Course: FdA Childhood Education, BA (Hons) Education & Training
After making the decision to further her career beyond the role of a Teaching Assistant, Donna decided to enrol on the FdA Childhood Education course at the University Centre. The degree helped to lay down the foundations for her primary school teaching career, and encouraged her to find a volunteer placement at a local school. Having previously worked at a secondary school with children who have special educational needs, Donna decided that it was younger children that she wanted to teach, supporting them earlier on in their lives.
Donna said: “I wanted to take more ownership of what I was doing, and I just wasn’t getting that fulfilment as a Teaching Assistant – I needed to be the Teacher.”
“I thought that my biggest issue would be studying as a mature student, but it has in fact been an advantage, because I already have many life skills such as organising a family household, which is transferrable to essay planning. I also learnt to arrive at College early to transition out of ‘mum-mode’ and into ‘study-mode’.”
“I was never made to feel older, and because there was only a small group there was a lot more opportunity for discussion during lectures, meaning that you become much more involved in directing your own learning.”
“I’m really looking forward to my three daughters seeing me graduate, so I can show them that mum’s can work too. The best part of this so far is when my 12 year old daughter said to me ‘I’m proud of you mum’; it really summed up my achievements.”
“The two year course has been hard but now I feel really accomplished, coming out with a 2.1 – if someone had told me that I would be at this point now, I really wouldn’t have believed them!”
“It’s now or never – I decided that it’s my time to do something for myself, so my advice to other mature students is to just go for it!”
In addition to her excellent results from her Foundation Degree, Donna was also presented with a Principal’s Commendation and the Bianca Trew Award at her graduation ceremony. The award is usually given to a student who takes a creative approach to teaching and learning throughout their academic studies. She was presented the award for her consistently high grades and showing her commitment to her studies, whilst her work within school enabled her to be creative whilst still maintaining academic rigour.
After completing the FdA Donna progressed on to the BA (Hons) Education and Training top up degree before continuing to her teacher training year.