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Secondary PGCE - Anticipating Practice and Pre-Course Tasks to complete

Pre-course Tasks

There are a number of tasks described below that you are asked to complete prior to starting the course that form part of the taught course during the first few weeks of term.  Please complete everything that is asked of you in readiness for the first week of the taught course.  Download the following checklist to help you with this:

Secondary PGCE Trainee Checklist

(‌If you are following the School Direct@exeter Secondary programme, please see the School Direct Pre-course Tasks page)

The Secondary PGCE programme begins with two weeks of school experience (known as Anticipating Practice) prior to starting the taught provision on campus (on Monday 26 September 2022).  You will need to arrange these visits yourself and they can be in your home area.  During this fortnight, there are Anticipating Practice Tasks to be completed relating to your observations and time spent in school settings.  The weeks designated for this experience are week beginning Monday 12 September and week beginning Monday 19 September 2022. 

As part of your Anticipating Practice experience, you should engage with the age ranges immediately before and after the ones you are training to teach, so please ensure that your Anticipating Practice experiences cover the following in one or two settings of your own choosing:

  • one week in a primary school - specifically in a key stage 2 (7-11 age range) setting and
  • one week in a secondary school – ideally this should be in an 11-18 age range setting – if your secondary school does not have a sixth form, please arrange at least half a day of post-16 experience separately during this week

Please see our Anticipating Practice FAQs‌‌ for further information. 

Note: If you are a School Direct @Exeter trainee, your Lead School will manage the Anticipating Practice experience visits and will provide you with instructions on what you need to do, so do liaise with them before making any arrangements yourself.

Once you have arranged your two weeks you will need to confirm the details of your Anticipating Practice experience weeks to the Partnership Office.  They will be in touch with you directly and will ask you to upload the details you have arranged to an online portal so please look out for this email and respond as soon as you can.

Prior to your Anticipating Practice weeks starting, the Partnership Office will write to the schools you have made arrangements with to confirm you have a satisfactory DBS (if they have received it by then) and they will also include an Anticipating Practice Feedback Form‌ for each school to complete with you about your time with them.  Please make sure your schools complete this form and then pass it to you at the end of your visit.  You will be asked to upload this form to your electronic portfolio at the beginning of the course (instructions on how to do this will be provided at the beginning of the course).

Note: if you are not able to secure any time in schools for any reason, please contact the Partnership Office on to discuss alternative arrangements.  It will be possible to complete the corresponding Anticipating Practice Tasks without being in a school setting if necessary, but you are encouraged to get some experience in schools during this fortnight if you possibly can.

Note: if you are a School Direct @Exeter trainee, you should also get your Anticipating Practice school(s) to complete the Anticipating Practice Feedback Form and then you will need to upload it to your electronic portfolio at the beginning of the course.

Anticipating Practice Tasks

Below is a document containing tasks for you to complete during the Anticipating Practice two weeks in September (12-23 September).  

These tasks should be well presented as they will contribute to the evidence required for the award of your PGCE and will form the basis of group and individual discussions with your tutor during the first weeks of the taught course.  So please keep your completed tasks document safe as you will need to add it to your electronic portfolio of evidence during the first few weeks of the course 

Secondary PGCE Anticipating Practice Tasks

Fundamental Skills Audits

All trainees need to demonstrate a certain level of English and mathematics by the end of the course before QTS can be awarded.  This is a DfE requirement.  To start this process, please download the following two audit documents and spend as much time as you can developing and improving your English and mathematics skills before the course starts.   

Fundamental Skills English Audit
Fundamental Maths Skills Audit

Again, please keep these completed documents safe as your tutor will discuss the outcomes of your audits with you in the first weeks of the taught course and you will be asked to upload them to your electronic portfolio.  There will be plenty of opportunities during the course for you to work on any areas you identify as needing improvement.

Many trainees ask for advice on useful reading prior to beginning the course. Your main subject tutor will advise you on subject-related reading. The following books have been suggested by tutors and represent a range of views on educational issues. The list includes some more accessible texts, while others are quite ‘heavyweight’. All are relevant to the course that you are about to follow. Select from these titles, depending on your interests. 

Alexander, R. (2020) A Dialogic Teaching Companion. Oxford: Routledge.

Capel, S., and Leask, M. (Eds). (2019) Learning to Teach in the Secondary School: A companion to school experience 8th Edition. London: Routledge

Ellis V (2013) Learning and Teaching in Secondary Schools (5th Edition). London: Learning Matters.

Kyriacou, C (2018) Essential Teaching Skills (5th Edition). Oxford: OUP.

Pollard, A. (2014) Reflective Teaching. 4th Edition. London: Bloomsbury.

Sewell, K. (2012) Doing Your PGCE at M-Level: A Guide for Students. 2nd Revised edition. Sage Publications Ltd

Wilson, E. (2017) School-based Research: A Guide for Education Students (3rd Edition). London: Sage.