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Placement organisation and information

This section provides all the information and documentation required for school experience. All of the documents required whilst on placement will be available electronically via Blackboard Learn (BBL) for Student Teachers and via these Brunel ITE web pages for our PCMs and Mentors. We hope this will help you to navigate around the requirements for placement but please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any clarification or further assistance. 

Preparing for the first day of School Experience

Student Teachers will be allocated their school placement by the Partnership Development Unit and will receive information about the school – address, name of the PCM and Mentor (where available). They should begin to plan their route to school to ensure that they arrive in school on time, bearing in mind that they will be travelling at peak times. They may wish to find out about the school e.g. looking at the school website, data dashboard and most recent Ofsted report etc.

Once the placement is confirmed to the Student Teacher, they should then contact the school’s PCM/ Mentor using their Brunel email address to introduce him/herself and check arrangements for their first day at school. Unless otherwise advised, Student Teachers are asked to arrive by 8.15am at the latest and report to the PCM/ Mentor. Student Teachers should remember that schools are busy places and PCMs/ Mentors are busy people so they should be prepared to wait if they cannot be seen straight away and remember that first impressions count.

On the first day Student Teachers will hopefully have the opportunity to meet their Mentor for the first time. They will need to have their Initial Needs Analysis or Professional Learning Action Plan in hard copy for that phase of school experience with specified targets for the placement.

Recording your Professional Learning

There are two components to facilitate the recording and collection of evidence of Student Teachers’ professional learning journey throughout the PGCE year. These are the Professional Learning Record (completed on Pebblepad) and the School Experience files. It is vital that Student Teachers engage with both of these in order to demonstrate progress against the Teachers’ Standards.

Professional Learning Record (PLR)

The PLR for Student Teachers is to be maintained using the PebblePad e-portfolio. Pebblepad should be updated as regularly (once per week minimum). Keeping your PebblePad up to date is very important as it also enables your Personal Tutor, Link Tutor, Course Leaders, Mentor and PCM to track your progress through the School Experience.

There is technical support available if needed from the Learning Technology Team at Brunel University London (email: ltt@brunel.ac.uk). 

 School Experience files

There are three School Experience files. These are:

  • File 1: Planning and Teaching
  • File 2: Monitoring, Assessment, Recording, Reporting and Accountability (MARRA)
  • File 3: Professional Learning Activities (PLAs)

The School Experience Files are vital working documents during the PGCE year. They contain a range of information, which provides evidence of progress towards meeting the Teachers’ Standards. The files are working documents, as well as being public documents. They should be available and accessible at all times to Partnership staff (Class Teachers, Mentors, PCMs, Link Tutors and Personal Tutors), External Examiners and Ofsted Inspectors. In order to allow a reader to navigate them easily the files need to be organised as follows.

FILE 1: PLANNING AND TEACHING

Section A: General Information

Title Page

  1. Name, address and telephone number of school
  2. Student Teacher’s name and address
  3. Dates of School Experience, including any closures
  4. Names of Head Teacher and Class Teacher
  5. Link Tutor: name and email address
  6. Personal tutor: name and email address
  7. Teaching timetable (where appropriate)

Neighbourhood

Familiarise yourself with the surroundings local to the school, as this will give you background information about the community setting.

School

Before starting the school experience, familiarise yourself with the school’s website. These will provide insight into the school’s aims, ethos and policies.  From your observations and enquiries, make notes on such aspects as:

  • school organisation (vertical grouping, team teaching, year groups, etc.);
  • physical resources (extra teaching spaces, such as group rooms, play areas, etc.);
  • teaching resources (shared equipment for the curriculum areas);
  • reference materials (library and book provision);
  • the pupils (range of religious and cultural traditions, linguistic diversity);
  • home/school/community links;
  • school policies (for example, health and safety, assessment and marking, behaviour management, SEND, EAL, Gifted and talented, Homework, Handwriting, displays…). You are NOT required to include hard copies of these policies in your files but you must ensure that you have read them and notes should be included.
  • the style of handwriting used in the school. You will need to adapt the style of your own handwriting to that recommended by the school, as children will use your writing as a model.

