17th July 2020
We are always so pleased to hear how well our past students are doing in their careers and how studying here at NSCG has helped them to achieve their success. We caught up with Molly Sherratt who studied the Foundation Degree in Early Years at Newcastle College, and who has now gone on to study the BA (Hons) in Education (Top-up) at Staffordshire University.
Q.Can you tell us about yourself and your work history.
A. I am currently working at Merryfields School in Wolstanton as an unqualified teacher, which means I will be completing my teaching qualification through a practice only route. After a year of working at the school, I applied to be a Higher Learning Teaching Assistant which I worked as for a year and loved going around the different classes and teaching many different children. After this, I then got offered to lead a class which was amazing as I love my job and thoroughly enjoy going to work every day. This school was actually one of my student placements whilst I was completing my college course on the BTEC Early Childhood Studies so it is so lovely to be starting my teaching career here.
I am also balancing work with studying for my BA (Hons) Education Top-up at Staffordshire University.
Q.How was School and College for you?
A. High school was quite tough, but I enjoyed every second of it and I worked really hard to get my GCSEs. I came out with C’s across the board but with an A* in Health and Social care. My initial plan was to do A levels as I wanted to become a teacher, however I did not get the GCSE grades required. When I first went to a college open event, the staff advised me to have a look at doing the BTEC Early Childhood Studies course at Newcastle College. It was the best choice that I could have made as I loved being able to learn at college whilst doing two days a week on a placement. It really helped me to gain experience while completing the course which is so important in the world of education. I did a year in a mainstream school, half a year in a nursery and then half a year at Merryfields School.
Q.Why did you choose to study the Foundation Degree in Early Years?
A. I wanted to study, whilst still being able to work within a school, as I love my job and did not want to leave to go into full time education. I also wanted to be able to learn and be able to put this into practice. I hoped that this course would be a stepping stone to help me to become a teacher. I also knew that Gill Leech would be teaching the course, and she had been my tutor at college previously. I found Gill to be an inspiration and knew that I would learn so much from her. All of the lecturers including Jayne Dale and Amanda Garside were amazing, and went above and beyond to support us all throughout the course.
Q.How has studying Higher Education changed your life and career so far?
A. Studying the Foundation Degree in Early Years has changed my life massively as it has enabled me to progress to study for my degree in Education. I have become a much more confident employer within my school and I have the enthusiasm and knowledge to support those around me. It has also given me the confidence to become a Staff Governor and support my school even more. By studying, it has also led to me having a promotion to teaching staff within the school and this was always a dream of mine. Once I finish my top up degree, I also hope to go on to complete my teaching qualification. I gained many friendships through this course and I got to learn from so many different people that all work in education.
Q.What was the biggest challenge for you?
A. The biggest challenge for me was getting into the head space of independent learning. It can be difficult to complete the course, work and have a life all at the same time. However, with effective time management this really is possible. And once you find a balance between them all, writing assignments becomes a positive experience.
Q.And your biggest reward?
A. Graduating! Being able to show all your family and friends that you have completed a Foundation Degree is amazing. Knowing that all the hours of hard work you have put in have been worth something! It is the best feeling in the world when you walk across the stage knowing that you are moving on to the next stage of your career! And of course getting onto the degree course at Staffordshire University has been such an achievement which I am so proud of.
Q.What would you say to others in your position looking to study Higher Education at NSCG?
A. Go for it! It will be one of the best experiences of your lives. You will learn so much from the course. Newcastle College’s environment is so positive and a bit like a family. You feel so comfortable to move around the building and the lecturers are so supportive, and are willing to be there for you not just for the course but as a person you can talk to. I am so glad that I did it and I am proud of how much I have achieved.
Find out more about our broad range of Higher Education courses at NSCG.