Interview with Callywith PE Lecturer and Sport Academies Coordinator Julie Penprase

Julie Penprase, Callywith College's newly appointed PE Lecturer and Sport Academies Coordinator talks about her new role at the College.

What is your background in education?

I was educated in Gloucestershire and progressed to university at Exeter University where I studied to be a Physical Education and Geography teacher. My family had always holidayed in Cornwall, so as my degree neared completion, I decided to look for a job in the county. In my first job at St Austell 6th Form College, I developed a passion for teaching post-16 and realised this was the area I would specialise in. I was involved in teaching A level Physical Education, BTEC Sport Science as well as enrichment sport. During this time, I also held a role as an A level examiner and was principal examiner for the first AS exam in 2000. My husband was posted to Saudi Arabia, so I left the college and accompanied him to work as a PE teacher at a British and American school, teaching 4 - 14 year olds. This was a great experience, but on our return in 2004, I was delighted to gain employment at Truro College. Since 2005, I have been a Deputy Team Leader with specific responsibility for the sports academy provision as well as teaching on A Level PE, Extended Diploma and Level Two Sport courses. I have also held a role as an A Level examiner since 2005.

What inspired you to pursue a career in education?

During secondary school my favourite lesson was PE and I was involved in many sports like gymnastics, netball and athletics. I looked up to my PE teachers and regularly offered to help teach the younger year groups during their after school sport sessions. These experiences led me to realise that I wanted to be a PE teacher, so I applied for relevant degree courses. I thoroughly enjoyed the university experience and loved teaching practices at three different secondary schools near Exeter, especially those with A Level provision, where I could actually teach the theoretical aspects I had learnt during my degree. I have been very fortunate over the last 25 years to teach the complete age range, but it is the 16 – 19 age group that I find rewarding, as I truly believe I can help shape their future and improve their life chances.

What will your new role involve?

I will be involved in the delivery of A Level Physical Education and the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport. My specialist subjects are Anatomy, Exercise Physiology, Coaching and Leadership, although I have taught a range of other modules across the sports courses. Due to my experience as Sports Academy Coordinator at Truro College, I will also be involved in setting up and running the Football, Rugby and Netball academies at Callywith College.

Why do you think Cornwall needs Callywith College?

There are large numbers of students from the north and east of the county who travel for many hours to reach our current provision in Truro. Callywith College will give students from these areas the choice to be able to access outstanding post-16 education, without the need to travel such distances.

How does it feel to be part of the Callywith College team?

I am very excited to be involved in the new college from day one. I hope to be able to shape its future and provide quality provision for all those students who choose to study there.

What about working at Callywith College are you looking forward to the most?

I am looking forward to developing the sports provision in both the classroom and on the sports field. New buildings, new sports facilities and new students – what’s not to be excited about!

What one thing about you might surprise people?

I played women’s rugby from the age of 18 to 42, but also like sewing and making handbags!

When you’re not working, what is your favourite thing to do?

Cornwall is a beautiful county and I am very fortunate to live close to the coast. I spend many hours walking the cliff paths, going to the beach or out at sea on our boat. I am also a huge rugby fan and watch as many games as possible over the season.

What advice would you give students considering applying for Callywith?

Callywith College is an exciting option for your post-16 education where you will experience brand new facilities with experienced staff delivering a range of courses and opportunities to help you enjoy success and shape your future.