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School of Education Q & A with Alice, current PGCE student: 'I promise you, you will NEVER be bored!'

Alice Forty, PG student, Postgraduate Certificate in Education (English)

Press release issued: 30 April 2020

We recently asked Alice Forty, PG, Postgraduate Certificate in Education (English) a few questions about studying for a PGCE at the School of Education. We wanted to gain some insight into what it's like to study at the School of Education, tips and advice if you are thinking about entering into Initial Education (Teacher Training), and what made Alice want to train to become a teacher.

Hi Alice, would you mind telling me a little bit about yourself?

Hi! I’m Alice. I was born and bred in Bristol but have lived in Cornwall and London and now live in rural Somerset!

What made you want to train to become a teacher?

Becoming a teacher eventually has always seemed inevitable; it was as though I always knew it would become part of my life at some point. I had some very tough times while I was growing up and it was my inspiring, gutsy and eccentric schoolteachers that got me through. I spent time waiting to gain the life experience that I thought I needed to become a good teacher, but soon realised that it was really just this drive to help other young people in the same way that I had been that was required. Now I have taken the leap it really does feel like I’m in the right place!

Why did you choose the School of Education, University of Bristol for your studies?

As I have already mentioned I am from Bristol, and I also used to work for the university as an administrative temp, so I am well aware of its great reputation. When I was at school Bristol University was my first choice, however, that didn’t quite work out for me, and having worked my way through the University of Exeter for my undergraduate degree and King’s College London, I decided that Bristol University was last one to knock off my list. It makes me smile to think that I got there in the end, 18-year- old Alice would be thrilled!

Have you had any placements yet? Can you share your experiences?

I am in the final quarter of my course and so I have been on three placements thus far in two schools (this is the case for the School Direct route that I am taking). Despite having been placed in two relatively similar schools in terms of their demographics, I have found my placements to be varied and interesting. My colleagues at both partner schools have been wonderful: always happy to support me in any way they can. There have been some tough times along the way (anyone who tells teacher training is easy is not telling the truth!), but with the support of the department, the School of Education and English staff and wonderful, sparky and often hilarious students, I’ve loved every minute!

What do you hope to do when you’ve completed your PGCE?

I’m currently exploring my options in terms of postgraduate destinations. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak it’s possible that my plans to go abroad to teach may be postponed for a year or so but that’s also ok. I’m finding that employers are well aware of the high quality of teaching at Bristol and this is really helping me in my quest for my dream role!

And finally, do you have any advice or tips for people who are thinking about undertaking a PGCE?

If you are thinking about becoming a teacher go to a school and shadow one for a few days. It is the best job in the world but only if it is what you really want. If you’ve done that and you like what you see - apply! I promise you, you will NEVER be bored and you will be bowled over by the kindness, sensitivity, eccentricity, and quirks of the children you teach every day.

Thank you, Alice, and the SoE wishes you every success with your studies and your future career!


Further information

Don't forget to sign up for our Virtual Event on Tues 5th May 2020 from 1pm-2pm, where our online live Q&A sessions are your chance to find out more about taught postgraduate study at Bristol. Each event will be hosted by academics, support services experts, and current postgraduate students working in your subject area. 

If you would like to find out more about any of our Initial Teacher Education (Teacher Training) opportunities, please visit our website where you will find loads of information on courses, requirements, placements, and more.

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