Wednesday, 28 November 2012

My placement working at Wanstead High School

For the past six weeks or so I have been doing a placement at Wanstead High School. I go to the School every Friday to help out and sometimes do some starter lessons with the year 7, 8 and 9 class. Although this placement is part of my final year undergraduate programme, I believe that it is relevant experience for me to become a secondary school teacher. Doing this placement also gives me the added benefit of strengthening my PGCE application.  One of the requirements of a PGCE programme is to secure a minimum of 10 full, working days in a classroom setting, and so by doing the placement at Wanstead High School, I wou8ld be fulfilling this criteria.
Aside from doing the placement and attending my other maths courses, I also need to focus on writing up my personal statement, in my opinion, writing personal statements can be quite tricky, as sometimes there can be so much to write about, however I need to only think about the relevant points which would interest the admission tutors, reading my application.
The most important characteristics to have, to be a successful school teacher is to be motivating, a good listener and patience. Of course there are many other character traits which are also just as necessary, such as good organisational skills, communication and practical.

I aim to submit my PGCE application by early December, so hopefully I can hear back from some universities to attend an interview. Practicing interview techniques is also important, as I want to make a good impression and show that I am a keen and serious learner, and I am eager to do well, if I were to be successful in securing a place on the PGCE Secondary Education programme.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Maths at Uni

Maths at university can be fun and interesting, but that’s only if you’re determined to work hard and be successful in your studies. It is more in depth and covers a much broader range of topics. My best piece of advice would be to study A Level Further Maths. It’s really useful, as some of the topics are repeated, especially within the first term.
Top tips to be successful for the exams would be to practice maths regularly. Try and do some maths every day even for at least an hour or two (if you can manage it). Practising maths regularly, helps keep your brain sharp and you find it easier to remember important formulae, and methods of solving mathematical problems.
Studying maths daily means that you complete the topics quickly leaving you more time to tackle past exam papers. It is best to do past papers under exam papers, without using the textbook. Doing past papers gives a good idea of the topics which you are most confident in and other topics, which you may need to, go back and revise again. By doing lots of past papers you can improve your understanding of maths, and overall improve you’re a Level grades.
My final piece of advice is to try and get it right from the beginning. Don’t depend on retaking the module again at a later time. Retaking modules again and again just adds more pressure and increases the workload, as you have to do well in the modules you are currently studying and also the modules you retake. Another reason not to be dependent on retakes is that students don’t get an opportunity to retake modules as easily as to when doing retakes in college. So of course, it’s a really good idea to get used to it, students who study hard and thoroughly at college life, find the transition from college or sixth form to university much easier and smoother.