Bryony Wood

Chemistry Teacher Training Scholarship

"I have been awarded a scholarship this year from the Royal Society of Chemistry to support my teaching training."

MChem (Hons) Chemistry at Nottingham Trent University, graduated in July 2017.

PGCE Secondary Science with Chemistry specialism at Nottingham Trent University.

My name is Bryony Wood and I am currently studying a PGCE at Nottingham Trent University specialising in Chemistry. My desire to become a teacher began when I started to study Chemistry at A-level. The passion and enjoyment that my chemistry teacher had for the subject was admirable. Having a clear interest in Chemistry myself, I chose to complete a master’s degree in the subject at university, enabling my knowledge to flourish. I completed a week’s work experience during my second year of university at my old secondary school. Throughout the week I was part of many lessons ranging from year 7 all the way up to A-level classes in the 6th Form. I was involved in many areas of classroom life, from helping the children who struggled with the topics to setting more challenging problems for the children who were excelling.

In my third year of university, as part of the School of Science and Technology open week, the Chemistry Department ran a basic synthetic Chemistry activity with the objective to let potential students understand what it was like to be a chemistry student. The activity involved synthesising aspirin and using different analytical techniques which is a common practical experiment in first year Chemistry at university. I was invited by my Head of Year to help run the activity. I oversaw a small group of 6th Form students and taught them how to successfully complete the activity, as well as explained and answered any questions about the Chemistry behind it. This experience confirmed that teaching was the right career path for me, as I enjoyed being able to share my knowledge with the students.

I have been awarded a scholarship this year from the Royal Society of Chemistry to support my teaching training. These scholarships are awarded to trainees completing Chemistry teaching courses, and having been awarded one, I have had access to exceptional resources and support throughout my PGCE. I welcome the advice and knowledge from expert mentors and enjoy meeting with other professionals with the same passion for teaching Chemistry. The scholarship is an excellent way of promoting subject specialism in teaching and this is what attracted me to the scheme. The scholarship has made it more financially possible for me to complete my teacher training and allow me to focus on my teaching without the pressure of having to work to make ends meet financially.

Some of the most enjoyable aspects of my teaching career to date have involved putting into practice in a live environment, things I have learned as part of my MChem and PGCE courses. I always challenge myself, and love to see what I can achieve in new situations. I also love seeing the reactions from pupils when they conduct an experiment or learn something new as a result of one of my lessons, it really makes all the planning time worthwhile! The support from the schools where I have completed my placements at has been fantastic. It feels great to be part of such a dedicated team of teachers, sharing ideas and work practices and all working towards a common goal.

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