Class Profile

This could include the following:

  • List of names of children and dates of birth (please check with your Mentor if this is appropriate in your setting), together with assessment details available, and note languages spoken by children in the class, SEND, G&T and other individual needs;
  • Copy of the class timetable;
  • Plan of the classroom;
  • List of resources available (books, stationery, equipment for curriculum areas, media resources, including the computer). Remember that use of resources is a sensitive issue. Please do not just help yourself – ask first and be economical!
  • Notes on support available from other staff, assistants and parents;
  • daily classroom routines and homework systems.

Section B: Medium Term Curriculum Planning

A separate section of your file should be dedicated to medium term curriculum planning.  In general, Student Teachers are advised to work in collaboration with the Mentor/ Class Teacher and adopt the school approach to curriculum planning in order to provide continuity and progression.  As you become more confident about planning, you should begin to take more responsibility.  Eventually, in consultation with your Mentor, identify the areas of study for which you will be responsible, and develop a plan for the duration of your school experience. You may need to use the University medium term planning proforma.  Student Teachers should be encouraged to plan for a sequence of lessons (Eliminating unnecessary workload around planning and teaching resources, Report of the Independent Teacher Workload Review Group, March 2016) which then informs their short term lesson planning. For each week of the School Experience, provide an overview of the week, summarising curriculum areas taught and assessed (including formal observations) and activities undertaken in the Weekly Professional Learning Record on Pebblepad, in the box provided.

Section C: Lesson Planning and Evaluations

This section of your file should include all of your lesson plans, annotated lessons plans and evaluations. You must produce an individual lesson plan for EVERY lesson you teach. You should use the Brunel University London template for lesson plans and evaluations.  

All lessons taught must be evaluated thoroughly and thoughtfully to demonstrate that you are learning from the experience of teaching, by annotating your lesson plan and completing the assessment boxes on the plan. If a Student Teacher is awarded Good or above in TS4 at the Development phase assessment, upon consultation with the Mentor and University Tutor, he/she may progress to using an alternative planning proforma which better supports transition to the NQT

Section D: Additional Activities

In this section you should keep dated notes or additional evidence of activities that you are involved in, that are not recorded in the PLA file or lesson plans. These might include: team teaching; assisting with another class; working with parents or other stakeholders, supporting teachers with displays and observing/ collaborating with any other professionals. These experiences should also be captured on the Weekly Professional Learning Record also (WPLR).

FILE 2: Monitoring, Assessment, Recording, Reporting and Accountability (MARRA)

Assessment opportunities should be clearly identified within medium term, weekly and daily plans. There should be a direct link between proposed assessment within a lesson plan and the record of this assessment within the specific lesson evaluation. This process should provide clear evidence that planning and teaching are being informed by assessment.

Please see the Professional Learning Activities guidance for FSE, DSE and CSE for specific requirements regarding assessment.

Title Page

  1. Name, address and telephone number of school
  2. Student Teacher’s name and address
  3. Dates of School Experience, including any closures
  4. Names of Head Teacher and Class Teacher
  5. Link Tutor: name and email address
  6. Personal tutor: name and email address

Section A: Individual Profile Pupil

Please see the Professional Learning Activities guidance for FSE, DSE and CSE for information about how many pupils you should complete individual profiles for.

When gathering evidence to inform profiles of individual pupils, the following elements need to be included:

  • Background information (pseudonym, date of birth, place in family, languages spoken, etc.)
  • Assessments in English, including reading records/communication, language and English
  • Assessments in mathematics
  • Assessments in science
  • Any observations of achievements in the core and non-core subjects
  • Relevant details of the children’s physical, social and emotional needs.

