I joined the department in April 2020 as the Curriculum Area Leader for the new Geography PGCE Programme, an addition to the University of York’s PGCE portfolio. My role at the university involves designing and delivering a programme of study, where trainee teachers will be supported in their journey to becoming passionate and effective classroom practitioners, with not only excellent geographical knowledge, but also an ability to connect young people with their own learning journey.
Working three days a week in my role as Curriculum Area Leader for the Geography PGCE, enables me to continue being a geography teacher in an outstanding local secondary school for the remaining two days each week, where I am responsible for teaching mainly GCSE and A level classes. I believe that this current classroom involvement is helpful when supporting trainees in their teaching journey, as it enables me to experience those same exciting challenges that we all face in a classroom and bring that up to date knowledge to share with others. As a reflective classroom practitioner, my university role enables me to continue to refine my own teaching pedagogy, as I share research and trial new ideas.
Prior to my current role at the University of York, I have worked in four large mixed comprehensive schools across the Yorkshire region over the past 20 years, where I have taken on a number of leadership roles including; being Head of Department in two very different settings and also being an Assistant Headteacher for eight years. As a middle leader, I have supported the teams that I have worked with to ensure consistency, as well as developing and delivering a curriculum which will engage and inspire the learners in our classrooms. My role as a senior leader included curriculum design and timetabling, as well as raising achievement through a focus on improving teaching and learning via effective professional development.
In addition to my working life, I am married with two young children and as a family we like to get up to Dumfries and Galloway whenever we can, where we spend a lot of our time walking, biking and exploring the coast in this unspoilt part of the UK. As a geographer, I love the hands on experience that fieldwork provides and I am always on the lookout for new places to discover and explore.