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Multiple Brunel qualifications pave the way to a successful teaching career

Fariha Sharif

Brunel has a great set of lecturers who have a wealth of experience, which means you get a great education and advice when you need it.

Fariha, Alumni, Postgraduate

Head of Biology and Physics Teacher, Bishopshalt School

PGCE in Secondary Education (Science with Biology) with recommendation for QTS - 2014

From UK

Tell us about your career journey since you graduated…

I have several qualifications form Brunel University - BSc Medical Biology (2006), MSc Molecular Medicine with Cancer Research (2008) and a PGCE in Science (2014). My NQT year was completed in Rivers Academy West London and I now work at Bishopshalt School. I started as a Science teacher, then became the Coordinator of Key Stage three Science – I am now Head of Biology and also completed a knowledge enhancement course so I can teach Physics to Key Stage 5.

What does an average day at work involve for you?

Teaching and learning - I teach at least four lessons and these can range from Year 7 to Year 13, so these need to be planned adequately and pitched correctly. Mentoring students and teachers. Marking and preparing resources for students and teachers. Completing interventions. Completing intervention schedules, data scrutiny, exam preparation and marking.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

The impact on the students I’ve taught and becoming Head of Biology is definitely a huge highlight – it’s incredible what you can do as a teacher. The holidays are long but they are not spent resting, but often spent preparing for the next term. However, with this hard work can come the rewards - I currently work for an incredible school which has a low staff turnover, so being promoted to Head of Biology in the space of four years is definitely a huge highlight.

How would you say Brunel helped you to get where you are today?

I owe everything to Brunel and Dr Christopher Parris for the endless support. My extended qualifications and experience have helped me in achieving everything. Brunel has a great set of lecturers who have a wealth of experience, which means you get a great education and advice when you need it.

Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?

Excellent staff support and a great choice of modules. I particularly liked the choices as no other university offered this. I wanted to study cancer research and the opportunities that Brunel offered were better than others, with several lecturers leading the search for better cancer treatment. I was lucky enough to work closely with Dr Parris who was an incredibly influential figure. This helped my learning a great deal.

What is your best memory of studying here?

The support received from staff and the lasting friendships I have made. I was helped along the way through an incredibly difficult time. I had health complications, however, I was supported and exceptions were made, which took a lot of stress away. The support of the staff enabled me to continue and achieve great things.

If you could give one piece of advice to new students, what would that be?

Work hard and seek help when necessary. The careers support is incredible. I found that once qualifying I ended up in a difficult situation as I had to take time away from my career. I came back to Brunel looking to restart my career. The staff were incredibly helpful and they enabled me to go into teaching. Seeking help pays off!

What would be your top tip or advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey?

Hard work always pays off. Get some volunteering experience in the career you want to follow. Not only will this provide you with experience it will help inform your decision as to whether this is the right career for you. Always seek help from those around you if you need it - you’ll be amazed at what you can find. Also, use the Careers hub at Brunel - it has some wonderful people with a wealth of knowledge who can help you to make the right moves.