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James Gretton

Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Education

HLS_James -Gretton _Student _Primary EducationWhy did you decide to study at Northumbria?

I know several people who completed their teacher training at Northumbria University and they highly commended it as a supportive environment in which to develop the skills necessary for a career in teaching. In addition, I was very
aware of the University’s status as one of the leading Initial Teacher Education providers in the country. I, therefore, ensured Northumbria was my number one choice when applying for courses.

What was it about the course that appealed to you?

I was drawn towards the combination of theoretical and practical aspects of the course, which I believe will give me the necessary input in which to ensure my personal development. The relatively short duration of the coursealso appealed to me, in that it would be possible to significantly improve my career prospects within the space of 12 months.

How do you manage to balance your work, study and social life?

Our tutors have always encouraged us to enjoy a balanced lifestyle while at
University and during our school placements. I am a firm believer of ‘the more you put in, the more you get out’, so that coupled with strict time management has enabled me to enjoy a balanced routine throughout the year.

How do you feel this qualification will improve your job prospects?

I am in the fortunate position of having secured a job pending the successful completion of my course. I feel the academic challenges of the course have developed my understanding of psychological issues related to teaching and learning, which has improved my development as a reflective practitioner and given me a great platform to begin a teaching career. Also Northumbria University’s reputation for providing outstanding teacher training will always benefit my future career prospects.

What has been the most challenging aspect of your

Given that I completed my first degree seven years ago, I feel that my critical
thinking and writing skills, necessary for assignment composition, were distinctly rusty in September. However, the support and guidance from university tutors has helped me achieve very good results throughout the course.

What have you particularly
enjoyed about studying at

I feel the camaraderie of my peers has made this a truly enjoyable year. There
has been a distinctive feel of togetherness within the PGCE cohort, both among students and tutors.

If you have one piece of advice for those who are going to study further at Northumbria, what would it be?

Work hard and enjoy the peace that comes from knowing you did your best. Also, make the most of the expertise and experience that the
tutors can offer.

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