Christine Kelly

MA Education (Leadership and Management), 2015

Christine Kelly

I have always enjoyed teaching children and working with others and have been extremely fortunate as my experience, so far, has allowed me to participate in many different things, including aspects of leadership and management

Prior to starting the course at Oxford Brookes in September 2014, Christine was working as a primary school teacher in local schools in and around Oxford.

I had thought about doing my MA for some time and I decided to embark upon this course for my own enjoyment and to help further my skills and my knowledge. I had been teaching for several years, adopting various leadership and management roles, and it simply felt like the right time to return to academic study.

In 2008 I studied for my PGCE in Primary Education at Oxford Brookes. I found the course to be excellent and the staff to be exceptionally knowledgeable and supportive. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and thought it would be the perfect place to continue my studies. I appreciated the continuous support from the tutors and the overall atmosphere at Oxford Brookes. The learning environment in every session was superb and provided an opportunity for every student to take part. The activities and written assignments were varied and each could be tailored to a student’s interests and experience.

After studying for my PGCE, I enjoyed life here so much that I decided to stay and work. Oxford is a wonderful place to live with so many interesting, historical places to visit, not to mention the many cafes, bars and the significant amount of opportunities for students! Oxford has quite a unique feel to it. I grew up in a slightly larger city so it was really exciting to live somewhere where everything was easily accessibleéwith a bike! As I was working during the day, I found it helpful that the libraries were open late and that quite a few of my classes took place in the evening. Some of my tutors were even willing to meet after the evening sessions which I thoroughly appreciated.

I have always enjoyed teaching children and working with others and have been extremely fortunate as my experience, so far, has allowed me to participate in many different things, including aspects of leadership and management. I particularly enjoy this part of my job and hope that in the future I can help to make a difference in schools, working as an educational leader. I am confident that the course at Brookes has helped me to identify aspects of teaching, leadership and management that I wouldn’t necessarily have appreciated or encountered in my own career to date. The individual sessions within the course helped me to examine areas from alternative angles, gaining viewpoints from experienced educators.

I have worked with many different fellow students this year who have had experience in different areas of teaching and education in general. It was exciting and interesting to learn about their individual careers and the opportunities that they have had. Working with and learning about others is such an important aspect of educational practice. Although the MA Education cohort was quite large, the leadership and management group was quite small. I enjoyed getting to know my peers and the sessions were very personal and tailored to individual experiences and interests. I found my peers to be inspirational in their commitment to the course while juggling other responsibilities.

During my time at Brookes I was a Student Rep for the MA Education group and this was a great way of getting to know tutors and to support my fellow students by voicing their needs. I am not an international student, but several of my peers were. I recall one student stating that when compared with other universities it was obvious that Brookes had a supportive atmosphere and it really catered for international students, making sure they felt comfortable with their studies while they were so far from home.

Oxford Brookes is a wonderful place to study. The university provides so many different opportunities for its students and really values them as individuals. I can’t think of a better place to study. It suited me perfectly.