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Being a secondary school teacher

During your placements, you will begin to get a feeling about what it might be like to be a secondary teacher. You will start by observing how class teachers manage their classrooms, understand the pupils within them and develop relationships with them. You will see how they make difficult concepts easy to understand and how children are supported and challenged in their learning. Very quickly, you will take on some responsibility for planning and teaching and put what you have observed into practice. 

You will be able to fully immerse yourself in school life and see that no two days are the same in a secondary school! As well as learning how to teach your subject, you will also develop your understanding of pastoral support and children’s wellbeing.

The PGCE year is exciting, rewarding – and very full! Secondary schools are extremely busy places and you will be supported along the way to manage the demands on your time and develop efficient and healthy working patterns.

Opportunities for career development in secondary schools are plentiful. The leadership skills you will develop provide a distinct advantage as trainees begin their teaching careers and many of our trainees take on leadership roles within their department early in their career. This is not the only option, and many of our trainees also go on to take on pastoral roles.

It is worth thinking about this early on. To help you consider options available to you, our PGCE programme offers you the opportunity to develop your understanding of the opportunities and demands of leadership roles within schools and consider planning your career path. You will also have the opportunity to reflect on your own leadership in the classroom and how these skills can support pupil learning. In addition to lecture and seminar input, you may elect to undertake an optional school-based leadership task in your final placement.