I really enjoyed my time at Reigate College – the courses were engaging, I found the staff so supportive and I loved the independence I gained from my time there.

As a member of the College’s Debate Club, I recall an amazing experience taking part in a ‘Debate Matters’ competition, gaining confidence and improving my engagement with current events. College trips to Sorrento with Classics and to New York with Film Studies were both incredible and so much fun. Doing my EPQ was also a great opportunity to develop academic writing skills and gave me valuable early experience that really helped me with my assignments at university.

Because I loved them so much, I built on two of my A Level subjects at university, choosing a Joint Honours degree in English and Classical Literature and Civilisation. The two subjects really worked well together and offered a wide variety of modules, so I studied everything from Forensic Archaeology & Human Remains through to Greek Poetry. One standout module was studying classical influences in modern culture which I could bring to my English studies. I’d say my greatest challenge came in my final year, when I had to move back home and write my dissertation in lockdown, but I’m proud that I managed to finish my degree and persevered through these times.

Drawing on past work experience, I worked in catering for a time after graduating, but decided I wanted to develop a teaching career. I applied and haven’t looked back. I now work as an English teacher at Reigate School and I absolutely love it! It’s an incredibly rewarding job and I really enjoy supporting young people with their education. Teaching has brilliant career progression and I’ve already had a promotion to Assistant Head of Year which I’m really enjoying and gaining lots of experience with the pastoral team. I hope to continue this path for the future and take on even more responsibility at the school.

There are so many big decisions that you make during your time at College and it can seem overwhelming. It’s important to take your time, try to keep your options open and follow your passions.

For anyone wishing to pursue a career in teaching, I would recommend organising some work experience at a school before you train and to also consider the different routes you can take. You can choose between a range of sectors – secondary, primary, post-16 education or specialist schools – so do look into all the options and see which one seems the best fit for you.

Molly Bailey

Reigate College: 2015-2017

Higher Education: English and Classical Literature and Civilisation (BA Hons), University of Birmingham then a PGCE at Bath Spa University with i2i Teaching Partnership

Currently: Teacher of English and Assistant Head of Year, Reigate School

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