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When Beth Hardy and Imran Khan graduate from the University of Cumbria at Carlisle Cathedral next week, they won’t simply be celebrating the end of their studies and qualifying as primary teachers – the icing on the cake will come from the fact that by coming to Carlisle they met each other.
Beth and Imran were both history specialists on the three-year Primary Education BA Honours (QTS) programme at the Fusehill Street campus and over the course of their studies they grew closer.
Twenty-one-year-old Beth, from Cambridge, says: : “I have always wanted to be a teacher as both my parents were teachers so I grew up knowing it would be something I’d enjoy.”
She is full of praise for her course and in particular her tutor Sue Temple. “We had a very ‘hands on’ course (through practical activities and plenty of time in school) and that meant that it was not only more enjoyable, but means I now feel more confident in my own ability to teach. Imran and I were both history specialists (it’s where we met – how romantic!) and we both really enjoyed these sessions as Sue made sure we all got the most out of our time with her.”
Imran, 22, is equally enthusiastic about his time at the university. Originally from London, he says: “Being so far from home was difficult in the first couple of months due to the distance from friends and family, however it is very easy to settle in and feel welcome at the university and in Carlisle.”
Through the university Imran had the opportunity to go on a paid, three-week placement in Borlange, Sweden where he worked in a forest school teaching English and learning about the Swedish education system.
He explains: “This was a priceless experience from which I learnt a lot and made great friends and contacts in Sweden with whom I’m still in touch. This was definitely a big highlight of my three years at uni and an opportunity I would not have otherwise had as the uni organised most of it and funded it fully.”
Both Imran and Beth have both found jobs in Norfolk. “I’m teaching by the sea in Great Yarmouth,” says Beth, “so we will be living between there and Norwich where Imran will be teaching year five. Imran and I were both lucky enough to secure jobs during our final block placement so we were able to plan ahead regarding where we were going to live and what sort of place we could afford. A very small one by the looks of it…!”
Both are excited about starting out on their new careers, and Imran is already planning ahead with ambition. “I really want to knuckle down on being a great classroom practitioner and then, depending on what opportunities arise, I would like to eventually move onto more senior roles once I am more experienced (deputy head/head teacher). Even further down the line I might consider becoming a lecturer in primary education – I would like to stay in education in some form or the other until I retire!”