Rachel Martin PGCE Secondary Physics

Awarded a National Teacher Training Scholarship from the Institute of Physics

"I was attracted to teaching because I want to inspire the next generation of students to reach their potential in science, particularly physics. I am so grateful for the opportunities my teachers gave me and reading recent headlines highlighting the gender disparity in the number of girls taking physics at A-Level, really encouraged me to work as a female role model in physics.

I chose to study at St Mary’s because of its good reputation among teachers that I spoke to along with its Outstanding Ofsted report and its location. Whilst the application process for the scholarship was rigorous, it was fantastic to have been given the award and, aside from the monetary bonus, the mentoring and support from the Institute of Physics will be a great help and being part of a network of new physics teachers will be extremely valuable."

Susan Mayes PGCE Secondary Chemistry

Awarded a National Teacher Training Scholarship from the Royal Society of Chemistry

"My working life divides equally into three phases the first as a chemist working in industry, the second as a stay at home mum and the third as a teacher. Teaching attracted me because I was looking for a new challenge. I particularly enjoyed the training and mentoring aspects of my previous career and my role in public affairs; explaining to people what the company did and how we did it. As a parent I have been fascinated by my own children’s development and education. Teaching offers me the opportunity to combine all the elements I have most enjoyed in the previous two phases of my working life.

I love chemistry because it explains why the world is the way it is, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge and enthusiasm. There are some fantastic careers out there for chemists, and hopefully I can inspire and encourage young people to pursue the subject to enrich their own lives and the lives of others.

The application process for the scholarship was testing, but it is fantastic to have received the award. I am very happy to be at St Mary’s and excited to be embarking on a career in teaching."

Sinead Rafferty PGCE Secondary Mathematics

Awarded a National Teacher Training Scholarship from the Institute of Mathematics (IMA)

"Being a student in the classroom was where I was first inspired to teach. Explaining things to my peers not only helped to consolidate my own learning, but also gave me great satisfaction when they had understood my explanation. For me, the most exciting part of a lesson is when there is a light bulb (or penny drop) moment, where a student understands a topic or finds an answer for themselves. Being the person who can trigger that discovery process is one of the many rewarding experiences a teacher gets in the classroom. Teaching will allow me to be able to show my passion for mathematics, while still enabling me to continue my own learning and developing.

After being accepted on the PGCE at St Mary’s, I was strongly encouraged to apply for the Institute of Mathematics scholarship. The application process involved tests, discussions and a formal interview, it was a rigorous process but I was elated when I found out that I had received the scholarship, it has given me confidence and helped me to realise my passions for teaching.

I was recommended St Mary’s by some of my own teachers and wasn’t disappointed. The passion of all the staff really shone out to me and right from my application, I have felt supported by the strong and caring network of people who work at the University."