Assessments should be based on clear evidence, including annotated examples of work and observation records. Assessment evidence should reflect progression within the National Curriculum, and provide a holistic record of pupils’ development, e.g. social, health-related and extra-curricular aspects.

Section B: Whole Class Records

Tracking Records

These provide an overview of work produced by all individuals in the class. Using the formats suggested by the University and your school, draw up a chart listing all the names of the children in your class and the work they will undertake in the core subjects. Use a symbol system to denote broad levels of pupils’ understanding in relation to the success criteria (e.g. / - attempted; X - completed but not totally understood; q - completed and understood). You must keep tracking records for all core subject lessons that you have taught.

Focus Groups

This proforma should be used whenever you work with a small group of pupils. For example, when you are working with a group on guided reading or writing within English, this should be used to record the learning for the group.

Individual Assessments

This section is for the work of all pupils in the class, who are not included as your profile or focus pupils. 

Pupil progress

There has been a significant emphasis on pupil progress in the recently revised Teachers’ Standards and the Ofsted framework for school inspection (Ofsted, 2014).

The Teachers’ Standards which focus on enabling and assessing the progress of all pupils include: 

2. Promote good progress and outcomes by pupils;

5 Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils;

6. Make accurate and productive use of assessment i.e. make use of formative and summative assessment to secure pupils’ progress and use relevant data to monitor progress, set targets, and plan subsequent lessons.

Whilst, as part of the April 2014 Ofsted framework for school inspections inspectors must cover the achievement of pupils at the school and consider the extent to which the education provided by the school meets the needs of the full range of pupils.

Given that Student Teachers will need to meet all Teachers’ Standards to pass the course and be prepared for an Ofsted inspection in their future NQT post, pupil progress constitutes an important aspect of the programme of study. Student Teachers should focus on planning and differentiation to enable and assess the progress of all pupils in their classes.

The Lesson Feedback Record prompts observing staff to comment specifically on pupil progress and achievement in relation to the intended learning detailed on the lesson plan and the contribution of teaching to this learning. This is to support the Student Teacher in focusing on pupil learning as an indicator of the quality of teaching in the lesson. The post-lesson conversations should also focus on pupils’ learning, progress and outcomes.

The timetable

The school experience timetable should provide a balanced subject related experience to facilitate a focus on subject knowledge weaknesses and develop areas of strength. In the Initial Needs Analysis Student Teachers reflect on their strengths and areas for development in terms of each of the Teachers’ Standards. The timetable is constructed to take account of the individual needs and also flexible to allow the Student Teacher to undertake a range of Professional Learning Activities (PLAs), as well as whole class teaching.

The weighting of Student Teachers’ timetables should be flexible according to their needs, and the percentage of contact time will increase over the year. This is in order to allow the Student Teacher the critical time required to develop effective practice in planning and evaluation, recognising that in the early stages of the course this is challenging and time-consuming when done well.

Timetable Weighting

Weeks in FSE

% on planning, teaching and evaluating lessons (whole class)

% on other work with children (for example, PLAs, assessment, small groups, individuals)

% on preparation

1 - 3

0 (max. 25%, if appropriate)

75

25

4 - 6

25

50

25

7 - 11

50

25

25

 

Weeks in DSE

% on planning, teaching and evaluating lessons (whole class)

% on other work with children (for example, PLAs, assessment, small groups, individuals)

% on preparation

1 - 2

0 (max. 25%, if appropriate)

75

25

3 - 4

25

50

25

5 - 8

50

25

25

 

Weeks in CSE

% on planning, teaching and evaluating lessons (whole class)

% on other work with children (for example, PLAs, assessment, small groups, individuals)

% on preparation

1 - 2

50

25

25

3 - 6

80

0

20

During each phase, timetables should also include a slot for a Weekly Professional Learning Meeting between the Student Teacher and Mentor.

 

Documents

Overview of Professional Learning processes and documentation

Overview of professional learning documentation 1

Overview of professional learning documentation 2

Overview of professional learning documentation 3