Leanne Rowley, Primary Education, 2016
What are you doing now?
Since completing my BEd (Hons) Primary Education, I am currently undertaking my Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) year in a large primary school in Northamptonshire.
What were the main reasons you took the course?
From a young age I knew that I wanted to work with primary aged children and through different experiences as a teenager, decided that becoming a primary school teacher was something that I really wanted to do. I decided to go into teaching as I wanted to make a difference to the lives of the children, ensuring that they receive a high quality, fun education.
Why did you choose to study the course at the University of Derby?
Whilst studying my A-Levels and applying for universities I came across the course at the University of Derby. As well as the course having an outstanding reputation, at an Open Day the introduction talk the lecturers gave was awe-inspiring. From that moment I knew that Derby was the place for me! Lecturers were young and fresh out of teaching, so they knew what it was like to be the ‘new teacher’.
What impact has studying the course at Derby had on your career?
I chose to complete the four year course and feel this routehas prepared me to start my career. During my fourth year of study, the lectures, assignments and increased level of responsibility whilst on placement were essential in providing me with a wider understanding of what my role as a NQT would be.
How did the lecturers inspire you?
The lecturing team on the BEd Primary Education course are both outstanding and inspiring. I don’t think you can ever feel fully ready to enter a career that holds such high levels of responsibility and plays such a vital role in shaping young children. However, I feel that the lecturers on the course ensure you are provided with a wealth of opportunities to enhance both your subject knowledge and professional identity. The lecturing team act as great models to aspiring teachers and ensure they are delivering both professional and academic knowledge, with many of them being published writers themselves.
How do you feel the University has helped you in your career so far?
The University has provided me with a wealth of placements, allowing me to experience teaching practice in a range of settings such as Special Needs Schools, multi-cultural schools and Pupil Referral Units. These placements helped me to gain a greater understanding of the varying needs children may have whilst in my care and how to approach these as their class teacher.
What are your future plans?
I hope to continue developing my role as a teacher, to become a student mentor in the future, to fully utilise the fantastic teacher education I received.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at the University of Derby?
The BEd Primary Education degree at the University of Derby is Ofsted rated ‘outstanding’ and this really shines through whilst studying there. I had many friends completing similar courses at different universities, with many of them not receiving the variety of opportunities that I did whilst studying at Derby. The lecturing team are both inspiring and supportive, and genuinely take an interest in you as a person as well as you as a professional. They put all their effort into ensuring you achieve.
Who are you still in touch with from the University of Derby?
I am still in touch with many friends that I made on the course at Derby, and we all support each other as we are moving through our careers. I am also still in touch with Julie Somers (a Senior Lecturer).