Taylor studied a history degree and spent three years working at international schools in the Middle East before starting a PGCE Secondary History in 2020.
On choosing my PGCE at Manchester
Experience of teaching in schools all over the world before I applied convinced me that this was the right career for me.
I loved the university experience so decided that a university-based PGCE course would be the right route.
Choosing History as a subject to teach was easy; I loved it as a student and felt that my passion for the subject would make me a great teacher.
Manchester’s got so much going for it in terms of culture, diversity and opportunity.
Even though I received offers from all the providers I interviewed with, the choice of The University of Manchester was easy to make after the experience I had with the interview process, being made to feel I was studying at a university with similarly academic and enthusiastic individuals.
I got a great feeling for the course through talking with my interviewer, the course leader, and loved the fact that the course was relatively small compared to others I’d researched.
I’ve always felt that you get a stronger team spirit from working in smaller groups.
On what I have enjoyed so far
I’ve loved the work on inclusive curriculum building, particularly what we covered when looking at LGBT+ and BAME histories.
I’ve also got loads out of sessions with the Chair of Examiners for AQA GCSE History and pretty much feel ready to teach GCSE History right now.
I’ve also loved working with archives; we’ve done some brilliant sessions on planning local history enquiries using unique primary source material.
I’ve really enjoyed the school placements and am so pleased that, even despite the disruptions caused by Covid-19, we were able to start placements on time.
My mentor has been super-supportive, so I found the settling in process easy; teaching has gone well so far – a really good mix of classes.
On living in Manchester
Manchester is such a vibrant city; I love living here.
I live in the north of the city and that’s really handy for transport links to University and school placements.
There’s a big student population here in Manchester and the city is really well set up for undergrad and postgrad students, with loads of accommodation options.
On my future plans
I’m currently focused on securing a first teaching position and building my experience in school in the north-west.
Perhaps as a long term aim, I may want to travel abroad and take advantage of the PGCE as a teaching programme that is highly regarded internationally.
On my advice to future PGCE students
I’d say applying early is important, and would definitely recommend researching the course first to find out about the content.
The interview process was great; I didn’t feel it was overly formal and the vibe was friendly and supportive.
My number one piece of advice would be to collaborate closely with other trainees and to share ideas and resources - this has made a massive difference.