Vanessa Watts

 Vanessa is studying BSc (Hons) Secondary Design & Technology with QTS at University of South Wales. Formerly a media account manager, she decided to change career after having children.

“The academic content is very varied, and comprises of a large amount of practical work mixed with written assignments and end-of-year exams.  
Modules include Food Technology, Electronics, Product Design, Resistant Materials, Textiles and Education Studies. 
My practical skills were basic at first but now I have the confidence to lead a class of 20+ students safely within a workshop environment just as well as in a kitchen.
The Education module holds a lot of relevant material that I have used in both of my placements. Topics such as Special Educational Needs, Behaviour Management, Lesson Planning, Assessment for Learning and English as an Additional Language have been studied in depth, and fully prepared me for placement.
My first placement was within my hometown. Whilst there was a degree of demographic differentiation within the learners, it was small. The second placement held a vast demographic differentiation and with this came very different behaviours and attitudes to learning. The wealth of knowledge I obtained with regards to challenging behaviour, motivating learners, the range of assessing learners and differentiation has given me a very positive start in my career.
The support at USW is excellent. Assistance is always available, whether worries about academic or practical work arise. 
The highlight for me is the feeling of pride that I have attended University as a mature student and had the courage to change my career.  
I have discovered that I can not only design and make items that I never thought possible, but I can also teach those skills to a class of learners and motivate them into trying something new which in turn grows their confidence.”

North and Mid Wales Centre of Teacher Education  South East Wales Centre for Teacher Education South West Wales Centre for Teacher Education