Hi, my name is Rebecca McLernon. I studied at Havelock School (now Academy) in Grimsby, and then did my A-Levels at Havelock sixth form.
I chose to study English Lang/Lit, Psychology and Music, and Critical Thinking.
I got good GCSE results and although I found A levels quite challenging, I aspired to train as a primary school teacher, so I knew that I needed to complete my A Levels and get good results.
I finished sixth form with two B’s and two C’s, which was enough to enrol on my first degree choice: Primary Education (with recommendation for QTS) at Bishop Grosseteste University College in Lincoln.
Universities in York, Lincoln, Leeds and London offered me a place, but I was concerned about leaving home – I’d always lived in Grimsby.
My parents encouraged me to push myself out of my comfort zone and move away to study so that I’d get the best university experience. They were concerned that if I didn’t live away I would miss out on living with friends and other experiences going on outside of the curriculum.
I loved my time at university; I enjoyed my course and the placements that I undertook in lots of different schools, gained invaluable work experience and knowledge and met some of my best friends.
I know these friends will be some of my best friends for life despite living in other areas of the UK. I regularly visit beautiful places in Norfolk now to visit my friends. One friend even lives on a farm so now I get to have experiences that are not connected to my university degree or career because of people I met whilst at university!
On my final university placement before graduating, I returned to Havelock Academy to get some work experience outside of a primary school. The teachers in the music department pushed me out of my comfort zone even further and challenged me to teach some music lessons.
I didn’t know it at the time, but the principal had been looking to appoint a teacher with primary experience to set up an ‘Intervention Wave.’ The vision for the Intervention Wave at Havelock was a small year 7 nurture group made up of identified students who were working at below national average in English and maths in year 6.
After teaching in the music department for a few weeks on my final placement, I was called to the principal’s office where he told me about the job and asked whether I would be interested in a teaching role at Havelock Academy.
That was almost five years ago and I have been teaching in the Intervention Wave and Music and Performing Arts department since then. I have recently taken a promotion to Subject Leader of Music and Performing Arts which is a new challenge that I am very excited about.
Without my university experience, degree and placements I definitely would not be in the position I am in now, so I am so happy that I made the decision to go to university!