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NEWS > PGS > Rachel Sullivan PGS 1998 - 2005

Rachel Sullivan PGS 1998 - 2005

Rachel loved sport at school. Now a Lecturer in PE & ITT at the University of Gloucestershire, she sends her own students to Pate's on teaching placements knowing that they will be well looked after!
29 Jun 2020
Written by Rachel SULLIVAN
Rachel Sullivan
Rachel Sullivan

I developed my love for Sport and Leadership whilst at Pate’s and went to UWIC (Now Cardiff Met.) to study an undergraduate degree in Sport and PE in 2005. After graduation I then gained experience teaching in a local special school before going on to do a PGCE at Worcester University and then completing my NQT year in Hounslow, West London.
Whilst there I had a few shocks to the system (apparently not every school child likes doing their homework- who knew?!) but I learned a lot, working with young people who have not had the privilege or access to resources which I did whilst growing up. Whilst at school I was a very competitive person and took part in every sport going so working in this environment taught me how to appreciate sport and physical activity in a different way. I always enjoyed helping young people to feel confident in PE lessons rather than focusing on competition. In this role I learned how to use the Leadership skills I developed at Pate’s and eventually went on to become a Head of Year and then a Lead teacher for Teaching and Learning, supporting developing teachers at the start of their careers. This led me to my current role at the University of Gloucestershire which includes teaching on the Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees in PE and ITT.
My love for learning, which was fostered at Pate’s, has never quite disappeared- leading to me completing an OU Diploma in Literature as well as an MA in Education whilst working in schools. My current role has allowed me to explore research interests within education technology (a particularly interesting area given the recent changes to our schooling systems since Covid-19) as well as curriculum development. I am also currently completing a PhD in Education investigating the changes to the new Welsh Curriculum so the learning for me has never stopped (and probably won’t for quite a few years to come!).
In addition to my work in education, I have set up a Community Interest Company called ‘Go Outside’ which aims to support young people and families to explore their local community. This has brought together my love for the outdoors as well as the knowledge I gained working in London on engaging special interest groups in physical activity. At times, this has involved me using project management skills which I probably haven’t used since organising the ‘TOPLink’ Festival in 6th form but, so far, has resulted in getting over 7000 people more engaged in physical activity within their community in our first year. I have been awarded a funding grant to digitize the content and hope to be able to expand further to other areas of Gloucestershire over the next few years.
I am really lucky to still be in touch with lots of my school friends, as well as working alongside some of my old teachers in my current job and I love that I still have such strong links with where I went to school as it has shaped my life and the career path I have taken since leaving. Every year I send my own students to Pate’s on teaching placements and every one of them gains a lot, not only from the existing staff but also from the ethos and community of the school which is so unique. 

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