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James Cross – University of Reading

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  • James Cross

    PGCE Secondary Education (Drama)

James Cross


We interviewed James about his time studying the PGCE Secondary Education (Drama) course. 

James, originally from Chelmsford in Essex always had a love of theatre and drama.

He did his undergraduate degree in Film, Theatre & Television at the University of Reading. 

James was pleased to be in a town that was up and coming in the arts and chose University of Reading after attending an open day.

He liked the University so much so that after he completed his undergraduate degree he went on to work for the University. 

"As soon as I stepped on campus I knew University of Reading had the right atmosphere for me. Three amazing years, plus another year working as a videographer for the University meant there was only one place I wanted to do my teacher training."

James continued: "The place, the people, the campus, the whole vibe just suited me perfectly. Thankfully I think I made the right choice."

When asked why drama? James felt it was the perfect opportunity to do what he loved every day! He said:

"As drama teachers, we often feel like we have to constantly justify our subject. However, learning how to teach alongside people who are genuinely passionate about the subject was a real inspiration. I'm still good friends with most of the other Drama teachers that I graduated with and their successes inspire me constantly."

In terms of pastoral support, James said he was valued, listened to and respected. "I felt my subject leader was always looking after our mental wellbeing and consistently made us feel like we were building towards a great career. I'm still friends with a few of my lecturers so you are really able to build a connection with the people that are teaching you."

Placements were a vital part of the course and James went to two schools during his teacher training.

"We were put into a school almost as soon as we started the course, meaning we had to assimilate and adapt very quickly, which I think is a good reflection of modern day teaching! Within the first few weeks I was teaching full lessons and learning the ropes very quickly. With many of the challenges I face in my current job, I will often draw on the experience I had during those placements."

James is currently teaching Drama and Film at a British International School in Mexico and completed his NQT year in the summer of 2018. In the future he'd love to be in a position where he can have an impact on education policy or the promotion of the arts in general.

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