Kelly Le Pennec
Kelly Le Pennec is undertaking the BA Primary Education (QTS) General Pathway. She is 41 and a mother of two children. She was employed for 14 years within the transport industry where she undertook a variety of roles including, policy writing and ISO audits, before leaving to focus on her children. Upon getting a job at her daughter's school her passion for teaching was reignited.
"I had always wanted to attend university and have a career in teaching from a very young age, however the opportunity did not present itself until years later, when I got a job within my daughter's infant school. I realised, that if I took a leap of faith, it might not be too late to achieve my dreams."
Kelly then completed a one year Access course at college in order to have the necessary qualifications for entry.
"Being a more mature student was a daunting prospect. However, I have been made to feel welcome by both the professors and the students and I needn't have worried. If there are any other mature students considering taking that leap of faith, I would highly recommend it. You won't regret it!"
When asked why she chose University of Reading she said:
"The University of Reading was the most obvious choice for me. Apart from reading excellent reviews and statistics about the course, London Road Campus is a 15 minute walk from Reading station which has high-speed links to other towns including the one in which I live. I needed to find a university that I could commute to daily and which wasn't too far for me to travel as I still needed to 'be a mum' to my children."
"The other reason I chose to attend University of Reading was because it offers a BA Primary Education course with QTS included. This is perfect for students who do not want to specialise in English, Maths, Art or Music. The BA Primary Education general pathway option means I am able to have the same level of opportunities and education as other students."
Early on in the course, students were paired and sent weekly to local schools in order to gain work experience.
"Overall there have been 13 school experience days plus four weeks of block placement within a school. This has provided us with invaluable skills for teaching. In addition to this, our lessons are sometimes provided by guest speakers who are experts in their field and provide additional insight and information for more in-depth learning."
In terms of what she enjoyed the most, Kelly said:
"The knowledge of the professors has been outstanding. They aren't just teaching a subject, they are passionate about the subject they teach and this passion becomes infectious. This is something I will take-away with me when I finally become a fully qualified teacher."
Her advice to those thinking of university right now during these strange times was as follows:
"Since the outbreak of COVID-19, everyone on the course worried about the effect this would have on our learning and the quality of teaching. However, the professors very quickly transitioned to online collaborative platforms and we were all able to continue our studies online. They were even able to provide us with guest speakers, who communicated with us live from their own homes. Under the circumstances, this shows the pure dedication of the professors."