Biography page

Who am I?

Amy Wagstaff-Weston BSc(hons), MSET, MRSB, PGCE, QTLS.

What all the letters after my name mean:

  1. BSc (Hons) - Bachelors of Science in Biology with geology
  2. MSET - Member of Society for education and training
  3. MRSB - Member of the Royal Society of Biology
  4. PGCE - Post Graduate Certificate in Education (specialising in post-compulsory education, KS5+)

  5. QTLS - Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS)

I began private tutoring in 2006 whilst at university; I had several students whom I assisted with their spoken English, particularly in pronunciation.

As an undergraduate I was an AimHigher mentor and provided face-to-face support and encouragement to a small group of students. I acted as a role model and assisted them as they moved through year 10 with educational, personal and career-related challenges as well as opportunities and their upcoming GCSE choices. These students were selected by the school because of their underachievement and disadvantaged backgrounds. My time as an AimHigher mentor was what began my interest in young people and working with young people as a career. I found the experience interesting and being able to be a positive influence on a student’s future was very rewarding.

Upon completing my PGCE in post-compulsory education in 2011, I had gained experience teaching a range of age ranges, the youngest student being 16, the eldest 52!

After university I set up and ran my own private tutoring business mainly tutoring in A-level biology and spoken English, I also had a needlework student.

I started teaching in Birmingham in 2012 primarily with post-compulsory students. Within the classroom I have handeled the needs of individual students, from students who need readers for mock exams, to students who need yellow backgrounds on slides and handouts to students who need someone to talk to about their problems. The fact that I am approachable to students and they feel comfortable in speaking to me and asking me for advice has been frequently commented on in performance appraisals.

I am softly spoken and I find this can often work well to calm a situation whilst allowing me to be firm.

My traineeship in Birmingham was very educational and I developed skills across two different levels of courses, level 2 applied science and level 3 applied science. Being a level 2 personal coach I found very rewarding and many of my tutees progressed either onto level 3 applied science or onto other courses within the college.

My IT skills are rated very highly in the development team and I am a member of the team that develops and tests the MOODLE virtual learning environment within my workplace. I am very comfortable with computers and enjoy using them; since 2008 I have been a member of the coding team for an online multi-user dimension based on the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett. This is a voluntary position that means I work with challenging players and inside an international team, often leading projects in game. This experience has given me a deeper understanding of working and leading with people who may have different time constraints and different methods of getting to the same goal.

Everyone involved with young people wants to see them succeed. I have never had a student that a part of me didn’t want to succeed; I will try my hardest to support and nurture a student towards high aspirations. I have encouraged and mentored students in bottom sets to achieve distinctions, worked with challenging level two students to ensure they progress onto level three and there are fewer feelings of satisfaction than seeing a terrified student progress and blossom into a confident member of society or having a student suddenly exclaim, “I can do this!”

My verbal and non-verbal skills are advanced and I am very capable of performing a variety of tasks.

I firmly believe in role-modelling the behaviour I expect from students in work ethic, calmness, punctuality and personal appearance. I believe in dressing professionally when at work and that this sets a good standard for students to follow.

References and photographs

Undertaking a flame test to detect cations.

Reference from a student in Hong Kong.

Relaxing with a cup of tea.