IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Q&A with Laura Sutherland

Laura switched careers to train to become a music teacher, and is now completing her Music PGCE.

Laura Sutherland, PGCE Music student of 2020

Hi Laura,

What is it like to train to become a teacher?

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time studying my Music PGCE. I chose IOE because of its reputation and it lived up to, and exceeded, my expectations.

I found the ‘Debates in Education’ lectures incredibly informative and inspiring, this was helped by excellent guest speakers. These really helped me to understand the issues in teaching and gave me direction for how to inform and improve my practice.

What is it like to train in a London school and how do you think it has benefited you?

While on placement the support from the university was always there and I never felt overwhelmed. I was always able to speak to someone for advice. My two placements were varied and the support given to the schools from IOE helped them to support trainee teachers well.

My subject specific support was phenomenal from people who really care about your development as an educator. Subject specific lectures were absolutely fantastic; they were so varied and run by exceptional people in their field. These sessions massively helped my development as a teacher and gave me lots of advice and tips for being in the classroom.

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Syw6sHCPPw


As teaching moved online in Spring 2020, Subject Leader Kate Lawrence challenged her Music PGCE students, featuring Laura on saxophone, to create a virtual ensemble for their course finale. Here's the story of their PGCE year...

It was also great to be able to get to know other trainee teachers in my subject as we have become very close and are able to share ideas, which I imagine will carry on through to our Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) years.

I did this as a career change and was nervous at the prospect of such a big change, but the year has really proved my passion for teaching and my subject and the IOE have had a big part in making it an exceptional year.

What would you say to new students on the programme?

There are times where it is a lot of work with lots of learning curves to be had, but IOE made it easy to embrace these and would always give support where it was needed. I am very grateful to IOE for making it so easy for me to be confident in my decision to change career and have given me confidence to continue into my NQT year!