Early Years Alumni Christina Chatzichristodoulou throwing hat at graduationChristina Chatzichristodoulou – Early Years Education and Care & PGCE

Primary School Teacher

Christina studied her undergraduate and postgraduate degree at Newman, graduating with her degree in Early Years Education in 2017 and her PGCE in 2018.

Christina explained that during her time at Newman she felt valued and that her ideas and thoughts were listened to and taken into account.

“A lot of the Newman staff were approachable, understanding and available at all times. You always felt like with those staff, you can talk to them about anything concerning you and they would be able to advise you. Newman gave me the opportunity to succeed.”

After completing her PGCE, Christina gained employment as a Primary School Teacher at Nelson Primary School and now teaches year 4 pupils.

“This is my second-year teaching, and it has been a real blast.”

Christina plans to progress in her career and move into a management role to take on further responsibilities.

Catherine Jaep - Early Years Graduate Catherin Jaep – Early Childhood Education and Care

Deputy Manager, Perryfields Day Nursery

Catherine graduated from Newman in 2015 with a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Education and Care.

Before university, Catherine had been volunteering in her old primary school and after working hard at Newman, which sparked her passion for early years education, she was offered her first job in early years at the nursery where she completed her placement.

Catherine commented, “Newman is small, and the lecturers are very approachable, if I needed help it was there! For this reason I have continued to stay in touch professionally with lecturers, acting as a mentor for students.”

Catherine’s highlight of her university experience was graduating, “After completing all that hard work, standing on that stage, and being able to hear my parents cheering felt pretty fantastic.”

Catherine is now studying her Master’s in Education, specialising in Early Years and working as a Deputy Manager at a nursery in Worcestershire. The nursery was where Catherine completed her placement and after moving on to another employer she returned when the deputy manager position became available.

“Now I’m studying for my MA in early years I want to learn all that I can, and make nursery the best possible setting for our children. In the future I wouldn’t mind passing on my knowledge to future practitioners!”

PGCE and Early Years Alumni Mia BanoMia Bano – Early Childhood Education and Care
PGCE School Direct

Primary Teacher, Arden Primary School

Mia graduated from her undergraduate degree with a first class honours in 2016 before progressing to begin her PGCE School Direct in the same year.

During her time at Newman Mia explains she was able to embrace the diversity of inclusivity nurtured at Newman, “It felt refreshing to be able to meet with many lecturers and students, of all different backgrounds, who exchanged ideas and offered me a lens to see through their life experiences.”

These experiences have since inspired Mia to promote a similar culture within her own classroom.

Mia is now in her fourth year of teaching working at Arden Primary School and has responsibility for leading Art and Design, Design and Technology and also overseeing the wider area of the curriculum.

“I love to celebrate creativity and have shared my background in cake art with children. This has resulted in me teaching sugar craft to a small group of children to receive an accreditation in Arts Award Discover.”

Mia adds that staff at Newman are warm, empathetic and approachable and she was able to reach out to them whenever she needed to, summing up Newman as “a University which contributed to the making of me.”

Mia has already had great success in her teaching career as she was shortlisted for the TES Teacher of the Year Award and has participated in the Department for Education’s campaign by sharing her story to inspire the next generation. As well as this, Mia has contributed to Sarah Mullin’s (also a former Newman student) book ‘Chronicles from the Classroom’.

Mia hopes that in the future she is able to write her own diverse picture book so that school children can see themselves reflected in what they read.

“It feels liberating stepping into my classroom and contribute to a profession which endeavours to keep the passion for learning brightly in the hearts of our future generation. The moments that I have experienced in the classroom have defined me as the teacher I am today.”