• Welcome Guest to the new look forum. For more information refer to this thread

PGCE and guiding


Veteran (100+ posts)

I've just started my PGCE and wondered if anyone else is/has been in the same boat of working in a unit and managing school placement effectively.

Is it possible to successfully integrate the two? Ideally I dont want to stop going to Guides, but at the end of the day I have to concentrate on my studies.

Some advice would be good please.


you have to do your studies but you also need a regular break or you will burn out so dont over do it have a couple of hours out for a rest

Tina Tulip

Rainbow Guider, Division Commisioner
I agree with Jim. All work and no play.....

I did a PGCE 11 years ago and was GiC of a Rainbow unit too. Luckily I'd been a Rainbow and Brownie Guider elsewhere, so had plenty of ideas that I could re-use.

As you're with Guides, I assume they're able to do a lot of planning themselves. Try to make things easy on yourself and don't get invloved with anything that's heavy on the planning for Guides this year. Hopefully you have a good team that can share the planning.

I was doing a PGCE secondary so found it really refreshing going to Rainbows with the little ones. It was a break from the PGCE which was needed.

This won't be any comfort, but I found my PGCE the hardest year of my life! I worked harder that year than all 4 years of my BA degree combined! It was also the most enjoyable too as I was finally doing what I wanted to be doing and going to different schools and trying things with the students was excellent.

All the best!


Beginner (10+ posts)
Hello, I'm Just about to start my final year of primary education and have successfully completed 4 school placements and kept my Rainbow and Brownie units going. My advice is to plan for example, i know i will not be able to do much marking/planning/preparation on Rainbow and Brownie night (Mondays) so i make sure i have everything set for school tuesday and plan to stay later/arrive earlier to school to catch up.
The only problem i have occured is if the staff meetings are on Mondays, here i needed to go straight to Rainbows from school (i made sure all the stuff is in the boot of my car in the morning)

Some of the staff may also run a unit - it makes great talking points in the staff room.

Good Luck, if i can juggle school placement and two units anyone can!! lol!!
Just think when we qualify it will be our life trying to juggle the two and not just for 2 months!! (Scary thought!)
Last edited:


Guide and Ranger Guider
I agree with Tawny - planning is the key. As my husband says, Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance! I did a three year Primary teaching course, graduating in 2003 and found the only way to get everything in that I wanted to do was to plan n advance to have time for it - exactly lke Tawny says. Good luck with your PGCE!


Veteran (100+ posts)
Thanks, this is really helpful! I'm quite good at planning, lists and generally being organised, so hopefully I should be ok!


Division PR,Assistant Guide Guider,Co DC
I became a leader when I started my PGCE and as long as you're organised, you'll be fine!

I'm now teaching, so if anyone wants any tips for being organised with PGCE/working etc then just PM me as I'm more than happy to discuss this. I was ill for a while (and am still disabled), but I still manage to work full time and do Guides as I had to learn to pace and plan with my illness.


Veteran (100+ posts)
I became GiC of the Brownie unit just as i started my PGCE and although it was stressful at times i found my wednesday nights in Brownies gave me a much needed break.


Brownie Guider and Forum Moderater
Are you running the unit? What other leaders do you have? If you can make sure that you have good support, so that another guider can step in for you at busy times or at short notice etc. Then it woulnt be as stressful.

There may be times where you cant do both, so dont feel too bad it is a busy year- guides will still be there when you have finished!


Veteran (100+ posts)
I'm only an assistant leader, the leadership team we have is a little touch and go. Lots of recent changes. I know i'll be made to feel guilty if I have to miss quite a few meetings. And the Guides wont be there when i'm finished, as it's highly unlikely i'll get a job where i'm at uni and i'm not sure if i'll want to either.

Thanks for all the posts about this. It's very helpful!


Veteran (100+ posts)
I have had to leave my Guide unit temporarily as I have school placement at home rather than where I am living at uni, so I hope to return to Guides in February, when my placement finishes.

Although I am going to the Big Gig with them.


Veteran (100+ posts)
I juggled being a Brownie Guider with my primary pgce (I would agree with the person who said it was the hardest year of their life!) but did find Brownies a nice break and change from teaching.

