#MyStory- It’s a Generation Thing 0

Bio: Student, 22, Secondary PGCE for Art and Design

The student in question studies up at Townhill, on a regular basis, but spends a lot of time off campus due to being on placements to aid her development. The Course in question is the Secondary PGCE for Art and Design.

Q: What made you choose Swansea as your destination?

A: It was either Swansea or Cardiff, due to the lack of other institutions within Wales offering the Art and Design PGCE, the benefits on offer from Swansea outweighed what was offered from Cardiff and the fact that Bangor offered the same PGCE but is in North Wales didn’t appeal to me.

Q: You have mentioned Benefits, What Benefits?

A: The UWTSD PGCE offered me the chance to move closer to home, although for my Undergrad I studied in Pontypridd, I wasn’t as close to my Family as I could be doing the course in Swansea, I knew the area better, my Boyfriend was starting his Postgrad course in UWTSD as well so overall it was a benefit being closer together. The financial benefit of studying in Swansea also appealed to me, as the Incentive Grant offered by the University for getting a 1st in my Undergrad helped pay for the course.

Q: You have highlighted Family as key motivator for moving to UWTSD can you tell us why?

A: Well Family have always played a key motivator in why I wanted to become a teacher, and why Swansea was the destination for my studying this course. Both my parents are Teachers and have always expressed their pleasure at what the job brought to them, while also pleading with me not to join the profession, I found their work and dedication to the job inspiring and it really didn’t put me off the idea of incorporating my love for Art and Design into what career i wished to enter. The reason Swansea appealed more than ever was my Grandmother also studied in the same Townhill Campus all those years ago, so really its a Generation thing.

Q: The Course, Why this Course?

A: The course suited my way of studying, there was enough time spent between gaining on the job experience through work placements and then time spent in the lecture halls with my fellow potential teachers, so I thought the balance on offer suited me rather than what was on offer in Cardiff Met. The Course also allowed me to study in my Mother tongue of Welsh so that greatly boosted my chances of getting a job in Wales after completing the course and gaining my NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) status.

Q: You mentioned the Work Placements, so what does this entail for any potential students out there looking?

A: The work placements are two schools, one for short 9 week period just after the October Half Term running until the Christmas break where you would be slowly introduced to teaching a class while having a support structure in place. This would be a current teacher at the school in the field of teaching you’re doing, so for me that was Art, so really a subject mentor, the school also provide a general mentor to aid in the general teaching development, he or she has close links to the University. The Second placement takes place in February and ran until June, so a much longer period where you literally work as a teacher under the guidance of another mentor from that school, but you’re given much more time to teach classes, all the way up the school so 7-11 and maybe if you’re lucky some 6th form classes.

This is where you gain a majority of your experience, I was lucky in the fact that i got on with both my mentors from the schools I was placed within, they greatly improved the experience i got and we keep in contact now regarding certain development areas and I’m able to bounce ideas off them to see if they would make good lesson.

Q: The lessons you taught were they your own?

A: Yes all the lessons I took over during my time in the schools were my own, of course I had to get approval for them and they had to be on theme for what they were studying at the time but apart from that I got free reign as to what we did. Obviously once you are in the school for a couple of weeks you begin to understand the type of children you are working with and what potential they have and whether what you are planning to do will work with the children’s’ ability in the art room.

Q: So you have graduated now and become a NQT, What happens next?

A: Yes I graduated over the summer, got to put on my cap and gown and experience what UWTSD has to offer in graduation ceremonies. I think we as a group were lucky as everyone graduated with a QTS status within the Art faculty of teaching education. Well for me, I am currently working as a supply teacher in a number of schools to gain more experience from the various schools in Wales. I’m also working on my own Art and Textiles business which is gradually taking off after doing a number of craft and art fairs around the Carmarthenshire area.

Q: Would you recommend studying at UWTSD

A: Yes, the mix of lectures on offer before going out into the education environment is great, you get to mix with all the PGCE at Trinity so you gain experience not just in your field of study but also others, which can only benefit you in the long run, also the weekend placements for the Welsh enhancement course really benefited me as I was able to mix with all the other welsh speakers studying a PGCE in Wales so we became one big teaching group over the course of the year, picking up tips and lessons from everyone else.