Secondary Physical Education - PGCE
Aquib decided during his undergraduate degree that he wanted to pursue a career teaching Physical Education. His interview experience confirmed that BCU offered the supportive experience he wanted. He’s embraced the opportunity to learn how to teach activities he’d never done before, adapt to pupils with particular needs and gradually transition from a coach to an educator.
"Since my undergraduate course at Coventry University, I’ve known I wanted to be a teacher. I applied to a few universities to complete my teacher training, but the welcome and reassurance I received during my interview reinforced the research I had already done about the BCU approach to teacher training and the support that I would receive during my PGCE in Secondary Physical Education, so I knew it was the right place for me to develop as a teacher.
For me, the support from my own tutors has been the key as they listen and, with teaching being such a demanding career, I really value the vast amount of experience that they have to offer us. It really helps as they have seen it all in their careers prior to becoming university lecturers so their knowledge and experience is key in helping develop not just me but the whole PGCE group as upcoming teachers.
Going on placement is a huge challenge, as is adapting to school life. The University prepared me for this change in a very supportive way, giving sessions with regards to lesson planning, safeguarding and much more which helped support my transition from University to beginning placement in school. During our first block placement, the University runs specific subject pedagogy sessions which really help in terms of enhancing our subject knowledge. So, for me as a PE specialist, I learnt how to teach things like dance and gymnastics, which was a bit nerve-wracking at first. However, with the help of my tutor, this has enabled me to feel more confident and enhance my subject knowledge to fill in any gaps.
During the course I've learnt about specific teaching styles and my tutor has supported me to put these into practice while on placement so that I could see what suited me as a practitioner. I’ve also had the opportunity to learn about children with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) and how different conditions affect them. Encountering pupils with SEND on placement can be challenging at first but being prepared enables you to deal with their needs and make PE fun for them as well as everyone else.
I've come from mainly a coaching background. When my tutor came to observe me during placement, he noticed this and discussed within the feedback he gave me. However, over time and with more lesson practice, I’ve transitioned more into educating about PE rather than coaching specific skills. This development has been a real achievement for me. Within a school context, educating is important so that the pupils are able to see the reasoning behind why that lesson is being taught in that way and what they are going to achieve at the end of it. My job as a PE teacher is to educate but approach it in a way that still keep pupils engaged and enjoying PE.
The tutors at University are always on hand to support me as I move towards qualifying and applying for my first teaching post. They've offered advice on how to improve my personal statement when applying for jobs and we've discussed what I could be doing in order to boost my prospects of securing an NQT position within a school once the PGCE is completed. We've also been provided with recruitment contacts and had mock interviews with a headteacher. This has really helped me in terms of how to approach a teaching interview and to understand what they're looking for through their questions. Once I’ve completed my NQT year and established myself as a teacher I hope to eventually progress towards a leadership position in the future.
For me, I AM BCU; represents confidence and determination. I know how to approach my professional career and do it with confidence as a result of BCU’s ability to develop me as a confident practitioner."
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