Published: March 10, 2021
Hi my name is Harriet, here is an insight on how I prepared for my third year placement at a local school.
In terms of preparing for my 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 placements , but I did not have any links to the local schools or any thoughts on where I would like complete my final placement.
Once I found out where my placement was going to be I had to email/ring 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 in and due to the current circumstances, whether I would be doing face-to-face learning or remote learning. I then asked about when they would like me to arrive on my first day and what their dress code was, this helps me to plan the outfits that I can wear. Another valuable question to ask is what documents they want you to bring on your first day such as your DBS, ID etc just so they can ensure that you are the right person.
When I had completed the above, I went onto the schools website and had a look to see what they post and get a feel for what the general ethos of the school is and to see what the different classes have been getting up to. I would then suggest looking at the schools polices, I personally print the essential ones such as safeguarding, behaviour, special educational needs or disabilities and any others which will help me when teaching within that school. Additionally, I may annotate some of their policies to show that I am meeting part two of the teacher standards and 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 see if they have any examples of how they have been remote learning or if there is any information about what apps they have been using to do this.
Next I looked at the schools Ofsted report, this was so I was able to see which areas the school do well in and where they have any areas for improvement. This will help me when I plan and implement lessons as I will be able to ensure that I am teaching at the schools standard or higher if I can!
The university provides a module guide which includes all of the information about what we need to complete each week of placement and it is broken down, so we are able to see what needs to be done. I always read through this to understand what is expected of me during my placement weeks, especially during the 6 assessed weeks as this is where I will gather most of my evidence to show that I can meet the teacher standards.
Next, I made sure to print off all resources that the university gave me and put them into separate poly pockets, so I was able to stay organised before I started the placement. I also printed off spare copies for my mentor in the school in case they want it or have not been able to read it before I arrive.
I would then suggest talking to your personal tutor at university if you are worried about placement as they will definitely be able to give you some tips for when you are there. Furthering this, if you are struggling when on your placement I would talk to your mentor or class teacher within the school or talk to the staff liaison mentor from the university who visits you on placement.
My essentials to take on placement would be a laptop/iPad for when you are completing planning etc during your PPA time or after school. I always then take a notebook and pencil case for when I am observing the class teacher or if I need to note anything down. Throughout the day I also usually ghost plan lessons, so I take in spare lesson plans or write ideas down in the notebook. I also take in stickers and make sure to have a black, green, red pen so I am able to mark the children’s work however all schools have differently policies about how they mark children’s work so having a variety of coloured pens is a good tip! I also make sure that I have my ring binder which includes all of the tasks I need to complete, the EYFS or the national curriculum depending what age range I am in just so I can easily form lesson plans if I have spare time on my lunch break/break times. Within the ring binder I also have a to-do notebook so I can write down anything I need to complete when I get home. Lastly I take a water bottle as you need to stay hydrated throughout the day- especially with all the talking we do!
BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS