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Teacher training at Nettlecombe Court

Graduate Old Members’ Trust Travel Report – Lewis Walker (2022, PGCE, Chemistry)

As part of my initial teacher training, I visited the Field Studies Centre at Nettlecombe Court in April 2023, thanks to support from the Old Members Trust Travel Grant. I stayed in a beautiful Elizabethan manor house surrounded by heritage parkland, ancient woodland, and only a short commute from the Somerset coast.

As part of the weekend course tailored for PGCE students specialising in secondary science teaching, I ventured through a variety of habitats and utilised a range of fieldwork techniques to explore the ways in which pupils may learn about science outside of the classroom. It was apparent how learning outside of the classroom can serve as a more engaging means of developing pupils’ understanding and appreciation of topics across the curriculum from key stage 3 through to key stage 5, including ecology and Earth science. Opportunities to complete activities from the perspective of a secondary school pupil were complemented with workshops to consider how I, as a teacher, may risk assess such activities and organise field trips more generally.

Some highlights of the weekend were the opportunities it provided for socialising and team building with the other science PGCE interns in my cohort. I am keen to replicate this experience for pupils I teach in my future career as I believe residential trips are a fantastic springboard for character building and the personal development of young people.

Find out more about the range of travel grants and scholarships available to assist Univ students on our Travel Grants page or read further travel reports.

Published: 12 October 2023

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