After just one term in a placement school, PGCE student Lauren Knight was offered a role as a teacher of science and maths in a secondary school.
Lauren had spent two years working as a lab technician at a Cardiff school before deciding to train as a teacher through a postgraduate qualification. She chose the PGCE Secondary course at the Cardiff School of Education because of its unique course structure.
Lauren said: “The way the PGCE year at Cardiff Met was organised appealed to me, with one day in university every week followed by days in a placement school.
“I felt that regular university contact would be a really important part of the course and it was really useful to have a weekly opportunity to ‘debrief’ and get some insight and support from my tutors and my peers on the course.”
Students on the PGCE Secondary course at Cardiff Met spend time on three placements, one week in a primary school at the beginning of term, and two long term placements at different secondary schools.
Lauren’s first placement was within the science department at Oakdale Comprehensive School near Blackwood. A permanent position within the department became available and Lauren was interviewed and offered the job on completion of her PGCE qualification.
Her next placement was at Bassleg School near Newport, where Lauren gained further teaching experience.
Speaking about her choice to teach as a career, Lauren said: “I enjoyed my time as a lab technician in a school and it really affirmed my desire to teach as my long-term career when I was given the chance to help teach some of the practical A Level courses there.
“During my PGCE year at Cardiff Met I felt very supported by both the school senior mentors and the University, particularly by my personal tutor, Kin Yu. We had plenty of personal development sessions and although I had already secured a position early on in the year, we were offered lots of help with preparing for interviews and providing references.
“I think the PGCE year has given me a really good grounding and I’m well prepared to start my new role with Oakdale School, although there will lots more to learn along the way, I’m really excited to be starting my career in teaching”.
Lauren has also taken on a role in a local playscheme for the summer holidays in order to gain further experience between finishing the course and starting her new role.
Under the Spotlight:
2012: Graduated from Swansea University with a BSc in Biochemistry
2012 – 2014: Laboratory technician at St John’s College, Cardiff
2014 – 2015: PGCE Secondary Science, Cardiff School of Education, Cardiff Met
2015: Teacher of Science and Maths, Oakdale Comprehensive School