Lana Ali

Lana completed her PGCE Secondary English at the University in 2015. In her spotlight, she shares with us her career development since graduation.

On choosing Manchester

Lana Ali

Manchester University has a very good reputation. I completed my Undergraduate course there and wanted to stay for my PGCE course.

I initially applied for my PGCE straight after my English degree. However, I interrupted the year to complete an Access course in English Literature and worked full time to save for a year. I then restarted the course, as I knew that my peers had done very well and were enjoying their new roles.

On my current role

I currently work in a good, 11-18 school in Bolton as Second in English. I am also in charge of mentoring and Teaching and Learning in the department. I am also an Associate Tutor for Manchester University.

Current responsibilities include:

  • Leading teaching and learning in English
  • Mentoring and coaching staff whole school
  • Delivering CPD to whole school and leading on departmental CPD
  • Quality assurance of planning

The course at the UoM prepared me to be able to work in any context, as I was given the opportunity to go into different schools and receive support to learn and develop as a trainee teacher.

I worked with excellent mentors and tutors who would guide me and give me constructive feedback. The sessions at the University gave me an insight into teaching and learning; developed my subject knowledge and prepared me to mark and give feedback.

On my teacher training at Manchester

My training year consisted of teaching sessions which developed my knowledge of how students learn and how to be an effective teacher and planner. During my course, I had two placements at contrasting schools.

This experience was invaluable, as I had the opportunity to practise what I had learnt in the teaching sessions. Through regular feedback from my mentors and tutors, I was able to make significant progress throughout my PGCE year.

On my most surprising takeaway

On the course, I met some of the most talented English teachers who I am still in touch with now. Everyone has done very well in their schools and have some sort of extra responsibilities.

My advice for prospective applicants

Enjoy every moment. It does get easier. Make to do lists and prioritise.

Graduating from the University of Manchester really does hold a prestigious place. I have been invited for interviews at very high performing schools and have interviewed against Oxbridge graduates due to the excellent reputation the university has.

The PGCE course truly does feel like a family that you will always remember.