How the PGCE helped me develop my reflection skills

Course: Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) without QTS

14 October 2022

Rachel's PGCE course has enhanced her reflective skills to answer this interview question confidently and give herself great feedback- positives and negatives- to use in her next lesson.

I decided to complete my PGCE because I'm always thinking about my future, and anything is possible. I don't know what is going to happen in 20 years' time and I want to be prepared just in case I happen to live abroad and want to continue to teach. The modules within the PGCE course at ARU are well thought out and build on what you learn during your year gaining QTS. There is a huge demand on reflecting on your practice and building on it to make you a better teacher and through this course I have majorly developed my reflection skills which I have used to my advantage during interviews.

It is a common question within interviews to ask how your lesson went, what were the good parts and if you were to do it again, what would you change? The PGCE course has enhanced my reflective skills to answer this question confidently and give myself great feedback - positives and negatives - to use in my next lesson. For one interview I had to teach a lesson to one class and then reflect and have feedback on it, to then teach it again to another class using that feedback and reflection to make it better. I was complimented on how well I took on those notes and self-reflected to make it a more successful lesson. I have also come to the realisation that schools are becoming more aware of evidence-based practise and mentioning theorists such as Vygotsky (ZPD) Skinner (positive reinforcement) and Sweller (cognitive load) in multiple answers wowed every school that interviewed me and from feedback it was something that made me stand out from everyone else. I have touched on these theorists during my degree however I have furthered my research and become more familiar with these and additional theorists during my PGCE.

I have thoroughly enjoyed completing my PGCE and even though it was stressful at times, the workload is very manageable and the support the team give you at ARU is amazing and I was pleasantly surprised at how much assistance there was. They really want you to do the best you can and fully understand how much you are being asked to do, by schools as well as them as a university. I couldn't wish for anything better.

Rachel Gough completed her PGCE last year with us and gained QTS through the SCITT -School Centred Initial Teacher Training provider: Cambridge Partnership. She is now working full time in a local primary school.