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University PGCE Students Support UCEA Pupils - 31/10/2017

The University Church of England Academy (UCEA) welcomed 72 trainee teachers from the University of Chester recently for an enrichment week, enabling both students and school pupils to learn from each other.

The purpose of the week was to allow the Primary School PGCE students (known as Associate Teachers), to gain valuable experience of life in a secondary school environment and to better understand the transitional period for pupils between primary and secondary school. The Associates spent time with students in Year 7 in particular (11 to 12 year olds), supporting them with their learning. During their week at the Academy, the PGCE students also had the opportunity to speak in detail with both staff and students.

Additionally, the trainee teachers delivered a range of development activities to the school’s pupils, including a ‘Big Maths’ session, which focused on improving numeracy skills by integrating them into various games. They also received advice from the Academy‘s own senior members of staff, who explained the processes the school has put in place to support pupils when they arrive at secondary school. The Associates were then given the opportunity to shadow some of the school’s pupils in order to see these processes in practice. Whilst working with small groups of pupils to develop their literacy and numeracy skills, PGCE students also had the chance to work with our drama teacher, Emma Donnelly, to support her with a PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic education) session that focused on road safety and developed pupils’ confidence and oracy (spoken language) skills.

Leanne Eyre, Vice Principal and Director of Professional Learning at University Church of England Academy, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with colleagues at the start of their teaching career. They fully immersed themselves in life at UCEA and embraced the opportunities to work with our students in Years 7 and 8. Our staff and students have welcomed their support.”