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Meet our Alumni

Hugh Richards


PGCE History

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"I trained at York as part of the 2010/11 cohort and it prepared me very well for a career in History teaching. The PGCE gave me a good grounding in theory and the space to discuss and reflect on this as well as lots of time in classrooms to start the process of developing my practice.

This theoretical background has proven to be increasingly useful over the years, not just because education debate is becoming more informed by evidence and subject based theory, but it has also proven hugely useful for my current role as Head of Department when I am planning CPD for colleagues and making curriculum decisions."

Dawn Thyne

PGCE Science

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"Deciding to complete my PGCE course at York was easy: a beautiful city, friendly interviewers and super facilities. There were challenges throughout the year but the support I received from staff was unequivocal. The lectures were informative and engaging and the transition between being University-based to School-based was such that I felt ready to face the new challenge with a bank of ideas and resources to support me.

The school experience during the course ensured I taught a range of ages, abilities, settings and science topics, fully equipping me for life as a Newly Qualified Teacher."

Richie McDonald

PGCE English

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“The English PGCE at York was really helpful to me in getting me to consider different pedagogical approaches, therefore helping me to try lots of different strategies and discover my own teaching style. I also found the variety of placements beneficial (through both teaching placements and an enrichment placement), as I got to try different school contexts and see a wide range of excellent practitioners to model my practice on.

Working together as a team with the rest of my cohort also helped me see teaching as a collaborative effort. Too often, others tell me that they feel ‘alone’ in their classroom; however, the approach at the University of York set me up to realise that this isn’t the case, establishing the value of my colleagues for both support and my development. Lastly, I found that the PGCE fostered my curiosity, enabling me to research pedagogy and English as a subject; this has made me both an effective and a confident English teacher. I’m so glad that I did my PGCE at York, as it’s given me a really strong foundation for my career.”