Wednesday, 8 June 2016

PGCE - May

My final month on 2nd placement went quickly and smoothly - the only thing that made it difficult was the second masters unit essay I had to submit to university during this time. This essay is one of two that we get throughout the course and is in support of the exhibition we put on at the end of June. I found this essay much more difficult to understand even though it was shorter than the first - I was having great trouble understanding what the university actually wanted me to write and research. In the end I had to ask LOTS of different people for their interpretation of what the essay entailed exactly. Funnily enough everyone I asked interpreted it differently.
 Alongside this it was hard work trying to teach everyday AND do a university essay in my spare time but in the end I got there through tackling it a little bit at a time each day. I'm still waiting for the results of this essay, heres hoping I haven't failed it...either way I still made the best of the 4 weeks I had left teaching.
I particularly enjoyed teaching year 7 about 'The Starry Night' by Vincent Van Gogh (never thought I'd say that!). It was something we started during a cover lesson where we drew our own interpretation of 'The Starry Night' and watched a documentary about Van Goghs life starring Benedict Cumberbatch. The class appeared to enjoy it so we continued the work into several lessons which in turn produced the lovely drawings you see below....
 
I am really pleased with what they produced - especially considering they're only 11 and 12 year olds! I was so pleased with them I put each drawing in individual plastic wallets for safe keeping. My mentor also mentioned that she might put them in the end-of-year show at the school too which is good.
 
Another project I am also quite pleased with was the Aboriginal Art project I did with Year 9. I briefly mentioned about it in my last post but didn't go into much detail. It was derived from a scheme of work the school sets for every year 9 group but allowed a longer period of time to create design and illustration. Personally I would've loved to have taken the project further into installations within the school space but we simply ran out of time due to exams taking over ! Either way the class produced some amazing work that I hope they're really pleased with. 
As a starting point I got them to research and illustrate the 'Dreamtime Symbols' used by the Aboriginal people in their art and language, which sounds like a simple task but produced some beautiful charts of symbols that became artworks in themselves.
 
My favourite is the one where Australia has been drawn into the background! A simple idea but really effective.
 
Following this I began to push the idea of narrative and storytelling which is a big part of Aboriginal culture. I split the class up into groups and got them to research a different Aboriginal folk story which made up the 'Dreamtime' (the Aboriginal belief of creation). Again these turned out better than I expected and got the students using their illustration skills to tell stories. Really pleased with these! 
"Bangara the blue-tongued lizard"
  "Ganhaar the crocodile"
 
"Wayamba the turtle"
 
"Goorialla the rainbow serpent"
So anyway that's it. Its hard to believe I have completed 2 placements and my PGCE is nearly over. I started the PGCE deeply concerned after being told by teachers/ex-students that it was going to be really really difficult, over-the-top time consuming with no weekends and draining to the nth degree. Somebody even went ahead and told my mum 'it was the most difficult year of their entire life'. But of course - that is not what happened at all, it was easier and less stressful than my BA degree and quite frankly I wish I hadn't listened to those (stupid) people! 
Whilst I am sad that the placement is over I am excited to move on to the next part of my course. I have 4 weeks at the university to produce and put on an exhibition with the other art PGCE students - obviously I am now 2 and a half weeks into this but I will talk more about in my next post.

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