Training TAs NCFE 2 – My new job.

I am about to embark on a new venture. I will be teaching NCFE level 2 with a group of teaching assistants for a few hours a week. It’s exciting and daunting at the same time. It’s an opportunity to put into practice all my constructivist ideals and my commitment to web 2.0 but it’s going to be a challenge. I’m putting all my teaching materials online in the Teaching Assistants area of usefulwiki and I hope to attract other UK based TA trainers and students to get involved.

Like the web head I am 🙂 the first thing I did was ask round in the TA forums for people’s impressions and experiences of the course. I got lots of helpful advice and encouragement and a great book list! However one of the main thing that they agreed on was that sometimes the tutors ‘waffle on’ about things that don’t seem very relevant to the evidence based assessment criteria. This instantly rang bells for me. I could be wrong but this may be a case of surface versus deep learning. The TAs want their ‘bit of paper’ and as stressed, busy people, they want to achieve it by doing ‘just enough’ work to get them through. The tutors though have other objectives, they want to produce rounded, competent TAs who are reflective about their work, apply theory to their practice etc. Is this starting to sound familiar to any one? Especially people at Ultraversity?

I have no idea how to resolve this at the moment but I think the key is in carefully structured assessment assignments that encourage a reflective attitude without overburdening the students. Oh, and finding a variety of ways of providing evidence for meeting the assessment criteria. Time to put the money where the mouth is! Watch out for a batch of blogging TAs!


11 thoughts on “Training TAs NCFE 2 – My new job.

  1. I am interested in training to become a teacher assistant, i’ve been loking through the net and would like to know “what NCFE stands for.

  2. Hi Mary,
    If you are considering training there are a number of courses you could start with depending on what’s available to you locally and what age groups you are interested in working with.

    NCFE stands for National College for Further Education.
    NCFE2 Teaching Assistants Certificate is ideal if you are working as a volunteer in a school. You need to be in a placement (a school)for several hours a week, which you usually have to find for yourself. The course is usually one 3 hour session a week for a year plus a fair bit of homework. Some colleges offer it combined with a placement in school for two days a week.

    If you are already employed in a school you can consider an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) usually at level 2 or 3.
    Alternatively you could do a full time college course, like a BTech. This involves both college work and placements in schools.
    As I said, it depends what is available locally to you and what your personal circumstances are. Why not book yourself an appointment at your local college and have a chat? I’m sure there will be someone there who will be happy to help you.
    Let me know how you get on 🙂

  3. Hi there, I have completed a NCFE Classroom Assistants Level 2 and I am just finishing NCFE Developing Skills for Working with Children and Young People Level 2. I have my exam tommorrow , Monday 7th of July. I have really enjoyed it and would recommend them to anyone who is intrested in working with children. I was helping in my daughters class and thought I would like to get a qualification, so I could get paid for it. The school where I have done my placement(my daughters class) as asked me to work a few days as relief and they have paid me, so all that hard work is paying off. I hope to do my TA Level 3 in September , ( fingers crossed)

  4. I did my NCFE 2 in 2001 at Shelfield Comprehensive Shoolin Walsall but I wasn’t able to collect my certifcate so I was woundering if there was any way I could get my certifcate.

  5. I have teaching assistant level 2 ncfe but have found out about the nvqs now and am worried that my qualification isnt as good as an nvq. and for me to do level 3 or a nvq i may have to pay, but cant afford it since i am not working. what should i do? is the ncfe as good as the nvq or is there no point in trying? where an i do the SEN qualification?

  6. I would like to take the NCFE Level 2 Teaching Assistants course but do not have the necessary O’Level grades to get accepted. I will have to do an assessment – can anyone advise as to what sort of thing I can expect?

  7. why not do the classroom assistant first, it isnt difficult, infact i am sure the teaching assistant course would take you on since i didnt find it hard at all. if you already have experience with children get yourself a reference or volunteer at a school. they will help you on your way to training. you may need a crb check first look it up on the net.

  8. I’m about to start a ‘taster’ course classroom assistant level 1 NCFE and will hopefully be able to help out for a few hours at my daughter’s old school on my day off as experience .Is there any prospect of employment on passing this qualification or will I have to obtain an NVQ 2 next year? Do I have to be in paid employment by a school to embark on the NVQ or can I continue in my present job with Royal Mail with voluntary classroom work?
    Any advice much appreciated!

  9. i have just done the ncfe level 2 and passed and was then told that is wasnt recognised in schools and i would have to do the nvq 2 in teaching assistant arghhhh. the ncfe even though it says is recognised actually isnt and is a waste of time! dont believe everything you read.

  10. I am hoping to start an NCFE Teaching Assistant level 1 in September i have a placement in a school and just wanted to know if an NCFE qualification can lead to me getting z job.

  11. Hi Sarah,
    NCFE 1 and 2 are accepted by many schools. There is no ‘gold standard’ for employment in schools. In fact, if they know you, some schools would rather employ someone with lower qualifications and oversee their NVQ through the school. Obviously they are not as high a qualification as an NVQ2 and that is what you will eventually need to do. The NCFE is a good starting point and I wish you lots of luck.

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