Surviving placement: What do you need to know?

So recently I just finished the first five placement days of my School Experience two. Originally I wanted to give some advice on preparing for your SE, but I felt that waiting for a few days was the best choice so I could give a bit more informative advice.

SE can be a daunting aspect for anyone, whether you’re a first or third year student, whether you’ve had a lot of experience or none at all! You are starting a new placement, at a new school with a new class getting to know a lot of new people, and there’s a lot of new information! All of this can intimidate people when preparing for an SE. That’s why I’ve written a few bits of advice to help anyone starting a placement, and maybe even help people currently on placement.

Number 1: Make sure everything is in place before SE.

Let me clarify with this one; this doesn’t just cover what you’re going to be doing on SE. Whilst the second years are on placement they have an English assignment due in, and a science presentation almost as soon as they get back. And that’s just the second years! You need to make sure you’re prepared for everything you need to have ready before you start placement, and what you need to get done while you’re on placement, and for what day. This leads on to number two…

Number 2: Make sure you’ve got a plan for while you’re on SE.

There’s a lot of stuff you’ve got to get done whilst you’re on placement as you’re well aware, so having a plan in place is almost crucial. As with all plans, the more detail the better! If you know what you are doing each day, and when each task needs to be doesn’t for, you’ll feel more comfortable whilst on placement. This will give you added confidence when you’re in the classroom, reduce stress and just make you feel better all round.

Number 3: Sign away your life for a few weeks!

A lot of people like to still go out and about whilst their placement is going on. They may like going out on the town, or they may be invited to parties. Unfortunately, it may just be best to have to say no in some of these situations. I myself have had to turn down a few invitations simply because placement comes first. There’s a lot of stuff you’ve got to do while on placement as I’ve said, and the truth is you’re not going to have enough time to do everything! This leads on to my next point nicely though…

Number 4: Plan in some time to relax!

Just because placement comes first doesn’t mean it has to be everything you do. Every so often you just need time to chill, so planning in that time will help reduce your stress levels significantly and help keep you on track. It’s all about finding a suitable midpoint between this point and my last point; you don’t want to overwork yourself, but at the same time don’t leave everything to the last minute either.

Number 5: Don’t Panic!

Perhaps the most important rule: don’t panic! If you panic, this can lead to a chain reaction that will just stress you out far too much. It’s ok to be nervous, that natural, but there’s no need to panic at all. You have support from your AT, mentor and link tutor, to name just a few places you can go to for support. Hopefully, some of the points I’ve just mentioned will help you avoid panicking too much as well.

Hopefully these techniques will help you out somewhat, and help prepare you for whatever placement you’re on!


Hi, my name is Tom, I am a second year Primary Education student at York St John University. I really enjoy gaming, which is something I find quite relaxing. I also thoroughly enjoy reading, particularly Science Fiction, although I don’t to a particular topic! I also particularly enjoy running and exercising to stay healthy!

Why did I choose York St John University?

I chose York St John University because I absolutely loved the campus. Its location, Size, and appearance were all really appealing to me and really stuck out to me when I visited. The location was also of particular importance to me. It was close to the town with a lot of pubs in the nearby area as well as shops, and it was a beautiful location, so that really helped persuade me. On a larger scale its very close to my hometown of Ripon so that was also great for me!

Meet the Team – Amy

My name is Amy, I am a second year Primary Education student at York St John University. I enjoy going to circuit training and staying fit and healthy. I also enjoy walking my dog, family holidays and days out. I find these very relaxing!

Why did I choose York St John University?

I chose York St John because I loved how small the campus was, and how near to the centre it is located. To get into the city centre it takes me about 10 minutes to walk from my house- perfect for shopaholics like me! I also loved the atmosphere of the campus when I visited. The friendliness of staff also really appealed to me. York is a great city with lots to do, whether it be going to the cinema or catching up with friends in the local bar.

What do you like about York St John University?

The atmosphere of the university is something I really love. Everyone is so friendly and willing to help out, which is very helpful, especially in stressful situations. Both Staff and students are helpful and informative and that’s something that makes York St John stand out for me.

What are your aspirations?

My main aspiration is to become a primary school teacher. In particular mathematics and PE are key focuses of mine, as I always struggled with them at Primary School. I’d also like to increase awareness of charities throughout school and also AEN.

If you have any questions about York St John or student life then please comment below, it would be great to hear from you!

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