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Trust Primary school teachers pass Spanish GCSE

Congratulations to three teachers from our Trust primary schools who are celebrating after passing GCSEs in Spanish. Claire McIlhiney from Beanfield Primary and Caroline Byrne from Compass Primary both gained As while Stella Goatley also from Beanfield gained a C, the highest mark possible in the foundation paper that she sat.

The teachers only started learning Spanish last September and they had to combine their studies with their already demanding day jobs.

Caroline, who leads Spanish in her school, said ‘I’ve got two small children and also had building work at home so it was very chaotic but I got there! I wanted to become more fluent in Spanish both as a personal goal but also to help me in the classroom. It is nice to have that confidence and know that you are ahead of the children. I have enjoyed taking my GCSE so much that Claire and I now have a three-year plan to develop our learning even further, and eventually take Spanish A Level.’

Claire said ‘We have just started teaching Spanish at Beanfield and it was nice to be learning alongside the children. I’ve always loved Spanish and wanted to learn it but they didn’t teach it when I was at school so I learnt French and German and I’m really pleased that I achieved a higher grade in my Spanish. I worked in Spain for a while, so I managed to pick up parts of the language and I loved it. When the opportunity came up to learn it through the Brooke Weston Trust it was something that I knew I had to do. The Trust and the Director of MFL, Melanie Navarro-Marin have been so supportive of us it has been lovely. Melanie has devoted extra days to help us and we are all really grateful. I am taking on the role of MFL co-ordinator in September so I’m looking forward to being able to support other members of staff who haven’t spoken Spanish before.’

Stella who has a background in Italian, chose to take the foundation GCSE. She said ‘It has been tough learning a language to GCSE level on top of teaching, which is already a demanding job. Working to an extra deadline and knowing that I had exams to take throughout the year wasn’t easy. I couldn’t speak any Spanish before I started this course. My class was so excited that I could speak Spanish and to be able to explain to them that we were learning at the same time was really nice. Teaching while you learn is really helpful, they say that if you want to learn something teach it because you gain a greater understanding of it.’

Mrs Navarro-Marin said, ‘I am absolutely ecstatic at how Caroline, Claire and Stella did. They have worked so hard, holding down full time jobs, taking a GCSE and finding time to do the things required to be successful, so these results were just phenomenal. They were extremely enthusiastic and loved teaching the language in their schools so I suggested taking the GCSE and they all agreed to the challenge. I couldn’t be more proud of them!’

From left: Stella Goatley, Claire McIlhiney, Caroline Byrne and Trust Director of MFL, Melanie Navarro-Marin.


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