My name is Naomi Davies and I am currently a secondary school Physical Education teacher at Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni. On a daily basis I try and give pupils ranging from years 7 to 11 an array of experiences across different activities such as netball, dance and athletics to ensure a positive experience for all.
I started studying Bsc. Sport and Physical Education in September 2012. In all honesty, my heart was set on this course for years, convinced after speaking to my own PE teachers that had studied versions of this course over the last few decades. When I was lucky enough to start my undergraduate journey, I was surprised but encouraged by the wide breadth of sporting subjects out there and available to study, from the sport sciences to socio-cultural issues and practical based coaching/ teaching.
Continuing those modules that were most fitted to my interest, career path and learning styles throughout the next two years such as health in special populations, socio-cultural issues in sport and sports coaching, I was also lucky enough to be attend a voluntary work placement at Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf. This was a golden opportunity to put my studies into practice and to learn from the professionals that have now become fellow colleagues and friends.
During my third year is when I experienced the most useful, interesting and beneficial module called Pedagogy. Although the term Pedagogy itself sounds complex, it’s basically the science and art of all things teaching. This module taught through mostly practical lectures, set me up perfectly for my post-graduate aspirations of a PGCE in PE at Cardiff Met. I also decided to write my dissertation under this discipline exploring the question does a teacher’s personality effect the teaching styles they use. I enjoyed the process greatly, was subject to an amazing support network and succeeded in using teachers that I had met through my work placement. All of these elements combined created a well written dissertation that won the “Eric Thomas memorial award, sponsored by Spire” for the best undergraduate dissertation in Cardiff Met’s School of Sport.
Due to studying at Cardiff Met for my undergraduate I understood the high standard and expectations of the institution and was able to earn the highest-grade profile on Cardiff Met’s very competitive PE PGCE Secondary course. I truly believe that my undergraduate studies had prepared and placed strong foundations and experiences for me to discuss, utilise and draw from during a very intense but rewarding year.
I have been teaching at Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni for 3 years, and with each year I am continuingly gaining more valuable experiences, developing myself professionally and enjoying my career path that Cardiff Met through the Sport and PE program helped begin.
If I could talk to the 18-year-old Naomi, I wouldn’t have much life changing advice to give. However, I would say take the offer and dive into as many experiences and opportunities in the field as you can. Because I strongly believe that in life practice makes perfect, and what better way to practice than with an experienced hand to let you know that they’ve made the same mistakes way back when and that that’s ok!