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Why I chose to study Secondary Computing at BCU

A career in teaching can be very rewarding and provide great job satisfaction, where you will continue to develop a number of key skills and determination throughout the profession. At Birmingham City University (BCU) the variety of education courses we offer are in the top 20 for undergraduate education courses in the Guardian League Tables 2021; including undergraduate degree courses in primary and secondary teaching. Below we have spoken with Ravina Nahal, a BCU student in BSc Secondary Computing with QTS as to why she chose to study this valuable profession.

I have always wanted to do teaching as a career. My mum is a teacher and looking up to her it has always inspired me to want to help young children. So, since an early age teaching was always the career I wanted to do. The reason why I wanted to do computing in particular is because that was one of my strongest subjects when I was in high school and sixth form, so being able to pass that knowledge on will be great.

I knew doing a course which combined a lot of subject study along with the teacher training was going to be intense but the reason I decided to do a three-year course with QTS (qualified teacher status), instead of a three-year computer science degree and then a one-year PGCE, is knowing that it saves be doing an extra year. I will be in my profession already by the time other people are just starting their PGCE. It’s also nice learning the education and teaching side of things over three years, instead of it being all in one year. I feel getting three years of experience being within different schools, I will take more in and it will allow my confidence will grow with it.

The advantages to this course is that I am getting to learn more about my favourite subject, as well as learning how to practice this and teach it to high school students. I am able to come out with the same amount of skills and understanding I would get from a Computer Science degree, as well as qualifying as a teacher within three years. I’ve met many new friends from the computer science side of my course, and I’ve met many from the classes with other trainee teachers. There is so much support on both sides.

From the education point of view, Grant and Simon [staff from the School of Education and Social Work] have been a big support this year. We usually have lessons where we’re taught what we need to know being in a school, such as safeguarding, SEND (special educational needs and disability) pupils, behaviour management, and we communicate through email a lot, so you never feel that you’re alone and that there is always support there. We have access to facilities such as the library and Moodle [online learning platform], so if we miss any work it’s always put on there for us to look back at and revise from. And also, being on placement so we are getting the experience that we need by the end of the three years.

The support from the computer science side is very good too. Lecturers always keep us updated via email and, again, Moodle is a big tool that the University use so we can refer back to lecturers. Throughout the year, a lot of the lecturers from computer science have put on a lot of support sessions, which is really beneficial to us, especially if we have an exam coming up and need that extra help and guidance to understand the work. We also have great facilities that we have access too, so we have a lot of lab sessions meaning we do a lot of practical work on the computers.

I also have great support from my personal tutor, Christine Swan. Throughout the year she has helped and delivered sessions on how to apply computer science and teach it to students in schools. Having a personal tutor who specialises in the subjects you’re learning is beneficial as they can provide that extra support.

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