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Studying an undergraduate teaching degree at Brighton

We recently caught up with Christian Dolan, who has completed his first year on our Primary Education (5–11 years) BA(Hons) with QTS to hear more about his experience training to become a qualified teacher at Brighton.

How have you found your first year?

Christian Dolan

I really enjoyed it. The structure and variety that the course has to offer has been really good. One lecture really varies from the next, with a mix of teaching methods to keep us on our toes. The modules and order of our different lectures have been arranged in a way that you can take something from one lecture and apply it to what you are taught across other modules.

It’s a hands-on and practical course which I personally find really helps to keep me engaged and helps with my learning. There’re also some similarities that run throughout, so you kind of know what’s coming up next and can prepare accordingly.

What is the primary course team like?

The course team are stellar, they really do help make the course. All the course leaders and lecturers are extremely nice and are always on hand to help you with pretty much anything you need. They have been extremely supportive throughout and have played a pivotal role in enabling me to get the most I can from the course.

What are the facilities and teaching environment like?

The facilitates do exactly what you need them to do. Everything you need is available, and the processes are very efficient (e.g. taking out or returning books to the library) and easy to manage.

Within the School of Education, the resources we have access to are excellent. The Open Learning Centre is a dedicated space to find everything you might need whilst teacher training. It has been a really useful resource throughout my first year with things like assignment planning and writing and the ability to practice your Interactive White Board skills!

The teaching environment is very welcoming, engaging, and built well to cater for the course.

Tell us about your time in school-based training…

As part of my first year placement, I spent time with a year 3 class in a two-form entry school. I was given so many opportunities to develop my training and begin to identify the type of teacher I want to become. Throughout my placement the whole staff cohort were incredibly welcoming, giving me the opportunity to observe or teach within other year groups as well as the class I was situated in.

I regularly taught both small groups and whole class lessons which helped me to build my confidence. When teaching my class, I had various opportunities to teach various subjects including English, Maths, Science, PE, Geography and History.

How has this experience in a school setting helped you with your development?

School-based training has helped me identify which subjects I am most confident in teaching as well as those which I need to brush up my subject knowledge and become more confident in. It has helped me establish how I want to approach my placements in years 2 and 3 to ensure I maximise all opportunities and grow as a teacher.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to apply for this course?

Go for it! Honestly, it has been the most rewarding decision I’ve ever made. Although I have experience working and teaching within schools already, there is still so much I am learning. If you have no prior experience, do not panic! This course is all about you training from scratch. You won’t be sent on placement without being equipped with all you need to know to be able to have a successful and enjoyable time in school. It is hard work at times, but the rewards are so worth it!

Christina Camm • July 19, 2022

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