Induction information and tasks have been sent out at via emails to students who have been offered a place on the programme. The content of these is repeated below so that you have access to everything all in one place.

Congratulations on being offered a place on our PGCE primary university centred programme.

The following information has been provided to ensure you are ready to begin your career in teaching and prepare you for the professional and academic expectations of the PGCE. Please do make sure you work through all the information and tasks provided for you as this will ensure you are able to make a positive start to your training programme.

Email 1 (26th April 2021) Calendars and reading

Congratulations on your successful interview and being offered a place on the primary PGCE programme at York St John.  Welcome, we are very pleased to have you on board.

My name is Ann Jones, and I am the Programme Lead, some of you will have met me at interview and I look forward to meeting the rest of you. I am going to be ‘keeping in touch’ with you regularly from now until the start of the course on Monday 6th September 2021. I will be giving you information and things that you can be doing in preparation for the programme.

Attached to this email you will find:

  • Programme calendars. There is one for the full-time route and one for the part-time route (PT C21 Y1). They give you an overview of the programme; when you are in university and when you will be in school. You will have access to the full timetable once you have completed enrolment in September.
  • Core text list. This gives you some important texts that it might be useful for you to start reading. You do not have to buy these, but they will be useful throughout the course and some are available online.

One thing I recommend you begin doing is reading children’s fiction. Every primary teacher should have a bank of favourite books that they can share with children and use in activities. Any books will do, but authors like Roald Dahl, David Walliams, Michael Morpurgo, J.K.Rowling, Mick Inkpen, Julia Donaldson, Judy Blume, Eric Carle, Rod Campbell, Malorie Blackman, Dick King-Smith, Michael Rosen and Jacqueline Wilson will be good starting points. Keep a list for yourself with brief reviews and maybe we’ll share these with each other at some point in the future.

Happy reading.

Email 2 (10th May 2021) English subject knowledge

The theme this week is English subject knowledge.

Strong subject knowledge is very important for a teacher and so making sure that yours is up to scratch is vital. We would like you to do some audits of your subject knowledge in English, science and mathematics. I am sending links to the English audits today and the maths and science audits will follow in later weeks. The audits will give you an understanding of where your strengths and weaknesses are, and we suggest you begin straightaway to develop any areas of weakness. The links for the English audits are below. The audits are diagnostic, I don’t advise any revision first, just take them and see what you know and what you don’t know. Once completed you cannot return to see your score, so please make a note of your scores and the areas that you don’t do so well in as you go along. Do not feel disheartened if you do not do well, anything above 60% is good. We will work on subject knowledge during the course.

English:

Spelling: https://yorksj.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0v8F2miu9j6wMkK

Punctuation: https://yorksj.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0olRahN1cUVOl94

Phonics: https://yorksj.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3QS4w6EO3Pspe1U

Grammar: https://yorksj.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_afxXubgh1iYGRhA

Standard English: https://yorksj.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6hrDo2Dbs2Bswo6

Continue to read children’s fiction and build up your bank of favourites. 

Email 3 (24th May 2021) Science subject knowledge and initial placements

Hopefully you have all had a go at the English subject knowledge audits. Remember this is just to highlight if you have any gaps in your knowledge that you can start addressing. Today I include the science subject knowledge audits. Please have a go at these, preferably without any revision first and remember to note down your scores as you won’t be able to access them afterwards.

Science

Materials: https://yorksj.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9tVfl4ExWWQMph4

Humans: https://yorksj.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0rfayyEuF37AaMe

Plants: https://yorksj.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_25hzEsokUn6OrzM

Forces: https://yorksj.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_ewEbT03Jjniz9D8

Electricity and magnetism: https://yorksj.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9U113eriFvXa3lA

Adaptation: https://yorksj.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0q69A9k4tCMIBhQ

Attached is an Initial Placements booklet. We would like you to do two 2-day placements at the beginning of your course – see the booklet for all the details. I am sending this to you now as the placements are something that you need to organise yourself and so I wanted to give you plenty of warning. Also, if you would like to do them before summer and you can get access to schools then please do. You will need to have DBS clearance already in place which the school are willing to accept in order to do these prior to the course.

Email 4 (21st June 2021) Research project and advice from current students

I have a couple of things for you to be thinking about this week.

Firstly, most schools expect all teachers writing, in books, on displays and on interactive whiteboards to be cursive as a model for the children. If this is something unfamiliar to you it would be a good idea to learn how letters should be joined and to practise this. Schools will have different versions of cursive writing, but I have attached a popular version of the cursive alphabet for you as a reference. This is something that might take you time to perfect, so practising little and often might be a good idea.

The main thing I want to talk about this week is the research project. You will be carrying out a small scale research project as the assessment for one of the modules. This will involve you writing a 3000 word literature review and methodology, collecting data whilst in school and then presenting your findings in a mini-conference in March. There will be lots of input for this in the course and you will be allocated a personal research tutor to support you. However, it would be good to start thinking about what you might want to research into. This is entirely up to you, and you should begin considering what interests you and what you are curious about in education. You should not finalise any ideas until you know the school in which you will be carrying out the research, as your idea may not be appropriate in that setting. So, at the moment keep your ideas quite general. 

Once you have a topic area in mind start doing some reading in order to develop your ideas. Searching online for research articles would be a good starting point. Also, the TES primary news hub, which you can find here https://www.tes.com/news/hub/primary, is a useful resource and is worth keeping up to date with.

Some topics from past research projects might give some ideas to start you off.  In the past, our students have based their research on a broad variety of topics and recent research has been undertaken on the following:

  • how a school disseminates a policy of reading for pleasure across all classes
  • girls’ attitudes to PE and does this change as girls mature
  • how do KS2 teachers ensure prior knowledge is secure in mathematics
  • the attainment of summer born children and how a school supports this
  • children’s attitudes to target setting in marking
  • children’s perceptions of grouping arrangements

And finally, I asked the current cohort of students what advice they would give you. Their comments are attached, I hope you find them useful.

Email 5 (19th July 2021) Maths audit and critical reading workshop

There are two things to think about this time, critical reading, and mathematics.

Critical reading is an important element of Masters level work. We will look at this in workshop sessions, but we’d like you to start thinking about this by working through the attached, narrated PowerPoint. Also attached is a notetaking framework which you will need at one point.

The mathematics team would like you to complete an audit of your confidence rather than your knowledge before the start of the course. See the attached word document for the link to this and some further information. Please complete the audit by August 16th so that the team can take your responses into consideration when finalising the planning of the workshops.

Email 6 (2nd August 2021) Critical writing workshop and placement forms

The Placement Team would like to gather details from you so that they can begin searching for appropriate placements. Please will you complete the survey at this link The more detail you can give will help the team to provide the best possible placement. If you do not know your term time address yet, just note this on the form and remember to contact the Placements Team to update them as soon as you know your address.

Following on from the critical reading workshop that I hope you found useful, attached is a critical writing workshop. Please work through this and we will follow this up in one of our workshop sessions. You can access the workshop at this link.

Email 7 (16th August 2021) Safeguarding training

You will receive a range of safeguarding training whilst on the programme and we’d like you to start this by doing the two online training programmes below. Each should take you about 30 minutes and please print out or save the certificate you get at the end as proof of your completion.

Prevent training

FGM training