Dr Penny Amott, Lecturer in ITE at UCL Institute of Education

On the Primary PGCE at the Institute of Education, students are deeply involved in the planning and evaluation of the programme. All our new teachers are invited to share their feedback and ideas at key points throughout the programme, but are also represented by student representatives who liaise closely with the programme team throughout the programme. For example, when asked what is going well, one group of reps responded:

On behalf of all of us on the Early Years pathway, we would like to express how inspiring our lecturers and guest lecturers are and that we have huge admiration for all you, and the entire PGCE team are doing to support us in our online and offline journey. We really appreciate the vast amount of work that has gone into transferring the entirety of the course online and are by and large impressed with the capability of the teachers in making strong and engaging sessions.

Another group suggested:

We have learnt so much and really appreciate all the hard work you’ve had to put in to make this work! We know it’s not always been easy to deliver the content online but we feel like we have had a very rich and stimulating experience.

This has been particularly important during the pandemic, when trainee teachers have had to deal with unusual circumstances:

People I have spoken to have really enjoyed the placement, and although circumstances have been difficult for some people, we have felt generally reassured and well supported by the programme staff in this. The reassurances that have been sent out in relation to PLT and other tasks were welcome.

We really, really appreciate how supportive and reassuring the tutors have been in responding to the many queries on Moodle forums, and in calming things down where there has been anxiety. This has really helped put things in perspective while on placement and now that we’re adjusting back to the remote learning.