What our students say
We talked to some of our PGCE graduates about their experiences as student teachers and asked if they had any advice.
“Go for it. Make sure you get some experience in a school to prepare you for what is to come. I nearly didn’t apply, but getting on this course is the best thing I have ever done.” - Kayleigh Pratt, PGCE Mathematics
“I’m passionate about my subject, and love the opportunity to pass on this enthusiasm to children, and share with them the advantages and pleasure that comes from learning a language… Try everything – be experimental and don’t be afraid to move away from the original plan.” - Emily Roberts, PGCE Modern Foreign Languages
“I am passionate about teaching design and technology because of the range of processes and materials that are involved. The opportunity for student creativity is vast and is enjoyable not only for the pupil but also for myself.” - Daniel Price, PGCE Design & Technology
“I went towards teaching because I find it completely fulfilling. I never get bored with it because technology is continuously evolving. I was excited about the new Computing GCSE and teaching young people the skills they need to create new systems rather than use them. I have started two Techno Clubs during lunch time called Alpha and Omega where I have been teaching the programme SCRATCH. The number of pupils attending grew from two to twenty in weeks.
My year 7s created a game called ‘Three Player Wars’ which was selected and hosted on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) website. I love the fact that pupils are constantly coming up with new ideas and when you show them how to implement it you hear the word WOW!
Teaching is all about the WOW factor! They understand self-evaluation because they are constantly looking to improve their ideals and they give themselves homework. There are not many subjects where you have that level of engagement and I love it” - Steven Crawford, PGCE Computing with ICT
"The PGCE was not only the most rewarding year of my academic career but also the most inspiring. I can honestly say hand on heart if it wasn't for the guidance, help and support from the University I would not be the teacher I am today... I was once told in a lecture that you will find no other job like teaching and I can honestly say I couldn't agree more because the good days most definitely outweigh the bad and I would not be where I am as a teacher and within my career without UWTSD and specifically the Business studies PGCE." - Lauren Hopkins, PGCE Business Studies
PGCE Chemistry graduate Robert Abraham says: “Science is a key aspect of everyday life and therefore understanding of this subject is vital to modern life.” He describes spending time in the classroom with pupils on teaching placements as the highlight of the course. He has received support from both his university tutor and school mentor to help him negotiate the course. “Both my mentors have been vital in getting me this far.”
Robert has also gained experience of being involved in a school parents’ evening, providing him with “a good insight into pupil’s home life”. His other main extra-curricular activity is slightly more unusual, but has proved equally beneficial. “I have run a martial arts class, which allowed me to develop a closer relationship with pupils. - Robert Abraham, PGCE Chemistry
"The journey of the course has been very rewarding, both professionally and personally. It has been self-satisfying to feel the progress I have made during the course. I have grown as a young adult and as a newly qualified teaching professional”. – Katie Pritchard, PGCE Geography
“Before we go into our first teaching placement, which is after the October half-term, we are taught how to plan and organise workloads, how to write schemes of work, the theory behind teaching and learning strategies as well. We also have the opportunity to work through micro-teaching experiences within the University, within the Art classroom and that’s fantastic. It really gives you confidence and really is a great experience in how to deliver a lesson appropriately.
We get the opportunity to build up our portfolios throughout the course, and by the end of the year we get some great, varied schemes of work to show our schools when we are at interview and it’s a great reflection of what we’ve done throughout the year. The staff on the course are incredibly supportive and help you every step of the way. They’ve been invaluable, a terrific team of people to work with.
For me, it’s been a terrific course, I’m glad I’ve made it and been able to juggle family commitments, as well as completing the course. It’s been a great boost to my confidence and I’m really looking forward to getting set up in the workplace.” - Sharon Morgan, PGCE Art & Design
"A busy, rewarding, hard working and challenging year. Also a chance to make new friends who are on the same journey as you!". - Hollie Labunsky, PGCE Business Studies.