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Former Pupil Returns to Her School Classroom as Teacher

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When most people leave high school they rarely return, albeit for the odd reunion. But 10 years after Diane Forsythe, left Kilkeel High School in County Down, she will return this summer as teacher rather than pupil.

Diane will start work as the school's new Home Economics Teacher in August after completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Design & Technology - Food & Textiles, at the University of Worcester.

“It’s great being so familiar with the surrounding (not getting lost is a bonus), however, I am working with many teachers who taught me, which felt a bit awkward at first, especially trying not to call them Mr/Mrs or Miss and by their first name instead,” she said. “But it’s great to see the school I went to from a teaching perspective. When you’re at school you really don’t realise or appreciate the work your teachers put into your lessons.”

Twenty-five-year-old Diane joined the University of Worcester in 2012 with the ambition of becoming a teacher, and graduated a year later.

“I had never heard of the University of Worcester,” she admits. “It was my lecturer at the University of Ulster who put Worcester forward, telling me what an excellent and highly commended teaching university it was. I then investigated and set about applying.

“The PGCE is an intense course; you are practically working a full time job then finding time in the evenings and weekends to complete assignments, as well as planning lessons and making resources. But Worcester offered so much help, support and guidance that made getting through all this work so much easier.

“My PGCE year also enabled me to create lifelong friendships, to learn new skills and overall get many new experiences that I wouldn’t have got by staying in Northern Ireland.”

Diane added: “Teaching in England and having different experiences to many of the Northern Ireland trained teachers really benefited me, I feel. Having taught subjects such as textiles, undergone Ofsted inspections and have contrasting placement schools, has really made me a desirable candidate for teaching posts in Northern Ireland.”

Diane took a maternity cover post at Down High School before joining Kilkeel High School.