Matthew Minikin

What do you do now?Matthew.jpg

I’m studying for a PGCE with QTS for Geography, which qualifies me as a teacher.

After leaving South Craven in 2019, I embarked on a BA degree in Geography at the Queen Mary University of London from 2019-2022.

I chose to move to London because it’s diverse and vibrant. It’s a great place to ‘find yourself’ (cliché, I know!), but the opportunities it offers are enormous. I would totally take the dive again – as scary as it seems.

After studying for my undergraduate degree, I joined the Institute of Education at University College London, which has been placed number one for education globally for a number of years.

I chose to become a teacher because I truly believe that you should have the highest quality of education, whatever your background and whoever you are. I wanted to help students achieve this. I think Geography is a great link to this. We can create citizens of the world who are critical and interactive with the world around them, partly thanks to a strong knowledge of the world. I’m able to share the passion for Geography that was created in South Craven with the students of tomorrow.

The course was very challenging, but key skills such as courage and resilience were definitely fostered by South Craven. I’m beginning my first proper year of teaching at a school in East London from September 2023.

I thought it would be a challenge having a stammer, but the teachers at South Craven always pushed me to be resilient, which has been such a helpful tool to ensure I always achieve my best. Applying my learning in South Craven to my wider degree has helped me so much.

What advice would you give to your 17-year-old self?

Honestly, do things (mainly) the same way – but the few tips I’d give to myself are:

  • Don’t take anything for granted. I loved my subjects, but at the same time I took my GCSE grades for granted, so don’t let them slip. Put in the effort and you will reap the reward!
  • Say "yes" more. What’s the worst that can happen?

What are you most proud of?

No matter the doubts I had, I was always able to overcome them. Part of this is down to one simple word – “yes”.

Put yourself out there, get involved in the things you love and make the most of your time. Moving to London from a village in Yorkshire (with a stammer) was daunting, but I’m glad every single day that I made the jump. Do what will make you happy!