Hannah Laurence: From reading about the course, I was confident that the Education Faculty's approach would prepare me for a lifelong career in teaching. I wanted to do a course that would challenge me to reflect on education theory and my practice, so that I can support the learners in my class most effectively. Cambridge has a strong reputation for producing world-leading education research and excellent teachers, so it was very exciting to gain a place to study at the Education Faculty.
After graduating from Cambridge I joined the Wellcome Trust, one of the world's largest charities. In my role as an Engagement and Communications Trainee, I gained broad and rich experiences across Education and Public Engagement. Through collaborations with teachers on Education projects at the Trust, I discovered how much I enjoyed working with young children and helping them to progress. These experiences led me to pursue a PGCE as the first step in my teaching career.
Laura Scott: I found out about the Cambridge PGCE through the website. It really appealed to me as it said the department values applicants with a sense of humour. I have certainly found the course to be good fun despite its demanding nature!
The Faculty values individual thought – holding onto uniqueness, whilst learning with others. Here, you can find fantastic teacher educators (and the friendliest librarians around) to help set up your foundations for a lifetime in education. The Faculty is so involved in educational research (the ‘Cambridge Primary Review’ being just one example) and attracts exciting speakers, like children’s authors. This is a chance to experience beautiful Cambridge’s many quirks and traditions. There are also a number of interesting masters routes to progress to from the PGCE, for example ‘Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature’. Importantly, the Faculty stresses that the teacher must never stop being the learner.
Kerry Banks: When I was first thinking about being a teacher I didn't realise that the school would provide a dedicated mentor for my first year. Mentors are a good idea because they help you through the standards required, and give you reliable advice and assessment and school procedures. Every half term there are formal observations followed by feedback and discussion - and further informal class observations are always an option if further support is desired.
Farhana Hassan: Having been in the classroom for a year and two terms, I can only describe my experience of the Cambridge Primary PGCE programme as being positive. The ability to be a reflective teacher is an important part of the teaching profession and the PGCE programme definitely taught me to engage in this critically. Furthermore, knowing the teaching standards was something that the PGCE programme helped me to understand in detail and this has been something I have been able to draw upon in various meetings and during observation feedback.
The NRICH programme also gave me a clear understanding of ways to make Maths engaging and accessible to all learners, incorporating the mastery side along with it. Moreover, last July, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the NRICH maths course on behalf of my school and was able to feedback valuable ideas to my colleagues during the school’s weekly professional development meeting. This was only possible because of the fact that the course helped me to understand the value of the NRICH programme which I was then able to pass on to others.