“I wanted to get into the best university I could to then place myself in the best possible position when going forward for PGCE courses and future teaching opportunities”
What I have been doing since graduation
After graduating in July 2015, I have undertaken a PGCE in Secondary Physical Education at the University of Worcester. I am in the closing stages of the course and have managed to gain a full time teaching post as a Teacher of Boys’ PE at an ‘outstanding’ rated school in the Birmingham area starting September 2016.
How my course benefited me
The course I studied at UoB was the BSc Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Science degree. The course takes a broad perspective on sport as a whole, covering a range of disciplines within the large umbrella that is sport, including teaching, coaching and learning concepts and theories and how to apply these, sports development, sociology and psychology of sport, along with deeper factors and issues in sport such as inclusion, race, disability and gender.
My first year in Birmingham
My first year was good. There were a lot of modules which were a direct crossover with modules covered at further education but just in more depth. This meant the degree structure in first year gives you the opportunity to develop on your existing knowledge to a deeper level rather than throwing new, harder content at you during the transition from FE to HE.
How going to University benefitted me
During my FE course I decided I wanted to become a PE teacher, so I knew I needed to get a degree in sport to be able to pursue my career path. I wanted to get into the best university I could to then place myself in the best possible position when going forward for PGCE courses and future teaching opportunities, and with Birmingham’s reputation as one of the leading Sports institutions for both research and teaching it was a no-brainer. My academic skills developed massively during my time at university and have now put me in a position where I am confident writing at masters level during my PGCE and beyond. The wide range of modules covered within sport during my degree means I have a broad range of knowledge not only about sport, but wider social and psychological concepts and issues which can be applied to life in general.
The campus is great! At first, very daunting as it is like its own little village, but after a few weeks you get used to it. Whilst it is not a city centre campus, you are less than a 10 minute train ride from Birmingham city centre. The campus itself has all you need, a range of different libraries and working spaces for your studies, food shops, a fruit and veg store, a new gym, all of your main essentials you will be able to find on campus.
Living in Birmingham
I am originally from Birmingham; however I lived away from home all three years of my studies. You have a choice of a wide range of halls of residence and a large student community area which is in walking distance from campus. I loved all my time in halls and living away from home. It provides you with independence and freedom which I believe helps as you mature and develop as an adult. I would recommend living away from home regardless of if you live in Birmingham originally or not. The university offers a range of financial support schemes, and on campus you have student accommodation support desks for both people living in halls or student houses.
Student societies I took part in
In second and third year I was a member of the subject committee for both the SPECS and SportEX, in charge of male sport provision. It was a great opportunity to organise and manage trials, team selections and have an influence on the different types of sport on offer for people through the degree programme. It also looks fantastic on your CV. I was also a student ambassador for the School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise sciences, meaning I helped out with open days, applicant visit days and wider university events.
My future aspirations
My aim going into my teaching career is to continue to develop my teaching practice, create fun and interesting lessons which the young generation of today will value, working towards aspirations of becoming a head of department.
My top tip
You will find the research methods and statistics module the least interesting in first year, but keep your notes and pay attention, it is the most valuable module you will do come third year!