EDUCATION PLACEMENT INFORMATION
All students undertaking Professional Experience please note the following information below. The following should be read in conjunction with The University of Newcastle Student Placement Policy and your Professional Experience Guide book.
The Professional Experience dates are not able to be changed. Students must attend their placement at the advertised times. If students have a medical condition or are pregnant they should contact the Course Coordinator for advice.
Please refer to the University of Newcastle Insurance Website.
Mandatory Child Protection requirements
- Child Protection Lecture/Certificate
- Declaration (required for all Placements)
- Declaration and Employment Screening Consent (Primary and Secondary Internship students only)
- Confidentiality Undertaking
Before the Professional Experience
If students have permission to undertake professional experience outside of New South Wales, they need to get their own criminal record check and child protection documents from that state's Department of Education. This documentation must be shown to their professional experience Supervisor and a copy sent to the Professional Experience Unit prior to starting the professional experience.
Students must be enrolled in a Education Program to undertake Professional Experience.
Students must attend all compulsory lectures and tutorials for each Professional Experience course if they wish to be provided with a placement.
Students who are enrolled in a Primary program are required to to teach a K-2 class on at least one placement and a 3-6 class on at least one other placement.
Students who are enrolled in a Secondary program are required to teach their major on at least two placements and their minor (if relevant) on at least one placement.
Semester 2 Internship preparation lectures/tutorials are held early in semester 1 each year for all Education programs. Students should ensure they enroll in their semester 2 internship course as soon as possible at the beginning of each year and attend internship lectures and tutorials throughout semester 1.
Students will be required to use the School of Education's Professional Placement System (SONIA) in relation to Professional Experience. Details will be provided during preparation lectures.
Students must read in detail the Professional Experience Guide prior to visiting their School / Service and constantly use the Guide as a reference during their professional experience.
Withdrawal policy for courses that contain a professional experience placement is different to other University courses. Students may withdraw from professional experience courses without academic penalty one week or more before the placement is due to begin. This will allow prior notice to be given to schools of any student's intention to withdraw from the placement, and may allow the place to be re-allocated. Withdrawal after the official date will usually result in a fail grade. If there are special circumstances, students may apply to the Head of School for permission to withdraw from the course, after the official final date, without academic penalty. Permission to withdraw will not normally be given to students who have commenced the placement.
- Students must NOT arrange their own placement.
- Students must NOT negotiate placements through conjoint lecturing staff, teachers or friends.
- Students must make contact with the school prior to commencement, but not until after the school has been notified by the Professional Experience Unit.
Out of Area Placements
All students will be expected to undertake one professional experience placement at a location distant from the Hunter, Central Coast and Port Macquarie regions. This is normally done in the third year professional experience course. Students at the Newcastle, Ourimbah and Port Macquarie campuses will be required to undertake a placement in a school/centre at least two hours from their enrolled campus. The procedure for applying for placements out of area will be explained in preparation lectures and the Course Coordinator will make the final decisions about out of area placements. In the past, most students have stayed with relatives or friends in other parts of NSW. It is very difficult for us to obtain placements in Sydney, so please choose other areas if possible. Students will need to complete an Out of Area Survey form when advised to do so.
Third year students who are interested in undertaking a professional experience placement outside of Australia should:
- Arrange an initial meeting with their Course Coordinator to discuss this at least 6 months prior to the scheduled placement commencement date.
- Complete an Application to Vary Professional Experience Form and submit for Course Coordinator, Program Convenor and Head of School approval at least 6 months prior to the scheduled placement start date.
- Negotiate your placement with the School/Service within the country wish to travel to.
- Complete and lodge an International Placement - Student Details form at the Professional Experience Unit office.
- Check with your International placement supervisor and the country's relevant authorities that you meet all the local requirements to enable you to undertake your professional experience placement (e.g. Child protection and Criminal Record Checks).
- Ensure that you meet any visa requirements.
Please note that any international travel is subject to University Travel policy. Travel is not normally allowed to countries for which there are current travel warnings. Students are advised to refer to Smartraveller.gov.au, the Australian Government's travel advisory and consular information service.
Placements are also subject to the School/Service submitting an International Host Acceptance Form to the Professional Experience Unit. Students are advised not to book or pay for any travel prior to approvals being received.
- Contact the university insurance section for advice about what to do in the event of illness or injury.
- Students cannot attend Schools/Services where they are employed or where they have any relatives, including children, or close connections that may make the Professional Experience awkward.
- Students cannot attend the same School/Service twice.
- Students cannot return to the primary or secondary school where they did their schooling (schooling reference may not apply to mature age students). It is the Course Coordinator's responsibility to make final decisions on unacceptable placements.
- NSWDEC Scholarship holders must have at least one Professional Experience in a NSW Government School. It is desirable to have at least one Professional Experience in Western Sydney or rural NSW districts.
At the Placement
- University student ID should be worn during School / Service visits and placements
- Students must present their Professional Experience Profile as well as the mandatory Declaration to the School before Professional Experience starts.
- Students must adhere to all School/Service policies and procedures.
- Students must keep their email and internet usage to a minimum and relevant to their professional experience.
- Student teachers should dress in a way which is acceptable to other members of staff and the community of the School/Service.
- Students must maintain a high level of professionalism during the placement. They should maintain a level of confidentiality about their experiences and be judicious about information conveyed to others outside the setting.
- Students are allowed to participate in School excursions in which the normal teaching class is involved, however students must not use their own private vehicle to transfer school students.
Illness, misadventure, injury absence, special consideration
- If absent from Professional Experience, students must produce evidence (e.g. Doctor's Certificate or Statutory Declaration) and complete a Leave from Professional Experience form. In general, absent days are to be made up. Students should refer to their Professional Experience guide or Course Coordinator for further information.
- Students in their last 6 weeks of pregnancy are advised to consult their Doctor before undertaking a professional experience placement.
- Students requesting special consideration for any issues related to Professional Experience courses should contact the course coordinator.
- A satisfactory report, indicating that the student has successfully completed the placement, and a teaching portfolio (where required) are essential criteria for passing the professional experience course. Students must attain a pass in these items in order to pass the course.
- At the completion of Professional Experience, students must NOT accept original reports from Schools/Services. Reports must be mailed by the Schools/Services to the Professional Experience Unit.
- In order to make the process of reporting more secure, the student report forms have the provision for the official school stamp. Please ensure that Professional Experience Reports are stamped with the School/Services official stamp before they are forwarded to the Professional Experience Unit.
- It is the student's responsibility to file their certified copy of the Professional Experience Report, dispatched from the Professional Experience Unit, for their future reference. These reports are required for employment and a fee will apply if copies are required.