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Case Study

Daniel Hepple

Sunderland, UK

BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS

Daniel Hepple had heard about Sunderland’s brilliant reputation for its teacher training courses and joined the BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS. During his final year, he received financial support from the Sir Tom Cowie Scholarship, which allowed him to focus on his studies and graduate with a First Class Honours degree. He secured his first teaching job with the primary school he completed one of his placements in, and is putting everything he learned into practice.

I knew I wanted to be a teacher, and as well as being from Sunderland myself, I was aware of the University’s fantastic reputation for its education courses. I applied to study for the BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS degree and even before I started, the staff were so warm and welcoming at my interview.

My favourite part of the course was the placements where I had the opportunity to learn from highly skilled professionals in practice. When I graduated this summer, I was employed as a full-time class teacher on a permanent basis at Gillas Lane Primary Academy, which is where I completed my second year placement, and I just love it! It’s a really small school in the heart of a vibrant community where we proudly serve our children, helping them grow into valued members of society. The staff are really tight-knit – we all support each other and work so well as a team.

During my studying, I also received the Sir Tom Cowie Scholarship, which helped me devote more time to my course. Leaving my part-time job, I was able to spend time volunteering at my placement school, where I ultimately gained employment. I was able to work with the assistant headteacher, who was incredibly supportive and made me into the teacher I am today!

Studying on the Primary Education course helped me to apply theory-based skills into my own practice in the classroom, as well as adapting strategies so they’re bespoke to the children I teach. My time at university has also taught me to value the importance of research. I particularly like to embed Rosenshine’s principles into my practice, which are proven to be highly effective.

My future career aim is to be a leader within a school, specifically in an area of deprivation. I feel like this is where I can make the biggest difference and focus on raising the aspirations of young people.

To anybody considering studying Primary Education at Sunderland, although it’s important to allow yourself to have fun as a student, you must put the work in! On a course like this, you’ll spend a lot of time in schools, so always try your best. Building strong relationships and connections is key.

Having started my course during the global pandemic, a lot of our learning took place online throughout the first year. However, after this, we moved towards a hybrid approach, and while it was great collaborating with people face to face, it was also nice to have the flexibility to study from home. To sum up my experience, I got to spend time in some fantastic schools, and I learned so many valuable skills.”

Published 23 October 2023

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