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

More information to the Professional Standards please click the link https://www.aitsl.edu.au/teach/standards 

 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.  


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)).


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 Supervising Teacher/s and/or University Supervisor?
  • What needs programming or follow up due to interruptions, lack of time, students’ interests etc?


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.


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 Associate Head of School (Professional Engagement & Enterprise) 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 100 (105 days for ECE) 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-PEO@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 mid-point of any block placement, the Supervising Teacher/s will discuss and complete the Interim Report with the Pre-service 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.

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).


Action Plan

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 University Supervisor completes the Action Plan to support the PST to get back on track.

This process will support the Preservice Teachers to identify clear goals, actions and evidence to achieve in order to get back on track. The University Supervisor will forward the Action Plan to the Professional Experience Office and notify the Course Coordinators to provide additional support to the Preservice Teacher and Supervising Teacher. The Action Plan 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 link to the report will be sent to the Site Coordinator and should be returned by the end of the week following completion of placement. Pre-service teachers will then recieve a link to enter their comments, this should be returned in one week of receiving the link to the report. 

Please note all components on the report need to be satisfactory for the placement to be deemed a non-graded pass.

Report 1: Assessment report on preservice teacher
EDUC 2062 Professional Experience 2 (Profex 2)
EDUC 3061 Professional Experience 3 (Profex 3)
EDUC 4206 Professional Experience 4 (Profex 4)
EDUC 5255 Early Childhood Professional Experience and Reflection 1 (ECP1)
EDUC 5256 Early Childhood Professional Experience and Reflection 3 (ECP3)
EDUC 5257 Early Childhood Professional Experience and Reflection 4 (ECP4)
EDUC 5271 Reflexive Practice and Professional Experience 1 (RP1)
EDUC 5272 Reflexive Practice and Professional Experience 2 (RP2)

Report 2: Placement report preservice teacher
EDUC 1081 Professional Experience 1 (Profex 1)

Report 3: Placement assessment report preservice teacher
EDUC 1044 Professional Experience Birth-3 (Profex 1 B-3)
EDUC 5186 Early Childhood Professional Experience and Reflection 2 (ECP2)

Teacher Performance Assessment 

The Teaching Performance Assessment (TPA) is designed to assess the practical skills and knowledge of Pre-Service Teachers against the Graduate Teacher Standards in the final year of their initial teacher education (ITE) program.  The TPA is a nexus between the Pre-Service Teachers’ theoretical understandings and their classroom practice. During their final teaching placement, Pre-Service Teachers will plan, assess, evaluate and reflect on student/children’s learning, demonstrating their application of theoretical insights and perspectives throughout their teaching experience. 

The TPA is comprised of four interrelated learning and assessment components

(i) Knowing my students/children and planning for learning: Assessed through the Pre-Service Teacher’s development of their Professional Experience Planning Folio.  The Folio is assessed by theUniversity Tutor prior to placement and in placement by the Supervising Teacher and Site Coordinator and is moderated by the University Supervisor. The folio contains the Pre-Service Teacher’s medium- and long-term planning documentation in the form of unit, weekly and daily plans. 

(ii) Demonstrating the Practice of teaching: Pre-Service Teachers are expected to teach full-time from the beginning of the second week of their final placement, so that a thorough assessment of their practice can be made by the end of the placement. Pre-Service Teachers will be assessed by their Supervising Teacher, through the summative professional experience placement report at the conclusion of the teaching block. The report grade will be moderated by the University Supervisor’s observation of teaching practice at the mid-point of the placement block.

(iii) Collecting evidence about my teaching performance and my students'/children’s learning: Whilst on placement, Pre-service Teachers will engage in an in-depth inquiry into the impact that their practice has on the learning of two students/children (or case studies) in one curriculum area.  This requirement is part of a University assignment and will be assessed and moderated by the University Tutor in accordance with the Assessment Policies and Procedures Manual, UniSA (APPM). 


Pre-service Teachers will also showcase their capabilities of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at graduate level, by submitting one piece of evidence against all 37 focus areas, in their eportfolio. 

(iv) Making sense of the evidence and communicating the outcomes: Pre-Service Teachers will reflect on their learning from their inquiry project conducted whilst on placement. Pre-Service Teachers will be assessed regarding their ability to critically analyse their data in relation to the impact that their teaching had on the learning of the two case studies. Assessment involves both an oral and written component and will be assessed by the University Tutors following the placement block in accordance with the APPM. 

For more information about the TPA, please follow the link to AITSL’s website:



Preservice Teachers who do not meet the Standards as outlined on the Action Plan 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 Action Plan 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 CampusBuilding 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:https://www.badge-a-minit.com.au/unisa

The badges will be posted directly to your nominated address

Areas of study and research

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