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Posted April 12, 2021

Day in the life of a PGCE student

PGCE bursary winnerThe importance (and appreciation) of teachers in the UK has probably never been more obvious than over the recent months following the disruption to education caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

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Teaching is a rewarding and secure career to enter – and one that is pursued in the UK by gaining the PGCE postgraduate qualification. With this in mind we asked current School Direct PGCE student at the University of Winchester, and one of our latest Postgrad Solutions Study Bursary winners, Georgia Flint, what her average day is like.

“I am currently studying for Qualified Teacher Status on a School Direct PGCE and am the trainee class teacher for a fantastic Year 4 class. This is what a typical day looks like for me. 

6:30am – The dreaded alarm, luckily at this time of year it’s light outside so getting up doesn’t seem so bad.

7:15am – This is when I leave for my drive to school, making sure I’ve got my lunch and my laptop I start my commute always listening to Heart radio.

8:00am – Arriving at school, the first thing I always do is turn on my computer and check my timetable for the day’s lessons.

8:15am – Time to get printing. Any worksheets that we need for the day will need to be printed and trimmed to go into the children’s books. Usually this is extra maths challenges and some reading pages for English.

8:30am – After I’ve written the new date on the whiteboard me and my mentor will decide on a morning task. Usually some kind of brainteaser.

9:00am – The school day starts! We have a maths and English lesson followed by a topic lesson like science or PSHE (Personal, Social, Health & Economic education). At the moment I’m teaching decimals and we’re writing about the digestive system.

1:00pm – Usually in the afternoon we do more hands-on learning, like creating a digestive system out of a pair of tights!

3:00pm – Just like that the school day is over for the children. This is usually when I catch up with my mentor about the day and what we’ve got planned for tomorrow. We’ll look through the children’s books and do a bit of marking to see how they found the work today and if we need to go over anything again tomorrow.

3:30pm – Time to check I’ve got everything ready I can for tomorrow and have a look over my planning to see what tomorrow’s activities are and if I need to get any resources for them like Play-Doh or cubes for maths. Then, I check my printouts for tomorrow and send them to the printer if I’m feeling organised!

4:00pm – As a trainee my day finishes usually around this time depending on how much we have to do in the classroom or if we’re working on classroom displays.

4:10pm – Now it’s light in the evening I like to meet a friend for a run after school, we have a lovely common near my school and it’s been really nice to get some fresh air and have a chat. Unwinding like this is vital to staying positive especially in the current environment.

5:45pm – Finally home and first on the list is dinner! I eat early and usually spend the evening watching some TV. I try to be organised and do my school planning during my PPA time (planning, preparation and assessment time). Some evenings I will catch up on some uni assignments but that’s only if I have one due imminently! Having a work/life balance is really important so you don’t burn out.

9:00pm – I shamelessly go to bed very early and usually read for a bit before watching a show before I go to sleep. Most days I am tired but still very happy to get up the next day and do it all again.

I hope it’s been helpful for you to see what a normal trainee teacher day is like! If you’re thinking about going into postgraduate teaching, I would highly recommend a School Direct route. The School Direct route means that the PGCE student spends 80% of their time in school for the duration of the school year. This is different from the PGCE route, which has more time spent at university with placement times at schools throughout the year.”

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