A great update from one of our mature students, Laura Davies, who returned to college to change her career. Laura studied Foundation degree in Special Educational Needs and Inclusive practice (2 years) and graduated in 2020.
Have you always been interested in teaching?
“After school I studied Hospitality and Catering at the local college and after 15 years of service and having 2 children, my career interests changed. I volunteered at my children’s infant school which gave me the passion and desire to become a primary school teacher.”
Why did you choose Brooklands College?
“I chose to pursue a foundation degree course at Brooklands College and become a mature student. Brooklands had the course I wanted to study. My job was working with children with special educational needs, therefore I specifically chose the course of SEN. Kingston University has links with colleges around London and Brooklands was the closest in location to what I wanted to study.”
How did the course help you?
“At graduation, I was awarded the ‘Christine Lawless Prize’ for ‘displaying a creative and fun approach to learning, having a child-centred and personalised approach, being a team player, and having the ability to create an enabling positive ‘can-do’ attitude’. After receiving a distinction, this course enabled me to go on and complete a full BA honours degree in Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Practice at Kingston University – studying through COVID-19 – and I was awarded a First Degree.”
“PIPPA (Parrot) was an intervention I created from a unit of study in the course at Brooklands. It was to support children who had Dyslexic tendencies to practically support their literacy learning. My dissertation for my BA Honours top up degree was based on Dyslexia as I was lead assistant of delivering specific interventions on the learning difficulty.”
Your Brooklands Experience
The two years at Brooklands, were amazing. I met and gained new friends on the course, whom I am still in contact with. Three years on and still we get together as a group and catch up, whether that’s for coffee, BBQ’s or afternoon tea. The commonality and passion we all have still remains, even though some have moved on career wise. Our tutor, Judy Peck, supported us throughout the course. In the second year, the tutors tend to change, but as a cohort we insisted that we kept Judy as our tutor as we all had formed a professional relationship with her.
It was down to the dedication and passion of our tutor, Judy Peck, that our course was enjoyable, well-supported and very informative. If it was not for Judy, then I don’t think I could have achieved the high grades that I did!
Were there any challenges?
Studying later in life certainly had challenges. I remember handing in an essay and receiving less than expected feedback for it. There were definitely tears, but due to the friendships made on the course, the support was incredible. I needn’t have worried as I did receive a distinction overall!
What are your next steps?
“I have just completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Education at University of Winchester and have been successful in a first position as a class teacher for September 2023, in a Year 3 class. During my studying at Brooklands and beyond, I had a family, a home and work to still manage. This has prepared me for when I start as a class teacher in September, knowing the demands of the industry, having my family and managing a work-life balance, I will have gained so much experience.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would like to become an experienced teacher, then move on to become a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) to really utilise my academic studies and experiences in the classroom to support children with SEN. This is the main reason why I embarked on becoming a teacher.
Laura, it has been a pleasure hearing all about your hard word and dedication. Thank you so much for updating us and we look forward to hearing all about your successes in the future.