The schools in the West Midlands have a high regard for the quality of Birmingham PGDipEd (QTS) geography students and we have an impressive record of gaining jobs at the end of the course.
Many of our ex-students are now mentors and Heads of Departments in our partnership schools or in schools further afield. The mentors below discuss why they became a mentor, why they chose this course and what they are doing now. Former Alumni Ruth Till also talks about her time at the University of Birmingham studying for her PGDip in Secondary Education followed by her MA Teaching Studies.
"The PGDipEd at the University of Birmingham allows trainees to be reflective in their individual practice and combine theory with day to day teaching. As a graduate from the PGDipEd (QTS) Geography course at the University of Birmingham, I felt becoming a mentor would not only allow me to help develop new teachers but also improve and freshen my own teaching practice and professional development."
"Completing my PGDipEd and MEd in Teaching Studies at the University of Birmingham equipped me with the skills and knowledge to become a Head of Department, Assistant Headteacher and most recently a Senior Leader in Education, all within 7 years. I choose to be a mentor for the PGDipEd (QTS) Geography to support people in the early stages of their career. The strengths of the course are the school partnerships, mentor support, and that students’ assessments are linked to real issues in education.
The MEd in Teaching Studies provided with action research skills that I have been able to use as an Assistant Headteacher. This is something that I have always been able to discuss in interviews.
Working with trainees keeps me thinking about my own practice, provides opportunities to share ideas, to think about things in different ways and to solve issues and problems together."
Richard Elwell has just completed his Masters in Teaching Studies. He spoke after his graduation:
"I was successful in being appointed Head of History/Geography in an International School in France close to Geneva earlier in the year and the Master's was a big part of that."
"I completed my PGDipEd at Birmingham which prepared me well for my teaching career. I have since gone on to complete my MEd in Teaching Studies at the university and investigated the impact of peer mentoring on underachieving boys. The results were so rewarding for myself and the students. I have now decided to become a mentor for the PGDipEd to further develop my practice and hopefully inspire new teachers."
Ruth is now a Subject Leader of Geography at the University of Birmingham School.
"I completed my Masters of Education following my NQT year while working in Ross-on-Wye. Although I completed this while working full-time I attended weekend lectures at the University of Birmingham and it was great to return to campus and maintain the link."
Read Ruth's full alumni profile