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James Gillick – University of Reading

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  • James Gillick:

    The subject speacialsm is unique

James Gillick


We caught up with James Gillick via our IoE LinkedIn Alumni group and here is what he had to say about his experiences studying the BAEd Primary Education with English  specialism at the Institute of Education.
The BA Ed Primary Education with subject specialism  is unique and, when comparing universities, Reading stood head and shoulders above the rest. From the first step onto London Road Campus, I knew this is where I wanted to be. Meeting the lecturers, I saw their passion in teaching and their subjects which rubbed off on me instantly.

During mjg1y time at Reading, I grew very close to the lecturers and my fellow students. We had such a strong family bond, supporting each other through difficult times. The lectures, assignments and seminars are tough and rigorous but with that support structure, I was able to achieve more than I ever thought I could.

On placements, I was given many different opportunities to try new things. There were tough days, and having observations when you know you could do better certainly gets to you, but with constructive feedback by University tutors and University trained mentors I qualified as a teacher in 2016. I still think back to those initial placements, remembering strategies and skills that I practised to use with my current class.

In my third year, I was elected to be the president of the Education Society (Ed Soc). We worked hard as a society to encourage every member of the University's education community to come together and socialise. I am proud to see that the society continues with that mission to this day.

Now, 5 years after starting at the University of Reading, I am beginning my 3rd year of teaching in a new school. I am the Humanities subject lead at a school in Reading and I have set up the school's first Year 5 class. It is tough being a teacher but with this big step in my career, I know that the Institute of Education has prepared me to be the best teacher I can be. Academically, I have just begun the MRes in Children's Literature at Reading, a challenge but one I am excited to be starting.

I look back at my time at Reading so fondly, I wish I could do it all again. However, I am 23 and in a fast-paced, interesting career. In a time when so many Newly Qualified Teachers are finding this career too difficult to stay in the teaching profession, every single one of my friends from university are still teaching, and we love it. I can only encourage any prospective students to come to one of our open days and see the Institute of Education yourselves.

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