12th February 2021

BGU helped me achieve everything, and more, than I could have ever hoped for

I came to Bishop Grosseteste with the ambition of becoming a PE Teacher. BGU helped me achieve everything, and more, than I could have ever hoped for.

During my three years studying Education Studies and Sport, I was able to gain my first experiences of what it would take to become a teacher. I was able to work in a variety of settings including a secondary school PE Department along with Primary and UTC college environments. The secondary placement in particular, reaffirmed to me that I was right in wanting to be a PE Teacher and chase my dream career. I was able to work alongside the entire PE department, assisting in delivering lessons, running extra-curricular clubs and gaining experience across different Key Stages.

The modules allowed me to learn about educational philosophies and different pedagogical approaches to teaching, which allowed me to form my own style of teaching. The wealth of experience the lecturers have meant you could be challenged but also challenge them on contemporary issues and have a high-level discussion about what is happening in the world of sport and education. I was able to achieve a first-class honours degree and I felt like I earnt my degree as the level of scrutiny and academic rigor made sure you get what you put into each assessment.

My favourite module though was when I got to complete my dissertation. I used my dissertation as preparation for my PGCE at Loughborough University. I was able to interview many PE teachers across the country about the feasibility of a Models-Based Practice being adopted in a PE curriculum. Rafe Elliot, my sport lecturer was always there to give me advice and support throughout. To this day, my dissertation is my proudest piece of work.

I was able to gain first-hand experience in the sporting sector

What was great about my course, especially in Sport was that I was able to also gain first-hand experience in the sporting sector. As part of my degree I was able to gain experience working at the Lincolnshire Football Association, Active Lincolnshire, Lincoln City Football Club, Preston North End Football Club, Hull City Football Club, Inspire + and getting the opportunity to run my own Grassroots team at North Lindum Hawks. Most of these jobs and volunteering experience came from modules I studied during the course. As well as a variety of settings, the placements also allowed me to experience a variety of sports including Wheelchair Basketball which I got to teach at a UTC College. I was also elected to be Sports Development Officer in the Student Union for an academic year and as part of my role I worked with the university to develop recreational sport to enhance the student experience.

One module arguably got my career up and running as I was able to work with Active Lincolnshire (County Sports Partnership) and make lots of contacts with National Governing Bodies, Schools and sporting companies which gave me a network to get my name around. I was also able to work on the School Games, assisting in the administration and then the delivery of events for Primary and Secondary school students. From this placement, I was able to volunteer on the School Games events for two years after my placement.

Furthermore, during my placement, Active Lincolnshire (in partnership with BGU) hosted the Primary PE Conference. Whilst I was working at this conference I was approached by Lincoln City Football Club and I got a paid job coaching football in the community and the academy for the club. I also gained a job working at Inspire+ delivering PE lessons in schools. After my placement, the course allowed me to test my new skills by offering a face to face interview assessment designed to let me experience applying for the job I had been doing. The intensity and academic rigor of that interview, helped me massively for my PGCE interview and teaching interviews. I still do not think I have had a tougher interview than that one!

I was also supported by the university to achieve vocational qualifications in the sporting sector delivered by National Governing Bodies to aid my CV. My lecturer advised my cohort to have at least five vocational qualifications to become a PE Teacher and I ended up getting 18. By listening to my lecturer’s advice, I was able to secure employment in three academy football clubs and go to the world's best sport university to study my PGCE in Physical Education. In such a competitive sector that is PE Teaching, you have to stand out to have any chance of securing employment. BGU recognised this early and made sure they gave me the best possible opportunity to stand out in this sector. Without my degree at BGU this would not have been possible.

From finishing my PGCE, I was able to return back to Lincoln and secured my first teaching post at a leading secondary school. I currently teach back in my home county of Lancashire as a full time PE Teacher. I still use the skills learnt on my degree daily. Without my degree I achieved at BGU, this would not have been possible.

The experiences that BGU offers gave me such depth on my CV in such a short period of time

When I saw BA(Hons) Education Studies with Sport, I felt that this was a perfect degree to allow me to develop into a PE Teacher. When I spoke to admissions and learnt more about what the course entails and the opportunity to gain experience in the Education and Sport sector alongside my degree, that this was a package that I thought could not be beat. The experiences that BGU offers gave me such depth on my CV in such a short period of time. Most universities would treat you as a number and do what it takes to get you through the course. At BGU, you get regular 1-1 interaction with your lecturers to help scaffold your learning and to push you academically. They are always there in a pastoral role to catch up with you and make sure everything is alright. They do not do the pastoral side because they have too, they do it because they genuinely care about you and your family. Finally, they give you opportunities to develop yourself in the workplace as well as your degree. Most universities in my opinion will just give you an assignment and a lecture and then leave you to do it. At BGU you are literally part of a family who will make sure you have the environment to let you flourish.

Say yes to any opportunity

My biggest advice to anyone coming to BGU is to say yes to any opportunity that comes your way as you never know where that yes will take you. By saying yes rather than just leaving it, this has allowed me to be in a position where I have many contacts in Sport and Education that I can call upon and I got vital experience that has given me a full time PE Teaching job back in my native home of Lancashire. This is something I really do not think you can get at many institutions. Make sure you engage in Sport at the university. BGU made sure I had the opportunity to engage in BUCs fixtures and I was able to represent the university playing football for 3 years. The opportunity to work at football clubs, county sports partnerships, primary and secondary schools, primary coaching, grassroots sport and study. I challenge you to find another university that can give you that type of offer during your undergraduate degree.

The cliché that you will not regret it could not be truer when it comes to BGU. BGU might be a small campus but they treat you like you are part of a family. They nurture you, challenge you academically and make sure you are set up for the next stage once you become an alumni. I know if I went to a bigger institution I would not be in the position I am now in today. By being at BGU for three years they scaffolded me to be in a position where I was ready to go to the world's best sport university and flourish. Something I could have only dreamed of when I came to the university in 2015. By choosing BGU you are doing more than just a degree, you are setting yourself up for life.

Interested in pursuing a career in sport?

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