Rachel Wolfendale

Practitioner in Primary Teacher Education

Key details

 Rachel Wolfendale

Rachel Wolfendale

Practitioner in Primary Teacher Education


Rachel Wolfendale has been a Practitioner of Primary Education at the University of Greenwich since January 2019.

In 2018 Rachel gained her Master's degree in Education and will commence her studies for a Doctorate in Education at the University of Greenwich from September 2019.

Rachel originally studied Italian and Business at University College London and worked for a while as a buyer. In 2006, she retrained as a primary teacher at the University of Greenwich, specialising in Early Years, which led to more than twelve years working as a teacher, with leadership responsibilities in early years and parental involvement. This teaching experience offered her the opportunity to gain rich experience and insight into high quality early years teaching and parental engagement and the ability to support colleagues in improving practice.

Rachel has been a School Experience Tutor to a number of students on both the PGCE and three-year undergraduate courses. Through this work Rachel has been able to support students during school visits and has observed them teaching and interacting with children. This has given opportunities to form strong relationships with mentors in our partnership. As a class teacher and early years leader, Rachel supported students and colleagues in the Foundation Stage, and as a mentor, has continued to support students placed in key stage 1 and 2 classes. 

Rachel has responsibility for developing good practice in supporting students through the transition process as they leave the university to take up their first teaching posts. She is implementing strategies to offer continued support during the NQT year and beyond though forming strong links with partnership schools.

Posts held previously

  • 2018-2019 Class teacher with leadership responsibility for parental engagement and early reading, Forster Park Primary School, Lewisham.
  • 2014-2018, Early Years Foundation Stage Leader, Valley Primary School, Bromley
  • 2010-2014, Class teacher, Brindishe Lee Primary School, Lewisham 
  • 2006-2010, Class teacher, Brooklands Primary School, Greenwich. 
  • 2001-2004, Administrative support, Child Protection, Lewisham

Responsibilities within the university

Rachel began lecturing at the University of Greenwich in January 2019, with teaching responsibilities on both the undergraduate and postgraduate primary education programmes as well as on the BA Hons Primary Education (2-Year Accelerated Degree).Her contribution in other areas include:

  • School Experience tutor on the PGCE and other QTS programme routes
  • Supporting students in the transition from university to NQT year and beyond.
  • Establishing links between the department, students and partnership schools to facilitate employability opportunities.
  • Organising Professional Development days in partnership schools for students on the undergraduate and postgraduate primary education programme.
  • Engaging in research associated to the role.

Recognition

Rachel has worked closely with the EYELA teaching school in Bromley since 2015 as a Specialist Leader in Education (early years) and as a member of the strategic board.

Rachel took up a role as Staff Governor for two years during her time at Valley primary school and is now a community governor at Mead Road infant school in Bromley.

Research / Scholarly interests

Rachel's interests lie in early years, parental engagement and equality of educational opportunities. In her SLE role Rachel led a local hub of early years settings in a one-year action research project exploring ways to improve outcomes for identified groups of children. Rachel carried out research in her own teaching practice such as engaging parents in children's early reading and language skills.

Studying at a master's level has meant that Rachel had the opportunity to research home-school partnerships through the practice of home visiting, with a particular focus on school professional's perceptions of 'disadvantaged families'. She is planning to explore this further in her doctoral study with a focus on families' diverse cultural experiences and unique stories.