Francesca Buckland

Year 1 teacher, King's Sutton Primary Academy

BA Philosophy, 2015
PG Dip Ed (General Primary), 2016
MA Teaching Studies, 2018

Francesca Buckland in a classroom

The upcoming academic year is going to be very different for me. I’m moving from my first school – a large junior school in Birmingham where I teach KS2– to a small village school in Northamptonshire where I’ll be in Year 1.

It will be a big change both professionally and personally, but I’m looking forward to new challenges and to applying the specialist Maths skills I’ve learnt over the last few years to teaching in KS1.

What motivates you?

There are a few moments that really stand out for me in my teaching career so far. The one that will stay will me forever is seeing the children in my most recent class off to secondary school. I taught them in Year 5 and Year 6 and seeing how much they had learnt and how far they had come was a really emotional moment.

Why did you originally apply to Birmingham?

I chose Birmingham because I had such a good experience here during my undergraduate degree. A PGDip Ed appealed to me as I liked the emphasis on engaging with research and the opportunity to gain credits towards my Masters degree.

You can see the University’s reputation in education by looking at national tables, but I think, most importantly, its reputation is shown in the way people talk about it – it’s always positive and a teaching qualification from Birmingham is always respected.

What did you think of the learning experience within the University?

I found that both lecturers and fellow students were very supportive throughout my time on the PGDip Ed course. Our lectures were really immersive, practical and fun and I use a lot of the techniques which I learnt then in my teaching practice today. 

How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

I always had it in my mind that I would go into teaching, but I wanted to get a foundation in other things first which is why I did a degree in Philosophy. I’m a keen dancer and found early on that I really enjoyed teaching dance and seeing that immediate positive impact of teaching children new things.

In my first job after qualifying as a teacher, I purposely chose to go to a school that is a Maths Hub. This gave me lots of opportunities for professional development and I’ve been able to get involved in training and research.  That has also lead on to other things, including writing for Mathematical Association magazine and other publications. 

We Are (Third Width)


“This year, I’ve been nominated as Outstanding New Teacher of the Year in the Pearson National Teaching Awards which I’m thrilled about.”