On Placement

Now You are On Placement Preservice Teachers will also be required to show evidence of planning, teaching, evaluating and reflecting, and interacting within the school community with a high level of Teacher Professionalism in accordance with the following guidelines and appropriate to you current Professional Experience course:

  • Professional Standards

    • Standard 1: Know students and how they learn
    • Standard 2: Know the content and how to teach it
    • Standard 3: Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
    • Standard 4: Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
    • Standard 5: Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning
    • Standard 6: Engage in professional learning
    • Standard 7: Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community
    • Pre-service teachers in the Early Childhood Education strand must also meet the standards set by the Australian Childrens’ Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)www.acecqa.gov.au

      The Professional Experience course work acknowledges that successful professional experiences are built on partnerships both external to the University and internal to the University. All stakeholders play an integral role, including Supervising Teachers, site co-ordinators, university staff (both academic and administrative) and pre-service teachers. Everyone involved in Professional Experience should expect it to be stimulating, challenging and ultimately rewarding. The Professional Experience Handbook has been prepared to assist in this endeavour. It contains essential information, contact details and guidance in relation to roles, responsibilities, assessment and reporting. Please note: individual professional experience courses will provide specific overviews to be read in conjunction with this handbook.

  • Planning

      Written plans must be completed for all learning and teaching experiences. These plans must be shared with the Supervising Teacher in a timely manner before undertaking any teaching. The manner (e.g. hard or electronic copies) in which this happens should be negotiated with the Supervising Teacher ahead of time. These plans include:

    • Detailed individual lesson plans
    • Daily Planners
    • A weekly timetable
    • Unit Planners
    • Your planning will reflect which stage you are at in your program.

      The planning should take into account the site contexts, curriculum documents (e.g. Australian Curriculum (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2011), Early Years Learning Framework [EYLF] (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Council of Australian Governments [DEEWR and CAG], 2009) and any other systemic documentation (e.g. Teaching for Effective Learning Framework [TfEL] (Department of Education and Children’s Services, 2010)).

  • Evaluation

      Evaluations are to be written for each teaching experience. These will initially focus on individual teaching experiences building to evaluations of the whole days. Each evaluation should focus on the students’ learning and the pre-service teacher’s teaching and learning. Useful guiding questions include:

    • To what extent were intended learning outcomes achieved?
    • What went well?
    • What individual/group/class needs should be noted for attention?
    • What needs programming or follow up due to interruptions, lack of time, students’ interests etc?
    • What should I try to improve in my own teaching and/or management?
    • What do I want to discuss with my mentor teacher/s and/or university liaison?
    • What needs programming or follow up due to interruptions, lack of time, students’ interests etc?
  • Reflecting

      An expectation of all Professional Experience courses is that Preservice Teachers will critically reflect on educational practice by engaging in personal reflection and professional dialogue with colleagues (peers, Supervising Teachers and other staff). Preservice Teachers are introduced to a range of strategies for promoting reflection on their learning and teaching including the use of journals (for reflection on their learning) critical friends and peer observation and debriefing. Preservice Teachers are expected to take responsibility for implementing strategies for reflection during the placement.

  • Full Time Placement

      Preservice Teachers are expected to attend all compulsory Professional Experience days from 8.15am - 4.30pm or as required by each site. This includes the blocks which require a continuous, full-time, on-going commitment. At times, Preservice Teachers may be required to attend additional events or activities as requested by sites and schools.

      Placement experience is important and our school partners deserve and require Preservice Teachers who have the time and energy to commit fully to placement.

      You are expected to keep your university schedule clear for these dates, as well as make adequate space within any personal and work commitments to enable you to commit fully to placement.

      Please note: There is not the option of part time placement.

  • Absence

      During Professional Experience placements, absences are only allowed for reasons pertaining to staff at the site e.g. illness or compassionate reasons such as the death of a family member or close friend.

      More than five days absence during the placement period (including visit days) will be referred to the Director of Professional Experience and may result in the placement being terminated.

      Preservice Teachers who are absent must notify the site by 8.00am on the morning of absence and must also notify their University Supervisor. Absence during the block will need to be made up immediately following the block. The PEO needs to be advised of your make-up days for insurance purposes.

      The initial teacher education program has been accredited by the South Australian Teachers Registration Board of South Australia for 80 days placement in an undergraduate program and 60 days placement in a graduate-entry program. The University of South Australia must comply with these requirements, therefore days missed are required to be made up in a continuous time frame on the end of the placement block to ensure the appropriate number of days are completed for preservice teachers to graduate from the respective programs.

      Preservice Teachers in the early childhood strand complete 100 days in the undergraduate program and 80 days in the post graduate program to meet Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACEQUA) requirements.

      Please note: Holidays or events such as weddings do not constitute compassionate reasons. Any case for variation to a Professional Experience placement must be made by completing the ‘Request to Variation’ form available by contacting the Professional Experience office by email on EDS-PracticumOffice@unisa.edu.au Variations to placement will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Documentary evidence will be required to support any requests.

  • Assessment and Reporting: Interim Report

      Interim Report

      Formative assessment and reporting will occur throughout the placement. Supervising Teachers provide regular verbal and written feedback to Preservice Teachers based on their observations of and discussions about their work. Both the Preservice Teacher and the Supervising Teacher will engage in on-going evaluation of the pre-service teacher’s performance against the criteria identified in the Final Report based on the graduate level of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

      During the second week of any block placement of four weeks or longer, the Supervising teacher/s will discuss and complete the Interim Report with the Preservice Teacher. The Interim Report is a formative document and therefore becomes part of the Preservice Teacher’s portfolio.. The Interim Report provides the opportunity for clear identification of the pre-service teacher’s strengths and those areas needing further development. It can be used as an opportunity for the Preservice Teacher to set goals for the remainder of the placement.

