Owen Thomas


As his class of Year One children explore the great outdoors, excited and intrigued by what mother nature has to offer, Owen Thomas proudly watches on.

For Owen, giving the children the opportunity to learn outdoors is vital and brings new skills, deepens senses and helps keep them engaged.

Owen is new to the teaching profession, having graduated with a PGCE in Primary Education in the summer of 2021. He completed the qualification on the back of an undergraduate degree at Worcester in Primary and Outdoor Education.

“I’m really passionate about outdoor learning,” he says. “I always wanted to be a primary school teacher. When I saw the Primary and Outdoor Education course at Worcester, I knew it was a perfect fit. Even though I knew it wouldn’t give me Qualified Teacher Status, or Early Career Teaching status as it’s now known, I still wanted to do it and I knew that I could follow up with a PGCE year after to get my professional teaching qualification.”

Owen joined the University straight after completing his A-levels in his hometown in south Wales.

“Coming to university in a place I had never been before was quite nerve wracking, but I soon got used to it and really loved it,” he says. “I moved into halls of residence in my first year and made some really good friends.


“The course was fantastic. It was really practical, and we had the opportunity to take part in all sorts of activities. My whole undergraduate experience was brilliant so when it was coming to the end, it just seemed the natural progression to stay and complete my teaching qualification with a PGCE at Worcester. A number of others on my course were also going on to do PGCEs so some of us were able to live together, which was great.”

Owen began his PGCE in September 2020 - amidst the chaos of a global pandemic. While teaching began in-person, by semester two Government restrictions had forced university teaching online. However, despite the challenges it brought, Owen says he did all he could to find the positives and believes the experience has actually made him a stronger, more resilient teacher.

“My PGCE was great, even though Covid meant we had to do things differently,” he recalls. “But actually, I think it made me a better teacher as we had to learn to adapt and overcome. It made me look at doing things differently.

“I was fortunate to still get placement experience, and although it was a lot different, with children having to be taught online and small groups of key worker children in the classroom, and it was a challenge, I made it as positive as I could.”

Owen undertook three school-based placements during his PGCE year, the final one being at a small village school not far from the University.

“When I came to the end of my placement a job became available in the school. I’d loved it so much in the school, I just had to go for it.”

Owen will spend the first two years classed as an Early Career Teacher (ECT). “As an ECT I still get lots of support from the University. I know that I can call upon the lecturers any time for any help and advice, it’s really great. It’s good to know the University is still there for me. You get so much support at Worcester. I am still able to access all the resources that I used while doing the course, which is also really good.”

He added: “I am very proud of myself for achieving what I have. Teaching is definitely living up to what I thought it would. It’s hard work but very rewarding. The PGCE gave me the best training and preparation for what it would be like. I’m loving every minute of it. I would say teaching is one of the best jobs you could have.”

Find out more about studying at Worcester