Ryan Blackwell

PGCE in Physical Education

Ryan’s ultimate goal was to become a PE teacher, and with an ambitious mindset to obtain his dream career, he chose BCU as the place to take the next step and get first-hand experience of motivating students.

“My motivation to study the PGCE was primarily to develop my skills to become a fully-fledged PE teacher. In the past, I have had the pleasure of being a sports coach for young people, and seeing how encouraged the children were to reach their full potential inspired me to pursue the career further.

I didn’t go into the PGCE directly after my undergraduate degree, yet the course has enabled me to establish positive connections with my tutors and fellow students seamlessly without feeling like a first-year student again. I’ve also benefitted from the diverse range of facilities available, offering abundant space for studying, socialising and leisure time.

When I started the course, I thought I was close to being ready to enter the teaching profession, but quickly realised I was far from it. With lots of hard work, dedication and support from the University and my mentors, I've progressed to a level I never thought I could reach. My subject knowledge and my teaching approaches have improved so much that I feel confident in my abilities.

When you coach sport, children generally want to get involved, but PE in schools is slightly different as you have to motivate pupils that may not be as enthusiastic. So even though I thought I had lots of experience, it’s completely different learning how to motivate people. Going through this process you realise you’re not just there to teach your classes – you help inspire students and become a role model during a period of huge change in their lives.

My confidence really grew after I challenged myself to get a boy in year seven to engage in PE. He had autism and was certainly a non-doer when it came to PE. I did some research and observed him in a few other lessons.

It became clear that history was his favourite subject. The class was about William the Conqueror and a ship battle so, in my next lesson, I incorporated a ship battle into handball. I explained his hand was the cannon and the goal was the enemy ship; he had to get five goals to defeat the ship. Adding this creativity and storytelling brought about a massive change in him, turning him from a non-doer into a doer. The rewards you can get are fantastic.

I AM BCU embodies the sense of belonging to a lively community. The amazing teachers, friendly classmates, and unwavering support have not only helped me overcome challenges but also motivated me to fully enjoy and maximise my time at university.”