Anne Ellis PGCE graduate

Karran Panesar PGCE graduate

Anne Ellis PGCE graduate

Karran Panesar PGCE graduate

When Anne Ellis started her studies at LJMU she was taking things one module at a time. Now with an undergraduate degree and a PGCE under her belt, she is loving life in her dream job as a full-time teacher at Ramworth Square Primary School in Norris Green.

When Anne Ellis started her studies at LJMU she was taking things one module at a time. Now with an undergraduate degree and a PGCE under her belt, she is loving life in her dream job as a full-time teacher at Ramworth Square Primary School in Norris Green.

Anne came to LJMU later in life having worked in the fitness industry for 20 years. With a young family of her own to care for, she moved sector and went to work in a private nursery, sitting her Level 2 and 3 exams and working her way up to a management position.

“I decided to do a qualification in Early Years Practice,” she explains. “I studied at foundation level to start off with and then topped my qualification up to a full undergraduate degree. I chose LJMU because it had a great reputation and fitted in well with my lifestyle.”

Having developed a taste for her studies and wanting to progress from her then role as a school Teaching Assistant, Anne decided to continue her studies and become a fully qualified early years teacher. “I was lucky enough to get onto the School Direct PGCE salaried route so I was able to continue working at the same school during my studies,” she says. “Studying at a higher level was tough but the support network at LJMU and in my school was outstanding. You start to believe that you can do it and you know that staff are there to support you every step of the way.”

Anne graduated in November 2019, starting her job as an early years teacher two months earlier. “My PGCE has opened new doors for me, given me confidence in myself, boosted my self-esteem and improved my earning power,” she smiles. “It has 100% given me my dream job and I would encourage anyone considering the step up to higher level study at LJMU to go for it. It is a truly inspiring place to study and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.”

Volunteering at a Camp America Special Needs Camp proved to be the decisive moment in Karran Panesar’s career.

Volunteering at a Camp America Special Needs Camp proved to be the decisive moment in Karran Panesar’s career.

As an 18 year old Londoner, Karran Panesar developed a passion for special needs teaching that brought him to LJMU first to study for a degree in Education Studies with Special and Inclusive Needs and then to train as a teacher via a PGCE.

“I’d always thought I’d quite like to be a teacher,” explains Karran “but when I did the session at Camp America I realised that special needs teaching was my passion. I looked for courses that would get me to where I wanted to be and, when I visited John Moores for the Open Day, it really stood out.”

At the end of his undergraduate degree, Karran decided to continue his studies with a PGCE. “Although my course focusses on primary teaching, my first placement was a secondary school and I have now come to realise that I really want to work in a specialist secondary school rather than a mainstream primary,” he smiles.

So how is the step up from undergraduate to postgraduate study? “It really is a full-time course,” says Karran. “At the moment I am in university two days and in school three days; that will change to five days a week in school next year and then I will have some additional uni days later on in the course.”

In terms of learning style the emphasis is very much on independence according to Karran. “The workload is a big step up but it is manageable,” he says. “The great thing about John Moores is that the support is there when you need it, not only from your personal tutor but from all of the lecturers. They have been amazing in helping me to adapt my materials for a special needs audience.”

Karran loves the holistic side of special needs teaching. “I am more interested in skills-based learning than academic learning,” he says. “The work I am doing is all about passing on life skills and social skills and that develops the children academically too. Being in a classroom for the first time can be a little overwhelming but it is so rewarding. It is amazing to know that you are making a real difference. I certainly made the right decision when I decided to train as a teacher.”