Case Study: Joe Birney, Maths and English

“I left school with quite poor results because I was never really bothered about education. I did my degree in Business as I was seeking promotion at work, but since I hit 30 I have wanted to push myself that bit further, so I completed my degree and achieved a 2:1 which led me to being promoted to Information Governance Officer at Harrogate Borough Council.

My tutor at the time said that I would make a good teacher, and I loved the thought of that, so I looked into what I would need to do to fulfil this ambition. During this process, I noticed that my work was hosting functional skills training in partnership with Harrogate College.

I went along and began on the Maths and English functional skills courses and sailed through these, but I wanted to push myself that bit further, so I went down to Harrogate College and signed up for the English GCSE course. I really enjoyed it and met some fantastic people. I then realised that I wanted to become a primary school teacher but to do this I would need at least a C in GCSE Science and Maths, so I put myself in for both the Maths and Science exams for this year, finishing in June 2017.

At the minute I’m doing both higher exams and looks like I’m on target for a B grade.

I have already looked into teaching and what I would need to do to accomplish this but my ultimate goal is to eventually become a primary or secondary school teacher. I have enjoyed my courses at Harrogate College so much that I’m even thinking about teaching maths as my specialist subject

Confidence wise, I have always had an issue with my writing and addition. I always second guessed myself and was never confident in my answers, however after embarking on this journey, I feel a lot more confident to the point where I know what I’m talking about when my kids ask me about questions for their homework!”


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