Hello. My name’s Bethany and I’m a first year Secondary RE student from Leeds, living on campus in halls of residence.
I studied English and Sociology at A level, and BTECs in Performing Arts and Music. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, though, and through studying Religious Education at GCSE and aspects of my A level Sociology course, I knew this was the subject I wanted to specialise in. I chose secondary teaching because I had such a positive relationship with my teachers, and a positive experience of high school and sixth form.
I knew I wanted to be an RE teacher but I didn’t know that there was any route other than a three year degree followed by a PGCE. At Edge Hill I discovered I’d be able to become a qualified RE teacher within three years through the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) route. It’s not offered by many universities, and a major reason for choosing this very exclusive course: to know I could be a qualified teacher within three years, and then take on a Masters degree, seemed like a no-brainer. The quality of teaching at Edge Hill (they hold TEF Gold status) and the choice of modules was further confirmation that this was the right degree for me. And the amazing campus sealed the deal.
We’ve had some amazing opportunities in our first year, such as attending a SACRE meeting, where they discuss what’s going to be on the RE curriculum in certain counties, and visiting Liverpool’s two great cathedrals.
But two experiences stand out.
The first was early in the course when our lecturer introduced us to the Jewish festival of Rosh Hashanah, and we ate apples with honey, following traditional practice. It was really good to see different cultures being brought into the learning environment in this way.
My other highlight was taking a trip to the Rowan Park SEN (Special Educational Needs) school. It was such an eye-opening and heart-warming experience to see children learn in a way that I wasn’t familiar with. The children were filled with such happiness and the school ensured that learning was fun. This has really opened my eyes to the possibility of working at an SEN school.