Rory McGrath

Rory McGrath MA in Learning and Teaching 

Campus-based, Part-time

Tell us a little bit about your background

I came to Leicester to study English in 2005. Having always planned on being a teacher, this was followed by a PGCE in Upper Primary teaching which was also undertaken at Leicester. I am now a teacher at a local Leicestershire Primary School and I am currently undertaking the MA in Learning and Teaching to develop my teaching practice. 

What attracted you to the Programme of Study here?

The MA in Learning and Teaching appeared to offer an excellent opportunity to develop my practice and classroom delivery and also gave me the opportunity to develop my subject knowledge of issues in Mathematics and Science education. With a strong interest in entering the school leadership framework, I was looking for a course that would facilitate my career development and the MA appeared to offer this. One of my PGCE tutors was taking some of the units on the MA Learning and Teaching course and so this also influenced my decision.    

Can you describe your experience of studying with the School of Education at Leicester?

Challenging and intellectually stimulating. The School is a good environment for professional development as well as being relaxed and discursive. Efficiently managed, virtual learning (Blackboard) which was well promoted. The sessions provide information and skills which can be directly applied in the classroom environment. The course has definitely met my expectations, it has provided me with greater confidence in the classroom, I feel secure with the knowledge that the techniques work! Excellent ideas and pedagogical knowledge.  Good teaching rooms which are well resourced. The School of Education has its own suit of computers which provides good access and the Science Learning Centre. Approachable tutors helpful feedback on assignments.  

What do you enjoy most about your course?

Having the opportunity to reflect and integrate new ideas into my teaching practice. The course has given me the skills to question old methods of practice and look to ways to improve. My involvement with the Fibonacci Project for Maths and Science education involved a field trip to Berlin which I found particularly enjoyable. This trip involved visits to German schools to investigate alternative teaching systems and to develop understanding of Science and Maths education across Europe.

How has your course influenced your thinking about teaching?

The course has given me confidence to approach wider reading and research which I am then able to apply within my teaching practice. Different approaches and perspectives have helped to inform my teaching methods.

What are your plans for the future once you have completed your degree?

I hope to progress to leadership level with a view to becoming headteacher. More immediately, I would like to become a Maths Consultant so that I am able to impart the knowledge and skills I have gained from the specialist Mathematics modules on the MA programme.  

And finally... 

One piece of advice you would give to a new student starting here?

Take the opportunity to work with as many professionals as possible, their knowledge is invaluable. And make sure you ride the paternoster!

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