Stacey Thomas from Longwood has been awarded a First Class Honours Degree at the University of Hertfordshire, studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.
Stacey began her journey by studying on the Foundation Degree in Learning Support course, where she completed modules including Managing Inclusion Frameworks and Issues, ICT for Supporting Learning and Teaching, Working with Children with Specific Learning Difficulties, Behaviour Management, Speech and Language and Autism. In addition, she completed a practice-based enquiry.
As part of the Foundation Degree, Stacey worked as aTeaching Assistant and volunteered in a Special Educational Needs school for pupils with moderate learning difficulties.
“This was a crucial part of my studies which helped me in linking theory with practice. In addition, I gained first-hand experience working in a UK school as well as building a bank of teaching ideas for my personal practice in the future.”
After passing the Foundation Degree with a Distinction, Stacey aspired to enrol on the final year of the BEd (Primary) Programme. In order to gain direct entry onto the course from the Foundation Degree, individuals had to attend an interview and pass Maths and Literacy Skills tests – Stacey passed both requirements and was offered a place on the course.
The BEd Degree saw Stacey covering modules which focused on Developing Professional Practice, English across the Curriculum, how to become an Outstanding Maths Teacher and Developing a Creative Curriculum.
“These modules gave high focus on enquiry, exploration, discovery and critical reflection, which helped me in identifying my core values and beliefs as a teacher. Furthermore, the theory learnt within these modules were very beneficial during my school- based training.”
Stacey also underwent school placements to build her knowledge and competence – accomplished by completing a project with a Year 2 class at a Junior Mixed Infant School, and planning and teaching a small group in English and Mathematics.
Stacey completed her school-based training with a Year 4 class in a Junior School – enabling her to understand the requirements expected of teachers, as specified in the Standards for Qualified Teaching Status – which centres around managing childrens’ learning efficiently, creating a conducive learning environment and meeting the needs of individual pupils.
“By the end of my placement, I was teaching 80% of the class timetable. I thoroughly enjoyed my school-based training, where I learnt a great deal from my mentors and the students. I was extremely pleased to be graded Outstanding at the end of the placement.
“The past three years have been both challenging and rewarding. It has also given me the confidence to take on my next challenge which is to successfully complete my Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) year. I would like to thank the Education Department, Mr Brian Fredericks, Matthew and all of my family, friends and colleagues for their continuous support and words of encouragement throughout.”
Colin Moore, Director of Education, concluded:
“Gaining a First Class Honours Degree is a very impressive achievement. Stacey is such a talented young teacher who has all the qualities and specialist skills that the Island needs as we continue to raise educational standards on St Helena.
“Everybody is thrilled for Stacey. On behalf of the Directorate and the wider community, I would like to offer our congratulations to her. Well done Stacey.”
4 August 2014