The course strengthened not only my subject knowledge, but the crucial skills and confidence I needed to succeed as a teacher.
It was while I was studying for my undergraduate degree in Education Studies that I discovered my passion for religious education (R.E). As a subject, R.E allows pupils to grow emotionally, socially and mentally. It broadens their horizons by helping them to understand different worldviews. I felt inspired to become an R.E teacher, and after applying for a PGCE at Edge Hill I was made a conditional offer. My tutor told me about the Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course, and how this would be a great way to bridge my subject knowledge gap and allow me to meet the conditional entry criteria for my PGCE. Although my degree covered some elements of religion in education, my subject knowledge needed some more development to prepare me for the focused nature of the PGCE.
The SKE course in R.E was perfect preparation for the PGCE course, because it’s been tailored to give an overview of the religions studied most commonly in schools across the UK. I had brilliant support on the course. My tutors were helpful and easy to approach, so my classmates and I always felt comfortable to ask questions and seek their advice.
The thing I love most about specialising as an R.E teacher is helping young people to build their knowledge and respect for religions around the world. It’s been so rewarding for me to support pupils with their own personal growth, developing their spiritual, moral, social and cultural identities. These qualities will serve them throughout life, helping them to build connections with others.
The SKE course gave me the opportunity to hear from and speak with guest speakers from different religious backgrounds, who shared their own experiences with us openly. My tutors used different pedagogical theories in their teaching, so I was able to experience and understand different teaching methods. Collaborative work, for example, encouraged my peers and I to share our knowledge and first-hand experiences with one another. This is a technique that I have gone on to use in my own teaching in professional practice after seeing how impactful it can be. The SKE course strengthened not only my subject knowledge, but the crucial skills and confidence I needed to succeed as a teacher.