      Professional Standards Preservice Teacher Development rubric

      The Professional Standards for Preservice Teacher Development rubric is a guide to assist Supervising Teachers determining at what level the Preservice Teacher is at: Level 1 novice, Level 2 emerging, Level 3 graduate, Level 4 outstanding graduate.

      View Rubric

      The rubric can assist with indicators for writing summative comments on the final reports. The indicators listed are consistent with the categories in the final Professional Experience report and the terminology used reflects the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership [AITSL], 2011) for entry into the Teachers Registration Board [TRB] register and the TRB Code of Ethics (Teachers Registration Board of South Australia, 2012).

      More details about the standards and focus areas can be found at this site: www.teacherstandards.aitsl.edu.au/static/docs/Australian_Professional_Standard_for_Teachers_FINAL.pdf

  • Cause for Concern

      If, at any point in the placement, there are concerns about the pre-service teacher’s performance, the Supervising Teacher and/or Site Coordinator must contact the University Supervisor and/or the Professional Experience Office. The Supervising Teacher and/ or Site Coordinator, University Supervisor and preservice teacher then complete the Cause for Concern form.

      This process will enable Preservice Teachers who are identified as being of Cause for Concern to have the concerns specifically identified, appropriate actions to address the concerns documented and a time frame for demonstrating this agreed to. The University Supervisor is to provide additional support to the Preservice Teacher and Supervising Teacher. The Cause for Concern must be sent to the Professional Experience Office. On receipt of the agreement the Course Coordinator will be contacted and will manage the ongoing process.

  • Assessment and Reporting: Final Report

      The final report provides evidence of achievement during each placement. Final reports are designed to be developmental earlier in the Preservice Teachers’ program and can be used for employment purposes.

      A final report should indicate the level of development achieved by the Preservice Teacher and identify important areas of growth that has occurred during the placement. It is important that comments include rich descriptions and provide examples to illuminate aspects of the Preservice Teachers’ performance. A final report for employment purposes should indicate the level of achievement against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

      In situations where the Preservice Teacher is working with more than one Supervising Teacher, it may be necessary for each Supervising Teacher to write a separate report for the Preservice Teacher. This is especially the case in secondary settings where the Preservice Teacher is working in two or more Learning Areas. In non-secondary settings, where the Preservice Teacher works with more than one Supervising Teacher in a team teaching situation, it is more appropriate, in most instances, to complete one report. Supervising Teachers in a team teaching situation can either both write comments (but no extra space should be used), or use a collaborative approach whereby both contribute pertinent information, but one person takes responsibility for writing and submitting the report.

      The Principal/ Site Coordinator and Supervising Teacher/s make an overall rating of satisfactory or unsatisfactory achievement. A report template will be sent Site Coordinator and a signed scanned e-copy or signed hard copy should be returned by the end of the week following completion of placement to:

      University of South Australia
      Professional Experience Office
      School of Education
      De Lissa Building (G1-68)
      St Bernard’s Road
      MAGILL SA. 5072

  • Termination/Withdrawal/Fail

      Preservice Teachers who do not meet the standards as outlined on the Cause for Concern form by the agreed review date will have their placement terminated and will receive a Fail grade for the course.

      A Preservice Teacher who is deemed by the Principal, Site Coordinator, Supervising Teacher or University Supervisor to be behaving unprofessionally (e.g. unsatisfactory attendance, preparation and/or teaching), or who is compromising the learning of the students/children, will have their placement terminated. Immediate termination can occur, at any time, without going through the Cause for Concern process. Written documentation is critical evidence in the event that a change to placement is to be considered. All parties must keep dated, written records to assist this process.

      Should a Preservice Teacher wish to terminate a placement, this should be discussed with the relevant Course Coordinator before any final decision is made.

      If the placement is to be terminated the Professional Experience Office Team must be advised immediately.

      If a Preservice Teacher chooses to terminate a placement, it will be deemed unsatisfactory and a Fail grade will be awarded. The Preservice Teacher will be able to repeat the placement when it is next offered in the relevant course, if appropriate. Alternate placements are not sought unless there are extenuating circumstances. These circumstances are reviewed by the Special Circumstances Committee.

      If you choose to terminate or you fail a placement you will be required to completed a Contract of Agreement prior to undertaking the placement again.

      Under any of these circumstances, the Preservice Teacher will be advised by the Course Coordinator to contact the Program Director for academic advice and, if required, the Learning and Teaching Unit, for counselling.

  • Dress Code

      Preservice Teachers must dress according to your allocated site’s dress code at all times during placement. This includes suitable and safe footwear.

      UniSA School of Education polo shirts are available and can be purchased through Co-Op stores (details below). They are available in Navy Blue or White and are suitable to be worn in most schools whilst on placement.

      Polo Shirt: The Co-Op stores at both Magill and Mawson Lakes will stock a supply of the School polo’s as from the commencement of SP5 2017.

      Magill Campus
      Building A
      St Bernard's Road, Magill

      Mawson Lakes Campus
      Building A, Level 1
      Mawson Lakes Blvd,
      Mawson Lakes
      Online Ordering
      Please contact Kylie via email on store5210@coop.com.au

      Preservice Teachers are expected to comply with sites’ Sun Smart requirements. We recommend that you check with your Site Coordinator and site policies prior to your first day.

  • Name Badge

      Name Badges: Students can now order their Name Badges directly through Badge-a-minit.

      You can enter your details and student ID using the link below:


      The badges will be posted directly to your nominated address

Areas of study and research

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