Secondary PGCE Subject Specific Information Geography by aT10o94U


									Dear Trainee

Congratulations on being accepted for the Secondary PGCE Geography Course here at Exeter
University. We look forward to meeting you at the St. Luke’s campus on Monday October 1st
2012. Our subject-specific work will take place on the first floor within the Peninsula Medical
School Building, where geography is housed, and we meet that day on the first floor in Room F20,
at 9.00. Meanwhile, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any queries or concerns:
contact details are given below. We are more than happy to field enquiry emails throughout the
summer to ensure that all questions are answered before you arrive. This letter is designed to
provide you with some key items of information for the period between now and October.

Preliminary School Experience

As you will know, the PGCE year starts on Monday Sept 17th when you will begin your 2 weeks in
schools, one week in a primary school and one in a secondary school. You will receive full details
of this fortnight in the pack sent to you by our Secondary PGCE Programme Director. If you have
any questions, please email us. Study that pack carefully, and bring the completed tasks to our
first sessions; they form an integral part of what we do in a formative rather than summative way,
they are not assessed in any way. It is your responsibility and choice as to which schools you
select to undertake these placements in.

You will see that you are required to carry out a variety of tasks during that fortnight. As you do
these tasks, please be on the lookout for opportunities to link the issues with geography. For
example, when you look at curriculum, make sure you cover the breadth, but also focus on issues
particularly relating to geography. What exactly are the geography-specific issues? Please ensure
that you bring your reports (assembled together) with you in October and to subsequent geography
sessions as indicated by your tutors. When on the primary school placement, please take some
time to discuss geography teaching with the subject co-ordinator.

Your Own Professional Development

At the interview we discussed your own level of geography subject knowledge, understanding and
skills. Clearly, it is important that we all continue to learn new geography throughout our teaching
careers, but there are times when we need to invest extra time and effort into geography subject
knowledge. Now is a good time for you to use the coming months to start to fill the gaps! This is
particularly the case if you have had a break from formal geography study. In no way is this a
course requirement, you already have a place here, it is just common sense advice. We will
undertake a subject audit in the first week and you can be ahead of the game in making your
knowledge coverage as comprehensive as is possible. A good idea would be to look at the GA’s
website: so you are aware of the latest innovations and policy changes in
geography, as well as looking at the National Curriculum for geography, and keeping up-to-date on
recent international events be they physical or human geography related. If you have opportunities
to observe geography in a school during the Summer term that is a positive move, often you can
be made more than welcome supporting on a field course or even in a more general capacity
assisting teachers. Make good use of any contacts you have, particularly if there is time to spare
after graduation.

PGCE Geography delivery

You will have been interviewed either by Jim Rogers, the academic lead of the geography course
or me, the pastoral lead, or maybe both of us, together probably with other members of our school
geography partnership team. Jim and I share responsibility for running the PGCE course together
and we will also be joined by a number of specialists from South West Secondary Schools to
enhance course delivery. When you commence training you will be assigned one of us as personal
tutor but for simplicity I am your first point of contact in the lead up to the course starting in

You will receive details of your geography placement schools from the partnership office, please
make sure that they are updated on any changed personal circumstances so we can cater for your
needs where the flexibility allows. As you know you are based in Exeter for the first term, and you
will then need to consider accommodation arrangements for your time on placement. Please be
aware that sometimes placements can change at the last minute due to staff changes or individual
partnership school circumstances, and you need to be prepared for this. The partnership office
work very hard to achieve the very best fit from the schools available, but unfortunately travel for
some of you is inevitable.

We look forward to welcoming you on the 1st October to one of the best, OFSTED grade A
geography PGCE courses in the country and I hope you have an enjoyable and relaxing summer
in advance of some very hard work!.

With best wishes

Yours sincerely

Jon Murray

Joint Subject Leader, Pastoral Lead
PGCE Secondary Geography
Graduate School of Education
University of Exeter

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