🚧 NSCG | Q&A with former Access to HE Learner, Bryan Simpson
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19th July 2022

After working in retail and wanting more from life and his career, Bryan Simpson chose to study an Access to HE Diploma to fulfil his dreams of becoming an Primary School Teacher. Here Bryan tells us all about his journey into teaching.

Q: Why did you choose to return to education?

After a period of working in retail and getting to a point of not enjoying it as much as I used too, I decided that I needed to devote my time to something I am passionate about. I always wanted to be a primary school teacher and realised that education was how I was going to achieve this goal.

Q: Why did you choose to study at Newcastle College?

To become a primary school teacher, I made a plan of action, so I knew what steps to take to achieve my goal. I started by looking at University courses for Primary school teachers and then realising I needed a level 3 qualification began to look at different college courses. I had attended Newcastle College when I was younger so it was naturally my first point of call, but I also looked at some courses that I could study online. However, due to how welcoming, quick and informative the lecturers were at Newcastle College and how easy they made for me to enrol and begin the course (even though I was slightly late) it was the obvious choice.

Q: How did you juggle completing your assignments alongside your work and family commitments?

Luckily, due to my partner having a stable career I was able to go to college without having to work at all, though this presented challenges, especially financial ones that due to strict budgeting we were able to overcome. We made a financial plan the moment I had begun learning to ensure everything was covered.

Q: How did the Access course prepare you for Uni?

The course structure and assignments are created and presented to mirror typical university delivery which really helped ease the transition into adult and further education. Assignments especially were really helpful to enable me to understand my own progress and what is needed from me to achieve the higher grades, including structure, critical analysis and referencing. College also helped me realise how I should approach assignments and that strategic and effective planning is incredibly useful and helpful.

Q: What help and support did you receive from lecturers?

The lecturers were helpful at guiding us through the course and to hone our academic skills and made it clear what we needed to do to progress. They were also always ready to talk to us and communicate if we needed any help or had any issues that needed sorting. I cannot stress enough how welcoming the lecturers were and made the level 3 segment of my education journey enjoyable and engaging especially as Covid-19 occurred and caused hiccups with the course.

Q: What are you doing now?

I am currently studying at Staffordshire University in my second year (level 5) primary education and QTS.

Q: What are your future career goals?

To be a primary teacher, preferably key stage 2. Eventually moving onto subject leadership and hopefully moving into the senior leadership team of a school.

Ultimately, I really enjoyed my time at college and there was not much I would call to improve. I made significant progress in one year, especially as I had been out of education for at least a decade. I felt prepared for University and continue to do so as I take the next steps in my educational journey.

If you've been inspired by Bryan's story, find out more about studying an Access to HE course at Newcastle College.

Bryan Simpson