I trained as upper primary but had to do a lower primary placement as well, I was placed in the school my brownies went to! The Brownies were fine at calling me miss at school but their younger brothers and sisters weren't so I ended up with loads of yr 1s yelling Little Owl at me across the playground!

I wouldn't want to teach again in the same place I had a unit or vice-versa, but I know it does work for others


Veteran (100+ posts)
You shouldn't feel guilty. I have an assistant/trainee leader doing a teaching degree and I hope she does not feel this way. Having said this - in the 1st term I have missed 2 brownie nights so she probably won't.. she already has better attendance than me & I'm Guider in charge.

Anything you do for Guiding is voluntary - and as volunteers we're in a minority & we are great. I'll give Guiding as much as I can but this does not mean I'll give it my whole life...

I didn't do it when I was at uni as I moved 400 miles away from home and had a lot of adjusting to do. I am back now but I enjoyed my years off as well (guilt free x).


Guiding makes the world go round
As soon as I went to Uni I found a Guide Unit to work with and never stopped throughout uni.

It gave me something other than uni stuff to focus on each week. I even used to go when I had exams and hand-in's etc as it got me out of the house. I even managed to carry on with my queens guide and do my camp licences.

A weekend away camping in the woods was just what the doctor ordered a week before my finals! Gave me chance to clear my head, forget about work and have some fun.

Guides and Uni is possible, it just takes a bit of extra planning. Of course there were weeks when things went wrong, but the other leaders were really understanding.

Good luck with it all


Veteran (100+ posts)
I agree, I am a student and have guided through uni and all but my latest clinical placement. The only reason I am not guiding in my final clinical placement is that it is away from home and only 12 weeks which didnt seem long enough to find a unit elsewhere.
Again camping about a week before my 2nd year exams was what I needed and I think it improved my results.


Veteran (100+ posts)

Sometime find hard study at college and helping with rainbow as unit-helper but College holiday fall on rainbow day as unit-helper will rainbow be dispoint if not there help out?How do other student cope? I think do child care next year and also study NVQ3 should be level 1 put move me up NVQ2 at more paperwork.If do childcare I be nvq level1 don't think appect third year student which first year.one day I hope become leader.


Veteran (100+ posts)
I realy busy

I find hard with college and be student rep and unit-helper with rainbow and It also parent of two dogs Eddie and Darcy but have rehome Eddie miss him but keep Darcy and I was do IT crouse but after computer exam next year if pass won't be computer again.Give more time Darcy my dog. miss Eddie but see him for two days Eddie(was my puppy) come home two days and look forward too see Eddie(my puppy) I have said my computer exam fall on day help out with rainbow so cannel till next year and fall over my full time crouse next step don't know about it one promble sort out fall on another promble but toach luck do computer exam 2 hour 930am-1230 and next step crouse 10am-315pm and be told by pet welfare can't leave house till 930pm but have too cath pubic transport.Want do think should do? I want get computer exam out way. Then can do start do guide promies as unit-helper how do guider at college deel with promble when double book?


Rach or Dolly i'll answer to anything...
I'm starting a PGCE in september and I'm a bit worried about it with having 2 units and still completing my leadership and wanting to holiday licenses and catering and health and safty award thingy. I love guiding and I dont want to burn out...advice?
District guider

Hi, I have just started an MA (music) with O.U. Like many people, I felt that the pressure of work, study and guiding was too much. I talked it over with my commissioner and she came up with a great suggestion. District guider!:nature-smiley-008:
This keeps you involved and registered as a guider. Rather than having to commit to a particular unit each week, which is difficult, you are like a spare guider in the district. If another unit in the district is short one week they can call on you. you are not obliged to fill in if you don't feel like it. You pay your own census, and your guiding service continues. you are still eligible to participate in guiding events. The only difference is you are not officially attached to a particular unit. However, I am still there for my 'former' unit, but no longer have the pressure of that commitment.

Good luck anyway:nature-smiley-008:
PGCE & Guiding

My daughter is doing her PGCE at the moment but is not doing Guiding at the moment, though she is paying her own census. She attends events when she can.
PGCE course is very demanding so I suggest that a District Guider is a brilliant idea, you can commit to as much or as little as you wish. Good Luck with your PGCE.:nature-smiley-003: