Case study

PGCE Primary student — Christopher Banks

Christopher is studying for the PGCE Primary (General) at the University of Cumbria. Discover more about the course

Why did you choose this course and institution?

I believed that the course would bridge the gap between academic study and a teaching career. Having studied at the University of Cumbria as an undergraduate, I was comfortable with the support and resources available and felt that the course offered a good balance between theory and practice.

Tell us about the course...

The course is intensive but enjoyable. The university-based section focuses on theory, pedagogy and subject knowledge, which is then put into practice on placements arranged by the university. The school-embedded learning experience has been particularly helpful in gaining confidence within the school environment and understanding how schools operate.

What are the benefits of postgraduate study?

You have the opportunity to extend your skills and knowledge and become more critical and creative. It allows you to make connections between theory and practice and apply them in a school setting, with the time spent on placements gradually building up as you develop. Having other students on the course and in school has been great as it allows you to support each other and share experiences.

What advice would you give to others considering postgraduate study?

Be prepared for an intensive year in which you will develop personally and professionally. Take advantage of the support on offer, make good use of feedback and remember you’re on a learning journey - nobody expects you to be the finished article. Most of all enjoy it.

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