Access to Primary Education

 <primary_school.jpg> Education: Primary Teaching

Some colleges (but not all) offer Access to Humanities/Social Science programmes that permit application to Primary Education. Check with the College or SWAP before applying. 

Get practical experience: 
If you hope to teach in a primary school someday, you should make it a priority to get some work or volunteering experience in a primary school classroom setting. If that is not possible, then you may consider volunteering for organisations where you'll be in charge of working with primary-school-aged children in groups (e.g. Scouts, Guides, sport clubs, after school clubs, etc.). 

It is good practice, while on placement or fulfilling a volunteer role, to keep a reflective journal detailing your experiences. For example, you should keep note of the age groups you've worked with, their activities and learning objectives, any challenges faced and how those were overcome. You may also note anything of interest regarding the curriculum, teachers' approaches and styles of teaching, and any interactions you may have with other members of staff --- especially highlighting what you've learned from each shift. Such a journal will stand you in good stead when it comes time to fill in university applications and (all going well) attending interviews. 

Get to grips with Maths: 
The Teaching Council require that all Primary School teachers have a Maths qualification at National 5 level (at minimum). You will study Maths units at National 5 level as part of your SWAP Access to Humanities programme, but if you wish to teach you will also then have to sit and pass the external (SQA) Nat 5 maths exam in May, at the end of your SWAP year. Your college will support you in this endeavour, but if it has been a while since you studied Maths, you may want to do a bit of independent study and preparation prior to applying. You can find help on: 

BBC Bitesize 
Khan Academy 
National Numeracy Challenge
BBC Skillswise

Be prepared to disclose all criminal convictions: 
All applicants to Primary Education will be required to disclose any criminal convictions prior to applying to university. If you have criminal convictions and would like impartial advice re: applying to study Primary Teaching, you may contact the SWAPWest office 0141 564 7206 to discuss.
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