My name is Bronagh Wallace, I’m 29 years old and from Belfast. I studied the Primary PGCE with Early Years at the University of Cumbria, Carlisle. I am currently a primary School teacher at Holy Cross Boys’ Primary School in Belfast.
I chose to study in Cumbria because I had friends who had studied there before and really loved the experience. I always wanted to be a primary school teacher and I felt that the course really prepared me for the role. The University were great at providing lots of different types of learning experiences, including small tutorials, lectures, classroom placements, Creative Week and group presentations.
I really loved the ‘Cumbria Teacher of Reading’ phonics classes with Ruth at UoC, her ‘Word Recognition/Language Comprehension’ diagram has stuck with me all these years later and I still use it to guide my teaching of reading and comprehension.
It was a busy, and at times, a hectic year but the work load was well balanced and relevant. I really enjoyed the fact that you belonged to a ‘group.’ This meant that you had a small university family who stuck together which is really important when you’re away from home. Everyone looked out for each other and there was a sense of community that I hadn’t experienced at uni before.
For me, Carlisle was quite like home in that it was a small city and not overwhelming. The university was really central and the town has a lovely vibe about it. I had to return home quite a few times that year as my father was ill and it’s really close to airports in Newcastle/Glasgow and the ferry in Cairnryan, so this made it possible. I really loved my time in Carlisle and I only wish it lasted a bit longer!