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David Townend

Career Path: PE & Biology Teacher, The Beacon Centre
Location: Newcastle, UK

David TownendI previously completed a Sport Development with Coaching degree at Northumbria, having coached and played Rugby League at a high standard. Once graduating I worked as a teaching assistant to gain further experience within schools. Alongside this, I coached Rugby League at Newcastle Thunder with the scholarship sides. Once my passion for education was affirmed I completed the NEP SCITT with PGCE to gain qualified teacher status. This course was a great learning experience as alongside developing theoretical knowledge, the course required students to engage in two long placements at school so skills were developed on the job. There was also an offer of a range of additional courses that supplement the course.

What are you doing now?

I now work with children and young people that have social, emotional, and mental Health issues and a wide variety of other educational needs. I chose this career path as teaching theoretical knowledge is important, but in this educational niche you are able to spend more time developing professional working relationships with the students with less of the increasing pressure in the education sector. It is extremely rewarding knowing that alongside developing successful students, I have the opportunity to develop successful, productive and happy young people.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

As I was already a Northumbria alumnus, this was a no-brainer. The course tutors were supportive and pushed the students to be the best they could be.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

There were lots of workshops, weekly group meetings, two work placements and a variety of coaching courses. We received daily support and feedback to make sure we were achieving to the level expected of the course.

How connected was your course with industry?

We were fully immersed in the industry. We had lectures from leading lecturers and names from within organisations like the Youth Sports Trust. We had regular contact with a wide variety of educational professionals that had different roles within their organisations.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

The placements were incredibly helpful. We were trusted to do the job that we were training to do, allowing us to experience success and failure regularly in a real environment. This course requires students to complete work placements that are more intense than other teacher training courses. This helped to let us know and understand the actual requirements and expectations of working within the education sector.

What was the best thing about your course?

The daily support and the varied work placements.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

The course tutors were extremely supportive educationally but also supported us when we were looking for employment, often actively contacting and informing us of different employment opportunities.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

How to deliver high quality lessons to a range of different abilities.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The support and knowledge gained from attending such a reputable course.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

Go for it. The staff are amazing and will support you every step of the way helping you achieve your goals.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Best life decision!

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