Ms Joan Foley

About me

Teaching English to secondary school students is one of the most important and satisfying jobs in education today and I feel as excited now by sharing my love of the subject with students as I did when I first entered the profession. I have been teaching English since 1982 - first in a range of city secondary schools in Bristol and since the late 1990s as English Course Leader on a number of ITE routes. At UWE I am delighted to be the PGCE Secondary English Group Tutor and to work with a range of trainee, new and recently qualified teachers on developing expert pedagogy in our classrooms. My aim is to foster engagement through creative approaches to English and to develop insightful understandings of what it is to be an English teacher in 21st century classrooms.

Area of expertise

I have experience in teaching using active approaches to Shakespeare and using drama to teach English. I have developed a highly successful approach to poetry pedagogy with trainee and newly qualified teachers which they have described as 'rich and empowering' in their classrooms.

 I value highly working with colleagues from other disciplines and have been involved in a range of cross-curricular projects in secondary settings. Look at the wonderful stained glass window in S Block reception as an example of the affordances of such work - working with colleagues and students in Art, English and Geography this window was a response to an extended project on the work of the poet Ivor Gurney and is our contribution to the centenary of the First World War.

My experience  in ITE encompasses PGCE, GTTP, SCITT and School Direct routes. I also teach on MA courses here at UWE and am the MA module leader for Beginning a Career: Reflective Practice for Newly Qualified Teachers.