Will Cawley crouches down next to two schoolboys who are learning to throw a javelin.
Former Edge Hill student Will Cawley teaches PE in Rochdale.

A former Edge Hill student is putting his school on the map for sporting success.

After graduating with a degree in Physical Education and Sport in 2009, Will Cawley, who lives in Burnley, decided he wanted to share his passion for PE with the next generation.

After taking a break to travel, Will landed a role as a Teaching Assistant in America which gave him his first taste of life as an educator, and it was then he chose to embark on further study and fulfil his dreams of becoming a PE teacher.

Will said: “I’ve always loved sport and so studying it at University was the next natural step for me. I knew I wanted to do something which encouraged others to learn more about physical education, but I didn’t know exactly what that looked like until I took time out to travel. Having the experience of being a TA in America gave me the career direction I needed.”

Will returned to Edge Hill to complete his PGCE in 2010 and then quickly secured a PE teacher role at Whitworth Community High School in Rochdale.

Will said: “I was originally supposed to be covering maternity leave for six months, but I have been here ever since – I love it. When I first started PE went a little under the radar, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed increasing the clubs we have and taking part in competitions across the country.”

Since joining his school, Will has welcomed clubs including football, trampolining and climbing, and has even seen some of his young athletes compete in competitions at a regional and national level.

Will Cawley and three schoolchildren stand at the four corners of a trampoline as another pupil somersaults in the air.
Will Cawley has welcomed sports like trampolining back to his school.

Speaking about his work, Will said: “Seeing students develop their athletic abilities is a real pleasure of mine, but it’s been hugely rewarding to have opportunities to boost my own personal development as an educator, too. My passion for what I do has taken me from PE teacher to Director of Learning, so I now have oversight of other subjects as well as PE and am broadening my own learning and experience all the time. Every day and every child is different, and I love the variety that each day at work brings.”

When asked about his time at Edge Hill, Will said: “University gave me the best experiences and understanding of what to expect from life as a teacher. As someone who struggles with writing, I was particularly grateful for the support I received from the Learning Services team who helped me to get my thoughts down on paper. The staff were always so helpful and I loved the welcoming, friendly feel across campus. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Edge Hill to other aspiring teachers.”

Edge Hill University offers a wide range of Education and Teaching courses. Visit our dedicated pages for further information.