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How I prepared for my third year teaching placement

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Published: March 10, 2021

Hi my name is Harriet. Here is some insight into how I prepared for my third year teaching placement at a local primary school.

In terms of preparing for my teaching placement, I initially had to wait to hear from the University about where I would be placed. Many of the students in my cohort found their own, but I didn't have any links to the local schools or any thoughts on where I would like to complete my final placement.

Once I found out where my placement was going to be, I had to get in touch with my mentor within 48 hours to ensure that my placement was confirmed. During this time, I asked about the year group that I would be placed in, and due to the current circumstances, whether I would be learning face-to-face or remotely. I then asked what time they would like me to arrive on my first day and for details around the dress code. I also checked which documents they wanted me to bring, such as my DBS and ID.

When I had completed the above, I visited the school's website to get a feel for what the general ethos of the school was and to see what the different classes were getting up to. I then had a look at the school's polices, printing the essential ones such as safeguarding, behaviour, special educational needs and disabilities, and any others which I thought would help me when teaching. Additionally, I made annotations to some of their policies to show that I was meeting part two of the Teachers' Standards, as I would be able to use this as evidence towards my portfolio. I then looked into whether the school had any information about their curriculum to see what I could be teaching and checked to see if they had any examples of how they have been remote learning.

Next, I examined the school's Ofsted report, so that I was able to see which areas the school does well in and where they have any areas for improvement. This helped me when it came to planning and implementing lessons as I was able to ensure that I was teaching at the school's standard, or higher if I could!

The University provides a module guide which includes all the information about what we need to complete each week of my teaching placement, and it's broken down so we're able to see what needs to be done. I always took the time to read through this to understand what was expected of me during my placement weeks, especially during the six assessed weeks, as that was where I gathered most of my evidence to show that I could meet the Teachers' Standards.

Next, I made sure to print off all the resources that the University gave me and put them into separate folders, giving me the ability to stay organised before I started the placement. I also printed off spare copies for my school mentor.

I then had a chat with my University personal tutor. I would definitely suggest doing this if you're worried about placement as they will be able to give you some useful tips and advice. Further to this, if you're struggling during your placement, I would recommend talking to your mentor or class teacher within the school, or talking to the staff liaison mentor from the University who visits you on placement.

My essentials that I took on placement with me were my laptop/iPad, which helped me with my planning during PPA time and after school, plus a notebook and pencil case for when I was observing the class teacher in case I needed to note anything down. Throughout the day, I usually ghost planned lessons, so I took in spare lesson plans or wrote ideas down in the notebook. I also brought in stickers and made sure to have a black, green, and red pen, so that I was able to mark the children’s work. All schools have different policies about how they mark, so having a variety of coloured pens is a good tip! I also made sure that I had my ring binder which included all the tasks I needed to complete, and the EYFS and national curriculum, just so I could easily form lesson plans if I had spare time during my breaks. Within the ring binder, I also included a to-do list, so I could write down anything I needed to complete when I got home. Lastly, I always took a water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day – you'll need it for all the talking you'll do!


Harriet Behan
BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS






Topic: Course