Ryan Bray, BEd Primary Education, 2017
What are you doing now?
I am working as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT). I teach 25 children across the whole curriculum including: English, Maths and Topic (which consists of the foundation subjects). I am also the schools’ Communication Champion, in charge of Speech and Language provision across the school and attend training for the role, collaborating with other colleagues from other schools in our trust.
What were the main reasons you took that course?
I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in high school myself. I built up my experience volunteering across four primary schools and a secondary school during my GCSEs and A levels. I knew that my passion was firmly on primary after these experiences and I wanted to build up as much teaching experience as I could.
Why did you choose to study the course at the University of Derby?
Derby was a no brainer. The course that interested me focused purely on learning the theory of what it takes to be a teacher and then going out into schools and putting the research you are taught about, into practice. The fact that Education at Derby was awarded an ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted for its Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programmes helped a lot too!
What impact has studying this course at Derby had on your career?
This course IS the reason I am a teacher. Not only was the it the reason I am in the position I am today, it has made me feel confident and prepared to step into a classroom with wide range of experiences to draw upon to support me with my teaching. Whether it be the support from completing a week placement in a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) setting or choosing an elective module.
How did the lecturers inspire you?
They inspired me to become independent and to reach for the stars. Every member of staff brought their own unique spin on the course, through their lectures and just how approachable they were. Hearing their own backgrounds throughout the three years was insightful to know how they have managed to get where there are today.
What are your future plans?
Short term – getting through my Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) year. Once I am on the other side of that I want to return to the University of Derby to complete a Masters’ in Education so that I can work my way up the career ladder, which should develop my experience in Education further and one day, I would love to use that knowledge and experience to be the Headteacher of a school.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at the University of Derby?
Go for it and do not look back. The staff, the campus and the course is all fantastic. If you ever feel hesitant or unsure about what to do, then there is always somebody there to talk to or answer any of your concerns. The University is so much more than a place to learn about a certain course, it is the place to learn about how to become independent, improve your career prospects and – change your life!