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Sport students give PE placements the thumbs up

Date 8.01.2021

University of Northampton (UON) Sport Development and Physical Education students in the final year of their degrees have secured, or have just completed, work placements. Here, they talk about how these and their time at UON will help with their studies and future careers.

Alysia Middleton, from Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, has just completed her placement at Northampton International Academy (NIA) in the physical education department.

Alysia Middleton Sport Development

She said: “After the interview, I was ecstatic to gain the opportunity to work with the department. I was looking forward to developing my existing skills and work alongside the amazing teachers at NIA.

“From this, I have gained valuable experiences that will contribute towards my degree and my teaching career and have developed my weaker areas, such as behaviour management.

“My overall career goal is to become a great PE teacher and I feel that the UON course and lecturers have massively contributed to my success at this placement. The course and lecturers have helped me to develop my subject knowledge of teaching and have allowed me lesson opportunities to put my teaching skills to practice before I go to placement. Also, the lecturers at UON demonstrate how to be effective teachers and they reflect a good example of what an effective teacher looks like.”

Jack Bradshaw is from Northampton. His placement will be a school-direct route into teaching through the Upton Meadows Alliance.

Jack Bradshaw Sport Development PE

He said: “I will be teaching, planning, assessing and learning from the professional teacher already in the schools that I will be placed into. I feel like I have gained this opportunity by being enthusiastic about wanting to make a difference to children’s lives, organised, well prepared and by working hard as I can tell you it hasn’t been easy.

“The UON course has given me the foundation and development to go on and get to exactly where I want to be. Not only has it given me the knowledge that I need but it has also allowed me to grow as a person into a better, more confident individual that will hopefully now set me up for life.

“The course is fantastic and if anyone ever has any doubts about starting it, just take that leap as you won’t regret the opportunities and development that can be gained through it. The lecturers are always on hand to give you a helping hand! Not just academically or within their modules but with day-to-day life things as well.”

Jodie Blackhurst hails from Milton Keynes and will have her placement at a school in her home town.

Jodie Blackhurst Sport Development PE

She adds: “My placement will involve both theory – based on understanding the role of a teacher – as well as practical opportunities to put that theory into practice. I will be assigned a placement school that I will work closely with and be supported by the class teachers at the school. I will also get the opportunity to teach across early years and primary school students to widen my teaching experience. As well as having assignments to complete for the course, I will also plan lessons and transition into teaching a class for week and then progress onto teaching a class for the rest of the year whilst still be supported by the teachers and lecturers.

“The course at UON has helped me understand the varying ways of teaching and learning and how to incorporate it all into a real-life situation. My confidence in my knowledge of support has grown massively as I have a wider understanding of what is required to be successful in this field and enjoy what you are doing – it is not all about your physical capability and what sports you know a lot about.”

Chloe Sparrow is from Leicestershire. Her placement will be with Loughborough University’s Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programme.

Chloe Sparrow Sport Development PE

She said: “The PGCE will involve two school placements in order for me to train to be a PE teacher, through school experience as well as working towards a Masters’ and completing my PGCE. I hope to gain more confidence and learn how to be a fun, engaging and successful PE teacher.

“I’m really looking forward to sharing my passion about sport and physical education with the 11-18 age range and want to inspire my students to continue to be physically active when they leave school. My ultimate goal is to get more and more young people to truly love PE!

“I feel extremely proud to have been offered a place to train to be a PE teacher such as Loughborough and feel like all my hard work over the past few years has paid off!

“Studying Sport Development and Physical Education at UON has prepared me for my PGCE due to learning all about teaching, learning and pedagogy. My placement module was particularly useful due to having the opportunity to help teach PE to the 11-18 age range.”

Charlotte Tierney, originally from Loughborough. She has accepted an offer from the University of Derby for teacher training in the post-16 sector which focuses on further education.

Charlotte Tierney Sport Development PE

Charlotte said: “I will be on placement for two days a week in a college, shadowing and being a teaching assistant to other teachers to get hands on experience of how to be successful and then two days a week in university, focusing on the skills and attributes needed to become a further education teacher.

“Obviously given my degree, I want to specialise in sport so I’m willing to take part in any lessons. I feel very fortunate to have been given this opportunity which has definitely boosted my confidence because I feel as though I’m good enough and equipped enough to take on more challenges that will help me on my journey to become a teacher.

“UON have really helped to build my confidence, with every lecturer pushing each student to be successful, with modules that are equipped for you to really utilise what you learn in the outside world. I’m happy I chose UON as a university and the Sports Development and PE course as I feel I have made good networks with lecturers and gained outstanding knowledge of my passion in sport.”

Brandon Williams is from Northampton. His placement will be with the University of Derby, also taking a PGCE in Further Education teaching, specialising in sport and PE.

Brandon Williams Sport Development PE

Brandon concludes: “I am excited about the future and can’t wait to get started in September 2021! The course involves two days at university while I spend two days at a placement in a college, shadowing, learning and eventually teaching – hopefully!

“The course at UON has helped me gain more knowledge within sport and PE, whilst also giving me confidence with my peers which will help so much when it comes to teaching. I will definitely use the skills learnt from the modules on this course and this will help me in the future. I hope to go on to be a success from my time at the University of Northampton.”

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