Nicola Varney

PGCE Primary

Nicola Varney

I decided to study the course because I had reached a point in my career where I had progressed well but was so removed from the reason I started my career in retail buying that I wasn’t sure why I was going to work every day

Prior to starting my Primary PGCE at Oxford Brookes I worked as a retail buyer in the fashion industry. I decided to study the course because I had reached a point in my career where I had progressed well but was so removed from the reason I started my career in retail buying that I wasn’t sure why I was going to work every day.

I looked at my boss and instantly knew I didn’t want his job but I did know that I enjoyed developing my team. During this time I had started training as a life coach and it was within my work with my own coach that brought me to consider a new career direction. After a few days work experience I was sold!

I was specifically attracted to Oxford Brookes because of its location; I was already settled in this area. Furthermore I have family that have attended Brookes and also a member of my family working for the university. I’d heard good things about Brookes and at my interview I felt like I could really fit in here and it seemed like a well-run institution that expected dedication and commitment from its students.

The course seems to be well structured and tutors are approachable and well informed about their discipline. All the tutors have a sense of humour and always have time for you; they genuinely care and want to see you achieve. Whenever I have been in need of help it has been there for me and if the person I go to can’t help me then they will point me in the direction of someone who can. I have felt supported by the university and as a mature student this has been especially important because changing my career and deciding to study for a PGCE has been the scariest thing I’ve ever done! My fellow students are also extremely supportive and I have made some great friends on the course, friends that will remain so for the rest of my life.

Since undertaking the course I have acquired many new skills. Firstly, my ICT skills have improved, I have learnt how to prioritise work load and have also learnt how to make a topic engaging and exciting through the way you choose to deliver it.

In the future I hope to be the best teacher I can be!