Ellie Simpson

About me

I am currently a PE Teacher for Aberdeenshire Council. I went to the university of Stirling and completed a BA honours degree in Sports Studies which was then followed by a 1 year PGDE  teaching course in Physical Education at the University of Strathclyde. I carried out my probation year at a school in Glasgow before being given a permanent job in Aberdeenshire which I am really excited to start in August.   

Left school

June 2015.

Senior Phase

In S4 I completed my standard grades and intermediate 2's (SCQF level 5) where I decided to study: PE, Business Management, Maths, English, Modern Studies, Chemistry, Biology and French. 

In 5th and 6th year I chose to study highers (SCQF level 6) in PE, Business Management, English, Modern Studies, History and Biology. Alongside these I also completed my Sports Leaders Award (SVQF level 5).

Choosing my Destination

The school were extremely helpful in providing me with advice about my career. Mrs Wilson was my pupil support teacher and she was excellent at helping me consider my options and helping me to complete my UCAS application. All of my teachers at school were extremely helpful and were always there to support me when deciding the best career options and always pointed me in the right direction of where to get any question I had answered. Miss Rainey was my form teacher and she couldn't have been more helpful and supportive during my 6 years at Stirling High. She always answered any question I had and kept me on the right track.

I will always remember a conversation that took place in second year between Mrs Kennedy (Miss Dawson at the time) and myself and she had asked me if I would ever consider being a PE Teacher and before this moment I hadn't. This was a turning point in my life and where my dream and journey of becoming a PE teacher started. Mrs Kennedy done everything she could to provide me with the support of achieving my dreams and providing great opportunities for me during my time at school and I am pretty certain that without her I would not be a PE teacher. She really was a role model to me. 

Additionally, the whole PE department were a massive help in ensuring that PE teaching was the right option for me and during my time at school welcomed me into the department, allowed me to carry out work experience in the department and provided amazing opportunities for me which helped me grow as a person and ultimately helped me get to where I am today.

Extra Curricular & Work Experience

I think at one point during my time at SHS I was involved in pretty much every sports club that was on offer!! To name a few- football, basketball and volleyball. As well as this, with the help of Marco from Active Schools I completed my Sports Leaders award which then led onto me helping to run a cluster club for primary school pupils after school which continued to grow my passion for coaching which then led into teaching. Mrs Kennedy allowed me to coach the girls football team which was a great privilege for me and allowed me to develop my coaching skills whilst being supported.

As part of my wider achievement in 6th year, I had the opportunity to work with 2 local primary schools 4 periods a week where I shadowed 2 primary PE specialists which was an amazing opportunity for me to grow my skills and knowledge and see what it was like to be a PE Teacher. 

Extra curricular clubs are a great opportunity to enhance your skills, find new hobbies and of course make new friends. 

Skills I've developed

I have developed many skills during my life which have helped me both in school and in my chosen career.  Communication skills are vital by allowing me to communicate with my pupils, colleagues, parents and partners that are involved with schools. Additionally this allows me to create and maintain positive relationships which are a huge aspect of my job. 

Creativity has enabled me to plan fun and engaging lessons for all of my classes which helps to enhance their learning. If you had asked me at school if I was creative the answer most definitely would have been no (and I'm sure my art teachers will vouch for this) however this is a skill I have had to learn and develop over the years.

My Advice

If I was to go and give advice to my younger self it would be not to give up on your dreams and if things don't go to plan first time that is ok. Everyone has different paths and can still end up in the same place and this is what makes your journey unique. 

Yes when I left school I attended university which at the time was the done thing to do, but I was doing a course I didn't really want too. I hadn't received any offers for PE Teaching when I was leaving school and genuinely thought my life was over- dramatic I know. However I went and completed the Sports Studies course and had the best 4 years ever and this is where I developed lots of my skills and also met my best friends. I am also now a PE teacher which was my dream, it took me a few more years but I strongly believe that is what has made me the teacher and person that I am today.

I think it is good to start thinking about what you might want to do when you leave School as soon as you can but remember that this might change a lot during your time at school and if it does that is ok. Get as much experience as you can and say yes to any opportunity that you are offered!