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Teacher Education

The BEd (Hons) Degree is a professional qualification, completion of which will equip students with a range of competences necessary for effective teaching. These competences are developed through College-based courses and by working with children in the school environment. The term 'school experience' refers to the wide range of activities that students undertake in the school environment. These activities provide a focus for much of the work done in Professional Studies and Subject Application Courses.

School experience is an essential element of the degree and a student is not permitted to progress in the degree without passing this aspect.

In each year students complete an extended period in a school. Visits prior to a long placement allows the student the opportunity to learn about significant aspects of the life of the school, get to know the pupils in their class (or classes) and to become aware of the curriculum, the rules and routines of the class and school policies. During the extended placement in semester 2 students are required to prepare, teach and evaluate a series of lessons in designated curricular areas. This work is formally assessed by a team of College tutors.

The current pattern of school experience is as follows:

 

Students following the BEd (Primary) Pathway

Students will undertake blocks of school experience as follows:

Year 1 - placement in Foundation/Key Stage 1

Year 2 - placement in Key Stage 2

Year 3 - students opt for a specific age range (including nursery)

Year 4 - students opt for a specific age range (final year students following the Special School module in Education Studies may opt for a split practice in Mainstream - Special Educational Needs)

 

Students following the BEd (Post-Primary) Pathway

Students will undertake blocks of school experience as follows:

Year 1 - placement in Key Stage 2 as an introduction to teaching

Year 2 - mainly Key Stage 3 with some Key Stage 4 according to subject

Year 3 - mainly Key Stage 4

Year 4 - across Key Stage 3 and 4 (final year students following the Special School module in Education Studies may opt for a split practice in Mainstream - Special Educational Needs)

 

Serial Days

Year 1 and 2 students, in both BEd Primary and Post-Primary pathways will also engage in serial day placements to schools. These visits will enable the students to see how a classroom is managed and come to see the school as a community of learning before they commence their extended period of School Experience. They will carry out observation tasks on these days that should enhance their professional development.

 

Alternative Educational Placements

All students in BEd Year 2 have the option of completing an Alternative Educational Placement. The purpose of this is to help students develop knowledge and understanding of the different options and opportunities which are open to qualified teachers in a range of different fields of work.

Participation in an AEP will help students broaden knowledge, experience and also perspectives on the nature of education and their own professionalism as a teacher. It will help students to better understand and respond to the range of different issues and challenges which are apparent in working with children and young people in all settings.

 

All placements are made at the discretion of College authorities, though students are normally invited to nominate schools.

 

The School Experience Co-ordinator is Mrs Claire Connolly.