Mature Student becomes top of the class as she returns to the classroom.


A Primary Education with QTS mature student from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David has won the Primary Education Award during her graduation ceremony after returning to the classroom to pursue her dream.

Primary Education Award

Maudie Hughes decided to study Primary Education with QTS because it was a career path that she had considered briefly when she first left school but felt that she was not ready at that time. As Maudie changed careers over the years, she found herself working as a learning support assistant in a local primary school and absolutely loved it. After brief discussions with members of the staff about the profession, Maudie knew that she wanted to pursue her dream from years ago and wanted to teach.

The teaching role appealed to her also as she had some experience working with young people as a scout leader, and recently as a civilian instructor with sea cadets, which encouraged her to be more involved with encouraging, supporting and developing children through education.

As a mature student with family responsibilities, she decided that UWTSD was the perfect choice for her as it was local, and after listening to the positive feedback received from teachers at her sons’ school who had also studied at UWTSD that highly rated the institution, persuaded her more to study here.

She said,

“When I visited the campus in Carmarthen, I immediately felt ‘at home’ - a welcoming and friendly place, not too big, and with a great ambience and ‘feel,’ combined with positive and welcoming staff all came together to make me feel that this was definitely the right place for me to come and do teacher training.”

Maudie felt that the course was structured into clearly defined modules that developed in depth and scope over the three years, and how in addition to the placements each year, there were several other opportunities where students were able to link with schools and join the dots between theory and practice.

“I also liked the ongoing support from the lecturers and my fellow students, plus the sessions to help improve my Welsh language skills. Even though the covid pandemic meant that a fair bit of the course had to be adapted to deal with the circumstances, the team continued to support and guide us and help us achieve our best.”

During the past three years, Maudie has developed a range of skills through the course, particularly in terms of practical skills to use in primary classrooms. As a group rep for her class for the past three years, this opportunity has enabled her to develop her leadership skills further.

The course for Maudie,

“has given me the necessary qualifications to be able to teach in primary schools, but beyond that, it’s given me opportunities to meet a wide range of brilliant people through lectures, school based activity and conferences and begin to build networks that will support me in the future across my career.”

Academic Director of Teacher Education, Elaine Sharpling said:

“Maudie stepped away from one very successful career and chose to make a difference through becoming a teacher. From the very beginning of her BA Primary Education with QTS programme, she has gone above and beyond – supported others and embraced the roles of student representative and reading ambassador. Through tough times and good, Maudie has demonstrated all the qualities of a teacher educated at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.”

As Maudie is currently working as a supply teacher, she feels that it is a perfect opportunity for her to see different schools, build classroom confidence and to develop her skills and experience. She is currently looking for a permanent teaching post and hopes to have her own class from September.

Further Information

Lowri Thomas, Principal Communications and PR Officer

07449 998476