Old Bawn Community School

Pobalscoil Lios na Coille

Believe and Achieve

OBCS Student Teacher Placement Policy

OBCS Student Teacher Placement Policy

The school’s policy on school placement informs the understanding of the whole-school community (management, staff, parents and students) regarding the school’s engagement with the initial teacher education (ITE) programmes – especially the school placement component of those programmes.

This policy was created taking into account the particular circumstances in Old Bawn Community School and its commitment to engaging in the process of teacher education, in partnership with the Higher Education Institutes (HEI) and the guidelines on school placement of the Teaching Council.

1 Introduction

The Board of Management of Old Bawn Community School acknowledges the following regarding initial teacher education and the role of school placement in this process.

— Positive school placement experiences are critical to ensuring appropriate initial teacher education for all student teachers.

— Close collaboration between schools and HEIs is essential to positive and meaningful school placement experiences for student teachers.

— It is desirable that OBCS host student teachers for placement and, in doing so, provide student teachers with the opportunity to observe teaching and to teach classes both independently and where applicable in a team teacher setting, in collaboration with suitably qualified practicing teachers.

— In the course of school placement, student teachers require the support of the whole-school community in their journey towards professional competence.

— Hosting student teachers on placement is enriching for the learners, student teachers, co-operating teachers, the wider school community and HEIs. In particular, learners benefit from a greater variety of teaching, learning and co-curricular experiences through the structured participation of student teachers in the school. Furthermore, OBCS gains access to a variety of newer approaches to teaching and learning through its engagement with student teachers and HEI staff.

— HEI placement tutors benefit from partnership experiences with schools and from being in the actual setting of a school during visits to student teachers.

2 Aims

– To provide an opportunity for student teachers to work with learners on a professional level in a structured environment.
– To enable a controlled exchange of teaching methodologies and skills between students and co-operating teachers.
– To enable learners to be exposed to alternative teaching strategies.
– To support student teachers in their professional development.

3 Commitment to hosting student teachers

Old Bawn Community School is committed to hosting student teachers for school placement and, in this context, adopts as part of this school placement policy the Guidelines on School Placement developed by the Teaching Council in consultation with all relevant education partners.

4 Implications for OBCS hosting student teachers on placement

Hosting a student teacher on placement will, inter alia, involve the student teacher observing classes being taught by members of the school’s teaching staff. It will also involve student teachers teaching classes, in the first instance, while being observed and supported by the teacher with primary responsibility for the welfare and educational progress of the class (the co-operating teacher). Then, as the student teacher’s competence develops, the student teacher will move to teaching classes independently in line with HEI requirements and the student teacher’s particular stage of development on the ITE programme.

5 Scheduling of student teachers on placement

A request for a placement will only be considered following a written request from a HEI or from an
Individual to the Principal or Deputy Principal with responsibility for student teacher placements.
The Deputy Principal will allocate student teachers to co-operating teachers and classes, having regard
for: the stage the student teacher is at in his/her initial teacher education programme: the particular needs
of the learners in a particular class; the requirement for the student teacher to experience an appropriate
range of placement contexts; and any special circumstances of which the co-operating teacher has an
awareness.

6 Induction of student teachers on placement

Student teachers will, prior to commencing their placement, be provided with an orientation to the key personnel, ethos and work of the school. This orientation shall involve student teachers being provided with an information pack that will include details of key school policies, in particular the school’s Student Code of Behaviour, Child Protection, Health and Safety, Homework and Student Teacher Placement Policies.

7 Supports for the student teacher

The school community is committed to supporting positively and sensitively the student teacher in accordance with the Guidelines on School Placement developed by the Teaching Council in consultation with all relevant education partners. Furthermore, the school is committed to allocating the student teacher to (an) appropriate co-operating teacher(s) and to the classes essential to him/ her undertaking his/her school placement successfully. The school will also provide the student teacher with the teaching facilities and resources necessary to his/her work during the placement.

8 Professional Conduct

Student teachers are expected to;

– be professionally presented in terms of attire and overall appearance
– be punctual
– respect the privacy and confidentiality of all members of the school community
– show interest and enthusiasm in the preparation and teaching of lessons

9 Continuing professional development for staff involved in supporting/
facilitating student teacher placement

The school management authority and the school’s senior management are committed to promoting and facilitating the participation of school staff in continuing professional development programmes essential to ensuring the successful operation of student teacher placement in the school.

10 Communication of school placement policy to school community

A copy of the school placement policy is made available to school personnel and the parents association and the policy is readily accessible to parents on request. In particular, a copy of the policy shall be published on the school website (where applicable) and a copy is made available to parents/guardians of all learners enrolling in the school and all new teachers at the point of their employment, either electronically or in hard copy.

11 Policy reviews

This policy will be reviewed by the school management authority periodically.

12 Date of policy adoption

This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on March 2018 [date]