Professional experience placements Term 2 2020

Only pre-service teachers expected to graduate at the end of Semester 1, 2020 will be able to undertake professional experience placements in schools in Term 2 2020.

  • The department, the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and the NSW Council of Deans of Education have agreed that professional experience placements will be restricted in Term 2, 2020.
  • Schools should not provide a professional experience placement to any pre-service teacher who is not in a position to graduate at the end of Semester 1 this year.

Professional experience placements are voluntary for all schools

  • Initial teacher education providers will contact schools to re-confirm if a school is able to accommodate final year pre-service teachers who are due to graduate at the end of Semester 1.
  • Teachers who had previously indicated that they wanted to be a Supervising Teacher will be able to reconsider whether they have the capacity to be a supervising teacher this term.
  • All pre-service teachers permitted into schools will be in their final placements this term so they will be in a good position to support schools.

Professional experience placements may be different in a mixed delivery learning model

  • Schools should provide face to face learning delivery opportunities for pre-service teachers where possible and mixed delivery learning opportunities where face to face is not possible.
  • Supervised placements should proceed within the operating advice and other COVID-19 guidelines available to schools including Guidelines to support schools with using live video with students.
  • Schools work with their provider and pre-service teacher to ensure they have appropriate access to technology to conduct online learning for the duration of their placement.
  • Schools arrange for supervision of all online interactions between a pre-service teacher and students.

Supervising teachers will maintain rigour for professional judgement

  • Supervising teachers will be required to write final reports for all pre-service teacher placements.
  • The department’s website has advice for supervising teachers on how to match activities in this flexible learning environment to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, to support them to complete the NESA common report template.

Operational guidelines for pre-service teacher placements Term 2, 2020


  1. Principals are the authority and have the responsibility for making decisions with respect to the facilitation of pre-service teacher (PST) supervised placements at their schools.
  2. Partner schools are responsible for:
    1. providing PSTs with access to technology platforms and other modes of interaction between teachers and students
    2. enabling PSTs to access any school resources (e.g. books, teaching materials) necessary for them to complete their assigned duties
    3. assigning each PST with a supervising teacher, who will engage in regular planning and shared reflection on the PST’s teaching
    4. arranging for supervision of all online interactions between a PST and students by a teacher with a minimum of Proficient Teacher accreditation following the Guidelines to support schools using live videos with students

Pre-service teachers

  1. In undertaking a professional experience placement in Term 2, a PST must work collaboratively with supervising teachers and parents/carers to support student learning in the mixed-delivery learning context
  2. PSTs are responsible for:
    1. obtaining all mandatory pre-requisites prior to placement, for example, Working with Children Check and emailed declaration to the NSW Department of Education; Anaphylaxis e-training course; Child Protection Awareness Training (CPAT); Mandatory Child Protection Training and read the Code of Conduct.
    2. complying with the partner school’s privacy, confidentiality and other legal arrangements and expectations for mixed-delivery learning
    3. keeping records of their planning for mixed-delivery learning in the form of lesson plans and units of work
    4. recording and collating evidence of their activities, in the form of a daily log of teaching activity and a reflective portfolio
    5. evidence of how they have met the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) in the context of their mixed-delivery learning placement.
    6. working with their provider and partner school to ensure they have an appropriate device/s to conduct mixed-delivery learning for the duration of their placement.

Initial teacher education providers

  1. Providers are responsible for:
    1. ensuring that all the regular systems of support for PSTs, supervising teachers and schools are in place
    2. regular communication with each PST and supervising teacher
    3. where necessary, working with schools to provide a PST with access to the device/s necessary to conduct mixed-delivery learning for the duration of their placement.

What does a professional experience placement look like in a mixed-delivery learning model?

Supervised pre-service teacher placements should proceed as planned following established practice, within the operating guidelines and other COVID-19 guidelines previously circulated to schools.

Pre-service teachers may undertake the following activities as part of their supervised placements:

  • teach face to face classes under supervision, where on-site teaching is viable
  • plan synchronous and asynchronous learning through lessons or units or work and teach online lessons through a digital platform used by the school, with online supervision and assessment feedback provided by a classroom teacher
  • plan and develop instructional resources on topics agreed to with the supervising teacher, which can be used by classroom teachers in online lesson planning and delivery or to support asynchronous learning
  • support the adaptation or development and implementation of assessment for remote learning contexts, and provide appropriate feedback for synchronous and / or asynchronous learning
  • develop personalised approaches for the above
  • support group learning in face to face and online settings, where possible
  • take part in other standard pre-service teacher activities in an online environment (e.g. staff meetings and observation), as appropriate to the school.

The NESA Framework for High-Quality Professional Experience in NSW Schools provides additional information to support a consistent, high quality approach to professional experience placements.

Examples of how the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers might be met in an online learning placement

Standard Role of Pre-service Teachers Examples of the range of activities

1. Know students and how they learn

PSTs demonstrate that they know their learners and can differentiate remote learning activities for individual students, including students with disabilities.

PSTs adapt and differentiate independent and synchronous learning activities for individual learners.

PSTs develop strategies for engaging with individual learners to understand how they learn in the remote context.

2. Know the content and how to teach it

PSTs work with mentors to develop engaging activities. They demonstrate their understanding of the literacy and numeracy levels of their learners and adapt their online activities.

PSTs work with mentors to develop both asynchronous and synchronous learning using their knowledge of the student cohort and the curriculum.

PSTs practice with multiple online and SMART technologies for teaching, learning and assessment

3. Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning

PSTs engage in planning for remote learning supported by lesson plans and the curriculum. They demonstrate the ability to choose effective pedagogies and resources to support student learning.

PSTs develop appropriate activities and resources for remote learners in their cohort. They work alongside mentors to set learning goals and they reflect on student learning outcomes. They use lesson plans to scaffold this process.

4. Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments

PSTs work with mentors to engage students in the online learning environment.

PSTs develop strategies to engage students in synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. PSTs establish supportive classrooms that identify and attend to the social and emotional needs of learners in online learning environments.

5. Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning

PSTs engage in the cycle of teaching, including using assessment of, for and as learning as needed to plan for further learning.

PSTs work with mentor teachers to design and adapt assessment tasks for the remote learning context. They provide group and individual feedback to students.

6. Engage in professional learning

PSTs reflect on their own skills and needs and seek professional learning with their mentor, placement school and wider forums.

PSTs attend PL sessions to develop remote learning skills.

PSTs engage in staff PL sessions.

PSTs engage with wider forums to share and learn from other teachers developing online and remote learning strategies.

7. Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community

PSTs work with supervising teachers to reflect on all aspects of the remote learning experience.

They engage with parents to support student learning.

PSTs meet online with supervising teachers to plan and reflect on student learning.

PSTs work with their supervising teachers to support parents who are facilitating home learning

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