Following four and half years of studies and work placements in the UK, Robyn Sim of St Paul's has recently returned to St Helena to take up her new role as a Reception Teacher at St Paul's Primary School.
Robyn started her career as a teacher here on St Helena in 2013 where she initially worked as a Teaching Assistant and then enrolled on the local Initial Teacher Training programme. After completing a year's training on-Island, Robyn was given the opportunity to continue her studies in the UK and work towards becoming a UK Qualified Teacher.
Initially, I didn't want to leave St Helena as I was content living here, but I knew the right decision was to leave for a few years in order to further my career and experience life elsewhere.
Robyn began her journey in September 2014 studying towards a Foundation Degree in Early Years with the University of Hertfordshire. Whilst studying, Robyn also worked as a Teaching Assistant in a Special Educational Needs (SEN) school for pupils with moderate learning difficulties.
After passing the Foundation Degree, Robyn enrolled on the final year of the Bachelor's Degree in Primary Education (B.Ed. Primary Degree) with Qualified Teaching Status. The B.Ed. Primary Degree focused on preparing individuals for their first year of teaching and was very practical based.
During her final year, Robyn was required to complete one term of school-based training, teaching 70% of the lessons in a Year 1/2 class.
I found the actual course quite straightforward, however I gained most of my valuable experiences through my teaching practices, which allowed me to build myself as a teacher. I also joined a fitness group, attended lots of events, and tried to travel as much as I could to keep myself occupied and to break up the studying.
Robyn graduated gaining a B.Ed. Primary Degree in September 2017. Following graduation, Robyn worked in a school in the UK to gain further teaching experience and to complete her induction year as a Newly Qualified Teacher.
My time as a Senior Teacher in an amazing Nursery School in Hitchin allowed me to gain a great insight into the running of a school, managing staff, analysing data, and having lots of leadership responsibilities, being lucky enough to work closely with the school's Head Teacher.
I also worked as the Special Needs Lead and was given the opportunity to attend any training that I wished, allowing me to gain my Autism Leadership & Management qualification. The skills and experience that I have gained through this job are extremely valuable as Early Years is one of the most important stages in a child's life. I feel that there is still a misunderstanding of how children learn at this early stage, and not enough focus is being put on learning through play.
I am already enjoying being back on-Island and working at St Paul's Primary School and am keen to work with the Early Years Teachers to share my experiences and try new things.
Source: St Helena Government