Stephen worked in a supermarket for ten
years whilst studying part time for a degree, before going on
to his PGCE at UWE to fulfil his ambition to teach.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of your
The most enjoyable aspect of the course has
been the time spent on placement in schools. Having the opportunity
to work with young people and assume responsibility for their
learning has been very rewarding and enjoyable.
You took part in the Medieval Fair at
Chepstow; what did you get out of it?
At Chepstow I played the role of a
historical character - I had to explain my job and role in the
building of Chepstow Castle in the Middle Ages to visiting pupils
(I was a stone mason). What did I get out of the event? It was
great to see young people outside of the classroom and help them
learn in a different way. It was also a lot of fun playing the role
of a historical character and trying to encourage pupils to picture
Chepstow Castle as it was when in use. Working with other subject
groups was worthwhile as it broadened my own understanding of
What did you learn from your
placements during your PGCE course?
I have learnt a vast amount from my time in
school this year. In the main, I have learnt how to use history to
provide pupils with a challenging, varied and enjoyable learning
experience. Specifically, I have really added to my subject
knowledge, both in topics that I am familiar with and also in
topics that I have never studied before. I have also acquired a
firm understanding of how to manage a class effectively and how to
get the most out of the students I teach - this includes aspects of
teaching such as behaviour management, assessment and
differentiation. In addition, I have learnt how enjoyable,
challenging and rewarding it is to work with young people.
What support did you get at UWE?
I have received professional support from
UWE, particularly from my subject mentor who has been a source of
assistance and advice when needed - from help with lesson
activities to job interviews. I also received financial support
from UWE in the form of a bursary that was very helpful!
What are your future career plans?
I have secured a teaching job so my aim is
to use the next few years to establish myself as a proficient
classroom teacher. Before I began the course I had completed a year
working as a Cover Supervisor in a school. Before this, I undertook
my undergraduate studies at the Open University while working as a
Duty Manager in a supermarket for ten years.