I took my first degree at Kings College, London in Biomedical Science. I chose to follow the PGCE Biology course at the University of Birmingham as I am from Birmingham and the location is ideal. The course was highly recommended to me by a number of people. The deciding factor was the Masters level assessment, which would allow me to gain a University of Birmingham MEd after my first year of teaching.
The course was very demanding but thoroughly enjoyable. Such a demanding course makes tutor support very important; I was extremely lucky that such support at Birmingham was impeccable, and kept me sane during times of stress. In both my teaching placements, which I carried out in very different schools, my mentors were extremely supportive providing positive feedback which enabled me to reflect and learn from my mistakes positively.
The overall structure of the course is good. The required paperwork was given to us when needed so it did not become overwhelming. The university-based science sessions are carried out efficiently by specialist subject tutors and these helped prepare us for our science lessons in schools. I would recommend to anybody whose classroom experience is limited to apply for this PGCE course. Time spent in the university is an excellent preparation for teaching placements.
Since being awarded Qualified Teacher Status I am working in a school in London and hope to continue teaching in the UK for the next three years. I then hope to teach abroad for a year in America and then return to the UK to continue working in a comprehensive secondary school. My particular interests are the development of opportunities for SEN pupils in Science.