Sarah Curtis, PGCE Primary, 2015

What are you doing now?

I am working at a Primary School as a year 3 teacher. I have been given the responsibility as Head of English and Reading Leader. I have also been offered a promotion to Head of KS1 starting in September 2016.

What were the main reasons you took that course?

I always know I wanted to be a teacher, so I spent time working with children in different settings until I knew that teaching at a primary level was for me. 

Why did you choose to study the course at the University of Derby?

Derby University has a brilliant reputation for its PGCE course and it was close to home so there was no doubt that I wanted to take the course at Derby.

What impact has studying this course at Derby had on your career?

The University's PGCE provided me with extensive experience of teaching across different settings. I worked within SEN schools, an EAL setting, a small rural primary and a larger junior school as well as other opportunities working specifically on literacy and numeracy.

These experiences, alongside the expertise, knowledge and support of the staff gave me the confidence and ability to thrive in my current setting and, in turn, apply for a senior leadership role within my NQT year.

How did the lecturers inspire you?

The lecturers were all so knowledgeable and passionate about teaching that their devotion and commitment to succeed inspired us. They delivered lectures in an exciting and engaging way and always made themselves available to us whether it was for a power talk or a pat on the back. They were supportive at every step of the way and were always open and honest.

How do you feel the University has helped you in your career so far?

By providing me with the breadth and depth of knowledge to be successful in my career, I have found my feet and feel confident in my role. Knowing that the lecturers are still there for me even after graduating, I have felt supported and secure enough to lead a subject and apply for senior leadership within my first year.

What are your future plans?

My long term plan is to be a head teacher within the next 10 years after building up experience within leadership roles. I plan to continue to head a subject and a Key Stage for a few years before moving to be a Deputy Head.

What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at the University of Derby?

Do it! I had the best year of my life. It was so hard, so emotional but oh so rewarding!

Who are you still in touch with from University of Derby?

I made friends with a small group of girls and guys within my 7-11 group who I still keep regular contact with. We support each other and discuss any obstacles and share our successes. I also have friends from other phases that I met on placement who I am still good friends with. Friends for life definitely!