The PGDE at The University of Sheffield is More Than Just Teacher Training

PGDE History alumnus
Eric Redknap
Specialist Education Teacher
PGDE History
Eric works in Specialist education with some of the most challenging and complex young people in South Yorkshire, helping them to become happy, confident, and functioning citizens. The support and guidance he received from tutors on the PGDE enabled him to fulfil this ambition.

I am nearing the end of my third year as a teacher, two of which have been in special education. I started my PGDE in Secondary History with the intention of pursuing a career outside of the typical mainstream teacher experience, a path the course prepared me for brilliantly. I then further developed my understanding and experience of education by completing the MA APSE course through the University of Sheffield.

My course tutors understood and supported my desire to work with SEND and SEMH students. They offered placements that would help me gain experience in these areas, and provided excellent advice and guidance, drawing on their decades of experience in a multitude of educational roles. The structure of the course, especially the two-week Enrichment/Enhancement Experience placement, allowed me the freedom to look beyond the world of mainstream schools, and to experience the challenging, but rewarding, world of special and alternative provisions.

My experience on the PGDE and MA APSE have enabled me to work with some of the most challenging and complex young people in South Yorkshire, young people who the wider education system have given up on. I have supported students settle into education and grow into happy, confident, and functioning citizens who have achieved results they would have thought impossible.  I have also been fortunate enough to have been able to work outside the classroom, including spending a large amount of time exploring the Peak District with my students and colleagues.

For me, the PGDE course and MA APSE experience is best summed up as more than a teacher training course, the course on offer at the University of Sheffield will help you become a well-rounded, well-informed, and broadly experienced educationalist. In doing so, the PGDE will open a world of opportunities in education that you may or may not know exist.

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

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