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Jack's story

After running my own sports performance business for 8 years, I wanted to work more on sports performance in schools. Week-to-week coaching turned into a full-time role at an independent school, and in 2020 the head teacher suggested I get a PGCE and take on some GCSE teaching. It’s a very different challenge, but coaching and teaching have a similar endgame, and with both I’m doing something into which I love and can pour my heart and soul.

I needed a course which would allow me to work alongside completing the PGCE. Coventry came up highly recommended – my mentor at school had worked previously with people involved with the course. It’s been very collaborative with the school so can things run side by side.

The NITE experience has been fantastic. I get lots of information, it’s easy to get hold of someone when you need to, and my mentors at school and university have been very supportive and kept me honest in terms of the work I’m doing. PebblePad and FutureLearn have been really helpful. We had a workshop on dealing with parents which I thought was unbelievably helpful. It can be a really tricky part of the job, so learning different techniques to have conversations with parents, on email, in person is important.

It is a lot of work, and it’s a unique experience during Covid, but I’m really enjoying the challenge, and getting the fresh perspective of other teachers coming into the profession.

I couldn’t recommend it highly enough in terms of enabling you to get a qualification while on the job, to learn and develop your skills and your teaching ability as you work.

I was very anxious and nervous about doing a qualification – I’m a dad with two young boys at home – but in terms of the support NITE gives and the workload, it’s been fantastic. It is tough, there’s a lot of work to do, but if you’re passionate it’s extremely worthwhile. There will be a lot of people who want to move over to a new career like teaching, and this is a fabulous opportunity to do that.

Jack Robinson – PGCE apprentice, Sept 2020 cohort