uni. I recived a particularly disappointing mark in an assignment (the lowest in 6 year of HE) after having to change a research focus in the last 9 days of school during placement one, which meant I no longer had a sufficient amount of time to complete some research. This stems from the university pushing back submission dates which ultimately pushed pack the feedback date directly impacting my research. Had my tutor have understood my intentions in the first place and not said "yes that's fine" when discussing my assignment plan then I would not have had to change my research focus after the initial proposal feedback. I've personally felt very unsupported by my tutor. The global pandemic caused placement to be suspended and disrupted the training and at the time od writing this it will be approximately 4 weeks since I actually last had contact with my tutor and almost 2 weeks since placements were suspended and yet nothing has come from the tutor. The wider team of other subject tutors were actually more supportive including the head of ITT, especially when I contacted the team to get some miscommunications regarding paperwork cleared up.

This review is the subjective opinion of a user and not of

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