Teaching and changing the lives of Secondary students with PGCE Geography at Cardiff Met


Hi, I’m Jessica and I completed an undergraduate degree in Human Geography in 2022. I decided on a career in teaching towards the end of my degree. I knew I wanted to teach my subject specialism at secondary level as it would give me the opportunity to share my enthusiasm and passion for Geography in a creative and engaging way to inspire the next generation.

My experience completing the PGCE at Cardiff Met was extremely positive. Across the year, it provided me with a range of opportunities and experiences to prepare me for my first year as a teacher of geography and humanities.

I enjoyed the structure of the course where I spent time on placement teaching with the support of my mentor, but I also had weekly sessions at Cardiff Met to meet up with my course tutor and my course mates. The sessions at university were invaluable in being able to discuss my personal experiences with other PGCE Geography students in a collaborative and supportive environment. The provision of School Led Training days were also really helpful for this too. Finally, the provision of cross-curricular experiences, working with teachers of other subjects and age phases both within and outside of my own ‘Area of Learning Experience’ prepared me for my role as a teacher of all age groups in secondary school, and a range of subjects including Humanities, Geography and Wellbeing.

Teaching at two different schools during my time at Cardiff Met was a great opportunity for me to develop my confidence as a teacher in contrasting settings. It encouraged me to be able to adapt to a new teaching environment and showed me how different schools can provide different work environments; it taught me the importance of finding a school that is the right ‘fit’ for you. It also showed me how the new curriculum is being put into practice in different settings, and how it is being delivered in a variety of ways depending on the practitioners delivering it.

I secured my first teaching job relatively early in the December of my PGCE year. Although I had only been teaching lessons since mid-October, I had enough experience and understanding of the current vision for education in Wales to talk about in my interview, securing a permanent post as a Geography teacher in a school at Ystrad Mynach. I have now successfully completed my first term teaching and I look forward to what the rest of this year, and beyond, as a teacher will bring.

My tips for future teachers completing their PGCE or starting their first teaching job:

  • Don’t be too harsh on yourself.
  • Begin your teaching career with a good work-life balance from the outset.
  • Enjoy it!

Find out more about studying the Secondary PGCE at Cardiff Met.


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