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Meet trainee teacher: Abbey Pope

Abbey Pope is a second-year international student, from South Africa, who chose to study our Primary Education (3–7 years) BA(Hons) with QTS degree and follow her dream of becoming a teacher.

We caught up with her recently to find out more about her experience:  

Why did you choose to study Primary Education (3–7 years) BA(Hons) with QTS?

I have always had a passion for teaching since a very young age. I saw teachers as being very inspirational as they have the potential to make a huge impact on children’s lives, and I knew that I wanted to do that in my life.

During the pandemic, I got stuck in the UK and decided to research universities which offered teaching degrees. I came across Brighton and saw that it was close to the sea, which made me think of my home in South Africa. I looked at their website and was amazed at what they offered.

How have you found studying at the university?

The University of Brighton has exceeded my expectations. I have loved every single lecture as they are very practical and engaging but often challenge your own thinking and reflections of your own school career.

The insight and experiences the staff share open your ways of thinking as they support you in understanding the relevant teaching strategies and help build your own pedagogical views and style of teaching. I’m currently in my second year and I can already see a huge difference in my confidence and subject knowledge as I start to become the teacher I envisaged at the start of the course.  

What are you enjoying the most about this course?

One thing which I have absolutely loved and enjoyed about the course is the opportunity to work with other students. I have found this very helpful as you are able to hear different perspectives and bounce off ideas from one another.

What are the facilities like at the university?

I have found the Open Learning Centre to be a very supportive resource. This facility is phenomenal and filled with a variety of books, resources and planning materials which will support you in your assignments, tasks, and placements.

What has been a highlight of the course?

In your second year, there is the flexibility of choosing a module which you would like to further develop your subject knowledge.

Despite being labelled in school as “not a science person”, I chose to specialize in science because I found every lecture in my first year interesting. It was very practical, and engaging and gave me the necessary tools and resources to build my confidence in teaching the subject during my first placement.  

Do you feel supported studying at the University of Brighton?

Before I started University, I felt very overwhelmed and anxious, especially since I had moved halfway across the world, but as soon as I started my course, I felt very supported and included. There are a variety of support channels such as your Personal Academic tutor, SSGT’s, Student Union and even your lecturers will make sure that you feel supported.

I remember one of my first lectures, our cohort was told that the students and lecturers are a team and to be successful we need to work together. This has resonated with me, and I truly feel that the university goes above and beyond to ensure that everyone becomes a successful teacher.

The university has had a positive impact on my life. It has transformed me into a person who is lot more confident, experienced, and ready to take on my own classroom in 2024. I am excited to see what the future holds, and I know that I will have a solid foundation to be an excellent teacher because of the skills and knowledge I have learnt during my time at Brighton University.  

Interested in becoming a teacher? Find out more on the university website.

Christina Camm • February 28, 2023

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