Jemma Sherwood, PGCE Mathematics (2005)

Alumni profile 2015

Jemma’s career has gone from strength to strength since completing her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Birmingham. The past 12 months have been particularly busy and rewarding for Jemma both personally and professionally.

Jemma Sherwood with her Pearson Teaching Award2

(Photo credit:

‘I am very happy to still be working at the same high-performing school in Worcestershire as when I last spoke to the University, and have now progressed to Specialist Leader in Education. This involves working with other schools across the West Midlands and Worcestershire to deliver training courses for teachers on how to support and develop the Maths provision in their institutions.

One of the highlights of my career so far was being nominated for, and winning an award at, the Pearson Teaching Awards 2015. The awards celebrate teaching excellence across the UK and I was delighted to be awarded the silver award for Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School. The ceremony was held at the Royal Opera House, and televised on the BBC.

Following the awards I was also approached to be one of only eight teachers to appear in a national television campaign promoting the benefits of a career in teaching. The Your Future Their Future campaign launched in October 2015, and filming it was a fantastic experience; especially as I got to meet the Director of Nanny McPhee which is one of my son’s favourite films!

I am hoping to build on this success in the coming year by completing further training with the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM). This will allow me to focus in even more detail on professional development and my goal to become an Advanced Maths Lead and Coach.’

Watch Jemma in the Your Future, Their Future campaign video

Alumni profile 2005

Jemma Sherwood

The Mathematics PGCE course at Birmingham prepares you excellently to become a Mathematics Teacher. You are shown innovative and inspiring pedagogical practice by enthusiastic and dedicated tutors who clearly place very high value on quality of delivery and finding ways to engage all students.

From an academic standpoint, all assignments are assessed at Masters’ Level, enabling you to go on to complete an MEd degree at a later date. I completed the MEd in 2008 and in the same year became an Advanced Skills Teacher in Mathematics. I have no doubt that doing the MEd contributed significantly to me passing the AST assessment, as you are expected to demonstrate a commitment to maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of research into education.

I am now an AST in Mathematics, Head of House and ‘ICT in Mathematics’ Coordinator at a high-performing school in Worcestershire, and feel that the grounding I received from my PGCE at Birmingham has contributed significantly to the direction my career has taken.