Samantha Tomlinson, BEd - What our students say - University of Derby

Samantha Tomlinson

"When my interview came around I was made to feel incredibly at ease and welcome, everyone was very friendly and understanding. The interview process was fair, and offered equal opportunity for people to show why they should be on the course, it also inspired me further to get the required grades as it confirmed I wanted to be at Derby University studying."


What inspired Samantha to become a teacher? BEd

From there I began to volunteer weekly at my local Primary School, where I was placed into foundation stage one. With these pupils being a similar age to the ones I worked with whilst leading birthday parties I was very much in my comfort zone and enjoyed working with small groups of pupils. I then began assisting in a year 5 class, where I got to see a totally different style of learning. This was an environment I wasn’t sure that I would be comfortable in, however I really enjoyed working with the older children and took a lot away from the class teacher about her role and what it involved.

What influenced Samantha's decision to come to Derby University? 

When entering sixth form I had a strong idea I wanted to teach so continued on with working at the local school, as well as taking further opportunities offered to me. Once I had made the firm decision I wanted to be a teacher, I visited many open days and looked at courses across the country, deciding I wanted to stay fairly local I narrowed my choices down to The University of Derby and Nottingham Trent University. After visiting both open days and hearing what both courses had to offer, it was the personalisation opportunities on the course and the more personal touch the staff appeared to have that led me to put Derby as my first choice.

What was the application process like for Samantha?

During the time waiting to be offered an interview I continued to volunteer at my local school, as well as helping out a local rainbows club to ensure I was seen as passionate about the course. All of these things made me feel more confident and prepared for my interview. 

When I was offered a conditional offer to the university all that was left was to get the necessary grades, and apply to the Halls of Residence. The halls offered great choice and was a fair system, and luckily enough I got my first choice in accommodation. I spent the next few months working and studying to ensure I got the grades I needed from my a-levels.

What is Samantha doing now?

Results day was one the scariest days of my life; checking UCAS at 7am to find I had got onto the course was the most exciting 7am I had ever seen! It led me to where I am now, thoroughly enjoying the journey into teacher training and making me realise I have lots more 7ams to see yet!