North & Mid Wales Centre of Teacher Education

Student Profiles

Elin Haf Parry, PGCE Secondary Drama

Why did you choose to study at Aberystwyth?

To teach or not to teach? That is the Drama Trainee’s question.
I chose Aberystwyth because of its location and reputation. Having studied for my undergraduate degree in Drama and Theatre Studies at Aberystwyth I felt confident after such an exhilarating, challenging and enjoyable three years that the Education Department would continue to provide excellent provision in keeping with the University ethos that is evident from the moment you step onto the university campus.

What are the academic facilities like?

The academic facilities available are extensive, as a PGCE student you have access to numerous ICT suites, the University Library and unique to Aberystwyth University you have the access to the National Library of Wales. In addition towards supporting your development as a trainee the Education Department new building is fully equipped with interactive white boards that are very useful to experiment with during university based training sessions, contributing towards preparing you for the modern day classroom.

What has been the greatest pleasure or greatest surprise working in schools?

Working in Secondary schools this year has offered new surprises each day, working with 11–18 year olds is unpredictable and every day offers new challenges. The wit, honesty, intelligence and curiosity of the pupils makes the whole experience dynamic, enjoyable and varied.

The greatest pleasure of working in a school teaching Drama is observing the pupil’s confidence develop. In a brief moment when the shyest pupil in the class is bursting with enthusiasm to perform… is such a rewarding moment.

What is the best teaching experience you have had this year?

The best teaching experiences this year has got to be taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh, Eisteddfod and School Productions. This provided me with opportunities to invest time in observing pupils in out of school learning contexts and share positive experiences with them which in turn contributed towards developing positive teacher/pupil relationships that is crucial for the classroom dynamic. I have many fond memories from these experiences that will contribute to my teaching in the future.

How would you describe the year’s experience to a potential student?

It’s like a jigsaw; you know what the final picture will look like however throughout the year you learn how to piece it all together. It’s an exciting adventure; you have to be highly committed and prepared for anything, but you leave with a toolkit and experiences that prepare you for a successful career in the teaching profession.

Where do you see yourself in ten year’s time?

In ten years I hope to be head of a Drama Department or a Key Stage, I have a keen interest in pastoral role and hope that in the future I will be able to further this interest and my experiences to enable me to progress up the school leadership ladder.

Jack Bourke Bennet, PGCE Secondary (Physics)

Please state your name, age and where you’re from.

Jack Bourke-Bennett, 25, Flintshire

Please state the name of the High School/College you attended.

Ysgol Maes Garmon

What course are you studying and what year are you in?

Completed PGCE secondary science (physics) 2010.

How did you hear about the Bangor and why did you choose to study here?

Had friends who had studied there, and were offering the PGCE course through the medium of Welsh.

Tell us about the course – what’s the best thing about it?

Combined academic learning with practical experience, and was an opportunity to see personal progression, and how this influenced student outcomes.

Describe the academic school i.e. what’s the best things about it, the lecturers etc

There were always opportunities to question and pursue ideas, feedback was constructive and timely.

How would you sell the academic school to prospective students?

Emphasize the links between university and school placements so students can see how they will be supported in their progression towards achieving excellence.

Have you been on any placements or taken a year abroad? If so please tell us a little bit about the experience.

Two teaching placements in North Wales schools (Welsh medium and bilingual). Taught across the age and ability range giving a structured and supportive atmosphere for progressive development.

What’s been the highlight of the course for you so far?

The most rewarding experience is seeing someone who struggled with an idea, come to understand it. That never gets old.

What will you miss most about Bangor when you leave?

The strong link between academic study and practical application.

What are your plans for the future?

Provide educational experiences for young people that enthuse them about science. Working to improve standards and insure that every young person gets the chance they deserve, and the support they need to succeed.